Real Deal Z/28? 1968 Camaro

1968 Camaro Z28

When it comes to the Camaro, the Z/28 is one of the more sought after models and can fetch serious money these days. While they really are great cars, cloning one really isn’t all that difficult. The 302 V8 is the largest hurdle to jump, but everything else can be found fairly easily. And that brings me to the issue that this Camaro and its seller are going to have. The seller believes it is a real Z/28, but admits that the original engine is long gone. This could either turn out to be a good Z/28 project or a very expensive rip off, it all just depends on if you can prove it’s the real deal. Before you make a decision for yourself, be sure to take a look at it here on eBay in Knightstown, Indiana with bidding over $16k.

1968 Camaro Z28 302 V8

So here is the problem with proving the authenticity of a Z/28, there really aren’t any numbers in the VIN or cowl tag that denotes the Z/28 option. There are of course other ways to prove if it’s real or not, but the most concrete way is proving the 302 is original to the car. In the case of this car, that will be impossible, as the original 302 is long gone. The seller was told that the original engine was blown up by a previous owner some time in the ’80s, so a new engine was sourced and installed. With a new engine going in, they decided to go ahead to have the rest of the car restored. It was driven for a few years, but then a tree fell on it. Eventually it was sold to a doctor, who was going to have it restored again, but that never happened.

1968 Camaro Z28 tire decal

Today, we have a Camaro with a freshly built 302, a Muncie 4 speed, other bits and pieces from a Z/28, and a tire decal in the glove box. The seller feels the decal might be the single greatest piece of evidence to prove this cars authenticity. The Z/28 came fitted with the performance E70-15 tires from the factory. To let owners know which tires they needed to buy, the decal was fixed to the inside of the glove box. Only Z/28s came with these tires, but that doesn’t mean someone didn’t find the decal or a glove box door from a wrecked Z/28.

1968 Camaro Z28 VIN Tag

I think the seller’s best piece of evidence isn’t this decal, but the first 6 digits of the VIN, the gearbox, axle and disc brakes! All Z/28s came fitted with the Muncie 4 speed and this one still has it’s matching numbers Muncie. That doesn’t necessarily prove it’s a Z/28, but it helps. The rear axle also helps, as it features the proper rear end with the 3.73 gear ratio. Also the Z/28 disc brakes wear a specific casting number, which are fitted on this car.

1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

 

In the end, it will still be extremely difficult to prove this car is a real Z/28 without the numbers matching engine. All the little bits might add up to prove it, but you’ll never be able to completely guarantee that this one is legit. If all you really care about is having Z/28 performance, that this one would be a great buy. The 302 has been built and is to the correct specs. So do any of our Camaro experts know of any other ways to prove whether this car is a real Z/28 or not?

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Comments

  1. Kevin

    I like it

  2. Frankie Paige

    Try calling the Henderson- Sweezey workshop in Latrobe, pa 724-532-1975, they can help you. They restore Yenko, Copo Camaro’s, chevelle’s.

  3. Jim

    Someone retracted a $56K bid to check the reserve, I guess that’s where you got the $16k + reserve. $16 will be tough with that nasty weld on the right quarter. If you are trying to get that much at least make it look nice. It makes you wonder if the weld on the quarter is that sloppy who knows where else he may have cut corners.

    • Barzini

      Until today I did not know people would bid and retract the bid to check the reserve.

  4. jeff6599

    That is not simply a nasty weld, it is the quarter to roof joint, normally spot welded and leaded at the factory. He likely left it exposed to show off the oem style quarter panel. Aftermarket panels commonly require a cut along the top of the rear fender and leave the pillar as is.

    A good friend has one of these, low miles, stored the last 15/20 years indoors and guaranteed to be an original Z 28. Located in upper Michigan.

  5. Healeydays

    I wonder if anyone checked under the back seat for a build sheet?

