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No Reserve: 1985 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 With 15k Original Miles

Changed plans often cause enthusiasts to part with a classic they had intended to retain long-term. Such is the case with this 1985 Chevrolet Camaro Z28. The seller purchased the car from the original owner’s estate last year, but losing their storage space means they have to part with it unexpectedly. It is an unmolested survivor with an extraordinarily low odometer reading, and those factors would be enough to prompt some people to pursue it further. However, their decision to offer it with No reserve could lift this classic from desirable to irresistible. The Z28 is listed here on eBay in Bristol, Connecticut. Bidding has raced to $12,600, with plenty of time remaining before the hammer falls.

Chevrolet introduced the Third Generation Camaro to the motoring world in December 1981. It marked an enormous change in design philosophy, prompted by emission regulations that sapped engine power. The company focused on weight reduction and advanced aerodynamics to claw back lost ground. Cosmetic changes remained evolutionary between the launch and 1991, with our feature car rolling off the showroom floor in 1985. It has a known history, with the original owner ordering it in dazzling Bright Red. It has never undergone restoration work, and the few tiny flaws in the paint are acceptable for a genuine survivor. The original owner cherished this classic until they passed away, with the seller purchasing it from their estate last year. The paint retains a beautiful shine, and prone areas like the front spoiler and nose have avoided the chips that can plague those surfaces. There are no dings or dents and no signs of rust. It features a factory glass T-Top for those longing for a wind-in-the-hair motoring experience. The decals show no evidence of shrinkage, the glass is spotless, and the original wheels are in as-new condition.

The positive impression continues inside this Camaro, with an Alpine radio/cassette player representing the only aftermarket addition. The remaining equipment and trim are as it left the factory, and the overall condition is hard to fault. The seller acknowledges cracked plastic on the driver’s seat belt buckle and that the belt can also be stubborn when retracting. With replacements readily available and affordable, addressing the shortcomings would be cheap and easy. The Gray cloth and vinyl upholstery carry the hallmarks of a car that has been treated respectfully. There is no apparent wear or signs of abuse. The carpet is spotless, the dash and pad are excellent, and there is no broken or crumbling plastic. The driver views the sports gauges through the spokes of a leather-wrapped tilt wheel, with air conditioning keeping them cool if they leave the T-Top closed. Power windows, power locks, power mirrors, and cruise control round out the interior appointments.

Chevrolet was doing a stellar job of clawing back horsepower by the time this Z28 left the factory. Its engine bay houses the LB9 version of the 5.0-liter TPI V8 that feeds its power to the pavement via a four-speed automatic transmission. This powerplant produces 215hp and 275 ft/lbs of torque, meaning the 3,241 lb Camaro should be an enthusiastic performer. The journey down the ¼-mile should take 15.6 seconds, and if the driver keeps the foot to the floor, the car’s aerodynamic efficiency will see it hit 144mph. As a reflection of how effective Chevrolet’s approach was, an auto-equipped 1981 Z28 would take 16.9 seconds to complete the journey and would be gasping for air with the needle nudging 105mph. The 1985 edition could show it a clean set of heels with a smaller engine, such was the rate of development during the 1980s. The seller claims this Z28 has a genuine 15,600 miles on the clock, and it seems they have documentary evidence supporting the claim. The engine bay presents as impressively as the rest of the car and doesn’t flatter to deceive. The car runs and drives perfectly, ready to head toward the horizon with its new owner behind the wheel.

This 1985 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 emerged when the world was a different place. Public access to the internet was still six years into the future. The first movie from the Back To The Future franchise was gracing the big screen, while shows like Miami Vice and Family Ties dominated the small screen. Some would consider this Camaro a dinosaur by modern standards, but it deserves a significant place in automotive history. It demonstrated that there was a substitute for cubic inches if a manufacturer took the right approach and that aerodynamics were as important as engine power. It has received fifteen bids already, and I expect that figure to climb considerably before this auction ends. If you have been looking for a 1980s classic, could this be one you would pursue further?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Beautiful! One of the best designs GM ever put out, and it goes fast.

    Like 14
    • Edwin Haggerty

      I had two 3rd gens (T/A & Formula), both were 91 models. Automatic 350 TPI and manual 305 TPI. Both were a pleasure to drive and received a lot of attention.The auto 350 was noticeably much faster but did have a couple of bolt on perf parts. These cars handle very nicely but seemed to always need a little tinkering to keep things running correctly. You’re most likely looking at changing all the sensors and injectors on this one even with the low miles but it’s not very difficult or expensive. I would highly recommend getting a shop manual as well to save yourself some mistakes. I’m not a professional mechanic but ended up doing a lot of work myself because I had repeated experiences of mechanics unable to properly diagnose issues with the TPI motor.

      Like 0
    • Mr C.

      Very nice car and in the right color! Well worth $30K + with the unmolested miles on it. The TPI always was a good looking induction. Kudos to the old gentleman that kept it so pristine! RIP.

