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No Reserve Donation: 1971 Chevrolet Camaro

OK, right off I know the listing claims this Camaro to be a ’72 model but it’s not, the grille, and more importantly, the VIN, tell us that it’s a ’71. The other point of interest is the fact that it’s neither an SS nor a Z28, it’s just a generic, ’71 Chevrolet Camaro. That being the case, let’s see what’s here. This Chevy F-body resides in Orange, California and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $7,000 with 56 bids tendered so far.

The seller, Just Donated, more than likely had this car donated, and they’re in the process of flipping it for proceeds. And that may explain the confusion over the model year but one would think the donation included the identifying pink slip. The “L” in the VIN tells us that this is a Los Angeles-built Camaro, meaning that it originated at the Van Nuys assembly plant and it is likely a half-century resident of the Golden State. And that’s something to consider as it helps explain what looks like a rust-free body. There are some surface rust spots here and there but nothing that appears to be destructive – the kind of rot that so typically afflicts F-bodies of this generation. Not surprising is the faded condition of the Sunflower Yellow finish – completely in keeping for a SoCal car that has seen a lot of outside time. We’re down to one hubcap, and it’s not a babymoon, it’s the standard ’71-’72 Camaro fare. They were cheap pieces and had a tendency to fly off. So much for the stick-on side molding – another Camaro component that tends to separate itself from the car over time.

Under the hood is a 200 gross HP, 307 CI V8 engine, tagged to a Turbo-Hydramatic 350, three-speed automatic transmission. It was the standard V8 in ’71, and while hardly a world-beater, it was certainly an adequate engine. This example is considered a 59K mile, non-runner but there is no documentation supporting the mileage claim or indication as to what’s wrong with the small block. It looks to have been recently power washed and the master cylinder is probably a replacement.

The interior is an attention-getter but for all the wrong reasons, the upholstery, the driver’s seat, in particular, is shot. Is it the result of age, sun, or high use? Perhaps a mixture of all three. Seatcovers for a ’71 Camaro are an easy find so it’s not a serious problem. The dash pad is doing an interesting thing as it’s curling instead of splitting – the first time that I have seen that happen. The black nylon loop carpet is faded to brown and the goofy Chevrolet glovebox lock, a ’68 redesign, has come loose, the cylinder has fallen off and a wire is now holding the lid closed. The locking mechanism has a tendency to work itself loose, and eventually dislodge itself. There’s a trick to tightening it up – it’s not complicated you just have to know how to do it.

According to NastyZ28.com, this V8 Camaro coupe is one of 103K produced for the ’71 model year. Of that total, 4,800 were Z28s and 8,300 wore SS badging but those earned the collectibility status, not a plain-jane Sports Coupe like today’s find. And for that reason, it’s nice to see that this somewhat forlorn subject has survived all of these years – this is a deserving project base. The bidding action is surprising, it’s a strong number for what this car is, but it’s good work if you can get it, right?


  1. Big_Fun Member

    What’s not to like? As many of these are modified anyway, you have a clean slate with a V8 setup. A black interior instead of green or tan, so interchange ability is greater. And, console shift! As Howard A. says, this is what was typical, not a fire breather we all see at the shows.
    If you have the mindset with this Camaro like those MPC 3-in-1 model kits, you really can’t go wrong…

    Like 22
  2. Melton Mooney

    The other three hubcaps are in the trunk. I like this car. A do-it-yourselfer could have a very cool ride for a few grand above the purchase price.

    Like 16
  3. Steve R

    Nice, honest looking car. The bidding should have a ways to go. The fact that it’s not running should have little to no impact on this cars price, it’s likely to be bought for its body, then modified, probably with a late model drivetrain and suspension upgrades.

    The seller has been featured on this site many times, they cycle through interesting cars on a regular basis. If I lived in the area I’d pay close attention to their listings.

    Steve R

    Like 9

    As a previous buyer from this seller it’s only fair to warn. When looking at the pretty pictures do not quickly scan over the legal jargon with attorney inspired rules to truly put the buyer at a disadvantage. It’s put there for a reason should long distance transactions problems happen. It’s to protect the seller.

