Would You Daily Drive A 46K Mile Car? 1975 Camaro LT

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The second-generation Camaro could be all things from all people.  From a six-cylinder pussycat to a sporty Z28, these cars could be ordered exactly how the customer wanted.  It would be nice to have a vehicle like this 1975 Chevrolet Camaro for sale on Craigslist in Radcliff, New York as an everyday driver still today.  This Camaro, which was painted a color called, believe it or not, Bright Yellow from the factory, has just 46,209 miles, a 350 cubic inch V-8 under the hood, an automatic transmission, and cold air conditioning.  While it may be a bit of a sin to start stacking up miles on a car like this, I think all of you would agree that this would make for a fantastic daily driver even today.  The only problem besides finding the $13,500 asking price in your bank account?  Rust is starting to bubble up under that eye-catching paint job.  Can it be stopped before it damages the value of the car?  Thanks to Tony P. for this awesome tip!

While this may shock some of you, the marketing department at General Motors has a lot of institutional knowledge built up on how to separate from your folding money.  For decades, General Motors has lured buyers into the showrooms with beautiful designs, their famous tier system of brands, financing deals, and thousands of other ways that we will probably never hear about.  Once there, almost every dealership will have a car or truck that will fit your needs and a salesman who will use the extensive options list to tailor the car to your financial wherewithal and particular tastes.  Today we shop online for a specific vehicle that suits our needs and is already sitting on the lot.  Back in the day, ordering a car with the options you wanted was much more popular.

So, let’s say you walked into a Chevrolet dealership in 1975 with your evil little heart set on a Camaro.  Of course, you want the one with the biggest engine, a manual transmission, spoilers, bright paint, and a suspension that will beat your kidneys into submission on a trip to the corner store to get eggs, bread, and milk.  The problems with that selection are many.  Your spouse wants you to get a boring sedan.  Your insurance agent laughed at you when you called for a quote on such a car.  The last straw was that the bank simply wouldn’t loan you the money it would take to get you behind the wheel of the coolest Camaro in town.  It is compromising time, and that salesman smiling across the desk from you in that snazzy seersucker suit will show you the path to happiness.

A good example of what the salesperson may order for you would be this 1975 Chevrolet Camaro LT.  While visually similar to a Z28, this yellow Camaro still has several options that make it a more realistic choice for a commuter with a lead foot.  Under the hood is a run-of-the-mill Small Block Chevrolet V-8 with 350 cubic inches of displacement.  For a car of this size and weight, it is a good option for someone who likes to feel the car move when the pedal is mashed to the floor.  The automatic transmission is easier to live with than a manual transmission if the car is being used as a commuter vehicle in the city or a hilly area.  Power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning also make the commute less taxing after a long day of work.  As for the outside, what it lacks in spoilers it more than makes up for with an attractive set of steel wheels and an eye-catching exterior color.

Inside, you sit down to a set of bucket seats divided by a center console with a shifter at your fingertips.  While this car’s brown cloth seat centers and brown vinyl everything else interior can look a bit dated to our eyes, brown was a happening color back in the day.  Just be glad it isn’t avocado green.  The seller tells us that the interior of this car is very nice, and overall, the car has a few small dings and imperfections.  It is said to be “not perfect but nice.”  These claims are backed up with over $5,000 in receipts to show that the car has been cared for over the last few years.

It also has just 46,209 miles on the odometer and is said to drive like new.  While there is no official way to prove the mileage figure is true beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is believable from what we have seen in the pictures.  Those pictures also reveal another issue.  There are spots of rust popping up in various places.  The seller has been very straightforward in providing pictures of the bubbles pushing up on the respray.  The problem is that we don’t know what the underside looks like or if there were more spots repaired than sprayed over.  Rust is no stranger to GM cars of this era, so buyer beware.

All rusting aside, you can see why these cars were so popular.  Even today, if Chevrolet offered this exact car at a reasonable price, they would sell like hotcakes.  The body is well-designed, the drivetrain and accessories are ultra-reliable, and parts can still be found at any local parts store.  These cars also had a reputation for being fun to drive and being very easy to fall in love with.  When you look at what little $13,500 buys you now on the used car market, there are worse choices for a daily driver than this Camaro out there.  Just make sure that you attack the rust issue ASAP.

Did you ever own a second-generation Camaro?  Was it a good car for you?  Would you be interested in this low-mileage example at the asking price to use as a daily driver?  Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Al camino

    I guess it would be too much to put two trim rings on the other side

    Like 8
    • NovaTom

      And the LT trim panel between the tail lights.

      Like 6
      • Bamapoppy

        Those plaid seats make me think of Rodney Dangerfield.

        Like 9
      • HRichards

        Those trim pieces are correct. The big trim panel wasn’t used until 1976. I bought and still own a Type LT Camaro new in May 1975. Dark green metallic with FACTORY leather dark saddle interior. 350. 4 Spd AC Gauges Tilt. Not a fast car by any means, but comfortable driver.

        Like 0
    • Brendon

      also appears to be missing the 6x stainless steel inserts inside each wheel rim hole.

