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Rough Around the Edges: 1974 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Describing any classic as “rough around the edges” can be viewed as diplomatic, but it is a fair assessment of this 1974 Chevrolet Camaro Z28. It runs and drives but is begging for a new owner to treat it to the TLC it richly deserves. This genuine Z28 has generated significant interest since its owner listed it here on eBay in Falls Church, Virginia. However, strong interest hasn’t translated into a high price, with nineteen bids leaving the figure below the reserve at $3,123. There is still time for things to change, so why not take a look and see what you think the sale price will be when the hammer falls?

This Camaro is unlikely to win any beauty contests in its current form. You must scrutinize its tired and corroded panels to spot any significant traces of its original Bright Blue Metallic paint. Life hasn’t been kind to this old war horse, but there are some positive points to consider. The floors show some isolated areas of rust, although the rails and other prone locations look pretty solid. Some lower body extremities tell a similar story, but the cowl and the area surrounding the back window look okay. There is evidence of Bondo and prior repairs, and anyone tackling this project will probably strip the exterior to bare metal to expose any hidden nasties. The seller includes a high-quality reproduction passenger-side front fender as a starting point. The new owner will need to spend a few dollars more on replacement steel to address problems with the lower quarter panels and other typical weak points. The trim and bumpers might be suitable for a driver-grade build. However, perfection would require replacing some parts or sending them to the platers. The wheels aren’t original, and the windshield is cracked, but the remaining glass looks okay.

I give this Camaro credit for consistency because its interior is as tired as its exterior. It is missing items like the factory radio, but critical components like the gauge cluster and console are intact. Whipping the interior into shape will require deep commitment and around $2,000 for a trim kit. However, this would contain virtually everything needed to return this aspect of the Camaro to its former glory. The radio might be missing, but the factory air conditioning system is intact. The seller has never tested this but confirms that every light and gauge works as it should.

Okay, let’s get what many might consider a crucial aspect out of the way: This Camaro is no longer numbers-matching. The engine bay houses a 350ci V8, but the Suffix Code confirms it started life in a 1970 Caprice. It would have produced 250hp and 345 ft/lbs of torque in its original home. Since this Z28’s first owner had 245hp and 280 ft/lbs at their disposal, this three-speed automatic classic might trump the original ¼-mile ET of 15.9 seconds. The seller confirms that the Camaro’s engine feels strong and the transmission shifts smoothly. He admits finding reverse can be a battle but believes this could be solved with some adjustment to the shifter or linkages. This old beast runs and drives well and is roadworthy. They supply this YouTube video of it on the move, and I don’t hear or see anything that causes concern. It supports their claims, meaning the winning bidder could enjoy this Z28 immediately while they plan for its future.

There is something strangely attractive about this 1974 Camaro Z28. It carries the battle scars of a hard life but does so with dignity. Restoring it to a showroom state is viable, and many would consider that path. However, it would attract similar attention if preserved in its current form, loudly proclaiming that it has never been a trailer queen. I would probably perform a restoration if it were in my workshop, but I wouldn’t rush the process. I would drive this classic in its current form for a while, reveling in the attention it would undoubtedly receive. Returning to my earlier question: What do you think the sale price will be?

Comments

  1. KC John Member

    I think I’d have to drive it for a minute in it’s current cosmetic condition. I suspect a lot of us have started with worse. Plus it just gives off a cool Joe Dirt vibe that makes me smile.

    Like 25
  2. Melton Mooney

    What an oddity; a car that is composed entirely of edges.

    Like 9
  3. Jeremy Gagnon

    I see no signs of it being a Z28. Looks to be a Type LT. Not even a Berlinetta…

    Like 8
    • Carl

      How’s about the trim tag that clearly has Z28 stamped in it, or maybe the faded stripes that say Z28 on the hood on the original faded paint? Look like you may have missed a few clues…

      Like 27
    • Mark Hagene

      Trim tag. Z28 BLK

      Like 2
      • Dave

        I think you are correct, I am an owner of a 1974 z28 29k miles owned since 74 vin tag will tell you all you need to know

        Like 0
    • Mark

      I see why you would say that, at a glance I thought the same thing until you look at the pictures in the ad closely. What threw me off was the front. The lack of a front spoiler and the grille being silver instead of black makes you think not a Z28 also many but not all 1974 Z28’s had black headlight bezels, but I’ve seen several with the chrome as well, that seems to be an inconsistency with GM.

      Like 4
    • Michael

      Other than the big Z28 on the hood. . .😆

      Like 4
      • PRA4SNW

        I love the look of that aged hood with the Z28 still visible.

        Like 1
      • Mark

        I was talking about the nose not the hood. And I did say at a glance. You don’t notice that faded Z28 decal at a glance.

        Like 0
  4. John

    Wow Joe Dirt. Throw in the mullet. Fight is over. Unless you have parts laying around, which at some point already costed something, this is a money pit.
    Be nice but after doing many of these it’s way beyond what I’d get involved with.

    Like 6
  5. Calipag

    Should be titled “Rust around the Edges” WOW!

    Like 5
  6. sparkster

    Paint it black and have Jack Reacher drive off with it at THE AUTO PARTS store.

    Like 4
  7. RKS

    It’s not numbers matching. That’s the deal breaker lol.

    Like 3
    • James J Hindal Sr

      Numbers matching? This isn’t going to be a star at a big dollar auction anywhooze.

      It’s not a Superbird or 69 427 Corvette.
      Restomod all the way…

      Like 2
      • Randy jones

        This 74 camo car is hopeless..body is shot and forget the impala.motor..no z car here.

