Buying a Classic Chevrolet Camaro

Published August 26, 2012

How to start looking for a Camaro

So, you have fallen in love with a Camaro and have decided you want to buy one. Your first question is probably, “How much will a Camaro cost?”. Your budget may or may not dictate what Camaro you choose to buy, but doing some research to find out some basic prices can give you an idea of what the Camaro cost might be. When buying a used or classic used Camaro, you must take into consideration that if a car was extremely popular new, it is popular when it is old as well, so your Camaro cost might be a little more than you expect. Whatever year you choose, make sure that your Camaro cost is not more than what you should be paying for what you are getting.

1967 – 1969 Camaro cost averages

1969 camaro

1969 Camaro

The first generation 1967 to 1969 Camaro is one of the most sought after American cars of the 60s. Hundreds of thousands were built, but most unfortunately did not survive, and the prices they get today are a reflection of that. A base 1967 Camaro cost is about $8,000, even in poor condition, and Camaro cost for a Z28 in top condition will be close to $62,000 today.  If you are looking for a close to one of a kind Camaro and have the budget to acquire it, the specially built, rare Yenko Camaro cost is in the $100,000 range. The 1969 Camaro cost seems to be the highest, as it was the last year of that particular generation of the Camaro and the most popular. Even a base model 1969 Camaro cost is around $18,000, and the almost elusive ZL1 of which only 69 were built are priced around $225,000. Owning one of the first generation Camaros, if you are even lucky enough to find one, will cost you anywhere from $4,000 for just a body of a base Chevrolet Camaro with no engine to upwards of $250,000 for a rare or specially built Camaro. If you have the budget for one of these classic Camaros, and can find one, you can own one of the most popular cars then and now.

1970 – 1981 Chevrolet Camaro cost averages

1981 camaro

1981 Camaro

The second generation Camaro, although not as popular as the first generation, still has some of the most sought after cars made. The least expensive Camaro cost among this generation is for any of the 1978 to 1981 Z28 models. The most popular was and is the 1980 that featured a 190hp 350 cubic inch engine, which was the best of the later model second generation. You do however want to watch out for Camaros that were sold in or came from California, as they were the victim of new emission laws at the time and had less powerful engines than the rest. A 1978 to 1981 Z28 Camaro cost should be around the $5,000 to $10,000 range depending on the condition. For those with a smaller budget, finding a Camaro of this era can provide you with a muscle car that will not cost you a fortune. If you have a little bigger budget to spend, a 1970 or 1971 SS350 Camaro cost is around $10,000 to $15,000, again depending on its condition.  The SS350 Camaro came stock with 300hp in 1970 and 270hp in 1971, so they are much more of a true muscle car. There were over 20,000 Camaros built over this two-year period, so it is a little easier to find one that may be in good to very good shape. The body style during this time was one that people became most familiar with until its update in 1982, so this makes them a popular generation to own as well. If you have a much bigger budget and the need to have one overrides the Camaro cost, you may want to find a 1970 Z28 Rally Sport. This car has been designated as one of the best Camaros ever built during the peak of the muscle car era. It was more refined than previous muscle cars and allowed for handling and horsepower unlike most of the other muscle cars that were around. If you are lucky enough to find one of these, the Camaro cost may be upwards of $30,000, but they have historically increased in value, and continue to do so even today.

1982 – 1992 Chevrolet Camaro cost averages

1991 Camaro

1991 Camaro

This third generation of the Chevrolet Camaro was a redesigned sleeker version that any other Camaro ever produced.  One of the most overlooked, but best choice for those with a smaller budget is the 1989 RS Camaro. It looked very similar to the higher priced Z28 and IROC-Z Camaro, but this Camaro cost you much less for almost the same amount of power. The RS, like its pricier relatives, featured sport suspension, ground effects, Z28 style wheels and a 5spd manual transmission. It came standard with a 2.8-liter v6, but was available with an optional 5.0-liter v8 along with the 5spd manual transmission. This gave you the same power as the higher priced models, without paying the extra money for the logos.  The Camaro cost for one of the RS models is around $5,000 and up, depending on the condition of the car. If you have a slightly bigger budget, the 1982 Indy 500 Pace Car Edition Chevrolet Camaro cost is well worth it. Many people purchased these vehicles and stored them due to their Indy 500 connection, so the one you do find are normally in great condition. Keep in mind, you will pay more the better the condition.  The Camaro cost for these is much more difficult to average as they cost more or less, what the buyer is willing to pay for them. The Camaro cost for the car of choice of this generation is actually quite reasonable usually ranging between $10,000 and $20,000. The 1990 IROC-Z Camaro, the last year of the IROC, is probably the most sought after Camaro of this era. If possible, hold out for a manual transmission over the automatic, as the driving feel is much better. Make sure you look for the lowest mileage vehicle in the best condition to make sure that your Camaro cost is worth what you are getting. These vehicles are also expected to continue to appreciate in value.

1993 – 2002 Chevrolet Camaro cost averages 

2002 camaro

2002 Camaro

Ironically, the v6 Camaro of this era was well worth the Camaro cost. The 1996 base Camaro was the first to feature the 200hp 3.8-liter v6, which was not only strong but also economical. Choosing one with a 5spd manual transmission just adds to the fun of having a v6 with v8 horsepower. The Camaro cost for these v6 coupes is very affordable with many available for under $5,000. For just a little more, you can find a convertible and enjoy economical top down fun.  1993 marked the second time that an Indy 500 Pace Car was produced, with only 633 built. When they were produced, they were designed to be collectibles so the Camaro cost for these reflects that with the least expensive priced at around $20,000. If you decide on one of these, make sure that the upholstery, paint and graphics are all in mint condition, and look for the lowest mileage possible. For those with an unlimited budget, that Camaro cost is not a concern, many special editions were built for what would be the last year of the Camaro for almost 10 years in 2002. The 2002 also marked the 35thanniversary of the Chevrolet Camaro. Many famous names of the 1960s put their names on these special editions, but they were all based on the ZL1 Camaro. The least produced model was designed by GMMG, Inc., and only 68 cars were made with 427 cubic inch engines and the 6spd manual transmission. The Camaro cost for some of these vehicles has the potential to rival some of the rare first generation models, but will do nothing but appreciate in value, so they are well worth the investment.


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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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