33k Original Miles: 1985 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

As horsepower figures dwindled during the 1970s and 1980s, different manufacturers tried various approaches to extract improved performance from their iconic vehicles. While some pursued the forced-induction path, Chevrolet took a different approach with its Third Generation Camaro. They focused on weight reduction and aerodynamic efficiency to try and endow their offerings with performance credentials. They achieved moderate success, although the cars still lack the brute performance of their predecessors. Our feature car is a 1985 Camaro. It is the highly desirable Z28 version, and it is in exceptional condition for its age. The owner claims it has a genuine 33,000 miles on the clock, which is easy to believe. The car needs nothing beyond a new home, so the owner has listed it for sale here on eBay. The Z28 is located in Chester, New York, and although the bidding has hit $11,000, this remains shy of the reserve.

It is not uncommon to find Camaros of this generation that have lived life in the fast lane. Often they have been thrashed mercilessly, or owners have performed modifications to extract even more performance from these classics. However, this Z28 is original and untouched. Its Maroon Metallic paint shines beautifully, with only a few minor flaws and marks. None of these are bad and don’t require immediate attention. The Silver paint applied to the lower body sections offers a striking contrast, while the stripes and decals are in as-new condition. The panels are laser straight, with no bruises or prior accident damage. The original owner ordered this classic with a T-Top, and its shape is as impressive as the rest of the exterior. With flawless glass and original alloy wheels, it seems that this Camaro needs nothing.

The drivetrain combination for this Camaro includes a 305ci V8 engine that produces 155hp, a five-speed manual transmission, power steering, and power disc brakes. While it lacked the sheer straight-line performance of some of its predecessors, this Z28 should cover the ¼ mile in 16.6 seconds. Thanks to Chevrolet’s attention to aerodynamic efficiency, the Camaro should run out of breath at 132mph. I admit that I am disappointed with the overall presentation of this vehicle’s engine bay. Considering the owner’s claim that it has 33,000 genuine miles on the clock, I expected the appearance to be closer to showroom fresh. However, this is a vehicle with thirty-seven years under its belt, so it is right to expect some deterioration. For potential buyers, the news is positive. The owner recently flushed and replaced all fluids and fitted a new exhaust and battery. The Z28 runs and drives extremely well, and he is a turnkey classic ready to be enjoyed by its next owner.

If the state of the engine bay is disappointing, there are no such problems with the interior. Opening the doors reveals a sea of Red upholstery and carpet, all of which is in first-class condition. There is no evidence of wear or physical damage on any upholstered surfaces, while the carpet appears perfect. The dash, pad, and console are equally impressive, and it looks like nobody has ever sat in the back seat. Equipment levels are high, with air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, a roof console, a tilt wheel, an AM/FM radio and cassette player, and an electric antenna. It wouldn’t be stretching credibility to describe the interior as being in as-new condition, and it seems to support the owner’s mileage claim.

For a Bow-Tie enthusiast seeking a tidy classic from the 1980s, this 1985 Camaro Z28 has to be a strong contender. Its presentation is hard to fault, and its mechanical condition is excellent. With a mere 33,000 miles on the clock, it should have years of faithful and reliable service to offer its next owner. It may now be thirty-seven years old, but its overall condition means that it can still turn heads today. If you had the money sitting in your wallet, is this a classic you might be tempted to pursue further?


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  1. JCA Member

    I like it. The dark/light red color combo may be rare, seems like a pairing most people wouldn’t order

    Like 7
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Big, heavy, and beautiful.

    Like 3
  3. Rbig18

    I had the 88 version of this car. The positive was it was dependable, handled pretty well. The negative was the 305 even with the 5 speed was K-car slow, became a rattle trap pretty quick. Now I don’t know what the author is seeing with the interior, but the drivers side front bucket looks very faded and worn in about the same places mine were. It will tear soon. Fond memories of these but not enough car to get me back into one.

    Like 2
  4. Ike Onick

    Agree with the comments. Seems like a nice example. I would be tempted to take $12,000 and hand the keys and title to the new owner.

    Like 1
  5. Don Page Jr.

    If he wants that kind of money, he better refresh the engine compartment and undercarriage and take a good hard look at the interior. Then take it to Barrett-Jackson. In that condition, 8 to 8.5K tops.

  6. Grog

    Certainly we all are looking for a pristine classic and I think this is as good as one could expect given the age. For the money, the engine bay is just as I would expect it to be.

