Z28 Survivor: 1979 Chevrolet Camaro

Everyone loves a good survivor! This 1979 Camaro Z28 isn’t perfect, but it is pretty darn close! Wearing its original black paint wrapped around an eye-popping red interior, this iconic end of an era Camaro will surely fetch a good price. Camaro’s aren’t my car of choice, however everything about this particular car is absolutely doing it for me. Though the styling of the late ’70s isn’t for everyone, I’m sure we can all agree this car is in fantastic condition. With 73,000 documented miles, I’m genuinely surprised that bidding is only at $6,100 so far. The reserve hasn’t been met yet, and I imagine it won’t be for a while yet! This Camaro is a two-owner car that was in storage from 1991 until 2014, and was freshened up by its current owner. Find it here on eBay in Texas. 

I’m having a hard time believing the mileage on this car, not because I think it’s too low but because I think its too high! While I’m sure the mileage is accurate, the interior is just in such great condition that it is hard to fathom this car covering 73,000 miles while be kept this nice. The seats aren’t worn or faded, nor is any other part of the interior. The only issue is seam separation on the bottom cushion of the driver’s seat, which would be easy enough for a skilled upholsterer to repair in order to retain the original materials. The dash is nice, the gauges work, and everything is original with the exception of an older aftermarket Panasonic radio.

This is where some survivor enthusiasts will turn away. Under the hood is a non-original four bolt Chevrolet 350 V8 that is mildly built with an upgraded cam and headers. Evidently, this was done some time ago at the hands of the original owner. While this does detract from the value (depending on the buyer), it does not detract from the coolness! Equipped with a factory 4-speed and tachometer, this Camaro is a beautiful example of time period long passed. The seller even has extensive handwritten documentation of maintenance and fuel logs from 1979 into the 1990s when this car was put into storage.

Evidently, when this car was purchased by the second and current owner in 2014, $5,200 of mechanical and minor cosmetic work was performed to get this car into the condition we see it in here. Though some may not consider this a true muscle car, it has all the makings of one. Not only would this be a great cruiser, I bet it is a lot of fun to drive and it sure looks great going down the road. See for yourself in the video found here that the dealer has included! Though it isn’t a factory perfect survivor, it is a survivor of the times it was used in. Hopefully this Camaro finds it’s next long-term owner!

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Comments

  1. Curtis

    Total Pontiac Trans Am fan & owner of this year but this car was almost my first car back in the day. Love the color combo & this is a great looking car.

  2. Steve R

    Nice car. I prefer it with these engine modifications over one with a stock engine.

    The bidding right before the auction ends could be interesting.

    Steve R

  3. Superdessucke

    I had a ’79, dark blue with light blue stripes and interior. I modified the engine with a mild cam, aluminum dual plane Edlebrock intake, slightly higher stall converter, open air cleaner and a true dual exhaust system. It made a huge difference in the fun-to-drive factor.

    Do not forget that the LM1 in these only came with a 175 horsepower. Those mild upgrades probably added 50-75 more and knocked at least a full second and a half of the quarter mile time. I’m a purist too but I just wouldn’t leave one of these stock. Save the original components but I would modify it similar to this.

    Anyway, nice example. I really can’t find fault. It is common with these to mix ‘n match different years Z28 components, such as 1980-81 tail lights on a 1978-79 or different year grill and fuel fillèr emblems. This one seems physically intact.

  4. Angrymike

    Nice car, but it’d need aluminum heads a set of 10.3 pistons, an older stock aluminum intake, maybe a 30-30 cam and 373’s out back. Since the original engine is gone, why not ?

  5. Rock On Member

    Angrymike- this car should already have a set of 3.73’s in it. The automatics came with 3.42’s. Except California that is. Postraction was still optional. My ’78 in these same colours was non-posi.

    • Superdessucke

      Correct. The 4-speeds came with 3.73s from the factory until 1980. Autos had 3.42s. Posi was optional on either.

      AL heads are nice due to weight savings but unless you’re building an all out race motor probably an unnecessary expense. The stock 1.94/1.50 heads on these flow pretty well for mild cam applications. My Z ran low 14s with just the mods I mentioned above. A 4-speed would probably be in the high 13s.

