1997 Camaro SS With Only 12K Miles!

We wouldn’t normally get too excited about a fourth generation Camaro, but this particular one has only covered 12,000 miles since it was built 20 years ago! Someone stashed it away and kept it nice so someone else could enjoy it today. This is a well-optioned machine and, as long as the seller’s reserve isn’t too high, it could make for a fun daily driver or weekend racer. It’s located in Belleville, Illinois and is listed here on eBay where bidding is currently at $2,500.

Checkout that options list. It’s an SS, but someone also checked the performance exhaust, LSD, and oil cooler boxes. The most interesting addition though could be that extra set of rims and R1 competition tires. Those tires were made specifically for track use and the seller still has them. They were stored in a pole barn though so they aren’t any good. Still, it makes you wonder what the previous owner’s intentions were. Was the car used for the occasional track day?

Here’s a shot of the performance air induction listed as part of the SS package. Don’t let all the high tech looking stuff in there fool you though. This car may look modern, but it has a lot in common with its older brothers. That cold air induction system sounds a lot like the cowl induction Chevrolet used back in the day. This car also has t-tops and the interior looks like a rounded version of the 2nd generation Camaro. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The interior looks like a comfortable place to be though with lots of legroom and some modern conveniences. I can spot power seat controls, power window switches, and even a cup holder. Okay, so maybe it is a little more polished than an older Camaro, but I bet a few of you can see the similarities. The automatic transmission would not have been my first choice if I was planning on some track time, but it would be perfect for the daily commute and occasional weekend drag.

Then again, this car is almost too nice to submit to the rigors of daily use. Every door ding, paint chip, and mile driven is going to lower the value of this pristine machine. We love to see these well-preserved automobiles, but honestly they need to be driven to really be enjoyed. So, the next owner will have to decide what’s more important to them. Would you go ahead and drive it everyday? Or would you stash it away for another 20 years? The decision is yours.

Fast Finds


  1. MH

    WOW!!! What a car! One of my favorites. It will go for over 50K easy. As much as I like it I would rather buy one with more miles so I wouldnt feel bad beating the snot out of it.

    • Superdessucke

      LOL no it won’t. This ain’t a 1997 Supra. If it was a 6-speed it might breach 20k. But I’m guessing middle-high teens here given the automatic.

      I had a 1999 SS with the LS1 and automatic. Very fast but with the t- tops it creaked and groaned a lot, and rode hard. As the article says they’re more like throwbacks than modern cars.

      Cool though if that’s what you seek. These are a good way to get that on the cheap if you can overlook the very ’90s jelly bean styling.

      • Mountainwoodie

        Slushbox. Pass.

    • Steve R

      Never, not even a more desirable 1998 LS-1 6spd SS in similar condition would come close to $50,000.

      Steve R

  2. Rspcharger Rspcharger

    My former boss did this same exact thing with a 4th gen. He special ordered it with all the performance options & never drove it. I think it came to work once in the 10 years he was there. Hmm, maybe he moved to Illinois?

  3. Phil

    I’m sure someone will be mad but I believe cars were made to be driven !! Nothing pains me more than seeing a beautiful Automobile being pushed on and off a trailer never being started let alone driven ! Yes there are exceptions to this but they are few. IMHO

  4. Matt G

    Last year of the LT1- my impression is the 98+ LS1 is better in every way- is there any special nostalgia or collectability to these LT1’s with their quirky optispark ignitions and cam-driven water pumps?

  5. Mark S

    My sister has one of these, hers is a triple black drop top with the corvette package on it including the six speed manual trans. It was a special order car with full options. One of two sold in western Canada. Her and her husband bought it new in 97 and yes they drive it. It currently has about 70k kilometres on it. It is never winter driven though. It still looks like new.

  6. Angrymike

    I really liked these when they came out, why I didn’t buy one is beyond me, I had a 70 big block Camaro at the time. Sweet car.

  7. 70kingswood

    its a nice car and certainly looks aggressive but I would definitely hold out for a 98 or later with an L-S1 and a 6 speed no T-tops either.

  8. Pontiactivist

    My buddy has a 98 z28 ss hardtop with 4500 miles on it. Black on black 6 speed car.

  9. Tyler

    I have a 96 Z/28 with the LT1 & automatic, & while they are fun cars, with good performance & great handling, they can’t even compare to the LS1 cars that followed. Mine has 136,000 miles on t, & you could say it shows. I’ll be curious to see what this car brings.

  10. Tony K Member

    I’m watching this one closely because I own a ’97 SS with power everything and the same gray leather and T-tops, but mine is Sebring Silver and a 6-spd (one of 185 with that combo). I’ve owned it since 2002 and it has 60k pampered miles today, because I couldn’t just leave it sitting in the garage! Mine does have a few upgrades — the Torsen LSD rear was upgraded to correct Torsen 3.73 gears, and I added Baer brakes because IMHO stopping power is the weakness of Camaro back then. It is very quick. I prefer the LT1 over the LS1: I’m a child of the ’50s/’60s, and just love the sound and torque of the LT1. That’s why I bought the last version of it! Although at my age, it may show up here for sale before too long. :-(

  11. Pa Tina

    I would drive it. Can’t see any point in hoping these types of cars will ever have the upside worth waiting for.

  12. Reid Hall

    At 2500.00 this my be a good buy ,l believe l use to someone, that had the ws6 T.A.,and or firebird addition of this car. One problem l can see,after 97,and or 98 l believe the front nose clip changed.To me the later model nose clip looks better.This needs or could use that upgrade. Now for motor, believe Elderblock, and Holley make some pretty good performance kits.By the way why was none of this done already.

  13. Andre

    ’98 was the redesign of the front nose, which also included the LS1 for the balance of 4th gen V8 production.

    I owned an 01 SS 6MT and admittedly I prefer the looks of the earlier cars (93-97) – like this one.

    I did, however, much prefer the LS of the later cars (like the rest of the world…). Gotta say, that car being fairly primitive but with a ton of torque was a real handful. It could bite back more than I expected.

  14. JohnD

    Love it! Original owner’s loss can be your gain! I love to see old performance cars put away for the future so others can enjoy them. I couldn’t afford such an extravagance back then but can today. I’d drive it enthusiastically, baby it, care for it, and then pass it on to the next caretaker. After I’ve had my fun, of course!

  15. Stephen Dycha

    I sold my 1997 as ragtop in the same colour. Very low production numbers on the ragtops. Manual and loaded. Pretty fast and refined for the time. Also sold my 1969 gto ragtop. Frame off older resto done by myself. Got a viper now. They all are cool.

  16. navadisha

    Still drive my ’00 Berger SS 75th anniversary. 15,000 miles. nonstop grins the whole time.
    This won’t even break $20k though I love for the prices to come back, maybe I’d even consider selling.

  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I had a ’99 Z/28 6 speed loaded with everything (if kitchen sink was an option, it had it) that I bought new off the showroom in 2000. They were looking to dump it quickly, so they took my low ball offer.

    We sold it in 2001 when our first daughter was born, needing a “family” car.

    We still miss that car and think that someday we will have an ’02 SS convertible.

  18. Tony K Member

    Five hours left, and it’s up to an even $20k (and has met the reserve).

  19. Tony K Member

    Wow! It went for $26,200!

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