1969 Chevrolet Camaro: 427-Powered Pace Car?

camaroa

If we are to believe what the seller of this 1969 Chevy Camaro Pace Car here on eBay says, this is a rare, factory big block car that comes with a numbers-matching 427 engine – but more about that later. Hidden under a tarp in the seller’s garage since the late 80s, this car is said to be rust-free, but the sale price does not include the freshly-rebuilt motor. That will run you another $10,000 and the seller is even open to selling it separate from the car.

camarob

I can only imagine what it’s like to find a car like this and then have the ability to sock it away for a rainy day. You just know you’ve hit paydirt if it’s a rust-free example of a limited-production replica of one the world’s most recognizable pace cars. To add in the bonus of finding out that it’s one of a small number of genuine Camaro Pace Cars fitted with the big block motor makes it even sweeter. Even though the seller didn’t get around to restoring it, at least he stored it inside and protected from the elements.

camaroc

Here’s where we need some help: Josh and I were emailing back and forth about the originality of the 427. The Pace Cars came standard with the 350 and the 396 as an option; but with COPO cars, anything was possible. When the seller says the 427 is numbers matching, it would indicate to us that this particular Pace Car could be even more desirable if the engine was spec’d when new. Or is the seller just confused on what constitutes a numbers matching engine – which should be a 396 motor in this case?

camarod

If the engine is the one the Camaro came with when new, what a shame it would be to sell it separate from the rest of the car. I hope that’s just an idle threat to push someone to buy the whole kit and not let it be separated, which would diminish the value significantly (in my opinion). But the 427 is a head-scratcher, so we hope our Barn Finds followers can set the record straight. Thanks to our reader Ben for alerting us to this find!

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Comments

  1. MH

    I have never heard of these cars coming with a 427. Would be an amazing find if it was original motor. If it was it will sell for between 70K and 100K as is. Where else are you going to find one?

  2. RayT Member

    Jeff, the seller’s ad copy never explicitly states that the original engine was a 427. He says “BBC,” which would apply to a 396, and the engine supplied is, he says, from a Corvette. So there’s a ’69 ‘Vette out there missing its original engine….

    I followed the link to the Camaro website, which claims that the 427 was only installed in coupes. This one’s no coupe. If it originally had a big block, it had to be a 396.

    So there are two points that depress the value: no original engine and, according to available research, no 427 Camaro Pace Car convertibles. I would be VERY careful about biting on this offer!

    • Nick I

      I agree with U Ray T.

    • Steve

      I was there at Indy as a teenager with my dad and I remember the “69” white Camero convertible…..there were many of them scattered around the garage area…..they were all SS 396″s……loved those trips to the Indy Time Trials…….❤️

      • Pdub

        Indy has pace cars and parade cars. The parade are dignitary comps for the month and used race day for the queen, celebrities, etc for the parade then sold through dealers. I had one for a while. It had a cowl induction 350. I bought it used and never checked the #’s. It had the same 300hp as the hard top I still have does.

  3. Brian

    If you red his description closely I believe he is saying it is a big block car without the original engine. When he is talking about numbers matching he is only talking about the engine components themselves matching each other and he clearly states it is a a 69 Corvette motor. He is saying the engine has matching numbers intake and exhaust manifolds, carberator, etc. not that it matches the car in any way.

  4. Don

    I agree with RayT. The seller clearly states that the engine is from a corvette and is “numbers matching” in the sense that the block, manifold and carb numbers “match”. He seems to say that his car is a 396 big block car…but does not have the original engine to the car. Overall, the pics are blurry and his description can be misleading. I would be very careful with this one…
    Also, the seller has listed the engine separately in another Ebay listing, saying it came from a totalled 1975 corvette. Here is the link:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1969-427-Corvette-Engine-/161959054144?hash=item25b5830b40:g:rHcAAOSwqYBWppnU

  5. Lee Hartman

    Reading the listing carefully, he never says the engine matches the car, only that the numbers match on the different parts of the engine. He apparently bought the car without an engine and bought the 427 to put into it. He didn’t state anywhere in his description that the car had a 427 or that any Pace Car had a 427. I don’t think $30,000 is out of line considering today’s market, and the fact that people are buying rusty convertible cowls for $12,000.