  6. Tom Member

    I don’t say this much about any Camaro after 1972 but this is pretty cool. Nice car. Love the red, the upgrades and the manual !!

    Owned 1 black car 32 years ago…..my first and my last!!

  7. cudaman

    My all original ’79 with 60k miles. Hasn’t been registered since 1999. Just faded original paint. Interior and inside trunk are like new and original.

    • S Ryan

      Cudaman with a Camaro?
      Maybe it’s just me. Where my Beer?

      • cudaman

        Ya….got a ’70 Barracuda 383cid 4-speed 41k one owner, and a ’69 “R” code 428cid 4-speed Cobra Jet…….I love em all………

    • Michael

      Wow! Nice ride! Love the wheels.

    • Tim

      Nice ride man🖒beautiful car!!!!
      Second generation body style was a great look for Chevy Camaro.
      I would rather own a 1st or 2nd.
      Generation versus the 5th gen I own
      It’s a nice car body style wise but has some flaws.

  8. Les

    I had a 1979 Camaro berlinetta put a 468 big block in it. Loved it.

  9. irocrob

    Sold my long owned 1979 Z 350 4 speed 2 years ago. It was a fun car but with 3.73 gears 60 mph at 3000 rpm equals awful gas mileage. Interesting looking at his fuel fill up book and seeing gas at 75 cents a gallon as its 5.00 here in Canada !!!

  10. BorisRoberts

    Maybe I’m too old or something…..but, the author said bidding was at $6100 and he wanted to see it go higher, well, it’s at $12,700 right now. I see that it says the owner was selling it on EBay, but if a dealer was selling it, they probably didn’t pay more than $3000 for it, and I can’t imagine what they did for $5200 in work to prep it for sale.

    “Recent major work completed includes the brake system rebuild, water pump & cooling system refresh, transmission service, differential service, tune-up & carburetor overhaul, NEW (December, 2014) tires, and more. All of this work totaled to $5,297.52. We have the invoice from Carr’s…” .

    Servicing a 4 speed involves draining the gear lube and refilling it. I don’t know if its a Muncie M-21 (I doubt if it’s an M-22, they would have mentioned it), or a Saginaw, or a Borg Warner T-10, I don’t think a Super T-10 was available for those that year. Same with the diff service, change out the gear lube. Water pump, small block Chevy water pump, $20 on the low end, a factory GM is less than $60. The Radial T/As are about $100 ea., I’m surprised they still make them. Anyway, I still don’t see nearly $6000 in work.

    At $12,700, it reinforces what I decided a while back. The Muscle Car hobby has priced itself out of my paygrade. If you buy it and drive it, things will deteriorate (I would drive it, a lot). Even though I’m a machinist/toolmaker, and I can do most of the work myself, parts prices are getting more than I’m willing to spend (for example, the last Holley 700cfm, dual feed, double pumper I bought new, was $122. It’s 5 1/2 times that now). They made 85,000 plus of these cars. And eventually, this might end up as a Street Stock at the local racetrack, because the people that buy these higher priced resto/survivors, aren’t the guys that actually build and maintain them.

    • Superdessucke

      You haven’t been able to get one of these for $3,000 since the mid-to-late 1980s. And even back then, those were the beat up wrecks. It is true that they did build a lot of them but most of them got modified and destroyed.

      Nice stock ones have been pretty desirable and thus somewhat expensive for some time now. Trans Ams of this vintage routinely sell for 20K or more, even 403s. Z28s aren’t quite there yet but I am willing to bet this thing goes in the $15,000- 17,000 range, maybe even more if two buyers have to have it.

  11. Troy S.

    It’s got the optional zero emissions equipment engine! Nice work.

  12. Chuck Simons

    Looks good…I was in the GM Van Nuys plant building these.

  13. Tim

    Nice ride man🖒beautiful car!!!!
    Second generation body style was a great look for Chevy Camaro.
    I would rather own a 1st or 2nd.
    Generation versus the 5th gen I own
    It’s a nice car body style wise but has some flaws.

  14. David Barlowe

    In reply to angry Mike, I’ve never heard of a 30 30 cam. I’m 64 yrs old and a 30 30 cam sounds like something a toy would have. Aren’t you intelligent enough to know what the spec’s would be in a particular cam if one did interest you, like for example, 550 lift & 325 duration for example and how ever much overlap would be required for your unique build combination. 30 30, you sure that you weren’t talking about a 30-30 rifle. Dumb.

