2,900 Mile Z28: 1980 Chevy Camaro

Sometimes, it seems like we can become a bit numb to low mileage claims. 30,000 miles used to be impressive; now, it just passes for “OK.” That’s not to say I’d kick a car with under 50,000 miles out of the garage, but it seems the bar keeps going higher as the mileage keeps dropping lower. This 1980 Chevrolet Camaro has a mere 2,900 original miles, and appears to remain in near-showroom condition. The seller has listed it here on eBay where there is a reserve and bidding has already climbed over $16,000. 

When I read listings like this one, I always want to know the story. How did this car maintain such exceptionally low mileage? Was it bought as an investment piece? Did someone drive it once and decide they liked their Mustang better? Was there a death in the family that resulted in the car being mothballed? Who knows, but I wish sellers would give us some context for impressively  preserved examples like this one. The seats appear unused and the steering wheel is free from blemishes. The seller says the original factory-installed plastic covers remain on the carpets.

Under the hood, the 5.7L V8 is a familiar site, but in 1980, the Z28 was the only model you could equip with the 350. It’s amazing to see such originality under the hood, right down to the factory painted surfaces. There is some paint flaking on the valve cover, but I suppose that can happen to even the most preserved vehicles. Note the factory A/C compressor, which the seller claims still pushes out cold air. Steps have been taken to change as little as possible, with a new battery, belts and fluids the only alterations from original equipment.

1980 also saw the introduction of the Z28 hood that featured functional cowl induction. Cooler air could actually make its way into the engine bay thanks to a flap that opened up at full throttle. Nifty, for sure, but I’d likely appreciate this gimmicky feature more if this Z28 were equipped with a manual transmission. As it stands, though, the automatic isn’t the end of the world as I doubt this Camaro will ever be used for anything more than parade laps and the occasional car show. What do you think the final bid will end up being for this nearly new 1980 Camaro?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. JW

    I wonder if it’s a former dealer who closed shop and just kept this car out of his inventory because he thought it would gain in value. It does seem as new condition as it gets but the copper color just doesn’t get it with my taste. Our Chestnut Metallic Mach1 looks better than that color INHO.

  2. Brian McHale

    Why are the always green or brown?

    • Joe

      Because those are the best colors. What do you want, black, silver or white like every car on the road today?

      • Pete P

        Agreed, Joe! I for one, love it! See mine in my avatar…

      • RS

        I’m sick to death especially of silver… silver silver silver, too many on the road. And for some reason it seems every new car ad has… silver cars. I like the color of this Z28.

  3. Anthony R from RI

    Seems to me that this car has had some paint work done look close at the underhood pics… appears to be overspray on the cowl where it should be black from the factory

    • Theodoric

      Good catch! There’s definitely overspray on the right side cowl – the hood stop also got hit.

      Makes you wonder what other information isn’t accurate.

      • Michael thomas

        well someone believed the condition to the tune of 25,000. that’s what it took to buy it. As far as paint on the rubber stops, I worked on them new and the stops where painted from the factory. rear of hood and front of hood got over spray. people bought new ones for us to install all the time when the paint started flacking off the rubber and it made it look like it had had a repair.

    • Michael thomas

      nope they actually came that way. I worked on many new fro mthe dealer and we buzzed the mblack to make it look a little cleaner. IOverspary from where the front clip was attached as a unit not a single fender .

    • turbotimez

      Also pinstripe on right front flare is horrible at best, and the right headlight looks to be pointed downward

  4. gene

    Looking at the engine pictures, there is no way it has 3000 miles.
    Maybe 103000.
    As far as clean interior, it could stay that way if it was a Sunday driver.

  5. Gunner

    Snikie, I love this Z28. Everything about it, and I am a Mopar guy. Almost at 20K! Hard to believe this generation of these cars are commanding these prices!

    • DG

      I know right? I never thought disco-era F-bodies would have high demand. Low powered compared to earlier in the generation, and they made a TON of them.

  6. Dolphin Member

    Anthony and gene are right. The overspray on the cowl and the hood bumper says the car has been resprayed. Also the lifted hood itself a few pics later, and the interior says more than 3K.

