11K Mile Berlinetta: 1983 Chevrolet Camaro

This 1983 Chevrolet Camaro is a claimed 11,600 mile example sporting the classy Berlinetta package and equipped with some rare options for a third-generation model. The body, interior, and undersides are all in showroom condition, and this spotless Berlinetta is equipped with the 305 4-barrel V8, a manual transmission, and T-tops. The seller notes it is in spotless condition inside and out with not a trace of rust to be found. He’s owned it for two years and put under 1,000 miles on it; now, it’s listed here on craigslist for $10,500 in Arizona. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Paul G. for the find. 

The Berlinetta was essentially the antithesis to the high octane models, placing an emphasis on luxury and comfort over outright performance. These were softly sprung models with different interior touches meant to convince consumers they were riding in the peak of automotive ingenuity, a car that looked like a Camaro but rode like a Lincoln. Obviously, we know now that’s not exactly a target-rich demographic, aside from the proverbial hairdressers and secretaries that might find such a vehicle appealing. I can’t help noticing the windshield banner proclaiming it has “Less than 11,000 miles” – seems like the sort of thing you’d find on an auction car.

The door panels are in shockingly nice condition. Even with the Berlinetta trim, GM interiors at this point in time were not known for using high-grade materials. Still, Chevy’s motivations made sense: they didn’t need to forge a deeper path with the muscle car buyers, who had a home in the Z/28. If you wanted a base model, the RS was ready and waiting. But if you liked the idea of a sporty looking car without any need to win a stoplight drag race, than a luxury-inspired model with interior features that felt upmarket and ride that was glass smooth may tempt you to skip the LTD sedan and pick up a two-door Camaro instead.

I have no idea if it ever actually went down in that manner, but Chevy stuck with the Berlinetta trim for a few years. Hell, they even made the uber-rare Starship Berlinetta with digital gauges, retracting / telescoping “control pods,” and a high end stereo with equalizer. This is not one of those models, as its standard, analog gauge cluster goes to show, but it’s still likely one of the nicest third generation models left, and probably the best of the Berlinettas. Throw in the fact that it has the posi rear end, T-tops, manual transmission,  and four wheel disc brakes, and it starts looking like a luxury car with some performance enhancements up its sleeve.

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    I always felt that this iteration of Camaro looked naked without the rear spoiler. The manual really makes this one unusual, and the original owner must have been an outlier, as (IMO) the typical buyer of this “luxury” model wouldn’t be interested in shifting their own gears. GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 1
  2. Rich

    The “Starship” Berlinetta started the next year….1984.

    Like 1
  3. William

    Pretty nice. I think I would switch out the wheels to different Chevy ones, but other wise, nice indeed.

    Like 2
  4. greg

    love the 2 pointer speedo

    Like 2
    • CJinSD

      I was pleased that it went to 140, until I realized it was kilometers per hour. I also didn’t realize that Chevy sold Berlinettas 3rd gens before the unique dashboard was ready. It’s like something Apple would do. I like this car though. I wish GM still had the courage to design new Camaros instead of trying to make a modern interpretation of a ’69 model.

      Like 1
  5. rustylink

    Ha, a neighbor had this exact car as his first “new car” when we were around 18 or so. It was a demo from a local Chevy dealer and Sonny Jurgenson had apparently had it for a few months – I marveled at how opulent it was – it had every option and it was a pretty quick car. My neighbor wasn’t the sharpest guy when it came to driving sensibly and he rolled it after a month and it was totaled…

    Like 3
  6. rex m Member

    Good luck ever finding another one this clean with a manual, at this price!

    Like 5
  7. irocrobb

    When they first came out with this model in the 3rd gen cars I did not like them one bit
    However as I have grown a lot older I do appreciate them more. It appears to be a honest car and I think the price is reasonable. If it was a Iroc in the same condition I would think it would be 10K more.

    • Superdessucke

      Sales of the Berlinetta were initially pretty good. Nearly 40k for ’82. But they declined thereafter. Fewer than 800 LTs were built in 1987, the last year.

      The luxury pony car was really a creature of the ’70s. Ford dropped the Mustang Ghia after 1981. It kept on with the slow-selling Capri, but only through 1986.

  8. Matt Toni

    In 1985 I was obsessed with c2 corvettes but no drivers license yet. I’d look them up in the auto trader and actually had a few guys drive them to me so I could dream. Gramma wasn’t havin it. She picked out a white 1983 berlinetta (in Arizona too)and said she’d pay the difference. I still have my 63 vette.

    Like 3
  9. Ralph

    4 paragraphs of fluff and not a single mention of what engine this car has…..

    “journalism”

    Its a 305 4bbl V8 in case anyone is interested……

    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      Hi Ralph! I mentioned it in the first paragraph.

      I wouldn’t call this “journalism” as we’re largely honest folks around here.

      Merry Christmas,

      Jeff

      Like 4
  10. Greg

    Nice car…I recall it sold on BaT last year for $7500. Good buy for sure.

  11. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    I sold my 1974 Mercury Marquis for down payment money for a 1984 Camaro Berlinetta in January of 1984.
    I hated that car. It had the full electronic instrumentaion and the “lollipop” radio.
    That car spent more time at the dealers than on the road. The radio had to be replaced twice. The windshield wiper pod had to be replaced 3 times. It was always something with that car.
    Plus…… I did not drive that car any differently from the way I drove the Mercury Marquis, but since it was a “sporty” Camaro, I got stopped at least once a week and got speeding tickets every other week. Profiling!
    Fortunately I worked in a high crime area and it was stolen a year later.

  12. Jcs

    Nice clean and rare little Camaro, as many have mentioned the 5-speed puts this one squarely into unicorn territory. This one deserves a closer look for sure.

    Like 1
  13. RGTigerowner

    My mother bought the same car, 305 4bbl manual t-top, only charcoal grey metallic when I was 14. It was the car I got to drive as dads Audi 5000 turbo was off limits to a 16yo. I rather enjoyed winning a lot of stoplight races in this car!

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