  6. Rick Y

    If Indy Starter Pat Vidan was still with us he’d unfurl the red flag at this one. As previously stated there were no 427 Pace Cars built. That said, it appears to be a very nice example of a pace car with a missing motor but a lot of NOS parts. But $30k to start? I don’t think so.

  7. ydnar

    The paint is not right for a ’69 pace car. I passed on a very nice one of these in running condition for $2700.00 in about 1987. The car is supposed to be orange and white, and the pace cars were also RS/SS packaged, as this one appears to be. Yep, the one that got away.
    This could be the same car, I do not remember the hood being black, but it came with a brand new set of hounds tooth interior seat covers. The one I passed on was in Dallas.

  8. Rocco

    Still, a very cool car!

  9. Joe

    Agree with all above. “Numbers matching” usage is being stretched and is used here to mean parts within the motor itself match one another, and do not match the chassis.

    Engine said to come from 69 vette. Agree Rocco, very cool.

    • ben

      Being a Corvette owner and enthusiast, having all the numbers and date codes on the exhaust manifolds, heads and intake can make or break you in a show. These parts are very hard to find, time consuming and expensive when found. The price for the car as well as the engine are priced fairly.

  10. dj

    I agree with everyone else. There a 69 Pace Car Convert here. 396 car sinking in the mud. The last time I looked at it the fenders were already in the ground. He won’t sell it. He’ll let you look at it and run the numbers but that’s it. Such a shame too.

  11. Justin

    I contacted the seller and met with him to view the car. The car is listed exactly like what is posted on the internet. The car is defiantly a BBC car and from the southwest, NO RUST!
    The owner stated that the car was stolen and the original engine, transmission, interior, doors, wheels and tires, trunk lid and front clip were taken. He purchased another front clip that came without a hood. He bought an aftermarket hood. That is why the hood is in black primer. He has 95% of the parts. Just a few items needed like a front chin spoiler and other small items.
    He has 2 sets of 14″ Rally wheels with hub caps and beauty rings, 2 sets of bumpers, a rear seat, 2 sets of front bucket seats, original back door panels, 2 complete and not broken consoles, one new aftermarket driver’s door panel and one original passenger door panel and many other parts that he bought at swap meets.

    The engine is a 1969 Corvette engine with matching part numbers to the Corvette

    I made him an offer but he said that he is firm on the price and will wait until the auction ends.

    Like 2
    • Justin

      I forgot to add that the doors were replaced and are also rust free.

  12. JW454

    Kinda pricey.

  13. Nova

    According to the VIN stamped in the block the 1969 Corvette that the motor would have come from would be one of two possibilities:

    1) 194679s722740 convertible

    2) 194379s722740 coupe

    The motor looks more like a rattle can rebuild than a ” freshly rebuilt ” one.

    …just my 2 cents

  14. Woodie Man

    So wheres the value in a “Frankenstein” Camaro Pace Car replica? With no engine and drivetrain, wheels and doors non original, what is the point? You can’t make it what it isnt….original.

    • ydnar

      He is basically selling the VIN, it looks like.

    • Mike H. Mike H

      True, but with a whole car wrapped around it. Still less expensive than just a chunk of firewall with the single VIN tag, this is an entire “bitsa” that is – and always was – what it’s claimed to be. Not necessarily 100% of the parts it was born with, but it’s still what it’s advertised as. This seller seems to be straightforward and what he’s selling is actually reasonably priced; at least, priced for what it is.

      Not something I’d be interested in at any price, but still a reasonable value, all things considered, and provided nobody in the future polishes it up and trumps it as something that it isn’t actually, it will likely continue to bring value.

    • Wayne S.K.

      I like that, Woodie. It’s always a pleasure to read a comment from a sensible man…

  15. piper62j

    MahhNajjjj !!!!!… What w’s ill people think of next.. Perhaps after it’s all assembled, painted and polished, it will fool someone into paying big bucks for it. You never know who’s out there with deep pockets.

    Cool find..

  16. Barzini

    A similarly-equipped 1969 Camaro in much better condition just sold at the Mecum Kissimmee auction (LOT T119) for $57,500.

