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15k Original Miles: 1985 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Certain terms get over-used in the classic community, and many enthusiasts will agree that “time capsule” is one. However, it could be applied to this 1985 Camaro Z28 because it is as original and spotless as the day it rolled off the showroom floor. Considering it has 15,500 genuine miles on the clock and has been garage-kept its entire life, its condition is unsurprising. The time has come for it to find a new owner, with the seller listing it here on eBay in Bristol, Connecticut. Frantic bidding has pushed the price to $15,600 in a No Reserve auction.

The Third Generation Camaro features striking styling, and although more than three decades have elapsed since this car emerged from the factory, Chevrolet succeeded in producing a vehicle that remains surprisingly fresh. This Z28 wears its original Code 75 Red paint that shines magnificently. The seller states that a close inspection will reveal watermarks from washing, but the paint condition remains 10/10. That is a bold claim, but I can’t identify any flaws or defects. The panels are laser straight, and a life spent stored indoors has helped it remain rust-free. The original owner selected the smoked glass T-Top, which looks spotless and shows no leaks around the seals. The decals are crisp, and the factory alloy wheels are free from stains and physical damage.

Although manufacturers had utilized plastic interior trim for years, cars from the 1980s were still prone to it surrendering to the rigors of UV exposure. This Camaro hasn’t suffered that fate, with no evidence of issues. It is hard to find anything to criticize inside this classic beyond some slight wrinkling on the outer edge of the driver’s seat. There is no wear on the upholstery or carpet and no signs of stains. The dash looks as good as the day this car was born, and the only aftermarket addition is an Alpine radio/cassette player occupying the spot normally reserved for the factory stereo. Luxury and comfort touches include air conditioning, power windows, power mirrors, cruise control, and a leather-wrapped tilt wheel.

For many performance enthusiasts, the best slice of news with the 1985 Z28 was what buyers could find under the hood. They could order their new toy with the 5.0-liter TPI V8, and after what seemed an eternity, the Camaro now housed a V8 producing more than 200hp. That is what we find in our feature car, with the TPI’s 215hp fed to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission. The new motor made itself known on the stopwatch. An auto-equipped 1984 Z28 could cover the ¼-mile in 16.1 seconds, but this car slashes that figure to 15.6 seconds. The seller claims this classic has a genuine 15,500 miles on its odometer, although they don’t mention verifying evidence. They haven’t gone out of their way to wear it out, with this Camaro mainly traveling to shows when it isn’t snuggled away in its garage. It runs and drives as well as it did the day it rolled off the showroom floor, leaving the new owner with nothing to do but slip behind the wheel and revel in the ownership experience.

This 1985 Camaro Z28 has struck a chord in the classic world, helping explain why eleven people have submitted thirty-one bids. They like what they see, and it’s hard to blame them. The ’85 Z28 is among the strongest performers in the current classic market, with values climbing faster than the Corvette from the same year. I expect bidding to easily pass $20,000 before the hammer falls, although $30,000 may be within reach due to its condition and odometer reading. Even if you don’t have the cash to make ownership a reality, it might be worth joining me to watch the auction. The bidding has already been frantic, and I suspect we’ll see more of the same as the end draws near.


  1. Avatar photo angliagt Member

    When this body style first came out (’82?) a friend of mine
    had one just like this,in the same color,when he was living in
    Germany.He told me that it always drew a crowd
    I told him that it was like owning a Red Ferrari in the US.

    Like 4
  2. Avatar photo CCFisher

    Seems like it’s unusual to see one of these without the IROC-Z package, but as it turns out, there were over three times as many without IROC than with.

    Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Bick Banter

    That is correct, for 1985, but for 1986, it was 56%. Then in 1987 it was over 70%, until they dropped the Z28 entirely and made the IROC the performance model.

    But you are correct. There were a lot of Z28 built concurrently with the IROC. It seems the 1985-87 Z28s tended to come with the base engine and fewer options. I’ve seen a lot of them with an LG4, no air conditioning, and crank windows. Not sure why that was, but it’s definitely something I’ve noticed.

    Interestingly, the Trans Am also got similarly overshadowed in the later third gen years by the GTA. Not very many people know it was built all the way through 1992.

    Like 2
  4. Avatar photo Bick Banter

    Looks like a nice example, and you do not see a lot of regular Z28s in these years with the LB9 or fully loaded like this.

