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Original Paint Driver: 1974 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Type LT

This 1974 Camaro has spent its entire life in drier climates such as California and Arizona, and the benefits of this life are demonstrated by its general lack of rust issues. It is now situated in Magnolia, Texas, and the owner has decided that the time has come to part with the car. It has been listed for sale here on eBay, and while bidding has reached $5,500, the reserve hasn’t been met.

The owner claims that the Camaro is wearing its original Light Gold paint, and while it is showing some weathering, it would generally be considered to be presentable for a daily driver. I’m not 100% sure, but I suspect that either the driver’s door or its surrounds have received some form of repair in the past. The alignment of the door itself is a bit odd, the color consistency seems to be a bit out in that area, and the chrome strip just forward of the rear wheel arch is also missing. Apart from that question mark, which I emphasize that I’m not certain of, there are a few other issues to consider. External rust appears to be confined to a few spots in an area just below the rear window on the passenger side, but the bottom of the rear quarter panel on the same side will require a decent sized patch due to the rust that has appeared in that area. There are also two spots in the rear of the trunk pan, but I think that these could be addressed with patches rather than a complete new pan. There is also a dent in the passenger side door, but this should be a pretty easy fix.

For a drive-train combination, what we find is a 350ci V8, Turbo 400 transmission, limited-slip rear end, power steering, and power brakes. This is a not numbers-matching car, with the original engine having been replaced back in 2003. That original engine would have produced 185hp, so the 350HO crate engine that it has been replaced with should provide a very welcome performance boost. The owner now has 330hp at their disposal, and who doesn’t like having more power? The owner says that the Camaro runs and drives well and that the transmission shifts smoothly. He does recommend a carburetor tune or a rebuild because it does apparently have a bit of a stumble. Otherwise, there is a new fuel tank, the front end has received some work, while a new radiator and new tires have also been fitted.

The “generally weathered” theme continues when you take a look inside the Camaro, but it really isn’t horrendous. The seats will most definitely require new covers, while the upholstery on the door trims could probably do with replacement. The carpet is also faded, while we can’t see the state of the dash pad under the cover. In reality, none of these issues are urgent, and a set of aftermarket seat covers would probably make a world of difference to the interior appearance at a very affordable price. The original radio has made way for an aftermarket CD player, while there is also an oil pressure gauge mounted under the dash. One thing that does surprise me is that given where the Camaro has spent its life, I find it odd that it doesn’t appear as though it has ever been fitted with air conditioning.

There’s no doubt that this 1974 Camaro is going to require a bit of work if it is to be returned to its best, but I believe that the 350 V8 that now calls the engine bay home should make it a pretty entertaining car to drive. Yes, it has some rust, but I think that the vast majority of those issues could be addressed in a home workshop. If the next owner is capable of doing that, I believe that the car could be restored for a very reasonable sort of outlay. For someone who is looking for a project car where they can complete the majority of the restoration work themselves, this might not be a bad prospect to consider.


  1. Rocco B.

    Adam, the only engine available in the 1974 Z28 was the L82 rated at 245 horsepower.

    Like 6
    • JoeNYWF64

      Oddly in here
      with the ’74 “DELUXE” door panel, you not only lost 2 map pockets, but you got that interior door handle that liked to separate from the door. I don’t THINK the firebird got THAT door handle until a few years later. & the ’74 STANDARD door panel had a “handle”(in front of the armrest) too far forward to make it easy to close the door! lol
      If you look at either of the ’70 door panels, the built in handle is further back at the center of the door & in an ideal location to close the heavy door, but it has no map pockets – if it had the latter, it would be the best of both worlds.
      Also, apparently, there were no door panel ASSIST STRAPS avail on an 2nd gen camaro, unlike firebird.

      Like 0
  2. gbvette62

    Rocco’s right, the engine in the 74 Z28 was rated at 245 horse power, not 185. The 74 Z28 came standard with the same L-82 engine, that was optional in the 74 Corvette. The 350HO might be a little quicker than the original engine, but probably not much. The L-82’s 245 was net horsepower, with all accessories in place.

