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1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28: Light Tan Mullet?

This one has all the cliches! Slightly sagging doors, original paint that’s faded a bit but still looks somewhat presentable, USA-1 license plate, a cracked front facia (but the seller is including a good one) and even raised white letter tires! This 1979 Camaro Z28 is listed for sale here on eBay at no reserve, and as I write this it’s only up to $1,650 after 27 bids. The mulletmobile can be found in Divide, Colorado.

This side doesn’t look quite as good as the other one. Perhaps it’s just because it’s in the light, but the rust down there bothers me. Of course, at this price I guess we can’t complain, right? The seller does tell us there’s no rust in the floors, rockers or trunk pan, so perhaps you can get away with replacing or repairing those front fenders and rear quarter panels.

This closeup of the rear illustrates what the 122,000 miles has done to the original finish. While I’m a big fan of originality, between the poor panel fit back here, the rust and the cracked nose, I think I’d go for a full repaint. Reproductions of the stripes are readily available here. By the way, we’re told those are new tail lights, and even though I didn’t notice them at first I can sure see the “new” now.

What I can’t figure out is how does the interior looks so nice? Apart from what I think is a cracked console, visible in the center of this picture, the interior looks impeccable. However…based on this 1979 Camaro brochure, this isn’t the original seat pattern, although it certainly looks appropriate and period. The seller tells us it’s a new interior, so I’m guessing this is a local upholstery shops idea. Honestly, I think it looks nice even if it isn’t original.

The seller tells us it runs and drives despite having been in storage for 15 years. The build sheet is included, and being a factory air conditioned car outweighs the automatic transmission in the humid South where I am. If this stays, say, below $2,000, I think it’s a real bargain. Since the paint is original, you know exactly where you stand body-wise, and you can certainly come up with any parts you need to either keep it stock or modify it to your heart’s content. Which leads to my question — would you restore it, or modify it in some way? Let’s have a good discussion (keep it friendly!) in the comments. I’ll start things off by saying I’d keep it relatively stock with the exception of a five or six-speed conversion. How about you?


  1. Blyndgesser

    With the plastic bumper years, I think an automatic is fine. You’re buying a relatively quick but heavy cruiser, not a track terror.

    Like 2
    • Kincer Dave Member

      I really like the color for some reason on this with those wheels, I’d redo in that color and do an LS1 with auto overdrive and 3.73 gears.

      Like 2
    • Dave at OldSchool Restorations

      get a Kit for the 700R4 conversion and have a lower first gear for takeoff, and Overdrive at the top end for cruising.

      I put one in my 78 Camaro RS/LT and it makes a phenomenal gain in useable performance… easily outruns a 4 speed

      got it from Rick’s Camaros a few years ago, but there are several Kits out there. You don’t need the crossmember, you can reposition the original easily

      Like 2
  2. Rock On Member

    I have never seen a Z28 in this color. Has to be even rarer than a green one. Back up lenses get cloudy, that is your clue that these are new ones.

    Like 2
  3. Rabbit

    If the fender bottoms are shot, it’s a good bet the door bottoms aren’t far behind. Caveat Emptor on this one, guys.

    Like 2
  4. James

    Agree on the price not a bad car would definitely keep it close to stock depending on the engine I had a 78 with a 305 that I loved drove it from Utah to ga with no problems but it set up to cruise. Wouldn’t mind another second but want an early 70s

    Like 1
  5. Superdessucke

    The mulletmobile is shod in the very rare beige, which I believe was 1979-only. It has the wrong stripes though, of course. Those are from a 1980-81, and are grey versus the original gold per the build sheet.

    Rant alert – Why in hell do people insist on doing that?? This is an affliction which seemingly affects about half of these. It’s not like the later stripes look better, and you kill the originality.

    Anyway, beyond the stripe travesty, and the obligatory 1980- 81 black stripe taillights which also need to go, this looks pretty original. And like a bargain provided there’s nothing major wrong with it.

    Oh, and the wheels would have originally been beige. They were charcoal on the 1970-74 Z/28 models and then body color on the 1977-81 Z28s. Personally, I think they would look cooler if they were beige in this application.

    Like 1
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Super–thanks for the detailed information!

      Like 1
  6. Aaron

    Not a fan of this color. I’d repair the body first thing and send it off to paint. Thinking black, white or silver. I would upgrade the wheels with some nice chromed rims with better tires. Give the engine a good tune up if it was still running strong. Add headers and exhaust!

    Like 1
    • Superdessucke

      Beige was a somewhat rare color across the Camaro line in 1979 – 11,370 out of 282,571 cars, or about 4%. I imagine it was much less popular on the Z28 model – so we’re probably looking at 2% or less of Z28s in this shade. So, personally, I’d leave it. Black (34,115), white (35,516) and silver (25,549) were a dime a dozen by comparison.

      Plus, beige gives it a stealth factor. I recently saw a newer 991-series Porsche 911 in beige and it looked awesome.

      Want really rare? How about a light green Z28? Only 3,450 out of total Camaro production, so the number of Z28s in this colour was minuscule!

      Like 2
  7. DM DeLuka

    Black paint with 78-9 silver stripes. 4 speeds were fun to drive either engine but auto would do now. If runs good & a/c works be a fun ride

    Like 2
  8. Superdessucke

    If you look close, I think that actually is the ’79 custom interior. It was offered in vinyl too, which may be throwing off the visual from the brochure. That said, I don’t know if this car originally had it as I do not see it on the build sheet. But I also don’t think the custom interior option had a separate code.

    Like 1
  9. Nova Scotian

    Vinyl seats…ugggg! Begone!

    Like 1
  10. Brian Jackson

    The nice thing with these low compression cars is that you can probably do whatever you want to them and it won’t hurt the resale value. I’m confident prices will go up on these cars. Increasing the horsepower on one of these cars, or changing the paint might increase the value even more.

  11. John B

    Drove a good number of these new when I worked at a Chevy dealer for that model year. This one would have been about eight grand. Kinda lazy with the 3.08 or 3.42 and automatic…the Saginaw 4-speed with 3.73 was much more fun. Base price was 6500 bucks, unimaginable today!

    Like 1
  12. DM DeLuka

    We had a ’78, son drove in HS, turned over for graduation w rebuilt 305 & clutch, con’t to drive in college. Sweet driver w 4sp & 3.73 gears. In ’85 these were inexpensive used cars.

  13. Roger

    I worked with a younger guy back then that bought a new one in this same color,this is the first time Ive seen one that color since then,think the expense of insurance and gas won out and he ended up trading it for a Chevy Monza Spyder later on.

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