Oh my goodness... What is so very odd is how popular these cars are in rural Pennsylvania. When I see a Beretta, I automatically think dirtbag. I know, I know... how rude, but it is a stereotype that seems to be reiterated each time I see a Beretta. I had an ex who was IN LOVE with them. She had a 95 Z26 3100 (also purple), and a 96 Z26 3100. She sold them to purchase an 03 Grand Am GT - but then sold that and got ANOTHER Z26, this time, a 94 Quad 4 5 speed. You may be thinking "so, demonspeed, you are admitting you dated a dirtbag". Well, she was a liar and a cheater, so go figure!
I am really confused as to what you're all comparing the 3100 to to think it is quick. It is a dog, especially mated to that slushbox since that was the only thing available (unlike the Z24 which could be had with a 3.1/5 speed). Something to also keep in mind is that the 3100 is different than the 3.1 MPFI.
My experience with the Quad 4 is pretty much the same. It is quite a torquey 4 cylinder, but it still doesn't have much on the newer cars. Of course, this wasn't an HO with the 180hp (which was found in the GTU; the "red top" Q4HO was only available in the Olds). It's also a very raucous engine and is not smooth in power delivery at all. They also eat through head gaskets and you'll want to keep up with spark plug changes as well as the little plastic things that mate the plug tops to the coil thingy under the plate that says "Quad 4 something or other".
There seems to be quite a following for these cars, especially in western PA. You can find them all on www.beretta.net
(though, with a quick glance to check the domain name, it appears the site has changed a bit). IIRC, the "leader", or the one everyone had a hard-on for, was Rex with a 13-second Q4, I believe.
With all of that said, I had a friend in HS that bought a very clean Z26 and swapped a 3400/5 speed into his. I remember when he first got that thing and we'd rip it around - DOG SLOW. I never got a chance to go for a ride with the engine swap, but I'm guessing it would be *maybe* in the low 15's. I give that guesstimate because I took my ex's GAGT to the track and pulled a 15.8 @ 80-something with the same 3400 (but with a slushbox).
Besides all of my whining about how slow they are, they have a tendency to rust extremely bad at the door hinges and front of the kick plate. Also, the dash warps horribly, and my personal opinion is complete dislike for the control layout and the silly dial thingys that control the lights and wipers, IIRC. The seats are pretty "racy", but the position is odd and I could never get them adjusted at an appropriate height or recline. Don't even get me started on those stupid door-mounted seatbelts that were the rage in the late 80's and early 90's...
With all of that said, I do like the looks of the GTZ/Z26 - except the wheels. The GTZ had these ugly body-color matched wheels, and the Z26 shared the same wheels with the Lumina minivan! I would probably slap on a set of the chrome Cavalier LS Sport wheels (from 02-05) and call it a day. Finding a clean one is going to be next to impossible, especially up here in the snow.
I know too much about these for not caring too much about them. My advice - skip it and keep your Camaro for now. Honestly, you need to be saving your money while you are in school. I know I sound like a parent, but I wish I would have listened when people told me this. When you get out, get yourself an LS1 and be thrilled. If you absolutely have to get something new, sell the Camaro and get a LS1 car.