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30k Original Miles: 1996 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 SS SLP

Those of us who lived through The Malaise Era can confirm what a miserable period it was automotively. Once potent muscle cars had developed the ability to turn gasoline into noise, and the best way to extract decent acceleration from many was to throw them off a cliff. It seemed that enthusiasts were destined to suffer indefinitely, but a light gradually appeared at the end of the tunnel during the late 1980s. However, manufacturers hit their stride in the 1990s, producing cars like the 1996 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 SS SLP. This is one of those cars and is an unmolested survivor with 30,000 miles on the clock. The seller feels it is time to move it on, listing it here on Craigslist in Kalispell, Montana. They are firm on their sale price of $16,000, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Pat L. for spotting it.

Chevrolet introduced its Fourth Generation Camaro in 1993, and it remained in production until 2002. Its styling was an evolution of the previous generation, with a heavy focus on aerodynamic efficiency. It remains a significant vehicle in the badge’s history because it would be the last produced following that philosophy. Chevrolet jumped on the retro bandwagon with its successor, creating a car that carried the hallmarks of the original Camaro. This Camaro rolled off the line in 1996 and makes a bold statement in Bright Red. Scrutinizing the supplied photos reveals a few minute chips, but the overall impression is that the car has led a sheltered life. The panels are laser-straight, and the glass, including the roof panels, is flawless. The composite ram-air hood shows no signs of cracks or deterioration, and this classic is rust-free. It rolls on its original 17″ wheels that are free from stains and physical damage.

You must delve below the surface to understand what makes this Camaro genuinely special. The Z28 badge is iconic and is best associated with pony cars offering impressive power and acceleration. Chevrolet wished to demonstrate it had rediscovered its high-performance roots, collaborating with Street Legal Performance (SLP) from Toms River, New Jersey. The company breathed on many aspects of the Z28’s drivetrain, producing a car that held its head high against vehicles like Ford’s SVT Cobra. The 5.7-liter V8 in the production Z28 produced 285hp and 335 ft/lbs of torque. However, an effective cold air intake, exhaust improvements, and other tweaks pushed the figures to 305hp and 335 ft/lb in the SS SLP variant. This car’s original owner ordered it with the range-topping performance exhaust that added a further 5hp for a mere $499! The power feeds to a Torsen limited-slip rear end via a six-speed manual transmission. The suspension didn’t escape attention, with a selection of Bilstein components and a larger rear sway bar. Having a car capable of topping 166mph is fine in theory, but stopping it safely should never be underestimated. This Camaro covers those cases courtesy of four-wheel ABS disc brakes. The SLP Package added a cool $7,103 to this car’s sticker price, but did it represent good value for money? A regular Z28 could cover the ¼-mile in 14.2 seconds, while this car should complete the same journey in 13.9 seconds. That represents a steep investment for a relatively minor game. Still, after the misery endured during the previous two decades, many enthusiasts would have gladly thrown in their left arm, too! The seller holds the original documentation for this classic back to Day One, suggesting they may also have evidence confirming the originality of the odometer reading of 30,000 miles. They supply no information on how this survivor runs or drives, but I see nothing to suggest the news would be anything but positive.

This Z28 is a total package featuring an interior designed to make life on the road as comfortable as possible. It features a pair of airbags, air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a six-way power driver’s seat, power mirrors, cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt wheel, and a premium Bose stereo with a CD player. The overall condition is as impressive as you could rightly expect from a low-mileage classic that has been treated respectfully. There is slight wear on the outer edge of the driver’s seat rear bolster, but a leather specialist could return it to as-new condition without charging a fortune. The remaining upholstered surfaces are excellent, the plastic and carpet are spotless, and there are no aftermarket additions. The console carries the correct badge, confirming that this is #1,587 of 2,263 SLPs produced during 1996.

The seller confirms that this 1996 Camaro Z28 SS SLP cost $31,795.00 when it drove off the showroom floor. You could drive it away today for barely half that price, which appears, on the face of it, to be a genuine bargain. Values have risen substantially over the past year, and recent sales results suggest the seller’s price is highly competitive. That explains why they are firm on their figure. If the current market trends continue, this Camaro could represent a rock-solid investment that provides a highly entertaining motoring experience. That sounds like a winning combination to me!


  1. Matt

    I would take this over the next generation “throwback” Camaro that followed. Plenty of power, great looks and less weight. These have really grown on me. Best of all its a 6 speed.

    Like 13
  2. DW

    If there was a car from my high-school days worth owning, this and maybe a similarly equipped Trans Am, or perhaps a Mustang Cobra would be the car to have.

    Like 4
  3. Stan

    Interesting how the optional exhaust eliminated the dual pipes.. SLP variant is cool , and especially at his 16k firm price. Somebody will snap it up. Bargain.

    Like 3
  4. Rocco B.

    Very few $16,000 vehicles are going to be able to keep up to this Camaro. Nice find Pat L..

    Like 7
  5. Rick Rothermel

    I lucked out last year and landed a ‘97 SS 1le convertible, low miles for a good price and I absolutely love it. SLP did 909 ‘97s and their upgrades transformed a ‘good’ car into a brilliant all-around performer.
    I’m planning to hang onto mine for the duration… Wish I had room for this one too.

    Like 4
  6. TomP

    My female cousin had the identical car. She told me to watch, and then smoked the tires down the road for a quarter of a mile. There’s nothing nicer than a beautiful woman smoking the tires of a hot car.

    Like 3
  7. matthew B steele

    Barn finds going to a higher level..nice car.wish I had 16k.

    Like 2
  8. Pdzagulones

    I currently own a ’95 Z28 convertible with the 6-speed, it’s not an SS but regardless, it is just fun to drive. Mine is probably going to hit 42,000 miles before I put it up for the winter.

    Like 1
  9. C Force

    I have driven a 98′ with a 6spd.Took it up to 135mph in 5th gear on I-40 one day,still had plenty of top end left too.pulled up to a Z-28 at about 120mph but they did not want to race.These cars are fast and will do every bit of 150mph on the speedo and then some.very fun to drive,a real donut cutter too…

    Like 4
  10. PRA4SNW

    Man, this would be a fun car. I had plenty of that in my ’99 Z/28. By that point it had a 300HP LS and the 6 speed was best left no higher than 5th gear – boy that car could pull.

    Sold it way too early and the wife and I agree that having another one would be great, affordable fun. Maybe a convertible this time around.

    Like 5
  11. Claudio

    Many moons ago i owned a 95 vert with 6 speed, the later LS equipped are better but this beauty has nothing negative

    Like 1
  12. David Omid

    I really love this car. Red exterior & blck interior. The car sells fast with this price & very low mileage.

    Like 0

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