Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Camaro enthusiasts know their hardware, and when "Camaro Milestones" magazine picked seven sure-fire Camaro investments for the future, #4 was this 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. With sleek looks and a timeless graphics package even Ford guys lusted after, it easily rivaled the Trans Am for the must-have car of 1979. This particular Bright Blue example is a great choice if you're going to follow the editors' advice and pick up one of these underrated performance cars before the rest of the market catches on.
For 1979, the top-dog Camaro Z/28 was once again freshened, getting a wrap-around front air dam and lots of colorful graphics on the body. So many of these were beaten to death during their (and our) youth that finding a clean one like this that is straight, clean, and unmodified is rather rare. It's been fully repainted, and they resisted the urge to "modernize" it and instead kept it with factory Bright Blue paint over some very straight sheetmetal. Light and dark blue Z/28 decals (this is a real Z/28) are absolutely the right choice for the disco era's hottest ride, and details like the blacked out trim and louvered rear window look great for their age. It's not perfect, but for a super-solid driver-quality car that's coming up on its 43th birthday, well, it's pretty darn impressive. If you were there in the '70s, you know how cool these were and if you're too young, well, you probably wouldn't get it anyway. Suffice to say that this Camaro still looks like the car we all dreamed of owning when we came out of "Rocky II" while it was still in theaters.
There's no such thing as too much blue on killer vintage car like this, and this Z carries a fantastic stock light blue bucket seat interior. The high-back vinyl buckets offer a comfortable yet grippy seating surface and they're in great condition for their age, showing only minor wear that's mostly concentrated on the driver's seat, although certainly not enough that anything would need to be addressed. No, this slick cabin is factory-correct and all-day comfortable, with a couple modern updates here and there that really take it up a notch. The center console is remarkably simple for GM of the period, and they left off all that fake wood you'd see back then on most cars, so this Z/28 has a clean performance look that's almost timeless especially with that tall cue-ball topped shifter drawing all the attention inside. Even the steering wheel is in great shape, thanks to the protection of a Chevrolet wrap, and the door panels, dash, and carpets all look very good as well. The original gauges were swapped-out in favor Dakota Digital units that keep a closer eye on the drivetrain, the factory A/C blows cold, and an upgraded Pioneer AM/FM/CD stereo manages the tunes, which only add to the fun of this F-body. Out back, the trunk is quite spacious, and it's outfitted with a repro mat and spare tire and jack set for emergencies.
Big blocks were off the options list in 1979, but a rocking 350 cubic inch V8 is nothing to sneeze at, particularly in Z/28 guise. It's set-up stock with a couple extra bells and whistles to add flash, including chrome valve covers at the flanks and a chrome K&N air cleaner up top. There's a performance intake and Fast Fuel 4-barrel carburetor on top that helps the block breathe, an MSD ignition that provides great spark, and plenty of performance on tap up and down the throttle. It starts easily and runs beautifully, the dress-up makes it look far more expensive than it is, and it sounds awesome with a recent Flowmaster dual exhaust system underneath. The quick-shifting Muncie 4-speed manual transmission powers a 10-bolt rear end with street gears inside, and the underside of the car looks exactly like a well-maintained survivor should. A new clutch, new shocks, new coil and leaf springs, and new sway bar fore and aft help the Z's road manners, and with power steering and power front disc brakes the car drives like a dream. Color-matched OEM wheels look surprisingly contemporary and wear modern Cooper Cobra white-letter radials at all four corners.
Was the magazine correct in its prediction? If our recent sales are any indication, it seems like these late second-gen Camaros are red hot, because we can't seem to keep them in stock. So, don't delay, call now!
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