1970 Z28 Camaro: Is It A Survivor?


So what do you consider a survivor? We’ve debated this before, but after reading this listing here on eBay for this 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, it was all I was thinking about. Bidding is currently just over $30,000 but has not yet met it’s reserve, and the car is located in Warminster, Pennsylvania. As a side note, when I started writing this post, bidding was at $15,000, so you might want to watch this auction for some fireworks!


There is no doubt that this is a beautiful car in beautiful condition, at least from what we can tell from the pictures. My only issue is their use of the term “survivor.” The seller tells us that the car is a “non-restored survivor.” Let’s look at their use of that phrase and see if you agree. The car has been repainted once. The engine has been rebuilt once. The seats are not original but are very nice. The front spoiler has been replaced. The exhaust manifolds have been replaced with ceramic coated headers. In other words, it’s a truly stellar car! But I’m not sure if it’s a survivor by the way I think of the term. How about you?


It’s so much nicer to write a post on a car when the photography is excellent, although it would be even better with more interior and underbody pictures! And this shot in particular reminds me of a time when I had the opportunity to get rid of the Triumph that I was having so many problems with and purchase a (faux) Z28 in this same color scheme. My whole life would be different now if I had done that, but during the two weeks I was deciding what to do, the car sold to another owner. It really is beautiful, isn’t it?


Here’s the clean interior! A nice place to spend your time. With only 70,541 miles on it, while I have to wonder about the need to rebuild the engine, the rest of the car should be in pretty nice shape. I wish there were more interior shots, but it’s nice to see that manual transmission!


Here’s the super clean engine compartment. Again, the car is certainly very, very nice, and I’d love to have it! But if I did have it, I’d call it a restovivor. What about you?



  1. Mark S

    The fact that it didn’t get crushed tells me to some degree it is a survivor in other words any car that continues to exist has in fact survived. The thing I’m getting at is survive is one of those over used words like calling rust patina. I think it is a point of view more than anything.

    • Dave at OldSchool Restorations

      sorry, Mark S……. that is an ‘opinion’ but not the accepted Automotive description.

      • Mark S

        That is my point it is very much opinion depending on who you ask. But the literal meaning is to still exist. I’ve been around the auto industry all my adult live and I can tell you there is a wide rage of opinion as to what a survivor means. There is no industry standard per say.

  2. Mike L

    In my opinion a survivor has never been repainted or rebuilt. I would allow new maintenance parts but not rebuilds or replacement panels (or spoilers). I would allow touchup paint for rock chips and the like. Replacement performance parts are definitely out of the question. As far as the interior. If it is not the way it came from the factory it is not a survivor.
    I have George Washington’s axe. I had to replace the handle and the head… But I have his axe.

    • Dave at OldSchool Restorations

      Mike L , I agree.

      In fairness, the ad represents the car very well.

      We did the same to my ’78 RS/LT Camaro, one of 5000+ built …fresh paint .. Although it was a one owner red/black Survivor ( with a capital S ) when I bought it, eventually the black water-based paint that was used by GM began to look tired.

      Now it is a survivor ( small s) with fresh paint and similar treatment under the hood. Added a 700R4 at the same time with lower 1st gear, so it really smokes tires…and has OD as well…… No longer a Survivor, but presents ‘ as new ‘

    • Rocco Member

      @Mike L
      Read more at: what-do-you-consider-a-survivor

      “touchup paint for rock chips and the like” you would allow.
      “never been repainted” Kind of contradicting.

      In all fairness the paint with rock chips didn’t “Survive”. It was “repainted”.

  3. Brian Smith

    You can’t call a car an “unrestored survivor” if it has been repainted, the engine rebuilt, seats replaced, and non original parts added.

    On the other hand, with so many 2nd Gen Camaros, cut up, tubbed, caged and raced finding one like this in pseudo- original condition is rare and maybe warrants the survivor moniker.

    • Steve

      I agree Brian. My ’72 Sport Coupe (350) has survived being cloned. With one repaint, a new interior, a rebuilt Trans-Am rear end, a ’71 grill (because my first car was an identical ’71) and only 27,000 original miles I wouldn’t call it a survivor but “lovingly preserved”.

  4. Rock On Member

    It is not unusual to see these engines rebuilt at 50,000 miles. This is a high compression, solid lifter 350 cubic inch, 360 horsepower. With the 3.73 rear end gears and nonoverdrive transmission, these engines lead a hard life!

    • Jeff V

      I thought the ’70 LT1 was 370hp?

      • Dan

        Jeff it was rated at 370hp in the Corvette, but the Z-28’s got a rating of 360hp..

      • Jeff V

        Thanks Dan for the reply/info…Then the “old skool” Chevy small-block KING remains the ’63 327/375hp fuel-inj block u could get in a Vette???

  5. DRV

    This is a survivor only if everything that still exists is a survivor.

  6. dirtyharry

    Definition: a person who survives, especially a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died. Since most of these cars are likely dead, it is a survivor. I think it is the best looking Camaro made and will pace or exceed Corvettes of the same year in value.

  7. OGwagon

    I would consider this a survivor only if it played “Eye of the Tiger” incessantly.

  8. JW454

    It’s up to 35K and has had 69 bids…. somebody likes it.

  9. MH

    NOT a survivor! Everything has been reworked to some degree.

  10. Cole

    Survivor in car terms means it hasn’t been touched. Meaning not painted just maintenance parts. This car is restored. It’s still worth what there asking if the vin is correct. Survivor cars are definitely more rare. Anyone can restore.

