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1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Found in a Barn Has Been Sitting for 42 Years

When it comes to rare first-generation Chevrolet Camaros, things don't get better than the COPO 427 and COPO ZL-1. Chevy built about 1,000 of the former, while the latter saw the light of day in just 69 units. While not as scarce, the Z/28 is also significantly rarer than the contemporary RS and SS models. And one just popped up as a barn find.
1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 barn find 9 photos
1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 barn find1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 barn find1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 barn find1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 barn find1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 barn find1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 barn find1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 barn find1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 barn find
Discovered by YouTube's "Auto Archaeology," the Z/28 is from 1969, the final year for the first-generation Camaro. The muscle car has been with the same owner since 1974 or 1975, but it's been retired in a barn in 1979. That's a whopping 42 years off the road as of 2021.

So how rare is this Chevy? Well, GM sold quite a few Z/28s from 1967 to 1969. First-year cars are the rarest, with only 602 units built, while 1968 saw 7,199 examples leave the factory. This Z/28 was put together during the nameplate's most successful year: it's one of 20,302 cars sold in 1969.

All told, while it's not as common as the base, RS, and SS trims of the Camaro, the 1969 Z/28 isn't extremely rare either. But this Z/28 is one of the lucky ones that soldiered on with a numbers-matching engine and transmission.

Granted, the engine bay is empty as of this writing, but the 302-cubic-inch (4.9-liter) V8 rests alongside the coupe inside the same barn. It's unclear as to why the 302 was removed, but perhaps the owner is looking to refurbish the unit to put the Camaro back on the road.

Finished in a cool metallic blue paint with black stripes, the Z/28 has seen better days, but it's in relatively good shape for a car that's been sitting for more than four decades. Rust issues? Quite a few, but nothing that can't be fixed. The interior also needs a lot of work to get rid of the tears and cracks (there are also signs that mice have been living in there), but I wouldn't say it's an extremely difficult restoration project.

Introduced as a track-oriented competitor for the Ford Mustang Boss 302, the Camaro Z/28 was an optional package that revolved around the high-output 302 V8 designed for racing in the then very popular Trans-Am series.

The bundle also included an upgraded suspension, front disc brakes, a four-speed, close-ratio manual transmission, and Posi-traction (optional). Originally sold with "302" badges, the coupe gained "Z/28" emblems in 1968. In 1969, Chevrolet also added a Hurst shifter and a 12-bolt rear axle with 3.73 gears. The 302 V8 was underrated at 290 horsepower and 290 pound-feet (393 Nm) of torque for all three model years.

Overall, this 1969 Camaro Z/28 is a decidedly cool barn find. It's also one that could easily morph into a valuable classic. As of late 2021, Z28/s in Excellent condition usually go under the hammer for more than $50,000.

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