36k Original Miles: 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

While most buyers purchase a classic car by following their heart, others use their heads to decide what vehicles offer a good balance of ownership satisfaction and long-term investment return. That is the question facing potential buyers of this 1979 Camaro Z28. Admittedly, the Z28 was no longer the performance giant it had been as the decade dawned, but it still provided an enjoyable driving experience. Today, values are climbing at an astounding rate, making the right car an excellent investment. This Z28 is priced above the market average, but its overall condition and astonishing odometer reading might justify the cost. It is listed here on Craigslist in Arlington Heights, Illinois. It could be yours for $33,900, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Rocco B. for spotting this classic pony car.

Before we delve too deeply into this Camaro’s condition and history, I think it’s best to address the elephant in the room. The car didn’t roll off the line wearing the existing “turbine” wheels and new tires. These are a later addition, but for purists, the seller’s inclusion of the color-coded factory wheels and original tires is a bonus. Beyond that, this classic appears unmolested. The seller indicates it recently emerged from a private collection, and its overall condition is impressive. Its Dark Blue paint shines nicely and is offset by the two-tone Blue graphics that look crisp and clean. The panels are straight, with tight and consistent gaps. There are no visible bumps or marks and no evidence of rust. The aerodynamic additions are free from damage, and the tinted glass is spotless.

The seller describes this Camaro’s interior as free from stains or wear, and while it presents well, the description isn’t entirely accurate. There is wear on the outer carpet edge, and I can see minor marks on the driver’s seat. Neither problem is horrendous, and I believe both would respond well to a professional deep clean. Otherwise, there’s nothing requiring attention. The upholstered surfaces are free from physical damage, there’s no evidence of UV damage or crumbling plastic, and there are no aftermarket additions. The original owner ticked some of the more desirable boxes on their Order Form. They equipped the car with ice-cold air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, a rear defroster, a tilt wheel, and a functioning AM/FM radio/8-track player.

Powering this Camaro is the company’s legendary 350ci V8. It sends 175hp to the rear wheels via a three-speed Hydramatic transmission, with the original owner specifying power steering and brakes. If the driver pointed this classic at a ¼ mile, the journey would take 17 seconds. To place that in perspective, a 1970 Camaro Z28 used 360hp to complete the same trip in 14.1 seconds. Part of the difference stems from the lower power output, but with weight being an enemy of performance, the additional 210lbs carried by the later car didn’t help its cause. However, buyers willingly turned a blind eye to the deficit, with Z28 sales in 1979 being nearly ten times the 1970 figure! The seller claims this Camaro has a genuine 36,000 miles on the clock but doesn’t mention verifying evidence. That is an important factor because it does impact the vehicle’s potential value. Otherwise, it is in excellent mechanical health. It runs and drives perfectly, with no faults or issues that would cause a new owner sleepless nights.

The asking price for this 1979 Camaro Z28 places it at the top of the market, meaning potential buyers must carefully weigh many factors to decide whether the figure is justified. Following their hearts involves considering its overall condition, the desirable options fitted, and the street cred enjoyed by the “Z28” badge in even its most emission-strangled form. Addressing the logical aspects includes assessing its originality and the fact that Z28 values continue climbing well above the market average. So, would you follow your heart or your head? Or would it be a case of a little from Column A and a little from Column B?


  1. Cooter

    I love this car and it’s color combo. Would prefer the 1980 with air induction hood, but this one is very clean and maintained. It will make a great addition to the local cars and coffee events & parades.

    Like 1
  2. Vinny M

    I like Camaro’s well enough and this certainly looks like a nice one but considering it came from the disco era it comes off as rather boring in its execution. Especially as compared to its sister car the Pontiac Trans Am which has a much more exciting exterior and far superior interior and especially dash. The wheels on this Camaro are the best thing about it so good elephant! Anyhow with no 4spd or t-tops it is no wonder so few miles. No thanks.

  3. Brett Barnett

    Great looking car but a little too steep on the asking price!! Will be glad when people sense of value return to normal levels.

    Like 8
  4. Desert Rat

    After looking at the firebird on today’s bf this camaro doesn’t look near as good as the Pontiac , chevy didn’t do as good job styling the Camaro’s bumpers

    Like 1
  5. J.D. W

    Holy cow. Seriously had an opportunity to get the same thing for four grand six years ago. Prices are STUPID now. Guess I’ll just read about them.

    Like 1
  6. Brad460 Member

    I’m not a fan of modified cars in general so the fact this is stock appearing is a big plus. The turbine wheels were my favorite on this gen camaro.

    While I’m willing usually to pay a bit above market for well preserved examples I honestly thing the seller is a big aggressive here in terms of pricing. I can see someone paying 25 and both thinking it was a fair deal.

    The minot interior issues that the author mentions are enough in my book to keep this from top top dollar.

    I hope it’s originality is maintained and it doesn’t end up butchered as was the fate of many of these.

    Like 2
  7. Steve

    The pic of the dash obviously was taken with the engine running, as reflected in the tachometer. The fuel gauge works, but the VOLT gauge is not functioning.

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