      Like 0
  2. JustPassinThru

    The writer’s description of the sales process in 1975 is entertaining, and pretty-much correct. It made me think, though: Years of development of the automobile, with big engines, manual transmissions, performance options, developed an enthusiasm for such cars with buyers willing to pay for them.

    But almost from the time they were offered, salesmen, insurers, public-safety advocates, all tried to steer us AWAY from what it was we found we liked. Big engines, big insurance premiums. Manual transmissions, salesmen who warned us that hills would be “problematic.” Even graphics, were overpriced and under-stocked. And of course, the spousal unit, warning of dire consequences if we didn’t accede to the “boring sedan.”

    First they taught us to like what the engineers developed, in the rough-and-ready days; and then they made it hard to actually GET them.

    And the trend has only accelerated. Now, manual transmissions are unobtainium. A “big engine” means a turbocharger – which has lifespan costs in spirited use. The most popular colors are white, silver and black.

    Well, Detroit did it. They finally managed to force us all to accept…the kind of car that few can even care about. And they wonder why sales are down; and wonder why teenagers no longer even care about getting their driver’s licenses.

    Because driving these new Safety-Firstmobiles, is just a chore.

    Like 12
    • Brother John

      Detroit didn’t do that.
      Washington did.

      That aside, you’ve probably seen the page listing (nearly) all the cars remaining in which you can get a manual transmission. It baffles me because in many of them — the new Bronco, for instance — you can get a manual gearbox only with the small motor.

      These idiots think it’s still 1980 and we’re buying clutches for efficiency. What an idiotic misreading of the market.

      Like 3
  3. Camaro Appeal

    GM has decided to end the Camaro this year.
    Its the second time to stop production sadly.
    Mustang never stopped and a tribute to Ford.

    This has some spots on inner rear wells that need addressing immediately .

    I hope the underneath is in decent shape .

    I would get the lil rust pained only and leave alone to car cruise on weekends. Its not a daily driver to ruin but a fun weekend warrior.


    Like 2
  4. SkiBaron

    Decent car and nor a bad price. It says it is located in KY not NY in the add

    Like 2
  5. PwogMember

    Not meaning to pick on it but yellow is wrong shade, appears to be Bondo in bottom inside corner of door. Horrible rough paint (different shade) along fender edges and trunk weatherstrip area. Looks like a paint job back in the day without much attention to detail. Rust in door and quarter panel makes me worry about underbody. Hope whoever goes for it looks it over in person.

    Like 5
  6. Marky Mark

    Bought a new one just like this in ‘75. Type LT, same color interior but mine was white and had white letter tires which look better than whitewalls. Washed and waxed it constantly as an 18 year old with their first new car would be expected to do. After a couple of years the payments and insurance got to be too much so I sold it to a buddy who smoked in it and trashed it out. So depressing. This one will be needing rust repair, another paint job and some engine detailing. Would be nice to get a couple of trim rings too.

    Like 4
    • Rickirick

      Like you, I also bought one new in 75 at 18 right after basic & school. Copper over beautiful brown interior LT. It lasted 15 months & 25,000 miles. A corvette was passing on a 2 lane hwy in TX & couldn’t get it done in time forcing me off the road. Fun while it lasted even with only 143 hp I believe. But after hitting a culvert, flying thru the air & landing on hwy upside down & skidding, I got out on my own & only had stitches put in my ring finger. Still thank God to this day to be alive.

      Like 11
  7. GerryMember

    Just to answer the question posed by the writer.
    Yes I would daily drive it, Parking a car and not using it makes no sense and only makes it harder to use later when all the parts need replacing due to lack of use.

    Like 5
  8. BA

    It reminds me of the a song about a license plate “I EAT Z28” while that wasn’t such a impressive of a task now days in the Malaise Era a real Poncho T/A 400 was like a super hero till that pesky Chevelle with a 396 showed up to spoil the fun!

    Like 2
    • RoadDog

      Sammy Hagar. The song is “Trans Am”.

      Like 1
  9. John

    I bought a new 76 Camaro LT yellow and black interior with a 350 4 speed with the spoilers on it. I put 60 series while lettered tires on it. It was a beautiful fun car. I miss it to this day. You could actually afford the gas to drive them back then.

    Like 2
  10. David Richards

    I had a 1977 that I bought used in 1980. Copper with tan interior, pretty car. 305 V8. Auto. Great car. Had it 5 years. Great in snow, believe it! Bought a 1973 Chevy Nova hatchback brand new, 350 V8, auto. Drove it 7 years, 150,000 miles all over the USA. Great car. Zero troubles.

    Like 0
  11. Denny

    I still have my 77 Camaro in my garage I ordered in Oct. of 76 with 39,000 miles. A RS with 350 and 4 speed with posi. 2 tone silver and black int.

    Like 3
  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

    Bright Yellow, same exact color as the 3 mile Nova.

    Someone looking for one of hese should not balk at that price – where else are you going to find one of these in this condition? I’m sure several still exist, but won’t be easy to locate one for sale, I’m guessing.

    I’m with others, throw some RWL tires on those rallys and daily drive it!

    Like 0

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