Easy Project Car: 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car

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For muscle car enthusiasts, the 1970s were a pretty awful time. At the start of the decade, the market was flooded with some truly fire-breathing machinery. By the end of the decade, ever-tightening emission and safety regulations had strangled performance, and many manufacturers were contemplating abandoning their performance car lines in favor of the volume-selling economy models. Manufacturers like GM sought answers not through trying to circumvent these rules, but by smarter engineering. The result of this creative thinking was cars like this 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Pace Car, which is listed for sale here on eBay in a No Reserve auction. It is located in Fremont, California, and at the time of writing, bidding is sitting at a paltry $530.

Chevrolet knew that emissions regulations were only going to get progressively tougher, so they launched down a path of trying to extract performance by beginning to introduce features such as fuel-injection into the Camaro range, although this didn’t produce massive changes to performance initially. What had a more profound impact was clever engineering. Across the range, the new-for-’82 Camaro was on average some 300lbs lighter than the car that it replaced, while the car was also more aerodynamically efficient. This clawed back some performance, but this generation of Camaro really represented the start of some pretty inventive engineering which continues to this day. This particular Camaro, one of the not quite so rare Pace Cars (6,360 built) has spent its life in California. It appears to be rust-free, but the UV rays have begun to take their toll on the paint. It does look tired and has begun to peel in a few places. Having said that, the panels look fairly straight, the T-Top appears to be in good condition, and I think that the car would come up a treat with a simple repaint.

The interior of the Camaro is also starting to look tired, but it is not beyond salvation. The distinctive material on the seats has started to rot and tear and will need to be replaced. The same is true of the carpet, so that will need to be added to the shopping list. Surprisingly, the dash looks like it only has one small crack in the pad, so this might be able to be repaired. Once again, there’s nothing major amiss inside the vehicle, and new carpet and covers on the seat would result in a major improvement.

It was under the hood of supposed performance cars of this era that caused the most disappointment to enthusiasts. The days of 300+hp were a distant memory, but moves were afoot to claw back some of the lost horsepower. It would take decades to really return to the days of old, but at least Chevrolet had commenced the process with the Camaro. This one is fitted with the 305ci V8 and a 4-speed manual transmission. The car runs and drives, but the owner says that it will need a good tune-up, plus new items such as plugs and wires before it performs at its best. The car also has a leak in the power steering pump and will need new tires.

Maybe the 1982 Camaro isn’t the most popular car on the planet, but it does represent a new beginning for GM, which has borne fruit in the Chevrolet showrooms today. This one appears to be a solid example, and its needs aren’t major. This is the sort of car that you could drive into your workshop, and with a few weekends of hard work, it would emerge in mechanical good health, and with a fresh and tidy interior. A fresh coat of paint would then work wonders, and with it listed in a No Reserve auction, it actually promises to be a satisfying little project.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bakyrdhero

    Someone might get a great deal

    Like 3
  2. LARRY

    The car is parked over two nice black tire marks…then they say it will need tires..wonder if they destroyed the clutch or damaged the engine doing the smokey donuts? I don’t care who you are that’s funny rite thar

    Like 3
  3. Miguel

    You don’t see too many blue personalized plates anymore.

    Like 1
  4. Steve R

    I’d be careful about the registration. The license plate has a 2003 tag, the seller claims it’s a one owner car, then goes on to describe the work he’s done since he “obtained it”. This means he hasn’t registered it in his name, which will be costly and time consuming for the buyer to get a new California title and registered to drive on public roads.

    It may be a good deal, but there are enough red flags to keep potential buyers on guard, such as a tune up the seller could have done that are inexpensive and would have taken less than an afternoon.

    Like 1
  5. Coventrycat

    I could work on my mullet at the same time.

    Like 1

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