16 Year Sleep: 1983 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

UPDATE 3/20/17 – The seller has relisted this one here on eBay with a $3k starting bid and no reserve.

FROM 3/19/17 – This Camaro has been in storage for the past 16 years and is far from perfect. There’s 171k on the odometer and the body has some bumps and bruises. It’s a Z28 though. Plus, it’s fitted with the optional High Output 5.0 engine and 5-speed transmission! That may still not be enough to justify the asking price, but the seller is willing to hear offers so it might be worth a look. It’s located in Dayton, Ohio and is listed here on eBay for $4,900 or best offer.

This was the first year for the optional L69 engine. This High Output 5.0 V8 was only available in the Z28, IROC-Z, Trans Am, and Monte Carlo Super Sport. It put out 190 horsepower and 240 foot pounds of torque. That may not sound crazy by today’s standards, but this was actually a potent machine in its day. This engine is  claimed to run, but the seller doesn’t mention if there are any issues or if it has ever been rebuilt. You may want to ask those sorts of questions before pulling the trigger.

This was also the first year you could get a 5-speed manual transmission in your Camaro! It was a required option when you ordered the 5.0 HO engine. Again, five speeds may not seem like a big deal these days, but this had to be exciting for bowtie fans. Combine all that with the special Z28 additions and you had quite the package. Those seats look pretty clean for such a high mileage car. Perhaps the photos make it look better than it is or maybe it’s actually in really good shape?

The black and gold exterior should look very handsome after a good cleaning. The seller mentions some rust and paint damage so you’ll want to get the specifics there. An inspection may be in order here too. Third generation Camaros aren’t as desirable as earlier iterations, but the HO engine and manual transmission do make this one tempting. What do you think – is this one worth rescuing now or does it need to sit in the barn for a few more years?

Fast Finds


  1. Wilthemech

    Good looking project, didn’t think those wheels were available in 83.

  2. BB

    Not a fan of this body style.

  3. DG

    I’d rather have this one than the ’80 listed above. L69/5 speed make this one desirable, plus good color combo and an interior that doesn’t appear ragged out. And no t-tops! Only negative seems to be the high mileage and price, although its listed as OBO.

    • Gnrdude

      Despite the Mileage it Looks Well Cared for, I’ve seen these Still Running Farily Well in to the Mid 200K Mile rage. & yes you are Right on about the Interior as those Parts are HARD to Find.

  4. Jason

    I love the third Gens, definitely worth restoring. I see more and more people restoring these cars every year. I have an all original 85 Z28 survivor in minty shape sitting next to my 71 Chevelle. :)

  5. Rock On Member

    Those aluminum 5 spoke wheels came out in 1982.

  6. Brett Barnett

    Better check your information 5 speeds were not mandatory on the 5.0 L HO. I should know bought brand new 83 and 84 HO’s. 1984 had the Recaro striped seats but both were automatics!!

    Like 1
    • Ricky Utesch

      If you got the 5.7 the automatic was required

  7. Cubs win

    Yes hose are the stock wheels. I think $3500 would be ok. There’s a lot of these out there.

  8. half cab

    Ugly then still ugly 👎

  9. Gabe

    An ’83 camaro with 171,000 miles in questionable running condition is a “find”? God, I’m getting old. Who wants a car from that magical era when v8 “muscle cars” came with less horsepower than normally aspirated 4 cylinders would have less than 5 years later?

  10. Larry

    Not sure about this one, but third gen Cameros are at the bottom of the price scale. Lot’s of folks grew up with these. Something to consider.

  11. Jason

    Yep you are getting old lol. I cruise every Sunday and you see more and more 30 to 45 year olds restoring these third gens every year. I have an 85, it’s my wife’s dream car and she is 39. It took us 3 years to find the right all original one in the right color. These cars are coming back and the more demand for them the more they will increase in value. I’m 41 and also drive a 71 Chevelle but you can’t beat the sleek style of those 80s Camaros.

  12. Larry

    Get off my lawn!!

  13. rando

    My ex wife had an 89 RS with the 5.0 and 5 spd. From what I remember, that should be about the same as this 83. With a few cosmetic changes. The Z had the 5.7 by 89 and the RS were the old Z engines? Maybe. At any rate, it was a fun car. She drove it till she got too pregnant to get in and out easily.

    These can be fun cars, no matter what the advertised ratings were. If you like the car. If not, keep moving.

  14. Dave

    Price dropped to $3000

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