Autorama Award Winner: 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

It isn’t terribly common for an award-winning car to be offered for sale in a No Reserve auction, but that is precisely the story with this very original and clean 1982 Camaro Z28. The Camaro secured the 1st place trophy in its class at the 2019 Detroit Autorama, and the next owner will not only secure for themselves an award-winning vehicle, but the trophy that the car won is also included in the sale. Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, you will find the Camaro listed for sale here on eBay. The listing for the car has been set to open at $6,900, but there have been no bids to this point in this No Reserve auction.

By the 1980s, General Motors was well aware that the heyday of the muscle car era was well and truly something of the past. In order to extract reasonable performance from cars such as the Z28, a new approach was required. By reducing weight and making major gains in aerodynamic efficiency, some respectability was returned to cars wearing that badge. This Silver Z28 is an attractive looking vehicle, and I guess that there’s really no arguing about its overall condition. At the 2019 Detroit Autorama, the car secured a 1st place trophy in the Restored ’79-’84 category. Not only did it secure this, but the trophy will be included as part of the sale. The owner purchased his pride and joy in 1986 and has taken very good care of it ever since. The car was immediately rust-proofed, and this has paid dividends down the track, as the only rust present today is two tiny bubbles. I really like the Extang headlight covers that are fitted to the car. These are showing some light swirls today, but I believe that those might be able to be polished out. The Cragar rear window louver is another great 1980s touch, and this also looks to be in great condition.

In keeping with the condition of the rest of the car, the Black interior trim looks to be in really nice order. There is some slight creasing on the driver’s seat, but the rest of it looks to be close to perfect. Careful ownership will always show on a car, and this is especially true of cars from the 1980s with cloth upholstery. We’ve probably all seen how this can deteriorate over the decades, but this Camaro has avoided that fate. It is completely original inside and is also nicely equipped. As well as the glass T-Top, you will get power windows, power locks, cruise control, a tilt wheel, factory radio/cassette player, power mirrors, and air conditioning. The A/C is currently disconnected, but this is more to do with maintaining originality than anything else. The owner didn’t want to change the system to cope with newer refrigerants. The next owner will need to make that choice for themselves.

Powering the Z28 is the 305ci Cross Fire Injection V8, backed by a 3-speed automatic transmission. This engine, complete with functional cowl induction, delivers 165hp. The performance was not in muscle car territory and would be classed as respectable. The presentation under the hood might look dirty, but this has been a necessary evil. When the owner had the car rust-proofed back in 1986, the process left the engine bay looking as it does today. For every positive, there is almost always going to be a negative, and this is the price that has been paid for a lack of rust. The car is said to be strong mechanically, with only a single identified fault. Once warm, the transmission is said to be slow to down-shift. This is believed to be a vacuum issue rather than a problem with the transmission itself. The owner is very candid about this, and to be on the safe side, he has purchased a brand new transmission from GM. This has never been fitted and remains in the plastic crate. That is going to be included in the sale.

While it might not be a true muscle car, this 1982 Z28 is still a nice looking vehicle. Its recent trophy win against some of the best competition in the land is a testament to its overall condition. It wants for very little and is a fitting tribute to what appears to be 33-years of careful ownership. It wouldn’t be a bad car to have parked in your driveway.


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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Hokey Smokes, Bullwinkle!

    Such a clean car, except for the engine compartment… Why not detail that?

    Like 3
    • Adam Clarke Staff

      Hi DayDreamBeliever. As I understand it, the dirty appearance of the engine compartment is the residue from the rust-proofing that was carried out back in 1986. I don’t like the look of it very much, but I guess that if it’s going to stop the car dissolving before my eyes, then I’d learn to live with it. Having said that, modern rust treatments don’t tend to leave that sort of coating, so maybe it would be worth having the engine compartment cleaned and treated with a newer system.

      Like 4
  2. h5mind

    A good steam cleaning would take care of the engine compartment, and there are plenty of hop-up mods to bring that engine up to modern minivan levels.

    Like 8
    • Rx-7 TurboII

      No it wouldnt..that dirty residue is rust proofing, not grime. That’s not cleaning up without chemical removal. Nice car though!

      Like 2
    • Sam61

      Must have been an apprentice rustproofing technician that day.

      We had a new 76 Matador coupe…dad had it Ziebarted (left over road tar with asbestos binder). The application was very clean including the yellow Ziebart plugs.

      Ah the good old days…car had bias tires and old school floor switch for high beams.

