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383 Stroker: 1969 Camaro Z/28

1969 Camaro Z28

As I was reading the seller’s description of this Z/28, I just about cried when I got to the part about the car currently being powered by a 383 stroker rather than the original 302. The 302 in these cars was absolutely fantastic and made the Z/28s hot machines. For this one to be without it’s original engine just seems like a shame, but then I continued to read their ad and discovered that while the original 302 is out of the car, it’s still with it! That’s great new for purist and customizers alike. Find this blue beauty here on eBay in Burbank, California with bidding already to $25k.

1969 Camaro Z28 302 Block

So why would having the original engine with the car be so important, well we all know that cars with their original engines are always worth more. In the case of this car, I have a feeling the 383 is no slouch and would be just as much fun as the 302. So if you are the type that likes to tinker and modify, you can continue to upgrade the 383 without hurting the originality of the 302. And if for some reason you get tired of working on this project, you can put the original 302 together, reinstall it in the car and be able to find a buyer that’s willing to pay for a Z/28 with it’s original engine!

1969 Camaro Z28 Interior

I’ll admit, I’ve always liked the Mustang just a little bit more than the Camaro, but there’s no denying that the ’69 Z/28 is a good looking car! I would love to have this one. Even if it isn’t a perfectly original survivor, it would be fun to have. Of course there will be lots of work to do to make it a top notch driver. Starting in the interior, a new headliner is needed. The seats look nice throughout, as does the dash. The carpets are faded and either need to be replaced or dyed.

1969 Camaro Z28 Engine

The seller admits it has some rust issues, as it is originally an Ohio car. So ad rust repair to the list of things to be done. The rust that concerns me the most is the rust the seller describes but doesn’t provide pictures of, that is said to be in the rear section of the frame. It could be a minor fix or could require some serious surgery to remedy. I’d really want to at least see a picture of it before bidding.

1969 Chevy Camaro Z28

Yes, this Camaro has some issues, but it’s a Z/28 and is definitely worth saving! Personally, I would rebuild the 302 and get it back in that engine bay right away, well if the rust isn’t terrible that is. They make every pieces to restore this car, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find what you need to fix it properly. So would you like to have this project in your garage?


  1. Mitch

    These cars always left a bad taste in my mouth years back. You could pull up beside girls with a pristine B Body Mopar, & then have some guy pull up with one of these all rotted out & a piece of crap, & the girls would go, “OOO it’s a CAMARO-can we go for a ride?” A buddy of mine represented that by taking a ’69 Camaro model body shell & burying it in the gravel of his aquarium. I’m glad times have changed since.

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    • scooter8

      off topic. sorta,I rode a77 kz1000 all tricked out.I was BAD! chic asked for a ride,dork on his pals’ sporty pulls up, she say’s. oooh! harley! went home with blue balls.no one got anything that night! sad. she got killed riding on another dorks kaw, lost her flying under a viaduct! she was about 22? RIP.

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  2. hhaleblian

    I had a 69 Zapper Marina Blue with white stripes. Best moaner other than that redhead back in 73. They’ll be another one soon. Zapper I mean. Too old for the latter.

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  3. Dolphin Member

    The chassis VIN checks out on the Camaro decoder I used, but you need to get the Z/28 option conformation from the engine code and I have not come up with a way to do that yet……anyone? You don’t want to pay a Z/28 price for a non-Z/28 plus a Z/28 short block that needs a rebuild anyway.

    It looks good but I wish the seller had shown some of the areas that he said had rust so you would know more about what the body needs are. The description does seem honest, but the seller doesn’t have any paperwork to say the car is what he says it is, only a chalk mark on the rear bulkhead.

    The SCM Guide says the median auction price paid for ’69 Z/28s is almost $60K and the high price paid was $450K. Quite a range, but I guess that high price was for a special car that was perfect and previously owned by, who?…Mark Donohue? Just guessing.

    If you pay $40K for the car, that only gives you $20K to do the body/paint/engine rebuild/etc, etc before you are underwater. Anyway, it looks like it’s worth following up, but you would want to make certain it’s a real Z/28 before putting down the cash.

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    • Keith R

      I just sold a all #s matching garnet red dz 302 Z28 69 camaro l had the build sheet 4 speed posi trac car all original 77,387 mile it’s was a barn find the value of these cars years ago was a lot higher sold the car for 43,500 beautiful car pulling the dz 302 out of this type of muscle car is sin Im pretty sure that stock 302 would give that 383 stroker a run on the dyno depending on the heads

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  4. Roselandpete

    It’s “purist.” The 69 Camaros and Mustangs are two of my all time favorites.

