How to Identify a Rally Sport Camaro

This FAQ was created because I am frequently asked by people how to verify the authenticity of their car, and/or what they need to convert their Standard Camaro into a "Rally Sport" Camaro. The short answer to your question is: You need a lot of stuff. This faq will detail the specifics of the Standard nose and the RS nose.

The Rally Sport (RPO Z22) is a unique, distinctive and generally highly desirable appearance option available on any 1970 to 1973 Camaro. This is not a Z28 only option. The fact is the RS option could be found on 6 cylinder grocery getters as well as the 375 horsepower Super Sport. If you checked the Z22 option box on the order form, this nose is what would be put on the car.

Standard Camaro Nose
Rally Sport Camaro Nose
camaro standard nose   camaro with rally sport option
  Standard Coupe Diagrams
Exploded Diagram - front end
Bumper attachment
  Rally Sport Diagrams
Exploded Diagram - front end
Bumper Face bars

In addition to being called the RS, or Rally Sport, you'll hear it called a "split bumper" car. I dislike like the term "split bumper". To me it implies the car is a Rally Sport (or has the RS option on the car). To some people (sellers usually), it says "this car has the 2 little bumpers on it". The 2 little bumpers on a car doesn't magically turn the car into a "Rally Sport". Especially if the 2 little bumpers are bolted onto a standard nose car. These are easy to spot since the car will still have the "banana" style parking lights under the bumpers. Some people like this look, and it's common to see, but it adds to the confusion. So we're going to resolve any confusion.

To completely prove or disprove the Z22 option, you'll need to see the cars build sheet or original paperwork documenting the addition of the Z22 option. If the build sheet is unavailable, you'll need to carefully scrutinize the car. Most of the mandatory Z22 options could be ordered on a regular car, so even if they're all present it's difficult to verify, or disprove. Most of the "Rally Sport" option is tangible. If you can see it (and it's correct) - you're not getting ripped off even if the car didn't originally have the Z22 option. Faking these is not a major problem because the stuff that's faked is what you're paying for - the nose... and if the nose is on the car, you're getting your moneys worth. If the car is a "split bumper" botched conversion job, you're getting screwed if you think you're buying a real Rally Sport.

Additional Features included when the Z22 Rally Sport option was ordered are: hidden wipers (rpo C24), and the Z21 Style Trim group (for 1970 & 71 only) - which includes body colored insert on door handles, bright window, body, sill and hood panel moldings plus bright accented parking lights, tail lights and backup lights.

IF the Z22 option was ordered on a Z28, Super Sport or Type LT (1973), the "Rally Sport" emblems were not placed on the car anywhere (except on the steering wheel if the car is a Z28). Nowhere in or on the car will it say "RS". The RS option is not coded into the vin, nor is it on the trim tag.

Note: In 1973, the front end was strengthened with additional bracing. Proof of this will be in the brace mounting points located on the fenders and core support.

In order to "make" this nose, you need to get the bumper brackets. This is probably the #1 major hangup people run into. Without the correct brackets, you can't bolt the nose onto the car. The parking lights are hard to find in good condition too. The urethane noses are difficult to fit, even original ones are sometimes warped and won't transfer from one car to another. The reproduction urethane noses are even more difficult to fit, generally being classified as warped trash straight out of the box.

Click here to view what I'd consider a "botched", or incomplete conversion job. While this car looks very nice, it is not a Rally Sport. Yes, it could be considered a "split bumper", but to imply it's a Rally Sport would be incorrect. Obviously, the car could have had the correct nose on it in the past, but...

On the 1st generation Camaros (1967 - 1969) the RS package included the hidden headlight feature.
After 1973, the RS option was dropped. The name Rally Sport was revived during the 70's with an RPO of Z85 or as a specific model and was a paint & trim appearance package.

Last updated: 10/2/2006
Author: MadMike Maciolek

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Exploded diagrams from 1972 Camaro Parts Catalogue (GM Canada)
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