Money Maker: 1980 Chevrolet Camaro

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The second-generation Camaro enjoyed a long run, 12 years to be exact. But by 1980, the market had changed once again and demand for the older design had waned (the third-gen would debut in 1982). To save gas, most Camaros now used a V6 or small V8, so the seller’s car would have had to be a Z28 to come with a 350 V8. But one is there now and it’s freshly rebuilt along with the automatic transmission. Located in Sherman Oaks, California, this vehicle has been a money maker for the seller, having been rented out to the film studios in Southern California. It’s available here on craigslist for $13,500.

Though sales were down in 1980 – thanks in part to a slow economy – Chevrolet still built 152,000 copies of the Camaro that year. Unless you were one of the 42,000 buyers to order a Z28, you had to deal with either a 229 cubic inch V6 (49 states), 231 Buick V6 (California only), or a new 267 V8, none of which were barn burners. But for the most part, a 1980 Camaro looked like a 1979 Camaro except that you could no longer order a vinyl top (no loss with this body style).

Since this Chevy is not a Z28, the newly rebuilt 350 it carries must be a transplant. It’s said to run quite well and should deliver lots more miles of smiles. Also new is the catalytic converter and fuel injection takes over for a prior carburetor. The seller (or a prior owner) added an ATEM electronics system so you can have real-time data on how well the 350 is working.

There is no mention of a repaint of the blue exterior finish, but we’re told the carpeting and “ceiling” are new (the seller must mean a new headliner). This vehicle is said to be a money-maker due to its location – the car has been rented out to TV and movie studios, providing $8,000 in passive income in just a few months. The seller is moving and can’t take this tax deduction with him/her, so an opportunity exists for the buyer to enjoy the same benefits.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. JCAMember

    So I can make $8k but I have to live in CA?

    Like 7
    • Tony Primo

      Not necessarily, Toronto is known as Hollywood North. Many films and television shows are filmed up here. I know a couple of people with a fleet of older cars that they rent out.

      Like 2
    • Blake, does my opinion really matter ???

      The film industry is building a huge new facility in Manfeild Texas as well. I love Texas, no income tax and home of the $70 a year vehicle tags with no annual inspections!

      Like 0
  2. DW

    My aunt had a 1980 Camaro T top in this same color in 1984.

    Like 3
  3. Marky Mark

    Was selling Chevy’s around this time and had a ‘79 and ‘80 as demonstrators. They were fun cars but yes, not very powerful. I remember the downturn in ‘80, things were really slow and got demoted to a job in the parts department. That was the push needed to get out of the car business and into something more stable.

    Like 2
  4. Herbert

    Good looking car, but where is the engine shot? Those are the money shots, for sure, at least here.

    Like 3
  5. Big C

    Friend of mine got an ’80 Crammaro. Same color as this one. V-6, 3 speed stick. Got it cheap in ’82. First thing he did, was pull the V-6 brick and install a late ’60’s 350. Sad thing was, he couldnt afford a 4 speed, so he hooked the 3 speed up. Made a lot of noise, but didn’t last long.

    Like 2
  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

    Just when I thought there were no more plain jane Camaros around, Barn Finds features 3 of them in one week.

    Contrary to the write-up, I bought my ’81 when I found out what the ’82 was going to look like. I still think these are better looking then the gen that came next.

    I would consider this one a good buy, especially since I like them so much.

    Like 7
    • Jack M.

      Not just better looking, also better suspension.

      Like 3
      • Wademo

        Except that the 82 handled like a slot car compared to these. Well, the Z28 I had did, anyway.

        Like 2
  7. mrshred

    What is with the plastic flares behind the front wheel openings? The 1980 Z28 introduced them ahead of the rear wheels ala Trans Ams. Did they get flipped around and bolted to the front as mud flaps?

    Like 3

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