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Fire Fighter Special: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro

This Chevy Camaro had a recent scare in that it very nearly became a victim of the California wildfires. We’re told the flames came within eight feet of the car, but the fire fighters were able to beat them away. Some of the paint got singed and the grille melted, but that seems to be the worst of it from the experience. It’s available in Simi Valley, California and here on eBay were a no reserve auction has reached $14,700.

1969 was the third and last year of the first generation of the Chevy Camaro. All three years were similarly successful, each selling in excess of a quarter million units. The 1969 edition benefitted from an extended production year as the all-new 1970 Camaro hit some sags going into production which delayed its debut until after the first of the year. Sport coupes with V-8 engines were the most popular at nearly 80% of production, while Z/28s and Super Sports comprised most of the balance. The seller’s car is one from that majority and, for my preferences, this was the better looking of the three years. Thanks to Hemmings for their review of the ’69 Camaro.

This 1969 Camaro, which is a Black Plate California car, came the way that many did that year, with automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, air conditioning and buckets seats with console. The seller says the car “has never been for sale since 1969” which would be a long way of saying it’s a one-owner car since 1969. Perhaps someone else bought it new, kept it a few months and then traded or sold it. While the seller doesn’t get into much history about the car, it apparently did survive the wildfires of California, which came close enough to melt off some of the paint, the grille and directional cover as well as damaging the windshield with smoke getting into the interior.

Prior to its recent experience, the car was painted red with black stripes and the finish had already developed the patina that some folks seem to like. However, the areas that the fire got to reveal some blue beneath the red. Could it be that the car was originally finished in blue and repainted red later? The black interior, which largely looks to be in good shape, would have worked with either color. The seller says the car is “virtually rust-free” although it’s hard to pinpoint any in the photos. However, the rear bumper may be starting to pit.

The 307 V-8, which was the least beefy of the V-8s that Chevy offered is thought to be the car’s original powerplant. It’s said to start and run well, and the car drives nicely. It seems the encroaching fire did nothing to harm how the car functions. The mileage is not listed, but instead placeholder mileage is used. That’s a bit odd for a car that seems to have 50 years of single ownership.

A ’69 Camaro in fair condition is worth $14,000, according to Hagerty, and $22,000 in good condition. Given the car’s recent experience and the need to be certain nothing besides paint was damaged by the fire, fair seems like a reasonable condition to consider this car in. But others may disagree as the bidding has already surpassed that.


  1. Stephen Miklos

    It’s a real pity these fires in Cal. Are destroying people life’s. I seen photos of muscle cars melted beyond repair. This Camaro was lucky. Who ever gets this car… can get new sheet metal for this. The interior if it’s smoked bad can be replaced. Question is would you keep the original drive train? Good luck to the person who buys this. 😄🇺🇸

    Like 5
  2. Skorzeny

    I’m glad it didn’t burn up. Everything needed to get it back on the road is out there. But with the work it needs, would you put any money at all into a 307? I think a 300 hp 350 would be a sensible choice, with whatever trans you like.
    As far as the fires, so sad. But they need a real forest management overhaul in California. Forest fires are natural, and necessary, and the old Smokey the bear BS is not the way to go.

    Like 3
    • Chuck Dickinson

      Most of the land burned in the West was Federal Land, not state-owned. Who’s responsible for that land? The Federal Gov’t. Who’s been complaining about California not ‘sweeping their forests’? Guess????

      Like 9
      • Ross892

        I thought no politics on this site

        Like 6
  3. ACZ

    A California black plate car with no rust. A great car to start with. A lot depends in how badly the metal is warped. It could actually be a relatively easy fix, depending.

    Like 3

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