    Like 2
  7. 1959Buickman

    This should bring 17 to 18k all day long. The low miles, perfect interior based on the photos, and remarkably clean undercarriage and outstanding original engine compartment just aren’t seen on these 3rd gens that often. Amazing condition and clearly a papered well cared for car. I’d run it through a national auction and don’t touch a thing, so many of these have been messed with and screwed up.

    Like 2

      19590BUICKMAN I totally agree with you in the States it should go for 18K EASILY HERE IN CANADA THIS CAR WOULD EASILY SELL FOR $28,500..
      I do own an 85 IROCZ28 350 SMALL BOSS LT1 Corvette Motor souped up to 700HP 5 speed trans lots of power , T ROOF, power windows, Louvre on back window Aluminum from when the car came off the line shiny black immaculateno rust all original here in Canada can get easily $68,500 shows very well whats with the prizes in the States so low

      Like 1
      • Dcor

        700 hp? Must be Canadian horsepower, 50% like the dollar…..

        Like 2
  8. Dave

    You might want to change the description slightly – you mention the car has power windows, but you can see from the photo of the interior that they’re actually manual.

    Like 3
  9. Troy

    I had a 86 IRock it was a typical 80s Chevrolet money pit. If I would have thought for a second it would someday command this kind of price I would have parked it in the barn instead of selling it for $2500 bucks

    Like 1
    • FireAxeGXP

      International Race Of Champions
      Kinda weird anyone who owned an IROC wouldn’t remember that detail.

      Like 3
      • Troy

        Yeah so I spelled it wrong gotta love it when auto correct fixes what it thinks is wrong

  10. Raymond L Saunders

    Back then, they kept trying to convince us the 305 was just as good as the 350, it wasnt, these were CAFE specials and were an embaressment….why did they have a xzylophone on the hood that did nothing?….

  11. steve

    Really the only thing “wrong” with a 305 is that is not a 350. If they’d only ever produced the 305 people would be singing its praises. Stout torquey reliable engine. It has the added advantage that a 350 can slide in there and nobody is the wiser.”Yep, yep, it’s all stock Chevrolet…..”

    Like 1
  12. Michael Berkemeier

    Cringeworthy cars when new, and cringeworthy today. I’ve never liked these underpowered slugs. It’s a hard no from me. Sorry to all of you fellow Gen-Xers that are trying to relive the golden years. My best memories were in cars that were 15 years old then, not new.

    Like 3
  13. Stan

    Beauty car. The H.O model was nicely outfitted 190hp 3.73 ring and pinion.
    These are 155hp 3.23 geared. 5sp makes it still fun.
    Used to dust so many Camaros in our 5L lx sedan, usually didn’t bother racing. Interiors were real dodgy for quality on these i recall, and real low seating position, stiff ride. My buddy had a 305 auto 1986 Iroc. Handled like it was on rails.

    Like 4
    • Michael Berkemeier

      Stan, the 5-Liter Mustangs, especially the LX versions, were such better cars in every regard that (you are correct) there was no comparison. Miles apart.

      Like 2
  14. Al

    For a while when a cop I must have recovered 1 of these IROC’s every 2 weeks in 85-88 that were stolen & stripped back in Bpt.,CT. Just midnight cruising behind Remington Arms or a host of many closed factories, you’d find these on blocks totally stripped. Only one stolen more and found 1-2 a WEEK, was the RX7 rotary engine Mazda’s. They’d pull that whole drivetrain out, eng, trans & rear, & put in an older mazda 323’s as an easy swap as fast as it was pulled & the thieves got away mostly because with no eng/trans/dif, identifying numbers stamped into. You can easily tell by that distinctive Rotary sound & of course, large coffee can mufflers while they’re criuising. But not a damn thing you could do knowing they’re hot.

    Like 3
  15. joenywf64

    Only a 4500 rpm redline?! – maybe to encourage better mpg & lower emissions?
    Cast rods in this motor? – even if so, ’74 2 bolt main Pontiac 400’s have a
    5750 rpm redline with cast rods – tho those motors also got a lower redline in the later ’70s.

  16. trav66

    Amazing condition AND it’s the rare 5-speed! If it weren’t so far away, I’d bid on this. I could see myself tooling around town with the t-tops off, grabbing gears, watching for cops in the rear view and blaring Van Halen! A friend in high school, circa 1990, had an ’82 (?) with the cross-fire injection, automatic trans and he would let me drive when he’d had too many beers. That thing would scat! His sister had an ’84 Berlinetta, she…..and the car were really nice, too!(wink and a nudge) It’s at $13,949 reserve off with 4 days to go. I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes above $15k but it’s going to a new owner for sure.

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