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Crossram-Equipped: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

I recently had the privilege to write about a stunningly refurbished 1967 Mustang Fastback, so I thought it only fitting to give Bow-Tie enthusiasts a right of reply with this beautiful 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28. It has just emerged from a faithful rotisserie restoration, and its specifications mark it as a thinly disguised racer for the road. The seller’s price is not on nodding terms with the word “cheap,” but it is appropriate for a desirable vehicle of this caliber. You will find the Z28 listed here on eBay in Portland, Oregon. The BIN of $127,500 is eye-watering, but there is the option to make an offer.

We’ve seen many First Generation Camaros over the past decade at Barn Finds, but those initially ordered in Dusk Blue seem to be under-represented. I feel that is unfortunate because although there were more vibrant shades on the color palette for that year, it is a classy color that would attract attention. The history of this Z28 is unclear, but it recently emerged following a faithful rotisserie restoration. No aspect of the car escaped its builder’s attention, meaning the car presents in as-new condition. Finding anything to criticize is virtually impossible, with the paint looking flawless and the panels as straight as an arrow. Rust isn’t a consideration, with no evidence of exterior bubbles and the underside clean enough to eat off. The contrasting White stripes are crisp, and the seller indicates that every piece of trim and chrome was replaced during the build. The attention to detail extended to the Soft Ray glass because although every window carries the correct date markings, it is all sparkling and new. The Rally wheels are as immaculate as the rest of the exterior, with the car sporting its factory-correct spoilers. However, the hood suggests there is more to this classic than first meets the eye.

Chevrolet created the Camaro Z28 as its weapon for the under 5.0-liter class in the highly-competitive Trans Am series. There was enormous prestige associated with racing success, and Chevrolet used the Z28 to go toe-to-toe with Ford’s Mustang. This car’s engine bay houses the beautiful 302ci V8 that churned out an “official” 290hp and 290 ft/lbs of torque from the factory. Many believe the power figure was grossly underestimated and, like Ford, Chevrolet was playing its cards close to its chest on the subject. There was no automatic transmission option, with the four-speed M20 manual transmission feeding the power to a 12-bolt 4.88 rear end. The drag strip wasn’t the Z28’s natural environment, but it could still cover the ¼-mile in 15.6 seconds. With the suspension upgrades and power front disc brakes that were integral ingredients in the Z28 package, the high-revving Camaro was more at home on a race track where it could be given its head. This car’s original power and torque figures could be largely irrelevant in this case because that beautiful V8 features a Crossram intake and a pair of correct four-barrel carburetors. The Crossram wasn’t available from the factory, but buyers could order it as a dealer-fitted option. This Camaro is a numbers-matching classic that is in excellent mechanical health. The drivetrain was rebuilt during the restoration, meaning it runs and drives perfectly. Potential buyers should consider it a turnkey proposition begging for a stretch of open road.

Opening the Camaro’s doors reveals an interior that is in stunning order. Its presentation matches the rest of the vehicle, meaning it looks like it recently rolled off the showroom floor. The Blue vinyl upholstered surfaces are immaculate, as are the dash, pad, and carpet. However, a couple of details indicate that the original owner placed performance as a higher priority than comfort. They ordered the Z28 as a radio and heater-delete vehicle, eliminating precious pounds that could undermine outright performance. It means the Z28 is not ideally suited to cold climates unless the new owner is willing to throw on an extra pair of long johns and some gloves. The lack of in-car entertainment may dissuade some, but most enthusiasts would never tire of the tune emanating from under the hood.

We are fortunate enough to feature some fantastic vehicles at Barn Finds, and this 1969 Camaro Z28 fits within the upper echelon of American classics. Its condition is so astonishing that slipping behind the wheel would be like rewinding the clock to 1969. The original owner’s decision to forego any creature comforts or optional extras makes it a thinly disguised racer for the road. It would suit a meticulous enthusiast seeking a classic they could display on the show circuit but point at a stretch of open road to allow it to perform as its makers intended when the mood takes them. Does that sound like a combination that you would find irresistible?

Comments

  1. Z28 Fuel \ Tachometer Setup Curiosity

    This is a beautiful Z28.
    I know it could be ordered in many different ways from factory as a Z28.
    I used to have the Rally Z28 with hidden headlights and neoprene (rubber like) bumper.
    This one confuses me a lil as the instrument panel is not clearly showing the Tach area on right.
    The sans console and guages on this Z28 is missing where the gas guages on many display.
    I guess without seeing if a tach exists then where is fuel guage? If a regular non tach then why no tach?

    Anyone know on this setup? I like to stay informed on these as i someday plan to get another 69 Z28.

