Dropped A Valve: 1969 Camaro Z28

We’ve seen more Camaro Z/28s that are “missing” their original DZ 302 than we can count. Given that there are more Z/28s today then were ever built, it makes buying one a bit nerve-wracking. That’s why you need to do your homework and make sure everything is in order before dropping big money on a supposed Z/28. Well this particular Camaro is said to be the real deal, but is of course missing it’s original engine. Thankfully, the seller provides lots of evidence to prove that it is the real thing. You can take a look at and read the full story here on eBay in Delta, Colorado with an incredibly optimistic opening bid price of $28,995.

The seller presents this car’s full tale in decent detail. Apparently the original owner worked at a Chevrolet dealership, the same dealership it was ordered from. They optioned it with the Z/28 package and power steering, a strange combo for a car that was meant to be raced. The original owner put about 10k miles on the 302, but it dropped a valve and needed the engine replaced. It was covered under warranty and replaced with a 4 bolt main 3970010 code block. Supposedly the owner stamped the car’s VIN on the block in case it was stolen, but didn’t attempt to hide the fact and I appreciate the seller’s honesty. All the correct DZ 302 engine parts were used and the seller has the engine running again. It still needs some work, as it bogs when you first get on it from idle.

While the inside also needs work, it does look original. The white seats have definitely seen better days, as have the door panels. Thankfully parts are readily available, so it won’t be hard to get the interior looking great again. The factory tach is said to work perfectly and so do the center console mounted accessory gauges. The M21 close ratio 4-speed works and would be a blast to row though, especially with the noise from that 302!

The body has lots of dents, dings and scrapes, but it does have a cool look. If it pulled up next to you at a light, you wouldn’t think it’s a fast machine that can still beat you off the line or take you in a turn! While it really deserves to be restored, it would definitely make for a killer sleeper as is. I would want to look it over carefully before trying to buy it, but the numbers look right for a Z/28. I wouldn’t pay $29k for it, but it’s definitely worth a decent chunk of change if everything checks out.

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Comments

  1. 68 custom

    appears to be a real Z/28 that has been rode hard and put away wet but it was well equipped and would be stunning restored. the rust on the dash is not good news though. another thing I would like to know is how much of the original parts are bolted on to the replacement block, what heads are there (I think they should be 186 or 041s) what about the 302 crank, rods ETC? 28k is good money for a car requiring extensive restoration but he may get it. the chambered exhaust is a pretty rare option if it was so equipped. I remember back in the 80s I turned down a RS/Z-28 that was in fair condition other than rusty quarters and complete for 5k, wish I had bought it then and still had it now though I would prefer a 68. these are neat cars with all the right parts!

  2. Pa Tina

    “The M21 close ratio 4-speed works and would be a blast to row though, especially with the noise from that 302!”

    Absolutely! The 302 at high RPM had an amazing sound. I had never heard anything else like it. Once I discovered the sound, I listened to it early, and often. I purchased a 1969 Z-28 in 1971. White, black interior, black stripes, black vinyl top. Purchase price: $1,500.

  3. Bob

    My buddy had a 68 Z28, and that thing was a factory hot rod. There is nothing like the sound of a 302 wound right out.
    His price is too rich in my estimation, but there is no question that the car has potential as a resto-mod.
    My question is, I have a warranty replacement 427/435 horse engine, and it is stamped with a factory code. Why wouldn’t this warranty replacement motor have been stamped at the factory?
    Bob

    • Jay M

      Here is one I picked up 2 years ago

    • Jay M

      And here is what is…

  4. Jay M

    The warranty engines that I have seen over the years usually have no vin stamped because the factory had no idea what chassis number they would end up in.
    They would be stamped “CE” for “counter exchange” meaning warranty replacement.
    A date coded “CE” block is in a few Z/28’s that I have looked at over the years. Not original, but possibly the next best thing.

    • Whaddacrock

      My crate LT1 engine I bought in 1973 had a serial number of V0303XCD…now, why do I remember this after 34 years?!!

      • glen

        Um,…do you remember what your grade 2 teacher drove?

