Classic Classified: 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
From: Hemmings Motor News, December 1983
Price then: $12,000 ($29,500 adjusted for inflation)
Price now: $26,400 – $62,600
Approximate dollar difference: $33,100 (Assuming No. 1 condition)
Annual rate of return: 2.2%
1970 ½ Z-28: Turbo 400 transmission. This car is original and flawless, GM Blood red with ebony black stripes accent, this perfect body unmarred by aged or the 6,000 miles which it has traveled. Appraised at over $12,000, A true piece of yesterday’s performance available as new today.
1970 brought with it the all new GM F-Body platform. The Camaro received sleeker styling as well as a cockpit style dash and instrument cluster while retaining the potent performance customers were used to from the previous generation.
When the Z/28 badge was introduced a few years earlier, it was used to homologate the Camaro for Trans Am series racing and featured the small, high-revving 302 engine. When the 2nd generation Camaro rolled out for the late 1970 model year, the 302 was ditched in favor of the larger 350-cubic-inch engine with solid lifters making a higher advertised 360 hp. Later years of the second generation Z/28 were watered down in terms of performance as emissions regulations got stricter, so 1970 examples are particularly desirable.
Looking at this Camaro, does an appraised value of $12,000 make sense? On one hand, it would have been pretty unusual for a 13-year-old Camaro to have been so well kept and have so few miles, especially in 1983. On the other hand, in 1983 a new 1983 Camaro Z/28 with options ran about $10,000-$12,000. Also, flipping through other ads in the same issue of Hemmings reveals that first-gen Camaro Z/28s, which are typically more desirable, were asking about half this amount at the time. That makes $12,000 seem like a pretty ambitious number for 1983, especially for a car with an automatic.
If a prospective buyer back then did pay the estimated value, he or she saw little return on investment, especially since this car would’ve been most wisely maintained in a climate-controlled environment in order to ensure the condition didn’t deteriorate. With the additional cost that entails, it pretty much washes out the ROI. While this seems like a real find, this car was most certainly fully priced and then some.