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Preserved 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS


The seller of this 1969 Camaro SS claims that it is a true unrestored “survivor” and that it’s even still wearing its original paint. They have plenty of documentation to back their claims, but they felt that the original 350 V8 didn’t provide enough power, so they swapped it for a ZL-1 427. This leaves us wondering if it can really be considered a survivor now. Take a closer look here on eBay.


When the ZL-1 was first introduced, it was the most powerful engine GM had ever built. This all aluminum 427 cui V8 offered big block power output in a package that weighed about the same as the 350. The seller swapped the original 300 horsepower 350 V8 for this crate ZL-1. They retained the original motor and are including it in the sell. The 580 horsepower 427 is bolted to the original M20 Muncie gearbox and 12 bolt rear end. Hopefully all that power hasn’t damaged any of the original components. This engine alone is worth over $20k, but we’re not sure whether that justifies the seller’s $95k asking price.


The interior is claimed to be original and it does looks great. The hounds tooth upholstery appears to be in very nice condition, with almost no signs of wear. This was a very well optioned car inside and out, with nearly every available performance option. The 71k miles on the odometer are documented and original.


This Hugger Orange Pony is a real head turner and would stand out at any car show, but the seller’s asking price seems rather high. The originality and ZL-1 engine do make it more desirable than any old Camaro though so it will be interesting to see if someone takes the bait.


  1. Lemble

    No it is not worth that much. Just a hodge podge bunch of good parts. No better than a clone. Is it a nice Car? Damn right it is . 25,000 tops.

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    • gary

      Car would be worth more if it had been left alone.

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  2. Dolphin Member

    I’m not an expert on these but it sure looks good, and the listing presents the car well, with LOTS of detail—just like you want with an important original car like this. The swap-in of the bigger engine is fine with me since the original engine comes in the sale. Drive it like it is now and your original engine never wears out. And the black California plate is a little plus that only adds to the appeal.

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  3. Mort

    yes. worth it if as original as it says on ebay. Also if your going to drive this award winning car. you will have to pay some cash.

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  4. jbalz

    I like it…. I like it a lot…that is a lot of money though…id have to say its too much, but Ill also admit that if I had tons of money to burn, I would probably fork it over…because it is a beauty…

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  5. Butch Huebsch

    Sorry. Once you disassemble it in any way it is no longer original.

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  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    Partial disassembly for maintenance purposes is exactly that: maintenance. If you are driving a 40+ year old car that has a leaky rear engine seal, you replace the seal, unless you want your car marking its spot everywhere you park it. Swapping the original engine with something totally radical really stretches that. It seems that when you try to put it right again, it’s never the same. I look at that super Rat Motor and agree that it would be a real thrill to drive but it’s pushed things too far. I might add that someone’s been watching too many car auctions because I’ve seen some genuine originals go for considerably less.

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  7. erikj

    boy! Thats a nice car. love the 427. My only problem is its far from a survivor. Even with the orig. engine included. What got me was the fact that its a ss car but it sounds like the rs stuff was added. unless i read wrong that really makes it not orig.That said, the $95,000 asking price is way out of place. Still i love the looks awesome car,wish i could drive it,i would buy it but not for the price. id say 40-50 thous. at the most

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  8. Jeff

    VERY NICE SS! Not a survivor but I think a “tribute” the way it sits. Very detailed auto & low mileage is a plus. Stock w/orig350 in this shape 35K is fair as a survivor. He swapped in a legend motor that takes value away from the car but enhances it at the same time for some, 50K is fair for the right buyer IMO.

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  9. Dolphin Member

    In a perfect world most car collectors would probably like to have totally original, perfect cars that have never been restored or even repaired. But experienced collectors or restorers of high-value cars will tell you that even perfect original cars deteriorate over time, so that what started out as a 100-point car is no longer 100 points after a few decades. Things dry out, oxidize, and degrade to the point that even the best ones need refreshing or even re-restoring after enough time has gone by. When the work gets done the car may be partly or completely disassembled. So what? I have never heard of someone saying that they require even multi-zillion dollar cars to never have had their engine out if they are going to bid on them at auction. OTOH, I have heard people say they value a car that has all its original components and had perfect maintenance and repairs so that it operates as well as it looks, and I have seen their big bids at auctions like RM runs reflect that view.

    To try to figure out whether a car’s drivetrain has ever been repaired is not an issue in the car collecting world. To try to figure out whether a car’s drivetrain is original and correct for that car and in top working condition is.

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  10. alberto

    I’m a bit confused by the sales pitch: ORIGINAL this, ORIGINAL that. Oh, and by the way, we added NON-ORIGINAL RS features, installed a NON-ORIGINAL engine, NON-ORIGINAL Tach, NON-Original kick panels, etc. On the other hand, it’s all reversible and changes appear to be disclosed and replaced parts seem to come with. Seems like a ton of money to me, but then I don’t follow American muscle car prices very closely. Beautiful color. If I hit the lottery this week, I’ll go take a look (it’s close to me).

