Running Project: 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

The second-generation Chevy Camaro was in wind-down mode. The platform had been used since 1970 and a new Camaro was coming in 1982. Also, the economy wasn’t doing well, and sales dropped by half from the year before. And yet, 30% of all Camaro sales came with Z28 badging. This example was off the road for a few years and looks good in some of the pictures. While in other photos, however, rust is present including see-through. But the seller is including some extra sheet metal at the Buy It Now Price. The problem is that no BIN price is shown. From Chicago, Illinois, this vintage Camaro is available here on eBay for $5,600 or wherever bidding stops.

A 1980 Camaro wasn’t too much different from a 1979 Camaro, though the graphics on the Z28 were more aggressive. Gas prices had spiked again, so the Chevy brain trust thought that replacing the 130-mph speedometer with one that peaked at 85 would make people drive slower (yeah, right). Out of 152,000 Chevy ponies built in 1980, 45,000 had the Z28 option and – overall – just 12,000 buyers opted for a 4-speed manual transmission, which is what the seller’s Camaro has.

We’re told this Z runs well although it was sitting for a time. The 185 hp, 350 cubic inch V8 is said to run well, but the car needs brake work and some new tires. Also, there is a leak around the exhaust at the engine somewhere. At 109,000 miles, the suspension in the back has developed a case of the “sags” and the seller has new leaf springs to go with the car at the elusive BIN price.

The body is going to be the problem child here. From some angles, the car looks great. Yet, from others, there is surface rust and penetration to be dealt with (not just small holes). On the good news front, the red interior looks quite good and may not require any attention, at least not right away. Is this a project you would undertake, with or without the extra goodies the seller has?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. ACZ

    Pretty typical for a car from Chicago. This thing is toast. Some good parts but only those without rust.

    Like 2
    • B.B.

      I love the fact that it looks pretty much all original but yes, I’d be very scared of rust here. These are partial unibodies with a front subframe, so rust at the key mounting points can be very problematic. The floors on these things also tend to rot very quickly. So there’s probably a ton of expensive metal work underneath to address.

      Like 0
  2. Scrapyard John

    Is it just me, or do these and the firebird/trans ams of the same vintage always seem to drag arse when they get some age on them more than any other vehicle? I wonder why that is?

    Like 1
    • ACZ

      Rust and broken leafs in the rear springs. Can be worse depending on where you live.

      Like 3
      • B.B.

        Broken, or they just lose their tension over time. I had a ’79 Z28 that was sagging like that by the early 1990s and the springs weren’t broken.

        But you need to be careful with replacements. A lot of replacement springs nowadays are made in China and you’ll end up with “jacked up” look that looks ridiculous and is not factory spec.

        Like 4
      • Scrapyard John

        Not a lot of rust issues here in MS, but I always saw these draggin arse all the way back in the 90’s anyway. Maybe they looked a little low in the back when new..? May be the factory springs were kinda weak. I dunno.

        Like 0
      • B.B.

        Yes, these, and most other muscle cars, sat lower than we commonly see them now. The problem, Scrapyard John, is cheap replacement springs that are mostly made in China. Unless you take pains to seek out OEM, you’ll 9/10 get a high rider look to a varying degree. An extreme example is the ’77 Z28 that’s just been listed on here.

        I think this one sits a bit too low and needs replacements. Source OEM!!

        Like 0
  3. bobhess bobhessMember

    Think maybe I’d save my money for one of the next generation models. They got to the point of just throwing plastic molded pieces at the cars along with stripes to nowhere with this one.

    Like 0
  4. C Force

    Save the motor,trans ,rear end and interior pieces,think the rest is mostly made of rust now.the rust repair alone would have you upside down on$$$.

    Like 0
  5. Stumpwi

    You couldn’t get a 350 4 speed manual combination in 1981. Makes me wonder about this one.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds