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Michael Waltrip’s Classic 1980 Camaro Z/28 Protected with High Gloss FUSION PLUS Ceramic Coating

Former NASCAR CUP SERIES and two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip recently had his prized 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 treated with XPEL PPF and ceramic coating. This vintage muscle car holds priceless sentimental value for Waltrip, who has owned the Camaro for 20 years and affectionately calls it his "baby." We were proud to help Waltrip preserve his collector car with XPEL peace of mind.

Michael Waltrip's 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

In 1980, a young Michael Waltrip worked for a popular soda company as a delivery driver earning a few cents over minimum wage. So, like most young men fresh out of high school with no major financial responsibilities, he decided to use this disposable income to buy a car.

At the time, he was driving his mother's four-door Mercury sedan, which did not reflect the personality of a young driver embarking on a professional career in motorsport. Or, as Michael Waltrip puts it, "I needed something cool." And in 1980, few cars were cooler than a Camaro wearing Z/28 graphics across its doors.

After saving a few paychecks and a little help from an inside man at the local bank, Waltrip got a car loan. He took the money and ran to the nearest General Motors dealership.

One sign on the dotted line later, and a teenaged Michael Waltrip rolled off the lot in a brand-new Camaro Z/28. Gleaming new paint over an air induction hood and enough low-end torque to disturb the peace.

Waltrip loved that Z/28, but as anyone who owns a vehicle will tell you, buying it is only the beginning. A young driver with keys to a flashy new muscle car keeps insurance agents awake late at night. When you combined a high insurance rate with the cost of premium fuel, tires, oil, inspections, and the occasional speeding ticket, the Camaro soon became a financial beast of burden for him.

After less than a year, he sold the Z/28, but while the title may have been transferred, the car's memory never left him. Cut to several decades and an entire racing career later. Michael Waltrip's family decided to surprise him on his 40th birthday with this restored metallic dark blue 1980 Camaro Z/28 replica. Since then, the car has enjoyed the life of a sunny day cruiser for the last 20 years.

The car is mostly stock, firing on all eight cylinders of a 350 small block bolted to a four-speed manual transmission riding on Goodyear Eagle GA tires wrapped around period-correct 15-inch gold N90 aluminum wheels.

While the car is in pristine condition, the paint is one aspect that Waltrip always felt needed attention. He mentioned that "the paint isn't shiny, no matter how many times you wash it." Thankfully, XPEL has the solution to help rejuvenate the Camaro's paintwork while helping to prolong its condition without the need for a body shop or paint booth.

Protecting Michael Waltrip's Camaro Z/28 with XPEL PPF and Ceramic Coating

The fine folks of Exclusive Paint Protection in Charlotte, North Carolina, looked after Waltrip's "baby." Professional XPELinstallers applied ULTIMATE PLUS PPF around the Camaro’s dark blue metallic hood and front fenders, measured precisely to the car’s intricate bodywork.

FUSION PLUS ceramic coating was then applied to the car's entire exterior as a secondary layer of protection with hydrophobic properties. Both products offer a high gloss finish to help boost the car's 20-year-old paintwork with premium shine while protecting it against road grime, UV rays, rock chips, and light paint damage.

FUSION PLUS, Ceramic Coating Designed for Paint, Wheels, Glass and Trim

Maintaining a car's paintwork is time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. XPEL FUSION PLUS Ceramic Coating helps reduce stress as a hydrophobic solution to maintain a spot-free clearcoat.

FUSION PLUS Ceramic Coating works like a protective barrier preventing bugs, rain, pollen, and other contaminants from etching into a paint's clear coat. With hydrophobic properties, the water beads up and rolls off the car, helping to prevent dirt and other contaminants from sticking to a coated surface. As a result, XPEL ceramic coating makes maintaining the car's cleanliness easier.

XPEL's line of ceramic coating products provides high-quality protection for various vehicle surfaces like glass, wheels, and trim. Each variety of FUSION PLUS is specifically formulated for the different surface types.

For example, ceramic coating for wheels and brake calipers provides hydrophobic properties to help prevent brake dust and iron deposits from sticking to and staining wheels and painted calipers.

ULTIMATE PLUS Paint Protection Film Peace of Mind

XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS PPF provides unparalleled protection for vehicle clearcoats. This high-performance film acts as an invisible shield, guarding against the elements and potential damage that can harm your car or truck's exterior paint finish.

Formulated with self-healing properties, ULTIMATE PLUS PPF can minimize the appearance of scratches, swirl marks, and minor abrasions, helping to maintain a high gloss appearance on painted surfaces.

The key benefit of ULTIMATE PLUS PPF lies in its ability to improve the longevity of your vehicle's exterior paint finish. By acting as a sacrificial layer, the film takes the brunt of everyday wear and tear, shielding the underlying clearcoat from damage. This means your vehicle's paint can stay fresh and vibrant for longer. In addition to better resistance to environmental hazards like harsh UV rays, preventing color fading and oxidation.

It's Never Just a Car

The car is a vessel for transporting more than passengers and cargo. Like a favorite song that takes you back or a retro photo album needing a good dusting, a car holds memories. Sentimental value is commonly associated with vehicles and for good reason. Memories, both good and bad, can be embedded into the fibers of a car's interior. Everyone remembers their first car regardless of the condition.

This 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 replica is more than just a cool ride for Michael Waltrip. It's a time machine that connects him to a simpler time in his life while holding 20 years of memories and counting. We appreciate him letting us work on his beloved collector car and trust he will continue to enjoy the benefits of XPEL, rain or shine.

Check out our extensive line of PPF, ceramic coating, and window films designed to protect your car, home, and business against harsh conditions and pollutants. Use our Installer Locator Tool to find the XPEL installer nearest you and get a free quote on any of our products.