All Original 1981 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Introduced in 1970, the 2nd Generation Chevrolet Camaro soldiered on bravely until 1981, when it was replaced by a new and radial Camaro. This particular Z28 is said to be an original survivor, and it is now looking for a new home. It is located in Brooklyn, Wisconsin, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. The listing has been set to open at $8,500, but there have been no bids at this stage. There is also a BIN option available for the Camaro, and this has been set at $9,000.

The Camaro presents quite nicely from the outside, especially for an original survivor. The Red paint has a nice shine to it, while the graphics appear to be complete and in good condition. The owner supplies a single photo of the Camaro’s underside, and while it isn’t of the greatest quality, it does seem to indicate that the floors are free of rust issues. Similarly, the trunk floor also looks to be very clean and solid. There are a few minor trim issues with the car, but these are only things like cracked badges. However, the wheels are looking quite tired and discolored and would benefit from some restoration work. One nice touch is the fact that the Camaro wears a T-Top, which would make life quite pleasant in Summer.

The interior of the Z28 is confusing because it really is such a mixed bag. The seats and dash look to be in really nice condition, but they contrast sharply with the door trims which look to be quite dirty and warped. The rest of the interior trim looks pretty decent for an unrestored car of this age, while a radio/cassette is the only non-original item that has been fitted to the car. Equipment levels are quite high, with this particular Z28 being aimed more at comfort than performance. Air conditioning is part of the package, although the compressor has been removed, and is sitting in the trunk at present. In addition, the Camaro is equipped with power windows, power locks, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and the previously mentioned T-Top.

By 1981, the Z28 was no longer the fire-breathing beast that it had originally set out to be. Engine choices were between the 305 and 350ci V8s. In this case, the car comes equipped with the 350, meaning that it is also fitted with the mandatory 3-speed automatic transmission. If you crossed the border into Canada you could still choose to slot a 4-speed behind the 350, but in the US, that transmission was exclusively available with the 305. This led to an odd situation where the 305-equipped cars were easily capable of outperforming their larger-engined brothers. In addition to the 350/auto combination, this vehicle is also fitted with power steering and power brakes. Presentation under the hood is actually one of the highlights of this numbers-matching car, with no real issues to report. The good news is that the owner says that the car runs and drives really nicely.

Giving this ’91 Camaro Z28 a good look over, it doesn’t appear as though it would take a lot of work to return it to its best. The big-ticket items will be reconditioning the wheels and replacing the door trims. Everything else is merely detail work that will require a bit of time and patience to address. Good examples are currently fetching prices of $14,000 or more, so this one could represent a pretty good buy at the BIN price.


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  1. poseur Member

    looks like the seat covers have been refreshed but the door panels not.

    don’t care for the monochromatic versions of these but some of the contrasting combos can look really sharp.

    still likely a pretty decent deal for under $10k if it all checks out as legit

    Like 3
  2. R Soul

    I bought my wife a silver on silver 81 z28 back in 1983, it didn’t have the t tops. She still wishes we never sold that car.

    Like 3
  3. Troy s

    Did not know you could still get an air cleaner like that in ’81, or maybe just not here in sunny smoggy California. Not that it makes a big difference except in sound.
    Nice ride, needs more zip.

    • Tony Primo

      Actually the air cleaner was good for a few horsepower. The vents in the hood are hooked up to an electric solenoid and open when you floor the gas pedal. Back in 1986 I drove a 1981 Z28 year round in Toronto as it was my only car. The automatic could squak the tires going into second gear. When I closed off the air cleaner in winter it wouldn’t. Seat of the pants never lie!

      Like 4
  4. Jack M.

    I’ve have seen a lot of Z28’s in my life, but have never seen this particular colour combination with the black stripes. This car also has the fairly rare intermittent wiper option. Seller is claiming 55,000 documented miles. Could turn out to be a good buy for someone.

    Like 1
  5. George Mattar

    In contrast to today’s overpriced horrible Camaro, this is a great car. Think about it. You spend $50,000 on a butt ugly new Camaro that goes 155 mph. You commute on I 95 to Philadelphia daily. The average speed is about 2 mph at 6 am. Just about the dumbest car you could own. I would take this 175 up car any day. I enjoy my 195 hp 73 Corvette Just fine.

    Like 7
    • JoeNYWF64

      Today & back then the ’70’s f-bodies attract(ed) a lot of attention on the road – with their insanely long hoods & doors.
      Voltmeter or alternator may be kaput here. lol
      Not sure why so many owners today are bashful to change the fuel filter inside the rochester carbs(& instead fit an exterior non see through filter – & too much rubber fuel line!).
      If the car has been sitting say a couple of weeks, you will not even spill a drop of gas changing the filter inside the carb, no sealer is needed on the threads, & it can be changed in < 5
      minutes for < $2.

  6. GMoparman

    This car is not far from me. I would be very tempted were it not for the problem with the pedals. I would need one more. Seems like a fair price.

  7. Superdessucke

    The 1980-81 Z28 stripes were tri-color. I’ve never seen them in solid black like this. So I’m not sure they’re original. It’s also missing the Z28 emblem on the gas cap door.

    The interior looks kind of a mess though that might be more illustrative of the poor quality these were built with then anything. Definitely looks like it was exposed to some moisture. Perhaps because of the T-tops?

    Like 1
  8. Buddy Lewis

    a/c compressor is missing, looks like 265 exhaust manifolds, crappy job of painting the eng, makes me wonder, otherwise, nice ride

    Like 2
  9. David G

    Great looking car. The air induction was only on the ’80 and ’81 Z28s. Door panels seem to have been very wet at one or more times. Perhaps the car was driven topless to work or shopping, and got caught in an unexpected downpour or two over the decades. Has every available interior option, power windows and locks, tilt, cruise, pulse wipers, heated rear window, and likely a stereo car also. I would prefer the ’80 to the ’81, as this is the first year for computer controls. buyer will be getting an awesome car.

  10. Walker

    I owned a 1980 White Z28 with the Tricolor Blue Package years ago and I still miss that car. It was completely original when I bought it about 1994. I have always liked this color on this one up above but those stripes are not original or original colors and I’d have to take it all off and replace with the Tri-Color Oranges and Reds to go with that paint color. That color looks much better out in the bright sunlight. I’m thinking I see a sliver or Orange on that hood sticker so I’m thinking it came with the Tricolor Orange Z28 package when it was New.

  11. Rosco

    Not a bad price if you can live with the average quality respray and interior condition.

  12. Mike

    I have a 1981 z/28 with a factory 4 spd,does anyone know approximately how many came thru with the 4spd? I don’t see many of them out there?

    Like 1
    • Bill

      I have an 80Z28 350 factory four speed!

  13. mike

    any idea how many 4spds?

  14. Karl

    I had a 78 Rally Sport and an 81 Camaro with a 3.8 liter v6 both great cars but the T tops on this car are a bad thing if anybody wants to put some HP under the hood and no welded in sub-frame connectors are not enough if your actually hooking up the rear tires. I once had a vision with my 78 Rally Sport of a fast street car and good drag car at the track. I built a well done 377 sbc full roller good heads setup to go through the lights at 7100 RPM. All cool had a 3000 stall converter and 456 rear gear. In the end I had a car that ran in the lower 11s once till the NHRA inspection, I failed on multiple levels. Terrible gear to drive the car out of town, the compression ratio demanded 107 octane fuel and it drank a lot of it!! It was a very expensive failure that I came up with here, I learned a lot!

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