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  11. John Allison

    He ruined the value when he swapped engines! It can never be an unmolested survivor. It is just another souped up unoriginal Camaro.

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  12. lou

    nice toy, but i don’t believe it has original paint’ ss has a black out back panel

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    • Jeff

      The black out back panel was for big block cars only.

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  13. Splodinec

    Dolphin, are you the seller?
    If a car was totally disassembled then put back together with the original parts and NOS parts according to the original configuration that would be a restoration, which this is not.
    If a car were original as from the factory but not restored that would be a survivor, which this is not.
    If a car were not restored yet modified from its original configuration, even with genuine NOS parts, it is not original nor a survivor but a modified car, which this is.
    And, 95,000, seriously?

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    • Dolphin Member

      Of course I am not the seller. I don’t try to deceive people.

      Since I haven’t mentioned anything about the price of this car, I am not sure why you seem to think that I’m OK with the $95K ask for the car. Of course the car is seriously overpriced. Anyone can see that, and everyone has.

      My original point was that it’s a good looking car that I would like to drive, especially with the big engine and given that the original engine comes with the car in the deal.

      That’s the bottom line that makes me buy any car I have ever owned—to enjoy it by driving it. I don’t limit myself to buying only cars that are perfect, mainly because I have never found one that I can afford that’s perfect, unused, unflawed, never been worked on, never had parts taken off and fixed and then put back on. Some of the discussion here has been about whether a car is perfect in those ways, and about definitions of ‘restoration’, ‘survivor’, or ‘modified’. I care what the car is and how it drives, not what anyone calls it. So what if a car happens to have parts added? If I need perfection, then I won’t buy it. If I think it would be fun to own and drive, I might buy it anyway, and if it has parts I decide I don’t like, I would just take them off. With this car, I might drive it for a while and then decide to put the original engine back in. Your choices might be different, which is fine with me.

      My other point was that car collectors who sometimes pay big money for cars never worry about whether a car has ever been taken apart so something could be fixed, and whether that makes it “unoriginal”. They might be concerned about the quality of the work, or about whether an original factory part was used, or whether a car isn’t operating properly because someone *didn’t* take it apart to fix what’s wrong with it, but I think they know that cars that are decades old and have been driven will need some work done on them during their lifetime.

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  14. Chris A.

    There are Camaro experts that can fill in the blanks or correct me if I’ wrong. Back in 1969 the owner of a performance parts store where I was working, special ordered a black/black 1969 Camaro with the aluminum 427. There were very few of them made, hard to get, but the buyer had connections with GM due to his racing background that helped him buy the car. Not only was it expensive, actually way up there in ‘vette range, but the driveline also had beefed up parts, stiffer suspension, possibly disc brakes all around. But the interior was stark; no air, no radio, no carpets, just rubber mats and the exhaust system didn’t muffle much of anything. I don’t recall the rear end ratio, but I’m guessing a 4.11. A very tough looking, very fast, so called “stock” street race car that was barely suitable for anything but a drag strip.This 69 is no survivor, not a clone, but a nice street rod that will be barely driveable on the street with that engine. 580 hp is conservative, it didn’t take much to get it over 600.

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I heard that a dealership itself special ordered in the neighborhood of 50 super hot Cameros that were equipped like that. One of them sold at BJ’s in Jan. 2012. It was silver and only had something like 6K miles on it. It brought around half a mil.

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      • Jeff

        That might have been Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, MI.


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      • geomechs geomechs Member

        That general geographical location sounds pretty close; It seems to me that it was a dealer in Michigan (I’ve still got the catalogue; I’ll check to see if anything is mentioned) so I’m sure that you’re right. When that Camaro sold at BJ’s the noise from the crowd was so loud you couldn’t hear what was going on.

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      • Jeffrey

        Fred Gibb’s dealership, Gibb Chevrolet ordered the first 50 ZL-1 Camaros.

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  15. Jeff

    I know I’ll ruffle some feathers here but the 69′ Camaro to me is the absolute epitome of the muscle car era. From the DZ block 302 Z28 to the COPO, Yenko, Baldwin, Motion etc cars. The 427 engine was king and respected even in the Impala/Caprice. This car combines many just pure muscle car fanatic “dreams come true” (69′ Camaro, SS option, Muncie 4spd, 12bolt posi, gauges & a rare monster factory engine plus the original plant. It really does not get better than this for the motorhead muscle enthusiast who likes the originality option issue. Say what you want but I would give my left pinky for it lol.

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  16. rancho bella

    This car may have brought this type of stupid money at some point but those days are long gone, well, except for flower shirted drunks at auctions. So putting a big heavy lump in the car is better than ………..oh’ never mind.

    Note to participants:

    Never question “The Dolphin”…….NEVER !!!!

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  17. Chris

    No its not worth that much.

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  18. Nxpress62

    It would have been interesting to know the engine numbers and date castings, it might have been money ahead to sell the engine separately, might be worth more than the entire ss350 camaro…


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