Blank Canvas: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro

Decisions, decisions. That appears to be the theme with this 1969 Chevrolet Camaro. It is a largely complete and unmolested classic that would make a prime candidate for a faithful restoration. However, some potential buyers may see it as a blank canvas to produce something far more potent. If you fall into either of those camps, you will find the Camaro located in Sandia Park, New Mexico, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. You could park this Camaro in your garage by handing the owner $15,200. I have to say a huge thank you to Barn Finder Pat L for referring this classic to us.

The Camaro rolled off the production line wearing LeMans Blue paint. This has seen better days, and the buyer will undoubtedly apply a fresh coat as part of the restoration process. The panels are surprisingly straight, so there are no significant dents or blemishes for the buyer to address. However, they don’t get off quite that easily. There is rust that will command their attention. It has impacted some of the lower body extremities, but they don’t appear to be particularly extensive. Prone areas like the rear quarter panels look pretty clean, as do the rockers and the bottom corners of the doors. Rust hasn’t managed to get its teeth into the area around the back window, but there is some visible in the lower front fenders. It looks like the cowl could be clean, which is a bonus in a First Generation Camaro. The exterior trim and glass are in pretty good order for their age, while the Camaro rolls on a set of Rally wheels.

The rust that I haven’t mentioned at this stage is in the floors. This is pretty common in Camaros of this age, and replacement steel is readily available and affordable. The state of the frame rails and trunk pan are unclear, and this is enough to justify an in-person inspection, in my opinion. The owner offers no actual photos of the upholstery or trim. We know that the front seats are missing, but the rest of the interior appears to be intact. The seller indicates that the interior trim is black. The state of most of it is unclear, but there are new covers for the front seats when the buyer sources frames and foam. Even if the remaining trim shows its age, new items are readily available and highly affordable. It could also be an opportunity to upgrade the interior with such luxuries as air conditioning.

We’ve reached the point in this article where I probably need to apologize to some of our readers. The “350” badges on the front fenders may have lulled you into a false sense of security. Lifting the hood reveals that there is not a 350ci V8 occupying this space. What the buyer will receive for their money is a 250ci six-cylinder engine that is backed by a two-speed Powerglide transmission. With 155hp on tap, this combination should be capable of sending the Camaro through the ¼ mile in a relatively leisurely 20.4 seconds. For potential buyers, there are some positive aspects to consider. The car runs and drives and rolls on good tires. That means it should be ready to be driven and enjoyed once it has some seats, which is a bonus for anybody considering a faithful restoration. This aspect of the car makes it a genuine blank canvas. If the power from that six isn’t enough to excite you, there is the option to slot something more potent under the hood. This could range from the venerable small-block V8 through to a fire-breathing big-block. It could also be the opportunity to tackle a restomod build, allowing the ease of operation of a modern car, combined with the character of a classic Camaro.

I’ve never been a massive fan of the term “blank canvas,” but that is what this 1969 Camaro seems to represent. There’s no doubt that it is a prime candidate for a faithful restoration, and we will have purists that will want to follow that path. However, there are many options available that could transform this car into either a fire-breathing monster or a competent and comfortable daily driver. It will all come down to personal preference for the next owner. How would you tackle the build if you were to buy this Camaro?

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Comments

  1. mike b

    I see a few holes in the pricing strategy.

    Like 5
    • John S Dressler

      Absolutely Mike. This Camaro is only marginally in better condition than the Cortez Silver one but a respectable car could be made of it whether you kept the original drive train or made a beast out of it. This assumes of course that the owner comes to understand that the car is overpriced. Would require less money and time to restore than the Cortez Silver 69.

  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    First thing I’d do is take a chunk of money off the the price just because of the six engine. Then I’d be glad I didn’t buy the rust bucket a few cars up. Now that the hard part is out of the way I’d go find a good V8 drive train to include a 4 speed and posi rear. The rest will fall into place pretty easy. This could be a very good project.

    Like 6
  3. joenywf64

    Rear tires/wheels larger than the fronts?
    I would say for sure that six & glide’s days are numbered after the sale. lol –
    especially if the exh manifold is warped/leaking – the new ATP ones from china are terrible with smaller ports, poor fit, & rough passages inside. Just get the original milled by an engine rebuilder. Impossible to find a NOS one.

    Like 1
  4. Steve Clinton

    I had a similar ’69 327 in the same color. In 1971 I traded it in for a ’68 Corvette Roadster. I still miss the Camaro!

  5. charlie Member

    Wife bought a ’69, 6, manual transmission, positraction, new. For the same price she could have gotten a new Nova hatchback. We had it for 14 years until the tin worm destroyed it. Floor pans were the least of the problems, the subframes, front and rear, rusted through. Rear axel was held on by one spring end and the driveshaft. Drove it at 25 mph to its final rest, sold for $500 to a kid with a Colorado rust free ’69, whose dog had destroyed the interior of his, and he wanted the positraction rear as well. It was no drag race queen but cruised well on the intertstates, and, with big snow tires, was pretty good in the snow. And putting our three small kids in the back seat kept them confined to the point they could not swing an arm back far enough to hit each other very hard. So, IF the subframes are solid, this could be a great driver.

    Like 2
  6. Robert

    Always a catch when the price looks that attractive! I would have never imagined however that the bait and hook would be set up by the Barn Finds author.

  7. Tyler

    Personally, I would leave the 6 & powerglide, just make sure it was a reliable going to town car. Everybody swapped V8’s into these in the 70’s & 80’s, probably not many original 6 cylinder first gen F bodies left out there.

    Like 3
  8. Retiredstig Member

    Ahhhhhhh😱Another fake ‘69 Z/28 with a cowl induction hood and RS headlight doors is coming! Run!

    Like 3

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