    My only minor quibble is it should have the the “Tuned Port Injection” emblem on the driver side of the rear bumper. So whether it was removed or whether the car was re-sprayed at some point Is anyone’s guess.

    The paint quality in these years was not all that good, especially the Van Nuys water-based paint, so it is not uncommon to see low mileage third gens that have had a repaint, particularly if they sat outside.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Dean lapointe

      This is our family car and I can assure you the Paint is all original. The emblem was removed because our grandfather didn’t like it (for whatever reason… nobody questioned gramps) and the radio was changed as well. I appreciate your opinion but it’s all factory original

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo AMCFAN

    These still show up all the time in the scrap yard. It still amazes me. They made thousands. Surprised by everyone who wears a bowtie does nothing to save these 305 wonders. I dated a girl who had one and at the time almost a new car. It drove like a slug.

    Like 3
  6. Avatar photo Claudio

    I owned a 1991 convertible firebird with the TBI and the auto trans
    I used it as a regular car
    Had a 67 custom firebird convertible in the garage
    So the 91 sat outside with a cover when not in use
    It was a great car , underpowered but they were all the same
    The look of it with the top down was beautiful!
    As the kids didn’t want to follow anymore , the old man began playing with 2 seaters


    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Meehow

    Just a classic muscle look to these cars. The look we all sought for back in our high school years. They weren’t fast but definitely commanded a presence when someone pulled up in one. I mean nothing was fast back then. Mustang GT’s had a measly 220hp and It took a Lamborghini Diablo 4.3 seconds to hit 60mph. If I had the cash I’d bid on that Z. Just to store it and look at it every once in a while. Lol.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Grant

    Would love to hear the story behind this, how it has so few miles after 37 years. Even for a fun second car, there should be more miles on it. Did they say this was the original owner? Is this a flip? My guess, someone bought this as a retirement gift to themselves, drove it sparingly, then got elderly and sickly. Inherited, and/or bought by a flipper. I don’t care with this car. Too bad the original owner didn’t get to drive it more. Perhaps, the original owner was wealthy and had other cars that they eventually liked better. Perhaps bought for a child or wife who drove little and didn’t care for it. I was in Rochester, Minnesota over 40 years ago doing some consulting work and stopped into a small used car showroom to kill some time. There was what looked like a brand new 1972 Dodge Challenger. The car was a 340 auto, with air, power windows, more or less loaded, and it had like 7 or 8 thousand miles on it. dark blue with a black vinyl top. I walked in with a suit and tie so the car jockey thought he had a live one on the line and went after me hard. He explained .it was bought new by a local Mayo Clinic surgeon for his young trophy wife. Apparent, she was upset it wasn’t a higher end car that she could show off in. She said that all the other doctors wives drove Mercedes, she felt that he was being cheap. So, she rarely drove it, and it sat in the garage. Eventually the gold digging wife cashed out her marriage and the doctor was left with the car and he got tired of looking at it. He traded it in on a newer Corvette (and assumably, a new wife). The original window sticker had been put back in place, something like $3900, and that is what they wanted. I reminded them that it was nice, but still a used car and laughed at the price. Perhaps this car is something like that.

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo djkenny

    Not great to Drive
    Not seeing a 20000 Car

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Dean lapointe

      To be totally honest … I drove it when I took the photos and it was as tight as new. But the beauty of life is everybody is entitled to their opinion and I will always respect that.
      To each their own my friend. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

      Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Dean Lapointe

    This car is all factory original. Factory original paint and no stories. I drove it to take the photos and provided the information. 100% legit vehicle. People have every right to comment opinions but opinions never trump facts. Merry Christmas everybody and Happy Holidays!

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

    This car is idling at 220 degrees – isn’t that a bit too high?!

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Dean Lapointe

      I bought a 1990 Z new and that’s the same place she stayed at all the time.
      I can assure you this car has absolutely zero issues. Merry Christmas happy holidays!

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo Bick Banter

      No. Fans do not activate until 210 degrees and then temperature can go up to 220 before dropping. Perfectly normal for this engine. That was an emissions thing.

      Like 1
  12. Avatar photo Grant


    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Dean Lapointe

      High bidder doesn’t have the funds in order it will be re-listed soon. Having the auction end on Christmas Eve might not been a good idea but it will be back for sale shortly
      Happy holidays

      Like 0

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