Small Block Project: 1973 Chevrolet Camaro

The second generation of the Chevy Camaro had a lengthy production run, from 1970 to 81. In the early years, annual changes would usually be few, so the 1973 models looked a lot like the 1972s. This ’73 edition is a two-owner car that’s been laid up for a while, so it’s not in running condition. Needing a restoration, this Chevy hails from Citrus Height, California, and is available here on eBay for $8,000 (we’re told the price is firm). Thanks to Jamie for the tip!

Half the 1972 model year was a wipe-out for the Camaro. It was only built at GM’s plant in Norwood, Ohio which was plagued by a 174-day strike. Once that was over, some 1,100 partially completed cars were scrapped or donated to vocational schools because management deemed it would be too costly to modify them to meet the upcoming safety and emission changes for ‘73. Adding fuel to the fire was a downturn in pony car sales due to insurance companies hurting muscle car interest with higher premiums. Rumor has it that the Camaro and Pontiac Firebird’s days were numbered, but fortunately, that didn’t transpire.

The seller’s ’73 Camaro is one of 96,751 built and – like most the cars – appears to be a standard car. Small engine and not an LT or Z28 (the SS had been discontinued for the demand issues addressed above). We’re told this car has had only two prior owners and both were in the same family. But time and Mother Nature have slowly left their marks on the Chevy which hasn’t been active in some time. The vehicle no longer has its original motor and the one which is there now isn’t going to run without some work (307 or 350?).

Past its prime, the beige paint is going to need replacing once the visible dents and rust are taken care of. The seller says there is corrosion in the “normal spots” which would suggest fenders, quarter panels, and maybe where the matching vinyl top has started to pull away. It’s hard to tell the condition of parts of the interior as the front buckets are wearing cheapo aftermarket pullovers and the bottom half of the rear seat is gone (or at least not where it’s supposed to be; the floors below look rusty, too). It looks as though some cut a hole in the roof for a sunroof as I don’t recall those being an option. Since the car will never be numbers matching again, what would you do with it? That small block looks lonely under the hood.


  1. Moparman Member

    Looking at the condition this car is currently in, I’d venture a guess that the “firm” price will add up to a “NO SALE”.

    Like 11
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Moparman – Mopar guy here and you can’t be more wrong….these are hard to find in any condition…..

      Like 1
  2. Calipag

    It’s funny how different people view vehicle values differently. I actually thought it was a decent starting point and price for that generation Camaro.

    Like 11
  3. sparkster

    Interesting they were too lazy to remove the rear license plate for pictures. Deciding to “color out” the plate instead.

    Like 3
  4. Ed Casala

    I think the price is not all that bad. There was a crappier Nova for 10K on here as well. Good starting point, but that sun roof is a killer to me. Bet it leaks. But if does look like a good reasonably project. If it was a rusted out Mopar, it would be three times the price. Hope this one makes it back on the road.

    Like 6
    • Tony Primo

      That crappier Nova was a daily driver in running condition. To me it would be a better buy.

      Like 4
      • stillrunners stillrunners Member

        You can find early Novas – the second gen Camaro’s were built 1970 1/2 to 1973.

    • karl

      Obviously then , rusted out Mopars are more desirable

      Like 4
  5. Danny

    Once again, to the novice on here. Please stop looking at this industry as a hobby venue! Those days are long, long gone! I repeat, this industry is no longer a hobby industry! The above mentioned price for this camaro is cheap! Probably too cheap, which you will not see again! The muscle car industry has moved upward, into investments, like the stock market, and long term value. You are talking about, a rare commodity, in most cases cars over 50 years old! So please, adjust your mindset, invest now for the future.

    Like 4
    • Big C

      That’s why the classic car culture is dying out. When your “passion” is making the biggest buck off the next guy who only cares about cashing in? The guy who’s raising a family, has a mortage, etc. But, still has a real desire to actually own and enjoy a classic? Has been priced out. And that is a real shame.

      Like 11
  6. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    At first I thought this was the cool silver with black vinyl topped 1973 that my father used as a loaner when his new 1973 Camaro was in the shop. There is a grainy Polaroid photo of all of us kids standing next to it in the driveway. If this had the remnants of a hounds tooth interior and appropriate 1973 rally wheels, I’d be a player!

    Like 2
  7. Ken Member

    The sunroof is unfortunate
    Tough repair! Other than that, the price isn’t that bad. If the floor under the back seat is indicative of the rest of the car cancer wise, I could make this into a car. The sunroof is a deal breaker for me.

  8. Dallas

    Love that license plate frame – “Curl up with your hairdresser” – classic!

    Like 1

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