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Pace Car Project: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

It’s a heartbreaking prospect. You own a desirable classic car and have commenced a restoration. All of the panels have been whipped into shape and the next step is to have the paint applied. Then suddenly the car is involved in an accident, and all of your hard work is undone. That’s the story behind this 1969 Camaro Indy 500 Pace Car. It has been sitting unused since this fate befell it in the 1990s, but the owner has decided that the time has come for it to head to a new home. Located in Suffolk, Virginia, you will find the Camaro listed for sale here on eBay. The listing has been set to open at $17,000, but there have been no bids up to this point.

Ouch, that has to hurt! The owner had worked to address the Camaro’s rust issues when it had this accident damage inflicted upon it. The vehicle has been sitting since this occurred, but it isn’t clear whether those decades have been spent largely undercover, or if the Camaro has been sitting out in the elements. The owner does acknowledge that the rust has returned and that it will take some work to get the car solid once again. The floors will need replacing, as will some of the frame rails. Just which of these frame rails is not specified by the owner, but the odd door alignment on both sides suggests that a full nut-and-bolt restoration is probably going to be on the cards.

The Camaro comes equipped with a 350ci V8, Turbo 350 automatic transmission, a 12-bolt rear end, power steering, and power brakes. The transmission has been replaced at some point, but the remaining mechanical components are said to be original. The engine is complete, with the cowl induction ring and breather both present, but not fitted to the car. I think that it is safe to assume that the engine doesn’t currently run, but the owner doesn’t specify whether the engine turns freely. There aren’t great mountains of corrosion visible on the engine, so given how robust the venerable 350 tends to be, I wouldn’t be surprised if a bit of tinkering saw it roar back into life.

The majority of the interior has been removed from the Camaro, which is probably a fairly good thing, as the power top doesn’t look particularly weatherproof. The owner claims that the interior is complete and finished in the correct colors and patterns, but that it will require a retrim. The interior of the Pace Car left nothing to subtlety, with lashings of Black plastic and carpet, Hugger Orange vinyl on the door trims and seats, with the seats also featuring Hugger Orange and Black houndstooth inserts. Loud, brash, and very distinctive. On top of the unique upholstery, this car comes kitted out with air conditioning, power windows, a rear window defogger, the console-mounted gauges, and a tilt wheel.

Restoring this ’69 Camaro Indy Pace Car is not going to be a job for the faint-hearted, but the car isn’t beyond salvation. Is it worth the effort? At $36.90, the Z11 Indy Pace Car option was not an expensive choice for owners, but Chevrolet produced a mere 3,675 vehicles. Many have succumbed to either abuse, rust, or accident damage. The remaining cars are highly prized, and a pristine example can fetch prices in the vicinity of $80,000, although higher figures are possible. If the vehicle sells for a price of less than or around the $20,000 mark, that certainly leaves a lot of money in the kitty to undertake a restoration. With that in mind, this is a project that would seem to be well worth consideration.


  1. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    Down to 2 days remaining, no bids. No surprise. Sitting in a yard for 25 years, very likely rotted underneath, stuck engine, mouse/rodent house.

    Prediction: Won’t get a bid at the opener. (Without a shill participation)

    Like 14
  2. TimM

    The damage in the back probably bent the frame rails!! The whole back end of the car needs to be replaced!!! $17,000 is a joke in my opinion for the amount of work and parts to make this right!! I agree with DDB that this won’t get an opening bid!!!

    Like 15
  3. Classic Steel

    Gee one gets paid out by insurance company then sat out to rot and while a potential restore junkyard opportunity says hey this a million dollar car so lets set a 17k bid so that everyone knows its cra 🥺no one bids.

    Set the bid to cra cra 8 and let some unknowing person run it up to ten then put 20 k on body repair and ten on paint, four grand on engine plus five on interior, top and still have a junker title.. end up with 55 grand min plus “Have the title in my name but don’t know if a reconstructed title will be required when repaired or not.”

    Or just get one with documentation and never rusted out with sweaty gauges

    Sold Barret cheaper restored


    These run 50-60+ original or full on restoration complete if you hunt them down

    Like 0
  4. Barry Traylor

    No thanks.

    Like 7
  5. Paul

    Has some very nice factory options!
    Also most likely the very last 1969 pace cars built (By the trim tag date code) …easy to restore car with many parts available.
    Price is not that far off because of what the value of this car would be worth after restored …..if it was close to me I would go look at it!