  17. Dewayne

    Just sold a 69 Camaro Convertible pacecar. If its a true pacecar it will have a z11 on the cowl tag. A true pacecar will also have oversized sway bars. Also have headlight washers above the headlights outside the headlight closures. Will also have spring buffered brackets on the leaf springs. They also only came with 350s and 396s. It should also have a small tank in each side of the trunk.

    • ben

      ONLY the Norwood, OH pace cars came with the Z11 code. CA built pace cars did not. CA built pace cars were identified with the 720 50A codes and the build dates between February and May

    • Al8apex

      not so on the sway bar (they never had 2)

      • Dewayne

        All 69 Camaro Z11 Indy pace cars came with front and rear sway bars.

    • Jim

      My buddy has a 69 Firebird 400 convertible, the “tanks” in the trunk are weights to balance the car, when they cut the roof off and braced the body differently the weight ratio if front to rear wheels changed, those weights brought the numbers back to what the engineering people insisted on. The spring bars or traction aids as gm called them were pretty ineffective traction bars, most guys removed them and installed real ones back then. I still see them at swap meets, only the restoration crowd wants them.

  18. Doug Towsley

    Seller reserves the right to end the auction at any time as he has it for sale locally.
    It would appear he already has it sold. AUCTION ENDED. So, we can talk all day about its merits, but it appears Cash talks, and you know what walks. Personally, i dont care for Camaros. Owned one for a while,. but never cared for them. My wife and her whole family also refer to the later ones as Drug dealer cars, (some of them work in Law Enforcement so not without merit). But that being said,.,.. early styles like these are bank. this has enough, not a lot mind you, but enough heritage to make one hell of a tribute car. If i was still running my shop, I would be very excited about the income potential here as a semi tribute car. Theres a LOT of big money people out there who would not care thats not THE original motor, and in many cases the 427 is way cooler. Go big or go home is what i always say with big blocks. Some might run a 396 sticker on the air cleaner or valve covers and call it good. But done right, this could be one sweet ride. Price was NOT out of line at all for the collector car market. Start a log for VIN numbers and you will see this car again sooner or later if you keep and eye out.

  19. Steve

    This is my brother’s car. It was in Virginia but as of May 1st, it has been in my barn near Austin Tx. The car was originally a 396, to the best of our knowledge. As stated, he bought it as a shell, but the vin tag is intact and he has clear texas title. As for the engine, the casting numbers indicate it is a 390 hp 427 out of a 69 corvette. He had it rebuilt in the nineties but never did more than start it. It is still for sale. IIRC it still has a standard bore. I tried to trade him my restored 72 cheyenne swb stepside for it but he has been watching too much Barrett Jackson.

    Like 1
  20. Steve

    Unfortunately i just got some bad news that my brother, owner of this car Kent Dacke passed away earlier this week from a heart attack. After we determine whether he had a will or not, we will proceed. There is a strong possibility that my other brother and I will build the car in honor of him. He had some cool cars over the years; black silver (like 78 corvetter pace car) 73 camaro with a swapped in 454, white 76 Trans Am 400/4 spd., 72 c10lwb, 87 monte carlo ss aerocoupe, back in the 90’s he fully restored a black with red hockey stripe 69 camaro ss with 350/4 spd. Deluxe int vinyl top. 72 hurst olds indy pace car 455/th400, 62 bel air bubbletop, 61 impala bubbletop, 72 c10 with 19k original miles. All gone now. In addition to the camaro, he also had a hudson pickup and a 71 le mans he was building into a judge clone. He had just put floors in it and swapped an ls/4l60e into it.

  21. Steve

    The lemans sport is a convertible. It is now under my carport under a tarp. I plan to continue where he left off with it and my oldest brother is hoping to continue with the camaro.

  22. Rick

    Good luck with the projects. I’m certain your brother would be proud.

  23. Paul

    The “vibration dampers” in the trunk are not for traction there are 4 of them 2 in front on radiator the support and two in the trunk. There purpose is to stop the convertibles from vibrating. each one weighs 25 lbs.
    The cars ride better with them in so don’t take them out.

  24. Steve

    Update:
    The 427 has been plucked and is for sale separately. A mild 355 that is already in our possession, or possibly an LS of some sort will go in it’s place.

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