      • Big Mike

        Mine at West Elementary, Mrs. Marler, drove a 67 Chevy impala Station Wagon, because she had 6 kids at the time!!!!!

      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        I remember that my 5th grade teacher drove a ’70 Mach 1. I used to stay after class and help her with classroom chores so that she would drive me home in it.

        The car addiction starts early……

  5. Bob

    That is how my 427 is stamped, it has the CE prefix. By the insane amounts of money I have been offered just for the engine, I don’t think having a warranty replacement block would worry a buyer too much.

  6. John

    I tried to get power steering in my 69 Z-28. When I ordered mine, one of the largest Chevrolet dealers in the Midwest tried to get it for me, but Chevrolet said no. I was told that the Z/28 option was not available with P/S or A/C.

    My Z-28 also had 15 inch wheels. Non Z Camaros had 14 inch wheels.

    • Bob

      That was my understanding also, no PS, no PB.

      • 68 custom

        all first gen Z/28s had power front disc brakes with the option of 4 wheel disc brakes being available (JL-8).

    • al8apex

      John, partially true, no a/c on solid lifter cars (the RARE exception is a small amount of 72 Corvette LT-1’s)

      Power steering certainly WAS a valid OEM GM factory option. I feel sorry for anyone that doesn’t have it as the quick ratio box made it a joy to drive

      Bob, ALL 69 Z28’s had front power disc brakes. 200+ had the JL-8 4 wheel disc brakes

  7. ACZ

    Common place back in the 70s was when you blew up the 302 was to jack up the cylinder heads and slide an LT1 short block under them. The cost on that, back then, was about $500.

  8. Patrick S newport pagnell Staff

    Small detail in the overall picture,but why can’t owners get the Z/28 grille emblem positioned correctly. Should be be here:

  9. Troy S.

    Probably the most famous camaro Chevrolet ever built, heck they are still using styling cues from this nearly 50 years later.

    • Pa Tina

      Agree, and I will start the ball rolling by stating my opinion that the 1969 Z-28 was, and remains, the high point of GM performance car history based on price, performance and availability at the time. Fire when ready, gentlemen.

      • Jay M

        Base 1969 Z/28 msrp $3,588.00
        Base 2017 Z/28 msrp $75,000.00

        $3,600 inflation adjusted dollars in 2017=$24,000.
        They share only a name, as they are apples vs oranges.
        Is the new car worth $51k more?

  10. Gus

    ,I know where one of the DZ ,302 ended up. My buddy had a 69.Z28 that tried to pin the rocker studs and somehow cracked the head then spun a rod bearing. A local junkyard offered him $25. on a trade and I bought and rebuid it. Put it in my 67 Corvette (used the head’s from my blown 350 hp 327) The thru the sidepipes really sweet.

  11. Tyler

    One of two cars I regret selling the most was my 69 Z/28, the other is the 67 Nova. My Z was an X77 Norwood car, still had the 302, M21, Hugger orange with white stripes & houndstooth interior with molded door panels. And yes, it had power steering. And of course, like every other first gen Camaro I owned, I threw a cowl hood on it when I had it painted. It had a 3.73 gear under it & that thing would wind to the moon.

    Kept them both through high school, & while in the Navy. Then life got in the way. Got married, had a child, toys had to go. At least she didn’t get them in the divorce, lol!

  12. victor sanchez

    This car other than the black stripes ( mine has white ) is a match to my Z/28. I have the DZ 302, M-21, 3:55 POSI rear end, Garnet Red, White stripes, and white interior. These cars are mean natured when cold but warm up nicely. I would check out all the codes and numbers because like it was said there are more 1969 Z/28’s now than when they were new.The total number of Z/28’s in 1969 was 20,302.

    • Tyler

      Been a lot of years since I looked at the numbers, but I thought it was just a tad over 19,000 built?

  13. victor sanchez

    According to the Camaro white book there were 20,402

  14. Shelby

    The P-O-P shown in the pictures on Ebay showed the DZ engine code which proves beyond doubt it is a true Z28. Also I was told there is a way to document through GM the fact this car had a warranty engine installed by Turner-Davis Chevrolet in Montrose, CO using the VIN.

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