Live Auctions

Local Auction Find: 1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Oftentimes, when we see desirable cars go to a charitable auction, there’s a tendency to rack your brains about why the heirs or the estate planner let a desirable car go out the cheapest way possible, with no attempt made to sell it to an enthusiast. This 1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 is such a car, with just 65,000 miles and found through an auction vendor local to the seller that acquired the vehicle after it sat in the longtime owner’s garage for 26 years. However, there were some mechanical gremlins lurking that the seller discovered after bringing the Camaro home that the next owner will have to sort out. Find the Camaro here on eBay with bidding at $1,125 and no reserve.

When buying a car cheaply at auction, there’s always a fairly decent chance you’ll come home with a boat anchor, especially if the car can’t be fired up and run across the auction block. I’m not saying this Camaro was purchased as a non-runner, but you simply can’t hope to inspect everything with such a short window of opportunity. Despite the low mileage, the seller discovered that the engine ran but the lifters were loud and it had low oil pressure. While he admits you could throw a new oil pump on it and hope for the best, you’ll never know how long it’s been run in that condition and other damage that’s been done as a result. Shame – the body is said to be rot-free.

The interior looks quite nice, too, clearly a car that was loved before it sat for yeas in a garage. The automatic transmission and basic cloth seats are both ho-hum, but at least the dash is crack-free and the cabin appears to be completely stock and unaltered. The seller notes that they have not made any attempt to clean it, so there’s a strong likelihood this Camaro would present even better after some time with a rotary and a steam cleaner. Camaros of this generation were never known for the quality of their interiors, so it will always feel a bit low rent in here no matter how much detailing is done.

The seller admittedly did spot some warning signs that the engine could come with some stories, as the valve covers and air cleaner were both missing when they acquired it. However, there’s a set of aftermarket headers bolted on there that the seller claims are of a decent quality, so the previous owner evidently wasn’t opposed to finding some extra horsepower while keeping the exterior appearance bone-stock. It’s a shame that the engine may need to be replaced, which the seller recommends for peace of mind’s sake, but the current bid amount is so cheap that you could likely swap in a replacement engine and still be in a good spot relative to what clean Camaros of this generation are currently fetching.


  1. jwzg

    A 350 crate motor with a spreadbore Sniper EFI setup would be perfect. If I’m not mistaken, that L69 combo would have The dual-snorkel air cleaner should be included. With the stock 3.73’s, this thing would look stock and run high 13’s all day long.

    Like 5
    • jwzg

      Take out the “If I’m not mistaken, that L69 combo would have”. Incomplete sentence.

  2. Erik Tisher

    So I will be the one to say it – LS swap. These cars are not particularly valuable, so just make it a quick, reliable driver.

    Like 5
  3. Frank Sumatra

    Donate it to the Kidney car or similar charity.

    Like 1
  4. Tracy

    I bet is loses a lot of oil with no valve covers.

    Like 3

    Vehicles are often donated to a charity for a tax write off. What that means if inherit an estate you get hammered on taxes. On way to offset that is to donate say mom/dads vehicle. When doing so one gets FULL book value on paper.

    In the case of the Camaro above. I wouldn’t call it desirable but nonetheless might be to someone. It looks more like a tired project someone gave up on. After sitting and only partial work done now needs brakes fuel system work etc. The guy can post it up for sale and want the moon. Have numerous tire kickers or be rid of it and again get book value and donate the headache.

    Depending the institution taking the car if they use a slide value and estimate concours value he might get a $10K-$11K tax slip. Most likely he got $5500. Car sells at auction. At our local one is in person. Non op cars depending what it is sell in the $400-$1100 range. So the former owner gets his money and someone interested pays what it’s worth.

    Pretty sure the new seller is wore out on the project too. Once home he thought he was going to do minimal work and be motoring around by the weekend. Buying a car at an auction with the valve covers removed means I am not paying much.

    Like 1
  6. KC John Member

    How about ya pull the existing motor and tear it down to see what damage there is? I’ve done rings and bearings in my garage dozens of times. Two weekends of wrenching and you could have an cheap little street toy that turns heads. Replacement parts are plentiful. It’s a fun car to run around in. Someone can save it and be in the hobby pretty quick. Just sayin.

    Like 11
    • jwzg

      If it’s oil pressure, rings aren’t going to matter. Shot bearings means a complete teardown and machine work.

      Like 2

    One with less miles in Red an HO motor and manual trans needing only a driver sold in Aug for $6900.

    Waiting for the right car one would be in the hobby even quicker as there is no shortage of driver gen III Camaros and Firebirds one could have now.

    A non running car parked for many years will require a total mechanical restoration besides pulling and figuring out what’s wrong with the engine.

    Buyer beware

    Like 1
  8. Steve R

    Many of the responses in this thread would be funny if they weren’t so sad. This is a pretty desirable, for the early-80’s, performance car in really good shape. It’s going to be a low entry point into the hobby for someone, but that’s not good enough for some. There is a near constant whining on this site about the lack of cars that the average Joe can afford, yet when one shows up it gets nit picked apart for various lame reasons. The small block Chevy is among the cheapest and easiest engine to fix, upgrade or replace, this car will not be expensive to get running again. Whoever is smart enough to buy this car will likely be happy with their purchase either driving it or make a good profit by flipping it to someone who wasn’t willing to put in the effort to find and or fix a simple project like this.

    Steve R

    Like 16

    Steve Most people who comment don’t know what it takes to bring an old car back to life. By looking at the pics it looks like one could be driving in no time. Reading the sellers description he is admitting he would install a new motor. Regardless it should come out.

    Why stop there? Should pull and seal the trans too. Low mileage and long term storage would merit looking at everything on the chassis including rubber brake lines calipers and fuel system.

    It’s at $3000. now with a day to go. It isn’t done. Nothing beats a well sorted car for a little more. A manual trans at that. It’s obvious this seller who just bought it from an auction isn’t happy with it and flipping it. Hopefully there is meat left on the bone for someone else.

    Like 2
  10. al8apex

    Hey Jeff Lavery, the interior on this car is the optional interior, with the “better” seats, not the basic … yeah, that’s ok, we know you guys can’t know everything … I could tell you how you could tell the difference, it is VERY easy … high back seats = base interior, low back seats = custom / optional interior

    Like 1
  11. Mike

    I’m betting this was born as a camaro not a Z-28!

    • al8apex

      you would lose that bet …

      Like 1
  12. speedy

    thanks for the replys it is my car i bought it at auction to redo but due to health and time i cannot do the work it does run and drove around the yard not sure on the history on this car but it was donated i saw it at the auction i am a mass dealer and said i need this car it was to clean meaning not all beat up but like i said it needs a new owner which it sold for $3400 on ebay but getting paid on ebay is another story lol i hope it gets put back were its needs to be if i dont get payed it will go in storage again til next year hopefully i can get it done then thanks

    Like 1
  13. Scott Stewart

    Man that’s a long sentence.

    Like 2
  14. speedy

    thanks scott but leaving a dot after every sentence is form of trust with young viewers leaving a dot is for old people and troubled souls lol little humor

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