Three Pedal Project: 1988 Chevrolet Camaro

This 1988 Chevrolet Camaro is a driver through-and-through, but as one of the harder to find manual transmission examples, it’s certainly worthy of a closer look. The Camaro is said to be a one-owner example, and the listing reads as if it’s written by that owner and not someone who isn’t counting themselves as the second caretaker. The Camaro has some needs, along with some minor rust issues, but looks like an easy restoration for $4,600. Find it here on craigslist in Melrose Park, PA.

I know some of you don’t get as excited as I do to see three pedal versions of this generation Camaro and the Firebird, but they really do seemingly come up for grabs far less often. This Camaro has some cosmetic flaws I find surprising for a northern car, as the dash is completely shot. Usually, this is the sort of damage I’d associate with a car from the sun belt, but the seller’s mention of it being garage parked since 2008 and repainted that same year indicates it got plenty of sun exposure beforehand.

That’s usually the reverse of how it goes for affordable used cars, with the vehicle in question being garage-stored when it was new and then slowly left outside more frequently as it got older and less prized. The engine bay certainly reflects this sentiment, as it’s fairly dingy, but the seller notes the 305 V8 has just over 65,000 original miles, which is quite low for the year. No other details are offered in terms of mechanical health or maintenance, other than nothing it runs well and passes the state inspection.

This Camaro left the factory with the power rear hatch, but it’s not working at the moment. And, as you can likely tell, the hatch pistons need to be replaced as well in order for them to hold the rear glass up without the help of the wooden dowel you see here. The pictures show some rust blossoming around one of the rear fenders, which is a bit of a surprise for a repaint, but not entirely so if the body wasn’t properly prep’d before the new paint was applied. I would love to see this Camaro brought back, but the price may need some adjustment for the work that needs to happen to bring it back to showroom form.

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    I’ve always felt that the OEM type spoiler on this car looked like a cheap aftermarket add on, that didn’t really help the look of the car. The wheel well rust cancer indicates that there may be more than just ‘minor’ rust. A manual makes it attractive (to some) and unusual. GLWTA! :-)

    Like 1
  2. Superdessucke

    This car is unique among Third Gen Camaros. For 1988, the IROC became its own separate model instead of an option package on the Z28, and the Z28 was discontinued since most Z28s had the IROC package by this point anyway.

    Chevy then put the old Z28 paint scheme, front fascia, and side ground effects on the Sport Coupe and gave it the odd D81 “Aerowing” spoiler you see here. A normal D80 spoiler was available but most ’88 Sport Coupes (59,271 out of 66,605) had the Aerowing.

    The Berlinetta/LT was also discontinued this year, as the market for luxury pony cars had pretty much dried up.

    For 1989, the Sport Coupe disappeared too and was replaced by the monochrome RS, which was a limited production regional offering in 1987 and 1988. The Aerowing was also discontinued for 1989, so it is a one year only affair. A much taller version of it appeared on the 1991 Z28 introduced in the spring of 1990.

    Like 7
  3. Steve R

    Based on its condition and asking price, I’d keep looking. There is a good chance you could find a 93-96 Z28. Trans Am or Formula with an LT-1 in similar, if not better condition for not much more money.

    Steve R

    Like 2
    • Sal

      Yes but they don’t looks as nice as 3rd gens and handle about the same if not as good.

      Like 1
      • Dave

        I had a t-top ’89. The chassis was about as stiff as a wet noodle, maybe the steel roof was a little better. Cured that with a pair of weld in subframe connectors. The thing about this car is if you go to a 350 or a 383 you’ll start breaking parts. The 5 speed is a delicate little trans, and if it has the 7.5 diff., it will grenade if it hooks.

  4. JoeNYWF64

    Could this model be gotten with a 350 as a sleeper?
    Odd steering wheel hub design – guess for chest protection – rim looks new, but the dash is that cracked?
    How hard is it to replace the dash pad?
    The car is shut off but the tach shows 1800 rpm?
    Does the temp gage show that the engine ran that hot?
    http://images.craigslist.org/00w0w_bV5hvWjstzA_1200x900.jpg

    Like 1
    • brianashe Member

      You could get a 350 but only with an automatic. 305s could be 5-speeds or autos. According to tests at the time, a manual 305 was just a couple tenths slower than a 350/auto.

  5. mostlystock

    This is exactly like my second car in H.S., 305 TBI 5 speed, color and year are exactly the same. Paid $3200 for mine in 96, mine had 88k

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