46k Mile 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

When you find yourself confronted with an original and tidy 39-year-old survivor such as this 1980 Camaro Z28, you can be fairly sure that it has been the recipient of a lifetime of careful ownership. The fact that this particular vehicle has also accumulated a mere 46,000 genuine miles on its odometer is a real bonus. The Z28 is located in Brighton, Michigan, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The BIN for the Camaro has been set at $18,900, but the option is available to make an offer.

The first thing to note with the Camaro is just how clean it is. The paint appears to be free of major chips or scratches, although the owner does admit to a few minor nicks and defects. He also refers to it as being of good driver quality, which is probably a pretty good assessment. The wheels and graphics look to be in good condition, while the glass appears to be free of major flaws. One nice feature is the glass T-Top, which looks like it has been sealing properly, and not suffering from any leak issues. As far as rust problems are concerned, there is nothing to worry about. Looking through the supplied photos shows no obvious signs of any rust issues.

The originality extends under the hood of the Camaro, which presents to about the sort of level that you would expect from a vehicle of this age. One thing that I don’t go much on is the liberal use of detailing spray around the engine bay. I don’t think that it adds anything to the overall presentation, and I would be inclined to avoid it myself. The 350ci V8 under the hood is backed by a 3-speed automatic transmission, while the Z28 also comes equipped with power steering and power brakes. By this point in time, the 350 was only producing 190hp, and this meant that the Camaro was no longer a performance car. Still, this one is said to run and drive nicely, and given the bullet-proof nature of the mechanical components, you can be pretty sure that the drive-train has many years of service left in it yet.

The interior of the Camaro is a sea of red, but it does appear to be in good condition. The upholstered surfaces all present really well, with no obvious rips or tears. There are no signs of the sorts of water-staining that might indicate problems with the T-Top, while the dash and carpet appear to be close to flawless. Equipment levels inside the Z28 are definitely aimed more at comfort than performance, with power windows, air conditioning, a tilt wheel, and an AM/FM radio/8-track player all included.

I am well aware that there are plenty of readers who are willing to dismiss vehicles from the Malaise Era as lost causes and a waste of money. However, the simple reality is that it is an era that is just as important to our collective motoring history as any other. The fact that people have been quick to dismiss these sorts of cars has seen values remain relatively low. However, values have begun to slowly increase. That means that now might be the time to consider buying a classic like this one.


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  1. MotorWinder

    I couldn’t agree with your last statement more!!!

    Like 4
  2. Frank Sumatra

    Give me a break. 190 HP, automatic, with a Vega steering wheel for $18K? Unless your name is Joe Dirt I am missing a lot about what makes this worth more than $8K. For comparison: 1995 Corvettes, 300HP, six-speed $12K all day long.

    Like 10
    • Steve R

      These cars never really caught on in California. Sure, they sold a ton of them, as well as Trans Ams, but enthusiasts bought older muscle car for a fraction of the price these sold for new. Manual transmissions weren’t available in California, except for 305’s in 81 or 82, neither were optional higher output engines. Really nice sixties muscle were still readily available, and inexpensive through the late-80’s. Most T/A’s and Z28’s were beat to death and would up in the local Pick-N-Pulls where the most desirable part was the front sway bar, but not much else.

      Steve R

      Like 2
      • RH

        Not sure what area you’re referring to, but where I was living in CA when these were new there were tons of them on the road. Sure, there were older muscle cars available, but the majority of those were pretty well hammered and used up.

        Like 4
    • Martin

      The Vega’s were lucky to get the Z28 wheel.

      Like 6
      • Frank Sumatra

        Especially the extremely rare 1980 Vega. If you find one, buy it!

        Like 2
    • JoeNYWF64

      If they left off the upper steering wheel spoke or used a larger steering wheel or the p**t**c formula wheel, some of the gages might not be blocked.
      Beware of the top half of the orig cat conv SHIELD rusting & falling off! Happened on my ’76 chevette in the early 80’s & the unshielded converter singed the passenger carpet!
      I would not say that the turbo 350 automatic is bulletproof. The turbo 400 – yes.

  3. flmikey

    The T/A featured earlier today would be my choice, but that’s just me… the Camaro looks like all show and no go…btw, what’s with the “Malaise Era” reference featured in almost every article written lately…it’s like people using the “P” word…

    Like 2
    • Frank Sumatra

      It’s also a reference to President Jimmy Carter using the word in a speech he made while wearing a cardigan sweater. It was pretty much the end of his Presidency. It was a real downer speech.

      Like 3
  4. 8banger David Mika Member

    Ok, some don’t say “Malaise”, but do refer to it as “Dark days for the General..”

    Like 3
  5. Stangalang

    Malaise is another world for completely boring performance and seriously cheap quality..most every ” domestic ” vehicle in this era had been smogged to death and the parts were not very good quality

    Like 3
  6. poseur Member

    best wheels on a Camaro.
    put them on my 76 El Camino SS first year of college and instantly became BMOC

    Like 2
    • Ike Onick

      Some would say the best wheels on a Camaro were made between 1967 and 1969 and were painted Argent Silver

  7. Arthell64 Member

    These cars weren’t much of a performance car from the factory but add a set of flat top pistons, 70 LT-1 heads , cam, intake and headers now you have a decent performance car

    Like 3
  8. Stevieg Member

    I prefer the Trans Am over the Z28, but this here is a nice car. I don’t recall seeing one this clean in person in a very long time. Buy, drive & be proud!

    Like 2
  9. Dennis Ford

    Cars not bad, but whats with all the rust under hood? Suspension engine bolts master cylinder?? Wheres the license plate bracket in front to hide all the holes. Makes you wonder??

    • Dennis Ford

      Forgot to mention the tail lights. The black stripe down the middle came out in 81??

  10. Djjerme

    Survivor.. Drink!

    Just call it what it is, babied (hibernation.). Survivor implies it was in harsh climate or war torn countryside. This marshmallow was coddled.

    Or maybe the owner kept falling asleep driving it, and just decided to give up on trying to be cool. So in the garage it slept.

  11. md

    This guy’s a flipper…the car was just for sale in Ohio.

    Like 2
  12. John Oliveri

    I will just tell this story, then u can make your own judgement, my friend whom is now 55 yrs old once owned a Monte Carlo SS, a 1987, burgundy on burgundy, got it new, now in 87 he was 22 yrs old, hard worker, owned a Riviera prior to the Monte, anyway, god was good to him, his brothers and he bought the co That they worked for, and did extremely well, fast forward 25 yrs or so, after owning plenty high end Benzs,and BMWs, we went on a mission to find a 87 Monte SS, and found a bone stock 35,000 mile 1 owner car, had it shipped home, and when he drove it, couldn’t believe what a dog, that 305 was, which hp wise was close to this sticker show Camaro, moral to the story is, the good old 80s were worse than you remember,

    Like 2
  13. Randy Johnson

    Performance car by the late 60’s to early 70’s standard no, or compared to modern car’s no but to someone in there 50’s now a car like this is fun and brings back good memories. My first brand new car was a white ’81 Z28 with blue striped and interior, with the aluminum wheels. Would love to have another one for the memories

    Like 1
    • Robbie R.

      Randy – exactly right.

  14. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Still for sale and the price has not dropped one penny.

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