Live Auctions

Rough and Real Z28: 1971 Chevrolet Camaro

Camaros are cool, but this one might be too far gone. Though this is a real Z28, with an $8,500 price tag in this condition a restoration doesn’t make financial sense when a nice and restored one can be had for under $40,000. I’m not an expert, but a car this rough would likely require more money in repairs than it will be worth when finished. The sagging rear is the most worrisome part of this car, because based on the amount of rust this suggests that something important has rusted through and let go. Though it could be just the leaf springs or perches, I’d be more worried that some sheet metal has turned to dust. Take a look for yourself! This car can be found here on eBay in Ohio. 

To say that this car cannot be saved would simply not be the truth. From the doors forward, this would appear to be a decent project. The seller states “Does have some rust but where do you find them all together.” I don’t like to correct people, but “some rust” is a gross understatement on this car, and they aren’t difficult cars to come by either. I have no doubt that this car can be saved, but with the back end sitting nearly on the ground a lot more information about this car would be required before purchase.

Under the hood is a Chevrolet 350 V8, the tried and true powerhouse of some of the greatest GM cars. Fortunately, the seller has provided six photos of the engine. Unfortunately, no information about the transmission is given other than it is a manual. From the engine bay, this car would look to be a decent quality old Camaro, but sadly that is not the case.

I’m not scared of a project, and most car guys aren’t. However, if I were looking for a 1971 Z28 Camaro to make my own, I think I might pass on this one. There is someone out there, and probably someone reading this, who is perfectly capable of restoring this car and helping it to ride again. It would take a lot of time, patience, and skill to get this car fixed for less than the cost of an already restored one. There is something to be said for doing it yourself so you know it has been done right, this just might not be the car to start with. Is this a worthwhile project? Or a nightmare waiting to happen?


  1. Rod444

    Y’all are spoiled. Up here in northern Canada we’d say “has the usual rust” :)

    Like 3
  2. Steve R

    It was a cool car. It’s “restoration” will likely consist of a rebody.

    Steve R

  3. Rock On Member

    Hey Rod444, even in southern Canada 🇨🇦 we would say this is normal rust. This is how a 5 year old daily driver would look in Toronto back in the seventies. I have seen plenty of them successfully restored without breaking the bank.

    Like 2
    • Rod444

      Hey Rock On, I’ll see your Torontonian rust issues and raise you frost heaves just slightly smaller than the Rockies and pot holes the size of Newfoundland plus monthly freeze/thaw chinook weather cycles. Our car environment is more atrocious than Rob Ford’s reputation.


      Like 2
  4. Todd Fante

    I really like to look at the cars you send me. But if one of my cars showed up here that I was trying to sell and one of your “journalists”!started telling people that it wasn’t a good deal, I’d be pissed. They don’t need to do that. This is a “ look what’s out there” site . Not a place to critique vehicles.

    • DEN

      100 percent true. Happen to me twice ! People should enjoy seeing what is posted, bottom line is, everyone has different opinions, different ways to restore cars, just enjoy life, have a positive attitude, think of others, maybe Karma will leave you alone. Have a great day !

    • grant

      Um, no? This is a place to say “hey look what’s out there” and then discuss it. As we are doing. This isn’t “journalism” in the sense that this is not news, it is a forum for people to share ideas and opinions, including those who wrote the base article.

      Like 1
    • James

      This is exactly the place to critique vehichles nobody is downing anyone here we look at the cars and put our two cents in on what we think it’s fun if your are car person an come on the man made some good points about this car. They always ask what we would do with this sight is about preserving and getting it out there to me this car is a parts car I love Camaros but would maybe pay 400 for this

    • Andrew Tanner Member

      We appreciate you being a reader! This is a place to discuss vehicles that are for sale, and because we aren’t associated with the sellers of vehicles listed outside of the Barn Finds website we are simply observers of these cars the same way as you are. Nowhere did I tell anyone it wasn’t a good deal, I simply said I thought I personally might pass on this project and encouraged readers to look for themselves and form their own opinion.

      Like 1
    • glen

      I can appreciate your point,I can also appreciate someone with experience warning others a certain vehicle purchase may prove to be a real headache. A lot of people have made purchases with big plans, that ended up sitting for years and rotting because it was too big a project. As for what type of site this is, I’ve been thinking that this site could be a a go-to site for people with questions about their project. Different sections for American/ British/ German/Italian/ Japanese,etc.A depository of knowledge.I love this site!

  5. Mike Campisano

    I bought a 71 Z28 in the early 80’s rusted like this for $400. No original motor. The rear springs had come through the rusted out trunk floor. Welded some brackets to the bumper for the springs lol. Drove it for a year and sold it for my original investment. By then it only had 1 body mount bolt that wasn’t rusted through. Told the kid it wasn’t road worthy. He laughed as he handed me $400.

    • TriPowerVette

      Just remember, Mike, stupid rolls downhill, and money rolls uphill. They were just finding their levels. No insult intended. Just facts on parade.

  6. DEN

    Forgot to say, rear sagging, ever consider car has air shocks and no air in them. A large number of cars from the 70s had air shocks. Have a great day !!