        Like 0
      • Emmet

        Sarcasm, sometimes does not translate well over the internet. He was poking fun at it. Cheers!

        Like 2
  8. Jack M.

    Rougher than a night in jail!

    Like 10
  9. Nelson C

    Can I mention that the published output numbers for a 70 Caprice are gross while the 74 Camaro are net?

    Like 8
  10. CCFisher

    I dunno… looks pretty rough in the middle, too.

    Like 3
    • Angela L Dunn

      My name is Angela and I have a 1977 Camaro and my mouth water is just looking at your car I think you should donate it to me so that my Camaro has an old man nothing makes me happier than my Camaro just thinking about it puts a smile on my face

      Like 6
  11. Scrapyard john

    Hey, “patina” is it in, right? Clearcoat it, put a junkyard 5.3 and a Chinese turbo on it and frighten the general public on a daily basis 😛

    Like 10
  12. Scrapyard john

    Edit- “patina is in”.

    Like 3
  13. Hoss

    Seeing this car really brought back some memories of my youth. I had a 74 Z28 when I was in high school in the mid 1980s. I worked on a dairy farm and saved for two years to come up with $1600 to buy it. It was originally the same color as this one but had been repainted red with black stripes of the 70 – 73 style. My boss loaned me the money to buy the Cragar S/S wheels and the Pro Trac M50 tires for the back. I had to run the Gabriel Hijackers pumped all the way up to clear them. It made the car ride terrible but I didn’t care because I thought it looked really cool. By the time I paid my boss back through a $20 per week paycheck deduction, it was just about time for a new set of back tires! I can still remember the sound of the cheap BlackJack headers and Cherry Bombs when the secondaries opened up. My girlfriend’s parents hated that car. I wasn’t allowed to take her anywhere in it. I had to borrow my mother’s Chevy Citation to take her on dates. Talk about deflating your ego! I’ve rambled on long enough now. Thanks for unlocking those old memories.

    Like 24
    • Tony Primo

      I bought a set of Blackjack headers in 1977. Still much better than a lot of the offshore junk offered today.

      Like 8
      • Hoss

        True enough. Nobody could afford Hookers back then. I think the Blackjacks were around $59.95 back then. Everybody was using them.

        Like 5
  14. Davey Boy

    I recently had a 75 plain jane Camaro someone put a 67 327 in. Built A LOT! Turbo 400 auto with a B&M ratchet shifter. 4:10 posi. Panther pink with the pink panther on the trunk. Hand made and rolled sheet metal smoothed out the fire wall as well as covered the door panels. Did a lot of work to it. 03 LS transplant. Hard times forced sale. Hope to win this one. Be cool to start over with. Plus I really like the smaller back window that only came in this year of this style rolling over from the 70-73 2nd gen. Big fan of the taillights and nosepiece of the 74-77. Only time will tell.

    Like 5
  15. Tony

    Does the air conditioning work?

    Like 5
  16. Big C

    Back in the real world, we used to call this Camaro a beater, and Billy Bob would be happy to get that $300 for her. Now, there’s guys bidding against each other for the privilege of ownership.

    Like 7
  17. Oldschool Muscle

    I don’t know all i see is apiece of junk that will consume the rest of my free time and no time to enjoy it.. No thanks

    Like 4
    • Michael

      Yep – you’re going to be replacing half the metal on this thing. What a rust-bucket. “Patina” hell! LMAO

      Like 3
    • James J Hindal Sr

      Numbers matching? This isn’t going to be a star at a big dollar auction anywhooze.

      It’s not a Superbird or 69 427 Corvette.
      Restomod all the way…

      Like 1
  18. Michael

    I can’t believe a couple thousand pounds of rust has been bid to $3223 and the reserve still hasn’t been met. There must be a lot of folks with sheet metal they need to use up.

    Like 5
    • Rickirick

      I know, right? I bought 75 Type LT brand new copper over sandlewood interior shortly after joining Army. Had it for about 15 months & 25k miles. Price was $3800 brand spanking new. Involved in wreck not of my doing. Hit concrete culvert in someone’s driveway. Went thru air upside down landing on hwy skidding down. Came to rest & got out. Sutures in one finger is all. Conway Twitty still playing on 8 track. Lucky to be alive.

      Like 4
      • Rickirick

        Correction…paid $4300.

        Like 0
  19. Kathryn Guffey Member

    Whom ever buys this Camaro, take care not to order seat covers for a Camaro. Those are from a Firebird which had the deluxe interior. What I call “horse collar” seats. That one will require experience, indeed.

    Like 1
  20. SuperDave

    Something has been done to the car. Because the badge was in the grille for 74 . Then moved up to

    Like 2
    • SuperDave

      Something has been done to the car. Because the badge was in the grille for 74 . Then moved up to the top of the header panel for 75-77

      Like 1
  21. Robert Liivoja

    I purchased a regular 1974 Camaro brand new, my first new car.
    I remember burying the needle (140 mph) and “floating” down the highway.
    I only kept it for one year. Too many problems.
    Posi-track had issues 3 months in.
    Rear suspension was toast in about 6 months.
    Speedometer didn’t work and had to br repaired….twice.
    I really liked the look of the car, but had to get rid of it due to the problems.
    Traded it for a 1975 Grand Prix.

    Like 1
  22. john atanasio

    I will never understand why anybody want to spend that much time and money on a car this bad. with the cost of labor today one will never get what he/she invested in it. true cars never held their value.

    Like 1
  23. Joe M.

    1974 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Rust-Oleum edition*
    “feel I need a tetanus shot just looking at it”

    Like 1
  24. PRA4SNW

    SOLD for $5,176.

    Like 0

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