    If you are local and can pick up be careful of back fees. You must pay in full in three days of winning the bid. The pick up time is one week. No exceptions. If you can’t pick this up in that time frame you will be charged an additional fee of $25. per day. There is additional buyer fees on top of the selling price.

    Shipping arrangements in a good economy pre Covid would be a week in a half. Now the load boards are covered with nothing moving to the East Coast. More brokers and cars to move and few transporters doing the work. There is a driver/truck shortage.

    The next issue is this Camaro doesn’t run. Only about 20 percent of trucks have winches and now typically charge $500 to drag a dead car on their trailer.

    I had a very bad experience on a most unusual car sold to me by the seller. Long story short there were issues with trying to make contact with the seller after I paid all their fees. They won’t answer the phone. My transport was set up prior to the auction ending. Once he showed up. Driver sat for hours almost causing an altercation waiting for the seller to procure the car. After delivery there was no vin tag on the car and the vin sticker on the door was peeled off. It was pictured in the ad and gone in the pre delivery inspection. In my good state every out of state vehicle must go through an inspection to license and tag. Not having a vin would be impounded by the state. Long story short. It took months of back and forth with ebay, their buyer protection. the seller. I got an attorney.

    Just a friendly warning. Once you pay you get NO help from the seller after the sale. As for my contact at the time? He no work there anymore.

    Enjoy the sale.

    Like 45
    • Doug from MD.

      Basically if your buying on line always Buyer Beware!

      Like 14
    • Steve Clinton

      I live in Orange and I am familiar with “Just Donated”. All I can say is ‘buyer beware, be very aware’.

      Like 19
      • Steve Clinton

        My car was impounded for parking in a 60-minute parking lot for 65 minutes in Orange (damn Carl’s Jr.!). It cost me $230 to retrieve it. This yard is a storage area for abandoned, unclaimed thefts, and police confiscated cars.

        Like 11
  5. Paul

    Can someone please ONE single Camaro on the planet, in stock condition? The wrong people get their hands on these, IMO. These were handsome cars…as they were!

    Like 9
  6. Steve Clinton







    Other than these ‘minor’ problems, the car is near mint.

    Like 6
    • Jack M.

      Leather my a$$. That’s vinyl on those seats.

      Like 19
  7. Stan

    307ci your in the neighborhood of 140hp and 225lb/ft with a tall hwy gear so don’t expect to be flying around the interstates. Do enjoy the clean lines on the base models.

    Like 3
  8. Bick Banter

    Donated a 1972 Camaro? In this market? Who donated it, BIll Gates? Seems pretty fishy to me.

    Like 6
  9. Richard Todte

    Looks like my old “71 Camaro I had about 40 years ago, except mine was mostly primer. Mine had a 307 that was shot, not very good engines, had to put a 350 in it. Mine also had the exact same curling of the dash pad, I’ve seen it in others, so I believe it may be more common that not.

    Like 3
  10. Carbob Member

    My 1970 Camaro’s dash pad did the same curl a few years after I bought it new. Sun causes it to warp and it breaks the clips where it connects to the metal frame.

    Like 3
    • 3Deuces

      I had a ’71 and a ’72 Camaro “back in the day” … the dash pads on both cars curled along the leading edge (just like it did on the car in this BF posting). Living in the high desert of the 4 Corners region surely accelerated this process in my case!

      Like 2
  11. Tracy

    I’d love to have this one BECAUSE it’s not highly optioned.

    Like 4
  12. stillrunners

    Rare to find in this condition and if you hadn’t been following charity/donated auctions for the past 20 years a lot of good stuff comes out of estates where the family just wants it gone so they can sell the house !

    Like 1
  13. Stevieg

    Yeah, this car screams to me “estate”. Some middle aged lady bought it new, loved her yellow sporty car, drove it 35 years until her family made her quit driving, but she insisted on keeping the car in hopes she would drive again one day. It was donated when she kicked the bucket….or something like that.
    I am thinking 350 crate engine for reliability & a bit more power for the freeway, update brakes & suspension for safety, maybe rebuild original transmission, or maybe an overdrive from the 1980’s, then restore the body & interior.

    Like 0

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