    I had ordered a Cosworth Vega in 74. When GM cancelled the 74 Cosworth, my dealer offered me a 74 Z28 he had. It was the same color as this car, and it too was an LT with an automatic, but it also had air conditioning. I drove the car and liked it, but really wanted a 4 speed, plus I didn’t care for the large “Z28” and stripes on the car. Instead I bought a Trans-Am, with the screaming chicken on the hood, which for some reason didn’t bother me as much as the stripes on the Camaro?

    Like 14
    • JoeNYWF64

      Chevy should have used the hood decal like on the ’77 z28.
      This is a bit much!
      I think the coil springs have been changed on this car & white kyb gas adjust or air shocks(common) added on the rear – it sits higher than stock.
      It’s common that some of today’s overseas front coils are stiffer than stock & can make a car sit higher.
      I believe all optional hood stripes & huge z28 decal on the hood were black, even on black cars.
      Odd the front stripes & big z28 hood decal faded to white but the rear ones are still mostly black. Maybe how/where the car was parked?
      Odd you could get a ’74 z28 in a lot more exterior colors than the just red, white, & blue avail on the ’74 t/a.
      Both tho gave you plenty of interior color choices.

      Like 0
      • Little_Cars

        If parked by the ocean, as we’ve speculated, the abrasive nature of sand and salty air could have brought those black decals down to their base material. In this case HD white vinyl.

        Like 0
  3. jimmy the orphan

    nYeah, you guys are right. It had to be the L-82 motor. The owner says the rust is on the right side of the car a lot more than the left. most likely because the passenger side was always facing the ocean when parked. The rust on this car is indicative of a car that lived by the sea. Look at the master cly. surface rust like crazy. the trunk is a mess. big holes in it. It looks like salt water puddled in there. That really dark brown almost black rust is from sea water. the whole underside of the car is covered in that tan surface rust from salt air. that won’t really hurt anything but where its gotten in under the window molding and rust is popping up there and through the paint in many other places. This thing needs a color change but I hate the inside too. Its got a nice motor in it that he says the guy he bought it from paid over 6k to buy the engine plus the labor to put it in. wow. He says the price for one in fair condition is $13,500 but his reserve is not that high. I hope not. Anyway a Z28 with a automatic trans.is just wrong. Wrong I say ! ! as always this is all in my humble opinion Later JIMMY

    Like 7
  4. Michael

    A buddy of mine found a red one like this year’s back down in Missouri. No rust, body was nice, easy to take care of. Only issue was the stripping on the car. It was all cracked, and seemed like it wanted to peel. It didn’t though. Just looked that way. He drove it the first few years that way. Then he decided to get it repainted. I’m the way to the body shop. A drunk fan a stop light. T boned the car on the passenger side. My buddy was alright. That was the end of that sad story.

    Like 4
  5. Little_Cars

    My 76 Firebird rusted the same way in the back, I sawed off the rusty lower four or five inches behind the rear wheel arch and drove it that way for another few years. Traded it with no new rust but those chopped areas for a Ford Ranger pickup in 1988. I was in my 20s and should have restored the Firebird.

    Like 0
  6. Miguel

    Can anybody tell me what the LT package brought to the car?

    Like 0
  7. James Martin

    I don’t want to know what they did to cause that big awful stain in front seat. Could it be the back seat was to small?

    Like 3
  8. Little_Cars

    Heavy coffee/beer/soda drinker + rough ride = spilled beverages over many months or years. Same with cigarette burns. Keep your mind free from the more seedy reasons for such stainage.

    Like 3
  9. David G

    Seller has barely had the car for two weeks. It was on craigslist here in California. Lots of rust and lack of A/C made it very hard to sell, as it was advertised for a long time before this seller got it.

    Like 1
  10. David Ulrey

    Seller – just take the money and don’t be overly greedy. Just because someone drops a lot of money in something that doesn’t mean they (especially if you aren’t the one that spent that money) will always get all of it back. That $5500.00 or whatever is very fair. Not a bad car but not really all that special either.

    Like 0
  11. Troy s

    Yessir, another hopped up Camaro…,there’s news.
    I really like those wheels, had a chance to buy one similar to this year’s ago, a four speed though, seemed too familiar back in ’84.
    Leave this one a little rough, plenty of shiny Camaros around.

    Like 1
  12. TimM

    Looks a little beat up from the pics!! Dent in the door, rust in the lower quarter panels!! Stains on the seats from whatever!! Might be a pig with lipstick!!!

    Like 1

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