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  5. Alan (Michigan)

    Bucket list car for me.

    Likely to remain on that roster until the day I “shuffle off the mortal coil” too. These days it seems as though there are so many other pressing ways to spend cash, like on the 2 in college, etc…

    Oh, and regarding the original engine… Plenty of reasons to preserve that original one, and seek driving thrills using other, less scarce sources for power. There is a guy running around in the Detroit area who has done just that, opting for excellent LS power and a 6-speed, along with bolt-on suspension items. All modifications being completely reversible, all parts saved. That car is silver, and a real great looking and performing ride!

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  6. John

    Mine was silver. Otherwise identical. Mine had the rear taillight panel painted black. It was the only one I ever saw that way at the time (made me feel like I had a truly unique car). I sold it during the gas crisis in the mid 70s. Gas had gone over a dollar a gallon. Didn’t think I could afford to drive it much longer.

    I have always been stupid like that. I think I sold it for less than I paid for it. As I remember it was just a tick under $4 grand. They cost a bit more now.

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  7. Blindmarc

    I believe the vin will have X33 if it’s a true z/28. And the block pad in the passengers side below the head can be decifared. I don’t believe a 302 came in anything but the z/28, and very few were not blown up.

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    • Hans

      The cowl tag denotes the X33 – Z28 with style trim. (Chrome trim around the wheel wells and the gills along the quarter panel). X77 codes imply Z28 without style trim. Only Norwood built ’69’s had the X codes and it started in mid-Dec of ’68. LA (Van Nuys) built Camaors did not receive the X codes in the cowl tag. Nothing in the VIN denotes if it’s a Z. The only thing the VIN will tell you is if it’s a L6 or V8; hardtop or convert.

      This Z also has the X3 on the rear seat bulk head – Norwood did that was well, so further helps confirm this as a real Z.

      This car was flushed out and determined legit on the CRG site.

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      • Hans

        One more clarification – X33 code also could designate a Z/28 with Rally Sport equipment – hideaway headlights with headlight washers and special rear tail lamps with separate back-up lights. This obviously is not an RS Z/28.

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    • Keith R

      Dz 302 was a 1969 z28 option only unless someone at copo had a connection to put one In a diffenent Chevy in 1969 which I don’t believe so x33 or x77 depending on where built

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  8. Dan

    Engine block code was DZ

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  9. Rick

    My Z had the full gauge complement in front of the 4spd, so I’m wondering where it went in this car…???

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    • Hans

      The center console with gauges was an option. This car is actually somewhat rare with the center fuel gauge and tach – also optional, but less often selected. Base Z’s were not required to order the gauge packages or tach options. Only 4 speed manual trans and power disc brakes were mandatory options.

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    • Ron

      That was an option, apparently this car just wasn’t ordered with the gauges.

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  10. Tyler

    Norwood cars built after December I think, had X codes, Van Nuys cars didn’t, so those are tricker. X33 & X77 were the Z/28 codes. 12 bolt, multi leaf, disc brakes, power steering & 15″ wheels came standard with the Z/28. Console, console gauges, molded door panels, vinyl top, even the spoilers were options, along with the Rally Sport package. AC, automatic, & a couple other minor things were not available.

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    • Al8apex

      Four leaf rear springs

      They are Z28 only springs

      Plenty of SS 350’s with 12 bolts, disc brakes and multi leaf rear springs were “appearance” converted, but the 4 leaf rear springs is the 1 item that most don’t know about

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  11. Dan

    Again block stamped Code should be”DZ”

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    • Hans

      Dan – yes, the block has the DZ suffix on the pad as well as the partial VIN by the oil filter boss. It’s the legit born-with block for the car.

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  12. Willis

    Hahahahaa the mustang cooler than a camaro? Such bs. Camaro is way cooler.👍

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  13. John B

    I’m not really a Chevy man, but to me a real 69 Z with the JL8 four-wheel discs, cross ram setup(shipped in the trunk) and chambered-pipe exhaust would be near the top of the line.

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  14. jon

    Why would they not just put a stroker kit on the original 302 during a rebuild? That would put some serious HP into the old block no? And from all viewpoints in the engine bay still look all original? I am considering doing that to my ’66 Mustang Fastback (289 4v). Bad idea?

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  15. Rocco

    Very nice!

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  16. Hans

    The beauty of the 302 was its over square bore – stroke configuration. 4 in bore with a 3 in stroke. This premitted 7000 plus RPMs!

    My 69’s Z’s original born with 302 was rebuilt to stock specs by Jerry McNiesh. It pulled 370 HP on the dyno – not too shabby for stock 302!

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