  11. JW

    Don’t know about the survivor moniker but I love it !!!

  12. newport pagnell

    In 1970 and early into 1971 the standard rear spoiler was a low profile, 1 piece spoiler. There was a very limited (COPO 9796) 3 piece spoiler patterned (or “borrowed” from) after the Pontiac Trans Am available in 1970. Few people knew of its availability. There were an estimated 500 Camaros equipped with the copo spoiler.(NastyZ28.com)

    • Mike

      I had a 1971 Z/28, color code 62, burnt orange, with the 3 piece COPO 9796 spoiler. I ruined the factory spoiler and tried to get a replacement in 1976 or 77, good luck. I ended up having to put the lousy looking one piece spoiler on it instead. I bought the car with the engine in a box in in 76. The prior owner adjusted the valves cold. Newell Chevy in Whitehall, NY suggested I use a Chevy hydraulic cam from a 350/350 engine. Ran strong after the build. Car came out of Rutland, VT originally. I have never seen another one that color since then. I know of an Ascot blue 71 Z hiding in town somewhere, but no sale.

  13. flmikey

    …it’s good to see the ’70 Camaro is finally getting the respect and admiration the ’69 has had for years…

  14. Bob Semrad

    If you had your tonsils taken out as a youth…..did you survive…could you be referred to as a survivor, or a restovivor? Hearing aid? Pulled tooth? Shave?

  15. Fred W.

    Survivor has to be reserved for basically untouched cars (no more than basic maintenance, needed repairs and touchup) or the term doesn’t mean anything. That said, this is the most beautiful Camaro I’ve ever seen. And I’m a Ford guy.

    • Bob Semrad

      Who determines “basic maintenance”, or to what degree the repair? How much touch up is to be done, before it is considered over the basic touch up? Do you see the dilemma? There is no set standard, except that which is set by the individual. As for maintenance…..is it a part of basic maintenance to touch up chipped paint? How big of a chip? How big can a rust spot be before it is not allowed?

      This is far too arbitrary to make hard and fast rules on what is and what is not a survivor…..too much wiggle room….

    • Steve

      I guess this whole “survivor” crap is what everyone used to call all stock, all original. Survivor to me means it’s the original technology, not upgraded to new LS engines or electronic transmissions or the like.

  16. Blackta1

    I see it has the super rare floor mounted gas pedal…hmmm.

  17. Blindmarc

    Hard to believe a friend sold one in 1981 that was “as new” and hugger orange for only $3500.

    • moosie Craig

      Blindmarc, And I bet your friend thought he hit a home run getting $ 3500. The value of cars has changed drastically.

      • Rick

        Yep, like I did when I sold my Yenko for $13k!

        Like 1
  18. Mimo

    survivor should be used to describe a vehicle that has had nothing done except routine maintenance,, brakes, exhaust ok, rebuilt motor or repaint…no way. That’s what makes it unique. Any car can be pseudo restored.

  19. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Newport beat me to it…..we need documentation…..Actually a nice kid – a buddy of mine a year younger and at 15 his dad bought him a new 1970 1/2 Z/28 – white with black stripes….it took real good care of it….his dad was already into early vette’s…..both have passed and the grand kids are now taking care of them now….

  20. RoughDiamond Member

    I own an ’81 Z/28 with 115K miles. It has all the original factory born with drive train, interior and paint. It’s been off the road since the early 90s. It is currently in dry and mice proof storage. I would call it a survivor.

    What does “with one paying job” and “for run reason or another mean”? Apparently Don has already looked at the Camaro so he might have placed a bid or two.

  21. Mr. Bond

    I agree paint is an issue. However, any performance upgrade that can easily be “put-back” should be allowed. The exhaust is a maintenance item in 1970’s cars, and headers are easily returned back to manifolds. The front spoiler is easily removed too. Having the original seats stored would still make this eligible, in my mind. The new paint is the real deal breaker for being a true survivor IMHO!

  22. Rando

    In a couple more owners, it will be listed as completely original. The story of the car will change with every subsequent owner, til it is like the car, not original, but still very desirable. Personally, I would buy it for any other reason than I really think it’s a beautiful car in really good shape. Yes I know it is devalued possibly by the work done, but it’s way better looking than the POS Camaro that has been featured a couple times recently.

  23. Tim Rusling

    Yes, it’s a “survivor” with a small s. It’s a great, beautiful car, but with the respray, replaced major parts and rebuilding, it’s not a Survivor in the accepted sense. But just appreciate it for what it is. Remember all the angry debate about the terms “classic” and “mint”? These terms have accepted meanings, yet how often are they mistakenly or deliberately misused? I have a driver-quality ’79 Pacer Limited woody wagon. It’s been resprayed and the fake wood sides and hatch framing has been replaced with real wood. A Survivor? Not on your life. . .just a car I dearly love that’s still with us. And I’d never give up the leather with corduroy seats either.

  24. Prowler

    Someone mentioned the floor mounted gas pedal…if I’m not mistaken I think that was Z28 only

  25. Mike

    Beautiful car, looks like a real RS Z/28. One thing bothers me is the 71 style high back seats. A 1970 has low back buckets. The floor mounted accelerator is a Z/28 only feature to my knowledge. I have had several 2nd gen Z/28 Camaros. Currently projects are a ’79 Z28, and a ’81 Turbo Trans AM. My driver is a ’95 Z28 with 175,000 miles, completely original.

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