30k Time Capsule! 1974 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Model year 1974 saddled many American cars with even bigger bumpers that needed to fall within a standardized height and withstand a 5 MPH angle impact. Still, the ’74 Camaro doesn’t look too bad if you’d never seen the earlier versions for reference. This particular 1974 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 in Heber Springs, Arkansas looks fully restored, but the seller reports that only the paint is new, and the not-quite-30,000 miles on the odometer are original. Not only is the car show-ready, this z28 retains its original L82 V8 and four-speed manual transmission, factory air conditioning, houndstooth interior, and it runs and drives like new, according to the seller. Thanks to reader Pat L. for submitting this tip. The listing here on craigslist features a stout $29,500 asking price for this well-preserved classic.

Chevrolet came to market with updated styling in 1974, the final year of square rear glass. Subsequent years of the Second-Gen Camaro boasted a wraparound rear window for style and increased visibility. The Z28 package also vanished after 1974 until being revived part-way through the 1977 model run.

The snappy houndstooth upholstery adds some class to the otherwise all-business black interior. The white “cue ball” shifter looks magnificent and certainly suits the Z28’s original purpose as a Trans-AM road-racing assault weapon. “Camaro” script on the floor mats comes in handy if you forget you’re driving one of the ’70s’ most recognizable vehicles.

While the mid-’70s to mid-’80s marked a low-water mark for all-out performance, the final-year 350 cid (5.7L) L82 made 245 HP Net, which equates to 300 or more HP in the older, SAE Gross numbers. That’s more-than-respectable for its day, and could easily be increased without cosmetic deviation from stock. On that topic, this Camaro leaves little to wish for, retaining its emissions equipment including the often-discarded smog system and ’74-only dual-snorkel air cleaner housing. Note the oversized filter element creating a bypass of the stock inlets for extra breathing. That might bring the horsepower total to 248! The second-gen Camaro features prominently in the high-school tales of many motorheads. What’s your favorite Camaro story?

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Comments

  1. msheiner msheiner Member

    I was not particularly a Camaro fan but this car is gorgeous. Love the exterior color and the interior seat materials is simply great! I’ve no idea what these sell for but it appears to be reasonable.

    Like 7
  2. Superdessucke

    Love the vinyl roof on this! I’ve always thought the ’74 stripes were ridiculous, but they look ok with this car’s color scheme.

    Like 7
  3. Steve R

    Very nice car. It’s surprising there is no tach or gauges, especially with a 4spd.

    The price seems high and the seller thinks the vinyl roof and houndstooth upholstery make it more valuable. It’s been on the market for close to two weeks, he may need to adjust the asking price if it doesn’t sell soon.

    Steve R

    Like 10
    • Steve R

      Thanks, I appreciate your kind words. It’s better than dealing with the tool that was on here last week who named himself after a former Jeopardy champion.

      Steve R

      Like 13
    • Dave

      Looks like we’ve all been inside way too long…

      Like 21
    • Stevieg Member

      I am not seeing the humor in harassing this Steve R guy. Frankly, this shows the immaturity of some people on this website.
      Let’s stop trolling others and get back to what this website is about…cool old cars (and some not so cool lol).

      Like 14
    • Scott Saucyn

      Tach and gauges are in instrument panel.

  4. Vegaman Dan

    I always liked the rubber bumper strips added to those heavy aluminum bumpers. You could actually nudge things without messing up your bodywork. Quite nice for parking lots when people would bump your car. Today do that and it’s $3000 in bumper cover damage.

    Big heavy doors. Wore out the holes in the hinge pins, but thankfully bushing kits fix that issue. Today I’d just weld in new material and redrill the holes to build it up, but bushings are an easy way to do it too. No need for sagging doors!

    Like 6
    • Tony Primo

      Nudged a lot of people with these bumpers back in high school. Funniest trick was seeing a buddy stopped at a red light and slowly trying to nudge them ahead!

      Like 6
  5. JoeMac JoeMac Member

    Very nice car. Show quality? No. Not exactly the rarest either car at nearly 14,000 units in Z28 clothing for ’74. 4-speed is attractive though. My ceiling here would be $25k. It’ll sell but may take a while at $30k. Good luck to the seller.

    Like 4
  6. KC John

    I loved it till I saw under the hood. For 29500 I expect much better. Otherwise beautiful presentation. Seems seller stopped short IMHO.

    Like 5
    • Tom Member

      KC John, I am with you.

      The engine compartment does NOT line up with the rest of the car at under 30K miles. It starts begging answers and more info.

      NOW I want to see the undercarriage.
      WHY repainted in 2009?
      Lot’s of surface rust under hood typically = high exposure to H2O.

      Cool car but these unanswered questions, NO HP, big bumpers and bad stickers have me looking to 1970-73 for this $$.

      Like 5
  7. sparkster

    I still have the Car & Drivers magazine from 1974 , GM said that they were going to sell at least 5 million vehicles in 1974. Wow, back in 74′ there wasn’t a big problem competing with Toyota , Honda or Nissan (Datsun). Amazing how times have changed. My buddy in high school had a 73′ Z28 he bought new , red with black stripes. Fun car

    Like 8
  8. AndyinMA

    Is this the same L82 found in the late c3s? The General usually confounds me with their engine codes.

    Like 2
    • Superdessucke

      See below. For some reason it pushed my response to the bottom. I think it’s basically the same engine, other than more emissions equipment and an aluminum intake manifold starting in ’78.