    That said, it seems to be in pretty good condition, but still you don’t know how many miles it actually has. And then if you drive it, a lot of the value goes away and if you try to get some of your money back when you sell, you have to consider making what you think is an incorrect claim about low miles.

    The other problem with the car is the busy front end, as if they designed the basic car and then added things to make the front look racy. Wait—-they did design the basic car and then..…..

    The most impressive I have ever seen a Camaro was when Mario Andretti raced them in IROC and won a championship. I remember watching a race where they had a lot of in-car Mario, and if you weren’t convinced that he could go back and forth from F1 to a Camaro-based race series and win championships in both, that would convince you.

  7. Fred W.

    If there were ever a car that needed a pre purchase inspection, this is it. Not because it’s a bad car, just because the potential is there to overpay by a lot if mileage is not truly as stated. I would want documentation.

  8. Steven

    Very nice low mileage Z28 , but if this is the same one some few years ago as yes it got a fresh paint job.. Factory Gold is correct, to bad its not a 4sp also a we bit of too much asking price..

  9. Gunner

    Unsold at just under 20K. I am going to keep my money……

  10. D_Dawg

    Definitely had the odometer rolled back I’d say more like 29,000 mile car. Still in really nice condition but I’d have to have it very carefully looked at if I was gonna spend 25K+ on it.

  11. Joe M

    That is one heck of a lot of pleather…luckily it doesn’t have T Tops.

    • RS

      Is the problem with those the leaks or the creaks? Driving on a nice day with them off must be nice.

      • Tyler

        I have a 80 Z/28 with T-tops that I have owned since 1985. It was a daily driver for about 7 years, & they have never given me a lick of problem, no leaks, no rattles. The car had never spent a night inside till I finally built my shop about 10 years ago. I loved driving it with the tops out & kept the them out as much as I could. But I did put conditioner on the seals on a regular basis, & kept the hardware tight.

        I’ve had a 96 Z/28 for several years, no problems out of the T-tops on hat car either.

        Other people’s bad experience with the them is probably due more to poor maintaince than a design flaw in the tops.

      • JW

        I had a 85 Grand Prix I bought new with T-Tops and like Tyler said with proper maintenance keeping seals lubricated and secured when installed they won’t leak, mine never did after 5 years then sold to my niece who drove it another 5 years with no leaks.

  12. Joe

    Ridiculous to be interested in or buy a car mainly based on super-low mileage <10k. You would have to be a dope to care so much. Check out your local Craigslist services list. My Craigslist has 8 odometer "error correcting" guys–electronic or mechanical, $80 to $120. Even if you find such ultra-low mileage cars, the engine and trans are suspect due to lack of use. Collectors know, the sweet spot is an average of 2 to 5000 miles per year.

  13. Howard A Member

    While I highly doubt it has 103,000 miles, it sure is a nice example. Like most sporty cars of the era, these were killed. It looks like it has more than 3,000 miles, and if the mileage is true, it may need some work. Some may think it’s a new car, but sitting, like this car did, is the kiss of death for some components. Great find, though.

  14. Jay E.

    Why would you need to change belts on a 3000 mile car?

    • Erik B

      It’s not the mileage, it’s the age of the rubber.

  15. Rock On

    The belts, hoses, fluids and tires are all 37 years old and due for a change.

  16. Steven

    That oh musky setting funk smell in any car has it.. I’m now sure that this Z28 is the one I saw few years ago and yes its not a low mileage car ? Might be that someone took a drill and turned back that Oldom..

  17. Nick G.

    I know this thing doesn’t hold a candle to the performance of a new Camaro or one from decades back but, if the mileage checks out and it’s not leaking from every seal due to lack of driving, this is a decent way to get into an old Z28 and feel like you have an old muscle car. Yeah, I know these things struggled to do 16 seconds in a 1/4 but you pay for the experience of feeling like you’re back in the 80’s and you have a nearly new Camaro.

    Of course I was 1 when this car new but I like the idea of having a mostly original Camaro before they lost their personality and became all plastic-ey. I’d pay $20k for that, drive it everyday and maybe make a little money off of it in the end.

  18. RS

    Is that an air cleaner element with 2900 miles on it? I don’t think so.

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