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64k Original Miles? 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Mileage claims will always spark debate amongst enthusiasts, with some questioning them and others viewing them as plausible. This 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 is one such vehicle. The seller claims it has a genuine 64,000 miles showing on its odometer. It exhibits some significant deterioration and visible rust, but we are assured that it is solid below the surface. It is a turnkey classic listed here on eBay in Hickman, Nebraska. The seller set their BIN at $7,500 with the option to make an offer.

Some paint shades seem to define an era, and the 1970s was when brown was at the height of its popularity. Therefore, the Camel Metallic paint gracing this Camaro’s panels is unsurprising. It is pretty tired, and the fading is inconsistent between the metal and plastic surfaces. A complete repaint would be the logical solution, but other tasks are required before anyone grabs a spray gun and wields it with abandon. Did somebody say rust? Yep, this Camaro has some, and it has sunk its teeth into many of the lower body extremities. The new owner faces hours of cutting and welding, but it might not be as bad as it first appears. The seller indicates the Camaro’s underside is solid, and if that is correct, the buyer could keep that part of the build in-house. The glass, including the optional T-Top panels, is in good order. The wheels should respond to some manual labor with a high-quality cleaner, and any plastic defects are repairable.

The seller’s claim that this Camaro has 64,000 original miles on the clock seemed plausible, but the condition of the upholstery and trim raised doubts in my mind. Some of the shortcomings are due to UV exposure, but the driver’s seat wear is inconsistent with the mileage. There could be a valid reason for this, and it would be worth posing such questions to a seller who seems approachable. There are other flaws and a few missing pieces, but the new owner needs to deep clean everything before compiling a shopping list. The original owner loaded it with optional extras beyond the T-Top. It features air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, and a tilt wheel. The original radio/cassette player has made way for a more modern equivalent, but I can’t spot any other additions.

The Malaise Era guaranteed that the 1979 Camaro Z28 was not the firebreathing beast it had been at the decade’s dawn. The 350ci V8 produced 175hp and 275 ft/lbs of torque, well short of the 360hp and 380 ft/lbs available to an owner in 1970. This car feeds its power to the road via a three-speed automatic transmission, allowing it to cover the ¼-mile in 17 seconds. Potential buyers will find plenty of good mechanical news with this classic. It runs and drives exceptionally well, with no issues or problems. The seller suggests replacing the tires due to age, but it seems it has no other needs. Everything would benefit from a clean, but that would be an excellent way to occupy a few hours while the new owner contemplates how they will tackle this project.

The comments on this 1979 Camaro Z28 will make fascinating reading because I suspect this car will spark spirited debate. There are no issues with this classic that would be considered irreparable, and somebody handy with a grinder and welder could potentially tackle the rust repairs. If we use the BIN figure as the starting point for this restoration, the harsh reality is that it will require a hands-on new owner if the project is to remain financially viable. The bill from any reputable panel shop charged with repairing the rust will run into thousands of dollars, and the faded exterior means we need to add further to the tally for a complete repaint. The interior shortcomings increase the total, but the killer blow could be the current classic market. It is possible to find some quite tidy and unmolested 1979 Z28s for sale for under $25,000, with the occasional example popping up for under $20,000. If someone pays the BIN, that would leave $12,500 in the pot to perform the work required for this car to present well. Do you think that’s possible?


  1. Connecticut mark

    164,000 TO 264,000 MILES would be genuine

    Like 16
    • Wyatt

      No way in the world this car has 64.000. Maybe 264.000. I have a 78 z28 that was sitting for over 20 years and looks amazing compare to this one….

      Like 10
  2. Mike Harris

    A ‘70 had 350 horsepower.

    Like 1
    • Len

      Incorrect. Just a little research will let you know the 1970 Z28 had the LT1 350 cubic inch with 360 H.P. (the LT1 was also available in 1970 in the Vette and was rated at 370 H.P.)

      Like 6
      • ACZ

        You are correct. Supposedly, the difference in the exhaust systems between the two is what accounted for the 10 horsepower.

        Like 2
  3. Tony Primo

    Perfect example of why you shouldn’t drive with sandpaper in your back pocket!

    Like 7
    • Mike Pesotski Member

      lol…or pool chemical packets in the back pocket. I owned a 1970 Z28 and a ’79. I love the looks of both of these so much. I love those wheels and have only ever seen a few connected to a 4 speed which this one doesn’t have. The seats on my ’79 had very little wear at this mileage.

      Like 3
  4. George Mattar

    1970 was 360 hp. Do your homework.

    Like 0

    My chevy cruze has 400k miles on it and is mint compared to this car.

    Like 2
    • Cruz Runner

      What engine? I have the 1.4 turbo with Volvo chip. Ran on 3 cylinder till I fix coil and replaced with AC Delco plugs at 103k.

      Like 1
  6. Neil R Norris

    A verified example of a “beater” … no thanks.

    Like 3
    • Marshall Belcher

      Seats in that thing seen more than 64000 I would have had them covered if I was going to tell a big one like that. My offer. 1250 1500. Tops.

      Like 5
  7. Jerry

    For that money you can find something nicer.

    Like 3
  8. PL

    It’s still too common of a car to settle for something in this condition.
    The adage “Buy the best car you can afford” would apply here.

    Like 2
  9. DN

    That brown shade helps disguise the rust

    Like 2
  10. Bruce

    These are just knockoffs of what a real Z in the 60’s and early 70’s were. I think these were about a 180HP. Even the 73 and 74’s had 50 more HP.

    Like 2
  11. ACZ

    Underpowered, yes. But, ride and handling were great.

    Like 3
  12. Cruz Runner

    My 90ish cube engine is 200ish up

    My friend has 400ish up Chevy cobalt ss.

    That is modern hot rodding and his ss cobalt might wow some several decades from now 😊.

    Like 0
  13. Cruz Runner

    Not up but hp. Silly phone…

    Like 0
  14. Donald Sullivan

    I’ve seen much worse condition cars of this vintage and type and all with ridiculous asking prices. In my opinion he’s not far off in asking that much but only and I mean ONLY if the frame and floor pans are solid. If not then they tend to fold in half if you try and jack them up with a floor jack. I know this from experience, learn the hard way you could say.

    Like 3
  15. Harry 1

    Any takers should have a body & chassis as well as a mechanic on standby to check this Z out.
    Need experts to tell you its story. Any vehicle can be brought back. It’s if you are willing to pay the cost. The asking price is probably right where it should be! Think about it these Z’s new were 13g to 14g back in 1979.

    Like 1
  16. PRA4SNW

    I guess certain car dealerships don’t care if they obviously lie about the items they are selling. They figure that there are many many suckers – I mean, buyers – who will believe anything.

    Like 0

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