    • al8apex

      blown air shocks mean nothing as they were still shocks and “normal” (not coil overs or extreme high pressure gas) shocks do not determine ride height, springs do

      the springs likely have broken leaves from the extreme rust this car has suffered

      it is also very likely that the spring mounts have gone through the floor in the back

      Like 1
      • al8apex

        after reviewing all of the 61 pictures it appears that the front AND rear spring perches have rotted through the floors

        rough, rough “original” 71 Z28

      • DEN

        Totally untrue. Air shocks without coils will sag the back.

  7. JW

    If it was a split bumper Camaro maybe but not this one for that price.

  8. whmracer99

    Would really like to see some floor pan and underbody shots. If it’s truly all a numbers matching car and the chassis isn’t roached someone will buy it. What I can see the rust isn’t a killer issue but what’s underneath is the question.

    • Steve R

      There are 61 pictures in the description including many of the chassis. The rear undercarriage and frame rails are shot, so are the areas that support the leaf springs.

      Steve R

      • whmracer99

        Yup, didn’t see those the first time I went through it. Yuk. Still think someone will buy it for the matching VIN and drivetrain. $8500? Can’t see it.

        Like 1
  9. jw454

    The seller has zero feedback and more than a dozen cars advertised on Ebay right now. That raises some questions. This store is only about 40 miles north of me and I’ve never heard of it.

    Like 1
    • al8apex

      go visit them then

      Like 1
      • jw454

        I have no reason to.

    • mike D

      also, note, he has some ” pristine” cars, and a handful of cars that need work, obviously those that need too much for what he can do , no doubt he flipped the former owner maybe $500 with a song and a dance of how they couldn’t/ wouldn’t get much more than that for it and posts it on ebay .. this needs more work that I, at my age, would take more time than I could enjoy after it is done , I would have to have serious nostalgic need to buy it

      Like 1
      • Todd Finison

        Wrong!!! I sold it to him and he didn’t pay 500 for it. He paid good money for it actually. I gave up hope and moved on to different projects. Someone will get a rusty but true matching numbers car with most all the rarer hard to find parts intact.

  10. Rock On Member

    Okay Rod444, I’ll take your frost heaves and pot holes and raise you with the highest car insurance rates in all of North America. We import all of the worst drivers from around the world 🌎.

  11. Nrg8

    What’s the matter guys? Conscience getting to you? A car will sell itself. Even if it is tired, if it came with the right boxes checked and not some fabricated BS lineage. People in the know and have done their due diligence won’t care about an opinion of some arm chair expert. This site gives free exposure. It is not run by experts or or the other end of the spectrum either. If you have a car for sale and your opinion is it’s worth bank. That’s your call, opinions are like …. We all got them. Some people, while not experts calls them like they see them. Obviously you’re a seller, counting on a dreamer coming to buy your questionable flip. Something, something, wannabe used car salesman.. Something, something, take that cash.. Something, something, karma…

    Like 1
    • Nrg8

      Judging by the upvotes given to Todd and Den, I’m gonna say there are alot of flippers that take advantage of this site for leads. It’s a double edge sword, but if ya didn’t like the free advertising you would ask for your flip to be taken down. The free possible leads you may have missed scanning your advertiser of choice more than makes up for it. Like I said the car will sell itself if it’s right. And guys take the flip off the uhaul trailer and clean it, inventory it, get good 360 pics of it, takes an afternoon. More often then not if the first pic is on the trailer followed by 4 more of the same pics. And then a long story of the beaters alleged pedigree, I generally skip it. The classic car market is coming down. When you guys ask 3/4 of what a finished driving, safe car goes for it makes me giggle. Some will maintain high dollar but they are the cars that drives the dreamers to keep the hobby alive.

      Like 1
  12. RoselandPete

    I had the rear leaf springs go out twice on my first car, a 71 RS, when it was only a few years old. No hot rodding, no abuse–the springs just went. I can just imagine their condition 46 years later. This car is the same color as my old 71–Placer Gold. After I had it 6 years, I didn’t think I’d care if I got rid of my RS for a nice, new, 77 Monte Carlo. Boy, was I ever wrong. Selling that RS was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made–so many memories attached to that car. I know how Papa John felt.

    Like 1
  13. Todd Finison

    I owned this car. Sold it after realizing what a major project it would be. Michigan winters were responsible for the rust. Hope someone can save it as it a true matching numbers 350 Lt1 4 speed Z28.

    • Herman

      Rare car. Most people don’t know the 1971 Z28 are twice as rare as a 1970 Z28. I think there were only 4880 or so 1971 Z28 cars compared to 8900 ish 1970 Z28 cars. Being a factory 4 speed, even better! A true numbers 1971 4 speed Z28 is always worth saving. Values are and will comtinue to increase on these.

      Like 1
  14. ACZ

    Ohio = rust
    Ohio = parts car

  15. James

    Agree man I just hate to say that about a Camaro but this car would be a good car for someone needing the enginge and maybe tranny and make some money back by scrapping the body

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