    Like 2
    • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

      I guess the term “easy to restore” means widely different things to people who know and love cars.

      Easy here means: If you have the space and capability of 100% dismantling the car, access to a frame machine which can straighten the unibody (you did note the kink in the RR quarter panel, ahead of the wheel well center line, didn’t you?)….. And the equipment, resources, and skills to replace rusted out and damaged sections without causing integrity and alignment issues in the convertible unibody….

      Now you will need the ability to source replacements for all the missing items. Some may come quickly to hand, others will not.

      Then there are the mechanical bits, which will all pretty much require complete rebuilds….

      So sure, redoing this car can be easy, if you have a fully-equipped restoration shop, and hands which know well what needs to be done, and in what order. Maybe a 6-month project?

      For the hobbyist working in a decently set up home shop, a project like this will consume countless hours over many years to bring to completion. For anyone who has done that type of restoration, or anything resembling it, I don’t think they’d use the word “easy” to describe the job.

      Like 11
      • half cab

        Amen brother 👊

        Like 1
  6. Bmac

    Well, like it was said in the description, these cars succumbed to abuse, rust or accidents
    this car is a great example of all of those

    Like 12
  7. Gaspumpchas

    Shame to see in this condition Guess the owner said fk it after the shot in the @$$. Too bad it was left out.1990 was 30 years ago. Maybe some one can take it on. Are these desirable enough to warrant the hi price??
    Stay safe.

    Like 1
  8. ron

    To bad it won’t fit in a dumpster………….once again ……….more high priced garbage……..I’m done with it…..pay me a bunch and take it home! There are so many of these around , I think he’s lucky anyone even read the ad!

    Like 6
    • Paul

      These cars are worth quite a lot of money when completed! This is a 69 pace car with power windows, power top, AC, tilt wheel and more…..those options will raise the price even higher. I certainly see the value here….maybe because I know early camaro’s and early mustangs well it seems worth the money to me or maybe because I would like to own it and I’m trying to justify wanting it. Not really sure why however I see value here.

      Like 1
  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Wow! Such negativity. Sure the price is high, ofcourse the car needs a lot of work, but can’t someone find a kind word for this poor wreck?
    God bless America

    Like 3

    Ragtop 69 pace car… all the options AC etc. I’m not so sure the price is too far off. I’m curious, if your driving it, and get rear ended, wouldn’t insurance cover that? Or maybe the owner backed into a truck…
    Anyway, I’m thinking with all the uncertainty in the world today, it’s probably a really bad time to try and get decent money, for such a large project.

    Like 4
  11. Little_Cars

    That is some weird accident damage to the rear…looks more like something smacked it in the yard. Or ex-wife with a sledge hammer. What are the two equally spaced horizontal dents between the tail light openings? I wouldn’t be so sure about the rust work being done before the accident, at least not well. There is rust above the rear wheel opening that can only come from a spinning drive wheel, not from being parked. I know ragtops can give you all sorts of odd rust out areas. But I doubt sitting caused that area to rust. Still, this is a pace car with all the goodies…maybe Dynacorn to the rescue?

    Like 3
  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Traded my 1971 Nova plain jane with a 350 and factory 3 speed floor shift for one of these – that had been stolen/ stripped and a 1964 running Falcon convert. The Z-11 convert had the front clip along with the drive train stolen. Before I got it home the clutch pedals and spoiler disappeared. There was another Z-11 convert in my hood that had an interior fire? and was missing it’s drive train also. It took awhile but I was able to finally get it and that complete front end. Sold it for some money before I had it on the road. Have pictures….just can’t post.

    Like 1
  13. JOHN Member

    This is all about either your skill level or the size of your wallet. I don’t ever see these going down in value, it is nicely equipped, and it certainly can be restored. It would take a visual inspection, but I don’t think the price is horribly out of line, I have seen worse sell for more. I always wanted one, but not this one!

    Like 4
  14. Rustytech Member

    A kind word: Rest In Peace!

    Like 1
  15. JoeNYWF64

    Rusty pulleys & turn signal/tilt wheel stalks raise my eyebrow.
    I wonder how many owners hit the power top switch by mistake, when they really wanted to turn on the rear defogger!

    Like 2
  16. Little_Cars

    I saw the defogger switch, but did they have defoggers on the REAR window of a convertible? That’s a premium addition!

    Like 0
    • JOHN Member

      The Camaro’s had vinyl rear windows, not glass. They used a more traditional blower style setup.

      Like 1

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