Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson
This 1970 Camaro Z/28 was purchased new from Dudley Martin Chevrolet in Manassas, VA. This car retains its original interior — door panels, dash and headliner. The car was repainted just over 11 years ago in its original color, Shadow Gray. All the body panels are original to the car, and floor pans still have the original primer. This car is optioned with the LT-1 350/360-hp engine mated to an M22 manual transmission, 4:10 Positraction rear, spoiler package, power steering, power disc brakes, tinted glass and factory AM/FM radio with rear-seat speaker.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
Years Produced:1970–81
Number Produced:124,901 in 1970 (8,733 Z/28)
Original List Price:$3,411
SCM Valuation:$46,000
Tune Up Cost:$250
Chassis Number Location:Driver’s side dash, under windshield
Engine Number Location:Pad on block, passenger’s side front
Club Info:American Camaro Association
Alternatives:1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302, 1970 Pontiac Trans Am, 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A
Investment Grade:B

This car, Lot 412.1, sold for $42,900, including buyer’s premium, at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas sale held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on September 27–29, 2018. It was offered with no reserve.

The 1970 Camaro, also known as the 1970½ Camaro, was a tad late to the party for the 1970 model year. The car was completely redesigned from the ground up. While the drivetrain options were similar to the 1969 lineup, the body, suspension and just about every part on the car were new.

GM marketing materials described the all-new Camaro as a driver’s car. It was sleek, wider, lower and arguably more aggressive-looking than the first-generation Camaro (1967–69). It handled better, and depending on which options you selected, could tear up the road equally as well.

The Z/28 Special Performance Package, so named via the GM option code (RPO Z28), was even more formidable than its predecessor. Buyers who checked the box for the Z/28 received the spunky, high-winding, solid-lifter 350-ci LT-1 engine found in the Corvette. Although the Camaro’s engine was rated at 360 hp (the Corvette came in a 370 hp), “unofficial” non-factory testing of the 1970 LT-1 came in at over 400 hp. The LT-1 remains one of the most remarkable engines ever designed by Chevrolet.

Performance ratings for the all-new Camaro were equally impressive. Not only did it handle better, it was in near race form right off the showroom floor. Quarter-mile times came in at 14 seconds at just over 100 mph. Given the beefy weight of the car at around 3,600 pounds, that’s a respectable number. Even better, when equipped with a 4-speed manual, the Camaro Z/28 could take full advantage of the versatile LT-1 V8 by quickly finding the perfect RPM range on the street for quick acceleration.

Gentlemen, start your pony car wars

With the introduction of the 1965 Mustang, Ford had set the stage for what would become the Pony wars — and the race, literally, to build faster, more-powerful compact-style muscle cars, was in full swing. Chevrolet took two model years to knock out the 1967 Camaro in response, while Chrysler failed to hit the mark with the newly redesigned second-generation 1967 Barracuda.

By 1970, all three manufacturers were in full swing. Ford had redesigned the Mustang in 1969 with the introduction of the Boss 302, and Chrysler launched the new 1970 E-body Dodge Challenger and Plymouth ’Cuda. GM stayed in play with their redesigned 1970 model Chevrolet Camaro in Z/28 and SS trim, accompanied by the muscular, newly designed Pontiac Trans Am. Even fledging AMC jumped in with their 1969 AMX.

SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) racing fanned the flames, with all four manufacturers duking it out for top-dog status on the track with the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” mantra. Winning pony cars on the track meant winning sales in the showroom.

Given the steep competition in the market, the 1970 Camaro sold well, with GM selling over 124,000, and the punchy Z/28 accounting for 8,733 units. It was a popular car in the early 1970s and remains so today.

One good Z/28 deserves another

We’ve seen the first-generation Z/28s (1967–69) sell for staggering amounts. Diving into the ACC Premium Auction Database, there have been some very special examples that have sold for north of $100,000.

As the market ages and moves forward, meaning that older buyers drop out and younger buyers enter, the future could be predictably very bright for second-generation Camaro Z/28s.

Younger buyers will begin to gravitate to the second-generation bodies (particularly the 1970–73) since those models speak to them in the same way that first-generation buyers see the earlier cars. Yes, performance began to taper off in 1971, but the cars still hold a special place in the part of our collective car brain that connects with these cars (or any car, for that matter). As such, it would not surprise me to see these models advance in value to be more on par with the first-generation models.

Dealers seem to have taken notice of this, as a detailed market search of 1970–73 Camaro Z/28s showed asking prices from the mid-$50ks to the mid-$60ks. I also took note that some dealers are well stocked with Z/28 and SS Camaros of this era, which tells me they see the market moving forward, which bodes well for their inventory — meaning rising “on the book” values rather than depreciating.

The current ACC Median Valuation for a well-presented 1970 Z/28 is $46,000, with a “B”-level investment grade. Other price guides suggest a value in the low $50ks. While the current trend shows a price adjustment of minus 8%, what our price guide can’t foretell is the number of buyers potentially sitting on the sidelines, waiting to jump into the old-car hobby.

A fellow market-analyst associate once told me that they are making new collector cars every day — and new buyers to purchase them. That statement couldn’t be more true in the case of our subject car.

The A to Z valuation

Our subject car wasn’t perfect by any means, but it serves as a good car to define the middle of the market. It presents nicely, and it is a genuine Camaro Z/28 that combines some limited restoration work with originality.

As described by the Barrett-Jackson catalog copy, the car was painted about 11 years ago. The copy suggests that the engine may not be original to the car. The interior is, however, reported to be original, as well as the chassis and floors. It is also documented with the original sales invoice and Protect-O-Plate. I wouldn’t expect a car like this to necessarily ring the bell, but I wouldn’t expect it to fall on its face, either.

Opportunity could be knocking on the 1970–73 Camaro Z/28s. Why? Consider that a well-presented Plymouth AAR ’Cuda chimes in with an ACC median value of $83,500, a Dodge Challenger T/A at $64,000, and a Ford Mustang Boss 302 at $71,500. While these cars may be deemed more valuable than a 1970 Camaro Z/28, the like-kind attributes ring a lot of the same bells. These could go down soon as another woulda-coulda-shoulda opportunity. Don’t say you weren’t properly forewarned.

With an ACC median value of $46,000 against an all-in sales price of $42,900, I’d consider this Z/28 to be a well-bought classic with a rock-solid future.

(Introductory description courtesy of Barrett-Jackson.)

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