No Reserve: 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

By 1979, Chevrolet’s Second Generation Camaro was reaching its use-by date, and the company was well down the road of developing its groundbreaking replacement. That didn’t prevent buyers from stepping up to the plate with their cash in hand, and 1979 proved to be a sales success. Our feature car is a one-owner ’79 Z28 that presents beautifully. It has no apparent needs and is a turnkey proposition begging for a new owner. It is listed here on eBay in Niles, Illinois. Bidding sits at $20,350, and if its condition doesn’t already tempt you, the seller’s decision to offer it with No Reserve could prove impossible to resist.

I’m probably in the minority, but classic cars wearing Black paint don’t generally attract me. However, I am willing to make an exception with this Z28 because the two-tone graphics help to lift its appearance. The paint shines deeply, with no significant flaws. One advantage of this shade when assessing a vehicle’s overall condition is that it is perfect for exposing dings, dents, and other panel imperfections. That isn’t an issue with this Camaro because it is laser straight with tight and consistent gaps. Rust isn’t a consideration, with the panels clean and the underside shot revealing the occasional spot of surface corrosion. The Z28 features a factory T-Top, and with no signs of water leaks, its seals must be in good order. The graphics are crisp, and the plastic is free from cracks and UV damage. The color-coded factory wheels are in good order and help add a touch of menace to this vehicle’s appearance.

Z28 buyers in 1979 received a car equipped with Chevrolet’s legendary 350ci V8. This owner also selected a four-speed manual transmission, a 3.73 Posi rear end, and power assistance for the steering and brakes. With 175hp under the driver’s right foot, the journey down the ¼-mile should take 16.7 seconds. That figure looks sad today, but it indicates how performance cars were strangled during The Malaise Era. To gain insight, it is worth considering the performance figures for a 1970 Z28. Its small-block churned out 360hp, launching the car through the ¼-mile in 13.9 seconds. Potential buyers are greeted with plenty of positive news with this Z28. It is a numbers-matching survivor that runs well. The seller indicates the successful bidder could fly in and drive home behind the wheel, suggesting it has no mechanical problems or needs.

The impressive presentation continues when we examine this Camaro’s interior. The owner ordered it trimmed in Black vinyl, and it remains close to showroom-fresh after over four decades. There is no wear, physical damage, or evidence of UV deterioration or crumbling plastic. The seller fitted an aftermarket radio/cassette player, which is the only addition. It isn’t highly optioned, but air conditioning is a welcome inclusion in a car where everything is black. It blows cool, so it may require a recharge to work at its best. Otherwise, it is another aspect of this classic that needs nothing.

There’s no doubt that from a performance perspective, the 1979 Camaro Z28 was a shadow of its predecessors from the decade’s start. However, buyers were willing to overlook those shortcomings. Total Camaro sales for 1979 were 282,571 cars, with an incredible 84,877 buyers willingly handing over the additional cash for the Z28 version. Malaise Era classics spent decades in the wilderness, but many now have a strong following. Generation Y buyers seeking a retro ownership experience have largely driven the change. It isn’t the first example of a specific age group with that type of focus, and it won’t be the last. These aren’t mega-bucks classics yet, but recent trends suggest they could be in the future. I believe the bidding on this one will top $30,000, a figure enthusiasts would have laughed at a few years ago. Considering where values have recently gone, it will be fascinating to gauge reader feedback on what you believe this ’79 Camaro Z28 will be worth in another five years. Over to you.


  1. Rob


    Like 2
  2. Stan

    Short gears ⚙️ & 4sp making the most, out of a malaise-mobile.
    Looks like a well cared for Chevrolet. 👍

    Like 3
  3. GTO gan

    I love it and I can’t help but think it’s more capable than 16.7. In fact I’m sure:–)

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