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Build It Your Way: 1969 Camaro Project

This Camaro isn’t an SS or even an RS car, but it did leave the factory with a V8, a manual transmissions and DX1 stripes. It’s a 307 V8 car and sadly the engine has gone missing. While it has lots of issues, including rust problems, this could be the perfect car if you’ve been looking for a base to build the Camaro of your dreams! You can find this project here on eBay in Conrad, Iowa with a current bid of $3,005 and a reserve of $3,500.

While the 307 was no tire burner, it was a decent little engine. Paired with the 3-speed manual, it was a fun daily driver with a surprising amount of torque. Horsepower was rated at just 200 at 4,600 rpm. But at just 2,400 rpm, this little V8 churned out 300 foot pounds of torque. Sure, there were more powerful options available, but this engine provides a decent balance of performance and efficiency. Since this car’s engine is missing, you have the choice to either source a 307 or install something larger in it. A 350 would be a great option and would offer more power.

The interior is going to need a ton of work. It looks like the major components are present, but in rough shape. Rust is a major issue here, clearly this Camaro saw it’s fair share of salt covered roads. While the seller doesn’t provide any detailed photos of the floors you can see in the one above that the floors are about gone.

If this car weren’t a ’69 Camaro, it probably wouldn’t be worth saving. Being a base level car means it will still be a labor of love, but there are a lot of people out there that love these cars. They really are great looking machines and you can build this one to whatever specs you want. You could turn it into a COPO clone, a track monster, a simple daily driver powered by a 307 or anything in between. So which would it be for you?


  1. Steve R

    It’s a good candidate to be rebodied, then use the existing car for parts and title. The seller seems pragmatic, put it up for auction with a reasonable reserve. Don’t load the ad with a bunch of bs and move the car along to a new owner.

    Steve R

    • jw454

      I agree on the re-body. Unless a builder could do 100% of the metal work, their self, buying a Dyacorn body would be the cheapest way to go. This car could still offer quite a few parts for the rebuild. Since the power team is missing, you could go with anything from mild to wild on the engine/trans. Yes, you’ll probably end up upside down but, even on a 2018, you’re upside down the first time the front wheels hit the pavement leaving the dealer’s lot.
      It will cost but, you have to pay for your fun somehow. It may as well be in a cool old car.

    • john chump

      $100 junker

      • Steve R

        Used manual steering boxes sell for that.

        Steve R

  2. Larry Q

    Another rust bucket (yyaaawwnnn)

    • dgrass

      If it were an RS or an SS I might be inclined to agree with you, but on this one Larry hit it right on the nose. I know what salt and moisture does to cars in Iowa, and this one has seen it’s fair share of both.

      A person would be much better off going out west to find a nice DRY example to start with, because as others have mentioned, for 3500 you are essentially buying a piece of paper and a handful of parts which may or may not be salvageable.

  3. Tom Member

    First Camaro I have seen complete with the Hardwood Floor engine compartment option !!

    Oh….its the trailer….. (LOL !!) Couldn’t resist.

    • Mike B

      I like the same photo with the caption “never seen snow”.

  4. mike D

    looks to me like it was a vinyl topped car, nice orig color as you stated, a labor of love I think I would stick with a small 8 or a medium sized one . stick with the ” stock” look.. original stock hubs or baby moons , No need to make a pavement melter out of this one . Recaro’s kicking stereo radials ( slightly bigger than stock) will be a looker!

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    Another car for sale, sans engine. I’m growing weary of cars for sale like that. However, this car would be a worthy recipient of a 350 crate motor when the restoration nears completion.

  6. bassboy99

    Geesh, is every frame with a fender worth 30,000 dollars. Out of the skill and financial ability of a lot of enthusiasts here. With that being said, someone sees dollars with hundreds of hours of work and an unlimited budget. And that is the way it is. Hope I covered the bases. Hope it finds a home and we get to see it when done.

  7. Vince H

    If I were doing this I would not be sad the 307 is gone unless it was running and in good condition.

  8. glen

    To the purchaser,I’m all for preservation,restoration,etc., but this car isn’t of collector status, and needs plenty of work. So, this is an opportunity to do whatever you want, with my blessing! You’re welcome!

  9. WildBill63

    Camaro wagon! Just a thought.

  10. JW


  11. John

    Funny, you could build this whole car off the internet and just keep the VIN plate…have a generic 2018 ‘69. Can’t do that with a ‘65 Riviera!

    • Calipag

      John, I agree. Supply and demand:

      Camaro= Demand

      Rivera= Not so much

  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Floors – what floors?

  13. RicK

    agree w/ Vince H. losing the 307 was the best thing that ever happened to this Camaro. When I was a teenager in the early 70s playing with cars, most were Chevys and often I’d be looking for a small block replacement and had the chance (more than once) to get a used 307 and passed (unlike other Chevy small blocks nobody wanted the 307 because they were nowhere near the performer a 327 or 350 was) and anyhow I find it hard to believe that a 307 had 300 lb ft of torque even if its true

  14. Rustytech Member

    You better love base model Camaro’s because there’s no profit in this one even at $3500. It’s going to take another $50k to get it in shape, then you have a $35 to $40k car. If you decide to take the plunge, the only way to go IMHO is as a restomod. Going back to original you have maybe a $25k car. If done right a restomod might MIGHT get you to $50k.

    • Tom Member

      Very well said. Only potentially disagree with one comment, the $50K to get it in shape…..I bet more, a lot more. I will see your $50K and raise you $20K minimum.

      By the time you replace EVERYTHING which is what this car needs….every gasket grommet fastener, nut bolt, panel, paint , drive train, brakes exhaust wheels tires lug nuts glass…on and on…..and if you are going to throw $50K into this car you are NOT going to cut ANY corners so my bet is on a lot more UNLESS you are doing a ton of the hard work yourself including body, paint, welding, mechanical, etc. Then you do have to value your time.

      307 car……for any decent return…needs to become a clone, or RS/SS or Z28 something…..not to mention done right and real….great clones bring strong money. Not a COPO because a COPO is worth what it brings because of the authentic nature of WHAT is was born as, as much as it is what it is, a COPO. Turning a base model into something special adds a bunch of value.

  15. Troy s

    Well, if I wanted to build the Camaro of MY dreams it would oddly be the 427 Camaro in the Baldwin/Motion Wanted poster from ’69. Guy who really owned that car claimed high to mid 12’s right off the lot and nothing could touch him in the New York City street racing scene back then. Killer looking car too with the black paint and L-88 hood scoop.
    Not a reality at all for me, but something could be made out of this old cruiser, hopefully it won’t be left to rot away for good.


    It looks like the seller ran out of rusty Porsches to sell (see the ebay user name) and is now branching out into Chevys. At least he understands that rusty Camaros are not as valuable as rusty Porsches.

  17. Pete

    I am sort of surprised he has 3500 on it. That is close to realistic even though it is a simple base model camaro. All the comments were on point in regard to this one. If you put it back to stock, you won’t even get back half of what you put in it. Making it a clone is probably the way to go, However I don’t know that you will get your money back even if you do that. I am sure glad I live in the south, we don’t see that many in this poor a condition.

  18. Dt1

    A 3.500 dollar car for 500 niceeeee

  19. Paul

    Just think about it…… 69 this car cost around $3400 brand new.
    These are the least expensive car to restore that I know of because of the parts availability.

    Also very easy to work on. $3500 is not that unreasonable for one of these

    I paid more for a Mustang in about this condition and almost broke even (almost).. but I really enjoyed the car.

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