  6. Rancho Bella

    I went thru this two years ago. I talked to experts, car guys and anyone else that would listen. Without paper, pop or some other materials you can’t prove it. I passed.
    A fools errand it would have been.

  7. RayT Member

    Interesting: the top bid is, as of now, $5100. That squares nicely with my idea of what this car is worth.

    If it IS a genuine Z28 — devalued though it is because of the non-original engine — the next owner will need to fork over a lot of time and money to put it in proper shape. If NOT the Real Thing, the next owner will still have to cough up Big Bucks to get it in decent running/appearing condition.

    I like early Camaros, and would have no objection to owning a Z28 “clone” (always represented as such and, with luck, with all original non-Z28 bits saved for future reinstallation) simply for the power and handling enhancements. In this case, I think the seller is twisting himself into knots to “prove” this is genuine, and that makes it seem more dubious.

  8. Gary I

    Cool car, good story to go with it never hurts. No way of proving without the documents or original engine so value is in a Camaro with a 302 that would make for a nice z clone. I would try my might to prove it also as it doubles this cars value, but GM doesn’t make it that easy which is why so many fakes exist. The right parts and some markings can convince some hopeful buyers, but that doesn’t make the car real. Try tracing the cars history and speak to any previous owners for some proof. Maybe if you get lucky someone will have the protecto plate in a junk drawer.

  9. Oldcarsarecool

    The goofy ’68 model year Z28 cannot be authenticated by a VIN or cowl tag. A friend of mine went through this with a ’68 he bought in the early 1990s. Unless someone can come up with a window sticker, build sheet, or other documentation, the real story of this car most likely never be known.

    But this is still a ’68 Camaro, which is a very desirable car in its own right. That car doesn’t seem to be rusted out underneath. But even if it was, just about anything needed for the car is still widely available. This car could be a great project for someone with the right skills . . .

    • Rocco

      What about a Marti Report? I thought they could tell you everything about a car.

      • RollerD

        Ford only.

  10. jsilves1@tampabay.rr.com

    Lots of questions on this car.. I agree with you guys about the roof seam at the quarter panels.. Someone has been a busy puppy putting the car together..

    Rear floor pans and seat pans were borderline problems on these..

    IMHO, the price is way too high.. Possibly 9-10k would do it..

  11. Ronniecarlo

    I came here to get away from another Camaro. Is there no place to hide?

  12. kenzo

    Looks like the head and post liner was left in when the bubble weld was gooped on…not a professional job. Bids up to 11,600. Just about right for what is shown here….

  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Yes -bowties are the easy clones…Ford not to much so if the plates are there and the Martini…so ones I’ve had did have build sheets but don’t see them mention as often and I’ve looked at some confusing but …Mopars build sheet has the codes and the books to go with them and if it is not there the all important fender tag is the tell tell – bad news they were right next to the battery….the Camero has trim on the doors that go with the delux interior which this does not have on the doors…looks like an A/C car…yes I know about the Astro ventilation…Z/28’s also ran the bumper guards on the rear…but a bumper is easy to swap out….in 1969 some stamped codes started appearing down inside where the wipers arms are…had two X11 cars…the last one was a roller I sold….

    • RollerD

      An air conditioned car would have a different firewall with a huge evaporator box or a huge hole…

  14. OhU8one2

    All Z/28’s came from the factory with 15″ rims,exhaust pipes were 2 1/2″,4spd trans,NO A/C option,disc brakes in front,optional in the rear. I’m sure there’s more to research,besides I would rather have a 69 Trans Am. But hey that’s just me.

  15. ydnar

    Sold for $18,100.00

  16. John

    Is this the same car? I found it for sale on Los Angeles Craiglist, $8,300 https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/5436696484.html

  17. Bill

    A numbers matching M 21 or M 22 is the best tell for a real Z as it was only offered in solid lifter cars and it’s easy to tell if it’s a big block (would be a 375 hp 396) by the heater core!

    I have one too!

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