      Like 1
    • Robert West

      The third generation Camaros have grown on me as the years have passed. It was a lot tighter handling and had much quicker acceleration than either one of my heavy second generation Camaros. This car is between 400 to 500 pounds lighter than a second gen. That alone is half a second or more in the quarter mile.

      Like 0
  2. Big C

    144mph top speed? Maybe dropped from an airplane. The 305 could barely get out of it’s own way.

    Like 11
    • Matt L

      You’re obviously thinking about the carbureted LG4 305 that barely wheezed out 160 hp. The tuned port injection 305 is a much different beast, especially when order with the G92 package. I had a such equipped ‘87 IROC in high school back in the day and it was definitely no slouch.

      Like 22
  3. jwzg

    215 hp was certainly enough to push the 305 version over 130. The TPI 350 was certainly good for around 140-150, so this figure may be for the latter. Great find, nevertheless.

    Like 6
  4. Nick

    I had an 87 Pontiac Formula 350 with the Tuned port 350. Cold air intake, good dual exhaust and I ran a 13.80 1/4 mile and got it up to a GPS verified 162, so yes, I agree no slouch.

    Like 11
  5. Homer

    I had a 350 equipped 89 GTA, it was very quick, I had it up to 135 with room to spare. It was a great car, quick & good handling too.

    Like 3
  6. rayburn

    I know where its twin is about 15 miles from me,! owner, 12,000 miles, she said it would take $35,000 to talk…

    Like 3
    • Arm

      I had a 84 with 5.0 HO with factory 3.73 limited slip and a 5 speed. The car Boogie.

      Like 3
  7. Chevylubber

    Not intentionally changing the target animal, but since we’re on the subj of top speeds, my ’82 z28 305 crossfire barely squeezedwhat I guessed was around 120(85 limited speedo). I was a dumbazz and yanked that intake for a weiand and 600 . It WOKE THAT 305 UP, I Guess 135 after that. My 69 Camaro factory 327,th350 and 3.08 easily visited 130, (160 speedo) Again dumbazz me swapped out the 327 hot a 11.5 to1 built 283 (301 actual ci) and it did 160, didn’t like it- never did it again. Just my experience

    Like 0
    • steve

      Just curious, I’m guessing you had an after market speedo, because no Camaro came with a 160MPH speedo.

      Like 3
      • chevylubber

        quite rt. it was the 140, never had a build sheet for it though.

        Like 0
  8. Reid Hall

    Wow,this is a pretty good deal, although 🤔, it’s to far away from me,and or way more, than,l could, and, or would be able to pay for it,still wish,l had mine back, l had a 85 Z28,with a 91 rs,upgrade,with 305,throttle/body, 700R-4 Transmission, although l always wanted tuneport,car,mine,was black with gold/champagne trim,and black, violent, purple interior, kinda rare interior option l believe 😉, for the time.

    Like 2
  9. Davey Boy

    I had an 87 Pontiac Trans Am with the 5.0 tune port injected motor in it and getting on the freeway entrance by my house which was a little over an eighth of a mile I could hit 90 miles an hour at the top of the ramp and that was going uphill. That car was a blast to drive it was 100% original and quite fast for what it was. It was no rocket ship but it was no slouch either. Couldn’t figure it out though. One day you’d start it and it would run fine the next day you would start it it act like it was running on seven cylinders. Changed out all kinds of electrical on that car never could figure it out so I ended up getting rid of it and now I really wish I wouldn’t have because you just can’t get them anymore.

    Like 2
  10. Scrapyard john

    Cool flashback to the 80’s. Makes me want to grow a mullet. Maybe even get a perm in the rear. Anyone remember guys doing that? Ha!

    Like 3
  11. Rustomodrob

    Buddy had one in H.S. was pretty quick…but not quick enough for my 70 Mark lll.

    And..a neighbor chic of mine had an 89..she had a plate made…”I Roc and Roll” 😉

    Like 2
  12. Bick Banter

    Very unusual option combination. Most LB9 TPIs came in IROCs this year. Most of the regulars Z28s came with the LG4 305 that barely wheezed out 160 horsepower and tended to have fewer options.

    Like 0
  13. Buddy

    So FYI – Two similar IROC’s just sold on Mecum on the 28th. One was an ’89 with 15K miles – sold for $21,500. The other was an ’88 convertible with 19K miles – sold for $23,500. Both were 305TPI automatics.

    Like 0
  14. John

    Nobody seems to remember they ride like 💩. Underpowered 💩 rattle trap. Yeah when you’re in high school everything seemed fast . Had several this gen Camero and even a brand new one was junk.
    Cut your mullet, hang the mini Disco ball from the mirror and crush the plastic disposable clunker.
    Yeah this is a kinda nice looking one but nothing like gen 1 or 2.
    Remember these are part of GM at its lowest.

    Like 0
  15. Joel Yates

    Not bad performance wise for its time but no match for the 5.0 Fox bodies.

    Like 0

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