43k Original Miles: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

Finding a solid, clean, low-mile pony car with a five-figure price may seem impossible, but this 1986 Chevrolet Camaro offers that opportunity. It has had little use during the past decade, helping to account for its odometer reading of 43,000 original miles. It looks like an absolute gem, and I must say a big thank you to eagle-eyed Barn Finder Rocco B. for spotting it. The Camaro is listed here on Craigslist in Oconto, Wisconsin. All you need to do is hand the seller $5,000, and you could drive this baby home.

The 1986 model year represented the fifth in the life cycle of the Third Generation Camaro. The badge had comfortably carved its niche in the classic market, with 192,128 buyers taking one home. The first owner ordered this classic in dazzling Bright Red, one of the year’s twelve available shades. The exterior shines wonderfully, with the painted plastic surfaces the only area raising possible questions. The photos suggest there may be deterioration in those areas, although it could also be an optical illusion created by the prevailing light. Careful work with a high-quality polish may achieve positive results if an in-person inspection reveals genuine faults. Otherwise, the panels are as straight as an arrow, and since this garage-kept classic has never seen snow, its rust-free status is unsurprising. The wheels leave me torn because while I can’t say that I like them, I also don’t think they are particularly ugly. Whether they stay or go depends on the new owner’s preference. The seller states that the tires show signs of rot due to the lack of use during the past decade. Replacing the tires might represent a golden opportunity to bolt on different wheels.

Some cars represent a triumph of style over substance, and that might be a view shared by a few of our readers when they take a peek under this Camaro’s hood. The engine bay houses a 2.8-liter fuel-injected V6, producing 135hp and 160 ft/lbs of torque. Those figures aren’t a recipe for excitement, with the four-speed automatic transmission guaranteeing that acceleration will be relatively sedate by modern standards. The ¼-mile ET of 17.6 seconds won’t set pulses racing, although the car’s ability to consistently hit 25mpg makes it a fuel-efficient daily driver. The seller states the Camaro has 43,000 miles on the clock and has only accumulated around 1,000 miles during the past decade. We’ve mentioned the tires, which may be the only work required before this classic hits the road in earnest. It runs and drives exceptionally well and is a turnkey proposition for the new owner.

Hands up those of you who have seen Third Generation Camaros with tired and worn interiors. Hmm, that looks like it is approximately 100% of our readers! Manufacturers were improving their understanding of interior plastic trim by the time this car rolled off the line, but UV exposure still caused brittleness. Cloth trim could wear and rot, and it is common to see these cars with less than flash interiors. However, there are no such problems with this Camaro. Its Gray cloth and vinyl trim is exceptional for its age, supporting the seller’s mileage claim. The carpet is spotless, and the dash and pad are excellent. The console has slight discoloring, but it isn’t a deal-breaker. It isn’t loaded with luxury appointments by modern standards, but the buyer receives air conditioning, sports gauges, a tilt wheel, and an AM/FM radio/cassette player.

I am under no illusions because this 1986 Chevrolet Camaro almost certainly will never be a mega-bucks classic. However, it is tidy, solid, and original and features an extraordinarily low odometer reading. Upgrading its drivetrain would be straightforward and relatively inexpensive. Its economical existing configuration means it could function as an eye-catching and effective daily driver. The seller’s price is competitive, but is it enough for you to pursue this classic further?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    Nice car though it doesn’t look right without that front spoiler. Wouldn’t think of buying this car and changing the power train. It is what it is… a good cruiser with adequate and dependable power.

    Like 5
  2. Oldschoolmuscle

    Always hated those rims..

    Like 7
    • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

      I had these rims, or ones which looked very similar, on a 1991 Aerostar conversion van. They looked good…. back then. Today, on this Camaro, I’m not sure if they look “period-correct”, or just “dated”….

      Like 9
    • Rumpledoorskin

      I had those wheels on a Jeep Wrangler. They were ok on that and they are ok here. They are all going the wrong direction, though.

      Like 1
    • bobhess bobhessMember

      Don’t hate anything but agree they don’t fit this car.

      Like 2
  3. Nelson C

    Not a bad looking car at all. The mirrors seem to suffer from the same Sun damage as some of the black interior pieces. Paint looks new and the fabric needs a shampoo but it would be nice for a cruiser or summer daily.

    Like 3
  4. Calipag

    I owned one of these but a 5 speed and gave it the IROC treatment. Fun car to drive but with that automatic …….not so much.

    Those wheels are hideous on that car, then and now!!!!

    Like 2

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds