20k Mile 1983 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Survivor!

Reader Jacob F recently sent us a message with a couple of photos of a pristine third gen Z/28 Camaro. Finding one of these cars in this nice of condition is fairly unheard of since most were driven into the ground by high schoolers. Well, it turns out there’s a good reason that this Camaro is so clean! It’s been in his family since 1984 and has seen just 20k miles since new. I’ll let Jacob tell you a bit more about it in his own words below.

From Jacob – So my grandfather purchased the car from a private seller in 1984 in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He was currently working as a mechanic at a Ford dealership. At the time he was driving a 1979 Ford Mustang which was a manual. He and my mom drove the roughly 2 hours to go buy this car to replace the Mustang. I want to say when he bought the car it only had 1,000 or so miles on it and I just put the 20,000 on it last year, so if that tells you how much it’s been driven in the past 36 years.

He would take it to car shows and events around Cedar Rapids, but he never went too far away and he’d always come home with some sort of trophy. We would always tease him about how this car never left the garage and how he only backed it out to wash it and wax it. In the 6 years I’ve personally owned it, I’ve only put about 2,000 miles on it, so I guess that’s a trait that runs in the family!

Speaking with Jacob about the car, he told me it’s equipped with the Crossfire fuel injected 305, which while not extremely powerful, is a great engine for a driver. The interior looks to be in just as nice of condition, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. It sure is a sweet machine and I’m a bit jealous of Jacob! I want to thank him for sharing it and its story with us.

Do you have a barn find story that you’d like to share? We would love to see it, so be sure to send it to mail@barnfinds.com so we can share it with the world!


  1. NotSure

    That odometer looks like it has digit alignment issues…. I wonder what causes that?

    Like 1
    • CapNemo

      80’s build quality.

      Like 8
  2. bbdekker

    automatic kills it for me :(

  3. Fred w

    Back in the day, that’s what we looked for to determine if the odometer had “turned over” 100K Miles.

    Like 1
  4. AndyinMA

    So many shortcomings………yet when I saw these for the first time, my beloved 79 Camaro suddenly seemed so old. Despite my better judgement, I want this.

    Like 2
  5. Superdessucke

    Got a little excited when I saw the emblem on the left side of the rear bumper. 1983 was the year that the L69 came out. It came out mid-year and made the Z28 faster than the Mustang 5.0.

    It was far superior to the Crossfire. The Crossfire disappeared after the ’83 model year as a result. Too bad this doesn’t have the L69, which was 5 speed manual only for 1983.

    Like 2
  6. Troy s

    Girl in my high school got one just like this for her “sweet sixteen”. Same color, but I don’t think cross fire injection was available in California. I don’t know, it was cool looking at first, then this body style just seemed to multiply like rabbits in heat. Bein’ partial to Ford at the time I was more thrilled about 5.0 Mustangs, although that Fox body became a bit common as well. I never dreamed anyone would care about these Camaros, or any car from the early eighties for that matter, thirty to forty years later.
    This Z-28 really is in excellent condition, haven’t seen one that clean in forever.

    Like 4
  7. Coventrycat

    My mullet is tingling.

    Like 14
  8. Comet

    Nice car. I believe his mileage claim based on the overall condition. Funny to hear gramps jumped ship from a Ford to a Chevy. Those analog odometer digits didn’t always align perfectly, not necessarily a red flag. Thanks for the story!

    Like 1
  9. tom schweikert

    my son and i used to go 4 wheeling at Bluff Creek, near oskaloosa a former coal strip mine

  10. Col Patrick Montgomery

    I’d buy it, if it were a bit closer. Pull the engine drop in a killer Rat big block it’d be groovy.

    Like 2
  11. Carstories Member

    I’m sorry, am I missing something? Is it for sale, or not?

  12. Stevieg Member

    It’s not for sale, the owner is just showing off his cool car with a cool story.
    My Grandfather on my Dad’s side of my family was on old greaser & hot-rodder, started building fast cars after his stint in the Navy in WWII. When he passed away in 1989, his widow (my step grandma) offered me his 1983 Impala ex squad car. It looked like a nothing car with a cheap 2 tone brown paint job. Had a KILLER built small block, 406 (?) Inches. I regret passing on it but I was a broke 18 year old kid. He & I weren’t really close, having seen him only a handful of times between 1975 when he murdered his wife (my grandma) and the time he died. So I didn’t really need a momento to remind me of him…but I still wish I had found the money to buy that car. Can anyone tell me what combo of parts makes a 406 Chevy small block? I remember that being a fairly hot set up back in the day but it is such an odd engine & I haven’t heard of anyone building one in the recent past.

    • Troy s

      400 small block bored thirty over makes the 406. Seems everyone went “stroker” nuts and the 383 became all the rage in small block land.

      Like 1
  13. Stevieg Member

    Thank you Troy.

  14. Robert E Fender

    I have a car that looks exactly the same and i have a picture of it from 1983 when it had 6 miles on it and it looks similar to the first photo, My has 83,000 og mile on it

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