      • AndyinMA

        thanks; I get hung up on the HP numbers, because I did not think a 1982 vette with the L82 would put out 245 hp. But that is not what drives GM to identify their motors, it seems like it’s based more on the basic design

  9. Ken Jennings

    Not much of a Chevy guy, but this I really like, esp the 4 speed.

    Like 4
  10. Troy s

    I remember a superintendent who had a black Corvette with the L82 350, he took off the job site one day and gunned it,,,, “Buuuuuu”. Big deal, it’s a shame what happened to the once glorious LT1 350, an engine of notoriety and real honest substance abuse.
    I like this Camaro, more now as the second gen Camaros are disappearing from the roads, unlike a while back when they were all over the place. Price seems …….I won’t go there.

    Like 2
  11. Superdessucke

    The L82 replaced the LT1 for 1973 in the Z/28 and Corvette. The primary differences from the LT1 were that the L82 had a hydraulic cam, a cast iron intake manifold, and a Q-Jet instead of a Holley carburetor.

    It still had the 2.02 heads, forged crank, pushrod guide plates, and 4 bolt main block of the LT1 however. It also had the ,450/.460 lift cam from the 1969-70 L46 350, and 9.0:1 compression, so it was a legit high performance motor.

    I think the general specs of the L82 (though not horsepower) remained the same through 1980, its last year, though it picked up an aluminum intake at some point (1978 I believe) and, obviously, more emissions equipment.

    Between 1975-80, the L82 was only available on the Corvette. The 1977-81 Z28s had the LM1 350, which was the standard passenger car engine with 1.94 heads, cast crank, low lift cam, and 2 bolt main block.

    Like 11
  12. Big_Fun Member

    Thanks for all that info. I appreciate knowing more about the L-82. The LM1 was also in many, many trucks. I have an ’81 C20 with that engine. Good performance, but the 4:10 gears have a lot to do with that.
    I believe the next year, in 1975, the 350 was rated the lowest hp ever (2bbl). Same with the 454. Chevrolet was probably dialing in performance with the new emissions (catylitic converter), plus add in keeping mileage the same or better.
    Knowing what I learned here, I can appreciate the ’74 Z28 a little more now.
    Thanks again!

    Like 5
    • Superdessucke

      The biggest mystery to me is why Chevy didn’t at least offer the L82 as an option in the resurrected 1977 Z28, to remain consistent with the 1970-74 Z/28. The LM1 they gave it was the exact same motor you’d get in a Caprice sedan, except it had dual resonator exhaust and 3.73 gears (3.42 with automatic) to give it a little more pop for the Z28 application. My guess would be cost and/or a desire to keep the Corvette the top dog.

      Like 2
  13. JoeNYWF64

    Very odd combo – vinyl roof AND stripes/big hood decal, no aux gages, & no hidden wipers. I would order the car the direct opposite, & with no a/c either.
    I would have to see this car in person, but i think t/a’s with super rare vinyl roofs look terrible IMO.
    The automatic shift quadrant is still in the instrument cluster, but it is blank – surprised chevy did not remove it.
    That sure is no stock muffler, even tho it’s correctly mounted sideways.
    You learn somethin new everyday. Makes no sense …
    https://nastyz28.com/threads/1974-z28-gauges.106229/

    Like 1
    • Superdessucke

      During this era, about 1/3-ish of the Camaros built had vinyl roofs. I’ve seen ’74 Z28s with vinyl tops before, but never in combo with the stripes. This car is so original, I wouldn’t remove them, and I think they somehow look ok, and I’m not a fan at all of the ’74 stripes.

      Like 5
  14. bull

    Like a lot of nice vintage cars today. You can’t buy a project and build it for $30K!

    Properly priced for the condition!

    Like 1
  15. pl

    Not 100% sure it’s a real Z28. Cowl tag is screwed in, so can be easily removed. Never saw a 2nd gen Z28 without a gauge package, and I’ve parted out over 100 gen 2 Z28 camaros.

    • JoeNYWF64

      The nastyz28.com link above says otherwise about ’73-4’s gages.
      I always thought the big decal package looked better on a WHITE car(but no vinyl roof! lol) with black bumper strips & blacked out headlite bezels …
      Scroll down & click on the ’74 in
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Camaro_(second_generation)
      Oddly, the car for sale here above & the test car back in the day below do NOT have them blacked out …
      I guess blacked out bezels were a later in the model year addition? Or an option>
      Terrible mpg with 3:73! …
      http://www.superchevy.com/features/1802-a-look-back-at-road-test-for-1974-camaro-z28
      Also, as i suspected, the mid year addition of HEI did NOT make a difference in hp/torque compared to pts & condenser ignition(same with ’74 t/a). GM HEI was more for less maintenance, lower emissions, & easier starting.

      Like 2
    • Steve R

      The VIN will answer your question since the L82 wasn’t offered in any Camaro other the Z28.

      Steve R

      Like 2
  16. Vince H

    I was selling these back in the day. Sure did not feel like 300 HP. Chevy should have been ashamed to call the 74 and later Z28. After the 70 which was a wild machine it was all down hill.

    Like 2
  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    This was a very popular color for early to mid 70’s Camaros. They must have been 3 in this color in our small high school parking lot in the late 70’s.

  18. Kenn

    Check out the speedo. That odometer has been wound back. No way of knowing how many miles have passed under that vehicle.

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