      Like 3
    • Superdessucke

      Yup, with some well-chosen mods, you could outrun the meter maids in their Chevy Sparks!

      Like 4
      • Sam61

        Damn straight…

        The big protruding 5mph bumpers were great to push/clutch pop/start my 52 Chrysler Imperial 331 hemi.

        Like 1
  3. irocrobb

    I have owned a couple of 1982 Z28s in my life. I had one with a 305 4 speed manual that was a fun car to drive. The stripes on this one do not do it for me.
    Also, I would not want to own a GM crossfire

    Like 10
  4. 8banger Dave Member

    Ah, the good ‘ol GM Cease-Fire engine! Those sure didn’t last long.

    Like 4
  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Lets see, I have a small transmission issue, but not enough to worry about he says. Then buys a crate trany? Not the way I would have done it. I agree on the stripes irocrobb.

    Like 4

    I think the opening price it’s the sale price IMHO Engine bay looks like a 200K miles Camaro and the aftermarket stripes and headlights covers and back glass with blinds don’t add any value to the car.

    Like 6
  7. clay

    I just cant imagine how it won a “first place” at any show…

    Like 10
    • Al

      lol was thinking the same. No competition maybe, the only entry?!

  8. gbvette62

    I had two friends that both bought new 82 Crossfire 4 speed Z28’s, one was black and the other maroon. They were pretty nice cars that handled well, and were pretty quick, for the era. This one doesn’t do anything for me though. I don’t like the louvers and the stripes are just plain ugly. Some of what’s under the hood may be a result of the rust proofing, but a lot of it is DIRT too.

    Like 4
    • Superdessucke

      They must have had a lot of pull considering the Crossmisfire was never available with the 4-speed manual. Automatic only. The 4-speed manual was available on the 1982 Z28, but only with the LG4 4-bbl.

      FWIW, this was the last year for the 4-speed V-8 Camaro. In 1983, Chevy went to the 5-speed in all Camaros except for the Iron Duke 4-banger (try finding one of those!).

      Like 3
  9. Dallas

    I’m surprised that a car with ANY rust (even “two tiny bubbles”) would win a “restored” class… although we don’t know how many entries there were in the “1979-84” class… I’m guessing it wasn’t an overly crowded field.

    The engine bay of this car is a mess and I hate the stripes as well :-)

    Like 9
  10. Dusty Stalz

    Must have been the only car in it’s class lol.

    Like 6
    • CapNemo CapNemo


      Like 3
  11. Superdessucke

    It’s a major award! I think I’ll take a leg lamp though.

    Like 6
  12. glenn

    Must have been the only car in the class…sorry, at best driver quality.

    Like 3
  13. Bakyrdhero

    A little harsh fellas…no? Very clean car. If the engine compartment bothered me that badly I’d change the plastic overflow tank and washer fluid reservoir. Otherwise it’s a very clean gen 3 f-body with an unpopular engine, but I’d only have it out on 500-1000 miles a year anyway. The interior is nearly perfect, save for a few nicks on the trim.

    Like 2
  14. CanuckCarGuy

    Aside from the stripes and headlight covers, it’s a sharp looking car…nice for cruising with the Whitesnake cranked on the stereo. The rustproofing looks like what we call oilspray, and it’s messy…it comes off with elbow grease and patience, but it does a great job of keeping the rust at bay.

    Like 2
  15. Steve Wilbur

    I agree with the comments about how did this car win a best in show. Also, how can this car be called a BARN FIND???? In what barn was it found??

    Like 1
  16. Troy s

    Girl in high school, a junior at the time, got a black one like this for her “sweet sixteen”. Being she was really pretty and fairly cool, we didn’t make fun of her new dog, not to her face anyways.
    The last picture up there does it for me…just make out the first gen parked next to it. Not even a comparison looks, power, desirability, not even close.

    Like 1
  17. JOHN Member

    Talk about stuck in the 80’s… the stripes, louvers, headlight covers…

    Like 2
  18. Robbie

    Back window crap kinda gives it the lines of the Monte Carlo SS Aero coupe . Side view looks like it has a hump in the back window. The lines just don’t flow right. Nice clean car tho.

  19. jwzg

    Cross-Fire Injection…sounds like something that ought to be fixed under warranty. Oh, wait…

  20. jimmy the orphan

    The raw nerve and guts it must take to enter that engine bay in a car show ! ! WOW. Hey just kiddin. Its a nice car for that year. The guy took pride in it and I bet he had lots of fun and enjoyment going to shows with his family and friends. But someone Please help this guy find his next car PLEASE. JIMMY

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