    This is why i like Barn Finds to learn and see the various vehicles details. 😉

    Like 9
    • Stan

      I’m confused on 4.88 gears for the racetrack… meaning dragstrip ?
      Did they race on a roadcourse with such a short gear ?

      Like 1
  2. MGM

    An absolute beauty. Without hesitation if I had that kind of expendable cash, I’d be all over it. Can remember looking at these on dealership lot with a sticker of $2995.00 .

    Like 14
  3. Mark

    Tach was option on all Camaros. It could be ordered alone or with full instrumentation. If just the tach was ordered, it was placed where the fuel gauge was on all Camaros. The fuel gauge was put between the speedo and tach in the small place where it said Camaro. If ordered with full instrumentation the tach was still put where the fuel gauge was and the other gauges was placed in the rpo required console with a clock in-between the speedo and the tach. Tachs had different red lines according to which engine was ordered. If I am correct, 7000 rpm were first installed and then later in the model year they were switched to 8000 rpm units. I don’t believe that a tach could be ordered with a 6 cylinder engine, but I could be wrong about that.

    Like 6
    • JoeNYWF64

      I never seen a strait 6 cyl 1st gen camaro with factory tach, or even temp, alt, or oil press gages – or even cruise control, tho the latter(not others tho) may have been avail.

      Like 0
  4. Terrry

    Reminds me, in the mid 70s I had a co-worker who had an immaculate two-toned blue ’61 Impala “bubble-top” totally stock except he’d put in a 302 Z-motor with a 4-speed. It sounded and moved every bit as good as it looked, and I’d rather have that then this car even as nice as it is.

    Like 1
    • Grape Ape

      Rather have the Camaro, but certainly would take the Impala.

      Like 1
      • Roland Schoenke

        My parents had a ’69 Z-28 RS yellow with black stripes from ’70 – ’76 it had the 302 w/dual 4bbls on the crossram . But there’s had a center console with 4 gauges and a forward facing 8-track player between the seats.

        Like 1
  5. Kevin Paul

    Hello,

    Not all Z-28’s came from the factory with a tach. Mine is similar to this one in as much as it has no console and no tach. It was also ordered “stripe delete”. Mine is confirmed with the build sheet found on the top side of the fuel tank.
    This is one very nice restoration.

    Like 4
  6. Mark Cole

    Also crossram was not factory installed. I have heard stories that it was shipped in the trunk but not for sure about that. It could be bought at the parts counter. It also required the ZL-2 cowl induction hood. Most were made of fiberglass but I have heard that some steel hoods were made.

    Like 2
    • Shifty

      You are correct in your analysis, however it is my understanding that with proper dealer arrangements and associated fees the Cross Ram could be installed prior to delivery and did not void warranty.

      Like 0
  7. wuzjeepnowsaab

    302 Z’s have slid back a bit in auction values from a couple years ago but with the crossram and deletes this is a rare grail car built to hustle its way around a track.

    Like 5
    • Bud Lee

      I wouldn’t give more than $126,999 for it.

      Like 2
  8. C Force

    I though the z28 came with the rosewood steering wheel,this one looks standard or was the rosewood optional on z28 and ss?

    Like 0
  9. Kevin Paul

    The rosewood wheel was an option for any Camaro (and other models) ordered from a dealer.

    Like 0
  10. ACZ

    That crossram package was about $500 over the parts counter back in 1969. That was everything but the air cleaner and the hood. I bought one with the intent of using it on a Corvette I had at the time, but sold the car without ever installing it. Ended selling the crossram setup for $200 back in 1973 or so. Kick myself in the a$$ everytime I think about that.

    Like 3
  11. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    I remember back in the 70’s at a local car show. Was a 69 SS/RS 302 DZ with a 4 speed and 4:10 gears. I will not forget this Camaro because it had 4 disc brakes cross ram intake with headers and complete dashboard with the gauges. Black interior,blue paint white stripes. And if someone wanted to buy it $70,000.00 . I have pictures floating around somewhere in my home. Me and my friends were Geeking out over it. Being motorheads we love this setup. This one here is a good price for it. And must be bad a** to drive it. I would say launching it off the line I bet you will see sky!! For street use I would put 3:73 or 4:10 . This will keep the revs up and hit the sweet spot with a 302. I also heard back then the 302 put out near 500 horsepower with this setup with headers. The engine was a monster for a small block. As I got older I really appreciate the 302. Because I was a big block Mopar guy. The closest small block we got was a 340-6 pack. Good luck to the seller. 🇺🇸🐻🇺🇸

    Like 4
    • PAUL

      If you ordered a Z28 you could get the RS package but not the SS pack as the Z28 superseded it. The only time you could get all 3 RPO options was in 1973 when GM dropped the SS and replaced it with the LT package. I ordered one new in 73 in the dark blue with Z28/RS/LT and a 4 speed. My 67 Z28 was just a plain jane butternut yellow with black interior black stripe and console with gage pack. Wish I had never sold it but it’s in a famous collection now :o)

