One Lady Owner: 1981 Chevy Camaro Z28

This 1981 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 is a claimed one female owner example that remains in excellent condition. Pictures do tend to indicate this car benefits from a woman’s touch as there’s no significant evidence of wanton abuse like a Z28 tends to invite. The paint scheme is a wonderfully period-correct combo of yellow with black and orange accents, and the seller notes some minor door dings as the most significant flaws. Find it here on craigslist for $15,500 OBRO.

The listing claims it is being sold by its one female owner, who also happens to own the world’s cleanest garage. Seriously, I can’t believe this garage is real. If it is, it speaks to an owner who placed an emphasis on maintenance, at least of the cosmetic kind. The Camaro is said to be completely original down to the unused spare tire and no modifications to the drivetrain.

The interior presents to a degree of cleanliness not unlike the outside, with nicely preserved black vinyl bucket seats and matching door panels. The dash shows no cracks, which would indicate the Camaro was often stored indoors. Mileage is low at just 43,000, and the car is equipped with a T-top roof panel and automatic transmission. Door jambs show matching paint with possibly some minor scuffs.

The engine bay reinforces the seller’s claims of how well preserved the Camaro remains, with no signs of paint overspray resulting from a trip to the bodyshop. The isolated red wire hanging from the hood is a bit of an anomaly, but given what passed for 80s quality control, it may be as the factory intended. $15K seems like a reasonable ask for a Z28 this clean, but anything over $12,500 seems fair to me.


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  1. Cargirl

    One lady owner? AARRRGHHHH

    Like 4
    • Lynn Dockey Member

      I can also sell u a bridge in Arizona if u r interested.

  2. Rock On

    I have owned a 1980 and a 1981 Z28, the orange wire dangling under the hood is the power wire to activate the solenoid for the flaps in the air induction hood. That’s how we did it back in the ‘80’s.

    Like 18
  3. Jeremy

    “No signs of overspray “?i’m seeing what looks to be overspray on the firewall /cowl area, as well as the underside of the hood…

    Like 11
  4. rpol35

    I had a ’77 version of this Z28 (steel bumper version).

    The Good:

    Handling, maneuvering, braking, transmission (Super T-10 B/W four speed), differential (3.73 limited slip) and looks (subjective)

    The Bad:

    Pathetic workmanship (too much to list), cheap quality materials and engine (350 CI – 185 net H.P.) a poor performer and five trips back to the dealership to get a simple oil leak fixed.

    Like 4
  5. Fred Alexander

    I was never much of a fan of the body style or “upgrades” from the original cars, but she’s a beauty.
    At $10K to $18K for a ready to rock vehicle this old is reasonable- – – $10K would be a bargain.
    Would be interesting to find out the final selling price.

    Like 3
  6. Superdessucke

    If it didn’t have those god-awful t-tops I’d be seriously considering this, though yellow with t-tops will really appeal to the market for these.

    Looks very original to me. Rare to see them unmodified.I do agree the yellow paint on the passenger side of the cowl under hood is concerning. That would have to be looked at closely. Other than that it looks pretty legit.

    Like 2
  7. JoeNYWF64

    A big factory emissions mess on the passenger side of the motor even w/o a/c. I would not want to change the valve cover gasket. lol
    & why bother with chrome valve covers if you could barely see 1 of them.
    Is the firewall supposed to look all that wrinkly above/where it meets the heater box?

    Like 1
  8. Comet

    It looks like someone sealed up the heater box with asphalt and a frisbee.

    Like 5
  9. Karl

    I owned a 81 Rally Sport it came with a 350 all was what one would expect, except almost no rust. Long story short I wanted to drag race the car once in awhile so I built a 377 that dynoed at 522 hp welded in subframe connectors changed to 456 rear gears and a posi rear differential plus other assorted trans and a 3000 stall converter. My car had the GM cars and concepts T tops I could never keep both front tires on the ground during launch there was so much flex in the body. The only thing left was a full cage inside to really tie both ends together. I sold the project as an expensive learning lesson.

    Like 2
  10. FCJ

    T-Tops like those in Houston with no A/C……uh, no thanks! Hot Box!

  11. John Oliveri

    No A/C in 1981? Wow, I didn’t think that was a option

    • JoeNYWF64

      I know in ’74 & maybe even later, on a t/a, radio!!!, a/c & tinted glass!!! were optional! & console was optional. So some were built with std column shift automatic! Ridiculous! I seen a couple in the flesh.
      Oddly, i have never seen a 2nd gen CAMARO(any type) with column shift automatic in the flesh! Only in a handful of pics,
      one being …

      Like 1
    • xrotaryguy

      You could buy non-ac cars in Oregon clear into the 90s.

      Like 1
      • sluggo

        Correct Xrotaryguy, Oregon Washington Idaho and I am sure other states. AC in those years was not impressive and I cant recall ever riding in one with the AC on. Truth is, it was the first thing most hot rodders removed, I removed them from many cars. The compressor weighed a ton and after taking off all the AC crap the engine compartment started looking like a real hot rod.
        Now I understand non AC in some states and areas is unthinkable, I get that, But the average hot rodder didnt want it and still to this day its rare to see AC at a car show. I am sure Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona & SoCal car shows are different.

  12. Col Patrick Montgomery

    If only it had a standard transmission. I hate all these dang automatics.

    Like 1
  13. David Ulrey

    Whatever the case it appears to be sold.

    Like 1
  14. sluggo

    What a cream puff time machine. Knew a guy with a similar car and rarely ever drove it. Similar mint condition, Him not so much as he had issues. I had a couple of this generation cars and parted out a few. (The front clips/subframes were super popular for other projects). If not factory fitted its mandatory to fit subframe connectors. Those T tops are destined to leak but if garage kept not a serious issue, but they all eventually leak.
    I DO find it amusing to see people dismiss a car like this for the stock drivetrain. Back in the 70s and 80s it was just what the factory offered and exceptionally rare to see someone leave it stock.
    Car craft, Super Chevy, Hot rod and others ran tons of articles and advertising on how to hop up cars of this era.
    First thing we did was rip off ALL the emissions crap, usually the cyl heads too and start adding aftermarket parts, Good heads, cam, timing chain (Stock many were plastic gears) edelbrock or weiand intake, fancy valve covers, Bright yellow MSD wire sets, upgrade and recalibrate the HEI distributor and usually a Holley carb along with the mandatory dress up items like hose coverings, clamps winged valve cover bolts, stainless hardware and headers! Dont forget your favorite brand of headers! So many Magazines ran articles on these upgrades as well as brakes and suspension that some said instead of Car Craft it should be “Camaro Craft” magazine. Basically it was a raw diamond in the rough to build as you want, Road racing, or dragster. So this car is/was exceptional how unmolested it is. A sizable percentage died sadly on circle tracks over the years, One of the most popular donor cars for racing. Seemingly overnight they all disappeared. I see frequently a young 20 something chick in a beater version of one of these and she loves it, Thinks its the coolest thing on wheels. I donated a manual and some parts to her, as It made me smile.

    Like 2
  15. Kevin Kendall

    Pretty cool,seen a few Gen 1 Camaros with column shift & split bench seats,one was an RS model with a 6 cyl. from the factory

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