Cheap Project? 1971 Chevrolet Camaro

The long-awaited redesign of the first-generation Chevy Camaro’s came early in the 1970 calendar year. They were stalled due to some production delays and 1969 model assemblies were extended by a few months. As a result, the 1971’s were largely carryovers and the pony cars would prove so popular that they wouldn’t be redone again until 1982. We’re told this 1971 Camaro will run and drive on a limited basis but is not an original Z28 or a split bumper car, despite appearances. New York Mills, New York is its current domicile, and it can be found here on eBay for the Buy It Now price of $7,500. The seller has also activated the Make Offer function as well.

Second-generation Camaro’s would see nearly 2 million units exit Chevy’s plants. About 115,000 would be built in 1971 alone; 91,000 would-be base Camaro’s, 5,000 Z28’s, 18,000 RS’s and another 18,000 SS’s, with some combinations. However, the seller’s car would likely be one from the first, broader category as it has the appearance of an older attempt at a tribute car. There is the presence of some corrosion with the areas around the front fenders and back glass being the most prominent. The trunk and chassis also look rather crusty, but all the glass seems okay. Nook and Tranny is a good resource for Camaro production information.

The interior may only require minor attention, such as recovering the driver’s seat, replacing the carpeting, bringing life back to the finish on the console, and replacing weather stripping. This Camaro is equipped with factory air conditioning, which does not appear to be hooked up, and front discs are paired with rear drum brakes. The motor is a 350 cubic inch V-8 with an automatic transmission, but there is no mention if they are original to the car or even year-correct. The seller has started the car and driven it around the yard, but that’s as far as its roadworthiness goes without further investigation. The exhaust system seems to only be half complete. Three videos are provided by the seller to help prospective buyers assess their potential acquisition. Video 1. Video 2. Video 3.

If you’re expecting to receive a title with the deal, funds and a bill of sale are all that will change hands. We’re told that New York State does not require a title for cars of this vintage and older. According to Hagerty, an early second-generation Camaro is worth $10,000 in fair condition and doubling that to get to excellent or better. That doesn’t leave a great deal of room to do a restoration.

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    I’d keep looking. With clear signs of previous rust repair, see picture 7 in the eBay ad, as well as the amount of existing rust it’s too expensive. If someone is patient and willing to out in the effort they should be able to find a better starting point for not much more money.

    Your numbers were wrong, there were 8,377 SS’s built in 1971, not 18,000.

    Steve R

    Like 6
  2. Frank Sumatra

    Show of hands please- Has anybody here ever worked on a “Cheap” project?

    Like 24
  3. Autoworker

    I owned a rubber nosed ‘71 Rally Sport. War Bonnet yellow with fawn interior. 350 auto. Got married and traded it for a ‘78 Mercury Cougar. What was I thinking?

    Like 13
    • Doc Member

      About which? The car or marriage!!!!

      Like 13
      • Steve

        Word, bruh, word.

        Like 3
  4. CCFisher

    The author jokes about autocrossing this, but, at the time, this was probably the most sophisticated chassis that GM built. With 4-wheel independent suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes, and the optional “Firm Ride and Handling” package, these were surprisingly agile.

    Like 3
    • CCFisher

      Oops. wrong article. Whatever happened to the “delete” button?

      Like 6
      • Frank Sumatra

        It’s now an optional $50 upgrade.

        Like 3
      • Gman

        Shut up Frank sinatra

  5. Charles Hatcher

    I have a 70 SS/RS that is numbers matching aside from the paint. That said, this thing is a $2,500 car at best. Even then you are liable to spend more on it than it will ever be worth. My bet is the floors are gone in it as well as the fenders and wells in addition to the rust around the window. I also bet it is not the original motor or the owner would have been screaming it at the top of his lungs. If you buy this thing, good luck, you’re going to need it.

    Like 4
  6. Big Diva

    I see that it has A/C but with all of that rust…..does it really need it? I mean the air flow through the car should be plenty to cool you off.

    Like 5
  7. mainlymuscle

    Tough crowd !
    If this was a Mustang FB ,or 68 Charger ( I have both ), everyone would be saying it was a steal.You can’t buy repro bodies for second gen Camaros,like you can Mustangs ,Chevelles and others.Check out the prices on these when restomodded,right in there with the aforementioned rivals.The RS split bumper is the one to have, whether original or not,It’s on the other side of the continent from me,or I would consider it a pretty good start ,but admittedly it’s not by any stretch a light restoration.

    Like 3
  8. John

    Did the owner actually “saw-off” the original bumpere to try to emulate a split bumper car? Gee.

    Like 4
  9. Maestro1 Member

    Yes, the split bumper is the car to have, R/S or not, this one is overpriced.

    Like 1
  10. ACZ

    How to make an RS with a saws-all. This thing is junk. It’s not even a Z28. That’s not a solid lifter engine running in the videos (even has a 2 bbl). TH350 is a trans that won’t be found on a Z. Another New York rust bucket.

    Like 2
    • Gman

      Take hike with your ny comments

  11. Desert Rat

    I always thought the 2 gen. Camaros might just be the best looking Camaro style every. The problem was they were made for too many years so they don’t seem as special as the 1st gen. and I say this as a 69 Camaro owner. I wish I had picked up a 2nd gen years ago when they were dirt cheap, I could have both styles how sweet would that be for a Camaro lover, oh well. As for this example the rust around back window, trunk hinges and cowl would stop me in my tracks. Its one thing to replace floor pans I’ve done that and it’s no big deal to me but you get into to window frame area and that becomes a nightmare , if its not done right the glass wont fit or leak. so pass on this one. True, if it was a NOPAR or Messtang people would be all over this at this price.

  12. Troy s

    Earlier second gen Camaros are cool, up to about ’73 or so,, but yes that body style remained into the wimpy wimp performance years and kinda ruined it for me. I never had any respect for those tape stripe specials all smogged down here in California. Every state really.
    I’d hate to see this just rot away but it could very well happen. If it were an LT 1 powered Z28 with four on the floor the negative comments wouldn’t be quite as harsh. It’s not one, though.

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