      Like 2
      • Big Bear 🇺🇸

        Paul.. the one I saw was fake? It said Z28 and had hideaway headlights. With all the goodies I mentioned. 🐻

        Like 0
  12. ACZ

    In the 70s a lot of 302s got changed out for an LT1 short block or complete engine. The 302s were high winding engines and were not great on torque. A lot of them were subjected to catastrophic failure. The LT1 had a lot more torque and was well favored. Heads, intake and other stuff were the same but the camshaft and displacement were a better fit for the street. The other part was the 7140 road race camshaft for the 302. That was meant for the increased breathing ability of the cross Ram. A mean factory solid lifter cam.

    Like 5
    • Terrry

      Now if they want torque, they’d put in a 383 stroker motor, which is what I’d want for a driver I wasn’t going to race.

      Like 0
      • ACZ

        There were no such things back then.

        Like 2
    • Grape Ape

      Horsepower sells cars, torque wins races. Low end torque certainly makes for a nice experience, whether foot in it or not.

      Like 0
  13. Steve

    In the early 80’s I had a chance to buy a bare cross ram for my Z at a Super Chevy swap meet for $400. Didn’t have quite enough on me at the time. Smh.

    Like 2
  14. angliagt angliagt Member

    Makes buying a 911 sound affordable.

    Like 0
  15. JoeNYWF64

    Mark, not only was a tach unavailable for either 6 cyl, one could not get the console aux gages either.
    & i don’t think i ever seen a chevy strait 6 in any ’60s car with cruise control either, tho that was probably an option even with the 6s.

    Oddly, these 1st gens with rally sport option & grandma’s 6 cyl got a blacked
    out grill & 3:07 rear & could be ordered with sport wheels & rarely seen nose stripe.
    But a std stripper camaro with 302 or even 427 & grey grill & hubcaps & no stripes would look like grandmas car.

    I’m inclined to believe the vendor who reproduces the blue seat belt color did not get it quite right here …
    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/kgAAAOSwMsxkjQzl/s-l1600.jpg

    Like 0
  16. Joe

    From my extensive, 5 + year search to purchase a 1969 Z28 : Unless any 1969 Z28 is certified by Jerry MacNeish, as an engine, transmission, and rear end numbers matching 1969 Z28 – I would be extremely careful ; and probably NOT purchase ; as 54 years ago, Chevrolet only made 20,302 1969 Z28 Camaros.

    Like 0
  17. Mark

    4.88 gears are for the drag strip. Serious road course racers changed the rear gears depending upon the track they were racing on.

    Like 1
  18. HarryQ

    @Big Bear us – Not 500Bhp. Here is some data: The racing Trans-Am cars of that era with ported heads, aftermarket cams (then roller cams were not allowed), in 1971 when the rules were liberalized with respect to intake manifolds, but which ran single 4-barrel carbs, the cars were faster than 1969 Trans-Am racers were with this intake. The highest horsepower cars among the Fords, Chevys, Javelins, and the Pontiacs on a good day, might get to 475-485 BHP at the crank.

    @Mark You are correct about this being a 1/4 mile gear. Road race gears for the race cars typically ran from 3.90 at fast tracks, to 4:30. Maybe at Daytona they would use a lower ratio gear.

    Like 0
  19. Thomas Jordan

    In 1969 a friend bought a brand new Z28-dark blue,black interior,white stripes. Had headers and 4:10 gears. This car kicked butt-it was quick-didn’t need a bigger motor! Later put 4:88 gears in-actually ruined the car as a daily driver. Another friend had a 67 Chevelle conv-327-350 horse with headers and 4:56s. Had better street manners than you’d think-won a lot of street races! Few people were aware of that motor. Ahh-the good old days.

    Like 1
    • ACZ

      327/350 in a 67 Chevelle was a sweet piece.

      Like 1
  20. Don Page Jr.
    • ACZ

      Great info. Thanks for the link.

      Like 2
  21. JoeNYWF64

    I’m not sure if the repro seat belts here are the right shade of blue – should they not be a “duller” shade of blue to match most of the rest of the interior?
    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/kgAAAOSwMsxkjQzl/s-l1600.jpg
    Not sure of the reason for the dimples in the front inner fender liners under the hood on ’69s.

    Like 0
  22. Mark

    I think the dimples on the inner fenders were to show the assembly line person where to mount brackets ect for the different options put on the car.

    Like 2
    • ACZ

      As well as mounting points for Dealer installed accessories. I did lots of that a long time ago..

      Like 0

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