    • sluggo

      David Barlowe,, I grew up wrenching on Chevys in the70s and read most every hot rod magazine published and most issues printed.
      I think you are the dumb one here for shooting your mouth off. I heard of 30 30 cams lots but I also studied many of the pioneers such as Smokey Yunick Zora Arkus Duntov, Carroll Shelby, and the others.
      But dont rely on me. 10 sec on a google search brings up tons of references on 30 30 cams.
      I learned a LOT from some good ol boys from North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama when I was in the military and tried to soak up as much of their tribal knowledge as I could. At my first duty assignment these guys put together some stock car teams and cleaned up. Nobody in Oregon-washington-Idaho had seen that kind of skill sets at the dirt tracks and small ovals before.

      Start learning about ISKY cams, Chet Herbert Cams, and some of the other pioneers in the cam industry.

      maybe before you make a fool of yourself again do a quick search on a topic.

      See: https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/performance-of-a-duntov-30-30-camshaft.497864/

      I am building a 327 for my 55 chevy and I wanna run a Duntov 30/30 camshaft. I see the lift is .455 and the duration is .253 at .50 with a 114 degree lobe center… Has anyone run this cam on the street? Can someone give me some info on how it performs? I am running a Muncie 4 speed and a 3.55 rear. I would think with the duration that it wouldnt start howling till the rpms got up with with the lobe center at 114 I would think that would help. Thanks much.

      • Tyler

        I ran a Duntov 30-30, for about a week in the early 80’s. I heard my dad pine away about how great they were, not thinking about the last time he dealt with building a sbc was about 1962. The thing wouldn’t get out of it’s own way. Maybe if the car had had some 5.13 gears, but even with 4.11’s, it was sick at anything less than 3500rpms. Took it back apart & stuck a 292 hydraulic cam in its place & got my torque back.

        The 097 & 30-30 may have been state of the art, for a 283, in 1960, but with all the great hydraulic roller profiles today, there is just no reason to run a cam like that.

        Not to mention you don’t have to pull the valve covers after every couple hundred miles to reset the lash…

  15. sluggo

    This is a cool car, but as i just posted on another posting about earlier gen Camaros,, People grew to hate camaros as they were almost TOO popular. But this one as a Z28 is cool and will be collectable as seemingly these all disappeared.
    I personally parted out at least 4 1970s era camaros and I have a 79 sitting here I am using as a donor for a prewar street rod-rat rod. (Tie the subframes together and a sportsmans Jegs chassis roll cage).

    These are well on the way for being valuable classics,, Would be easy to make the engine appear stock, and not many YET are checking date stamps and vin codes but will probably happen eventually. But nobody left these engines stock back in the day. Anemic but respond well to a well established formulas of perf upgrades.
    On my last 1970s Camaro that i did not part out,, it was a 1977 LT and picked it up for $600 in 1989 after returning to the US. Needed a lot of attention. I copied a magazine HP shootout build for the motor, did a B&M shift kit on the Turbo 350, Did some brake and suspension upgrades and for very little money had a Camaro that would clock 140 mph on Interstate 5 and got decent fuel economy when I kept my foot out of it. (Avg 24 mpg freeway and 15 mpg city).

    But bad points, As these age they get squeaky & Creaky (Sound like the tank in Fury), Doors weigh a ton and sag, if you dont tie the subframes they flex badly and overall are kind of a big tank,.The heater core and AC is a PIA to service and requires great skill the re-assy without problems All of which can be addressed,,

    I was flippin thru channels the other day and watched a cheesy 1980s or 90s Walker Texas Ranger episode and I think they wrecked/crashed one of these every other episode. The one I watched 4 days ago had some bad guys use one of these as a getaway car and rolled it at a construction site.

  16. BHB

    all this talk of camshafts makes me ill. camshafts are such crude compromises. why can’t they be mapped and optimized for all loading conditions? vario-cam you say? that’s a start, but free-valve by koenigsegg is getting exciting.

  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    No sale at $13,100,not re-listed.

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