As beloved as the 1969 Camaros have become, theres no question that the 1970 redesign introduced a better machine. Longer, lower, with better handling and improved ergonomics, the second generation Camaros are awesome cars in their own right. This 1971 Z/28 is what I would call a true nut and bolt restoration to very high standards, and will probably bring home some pretty big trophies from just about any show youd care to attend.
The 1971 cars were largely carryover from the all-new 1970s, and thats not a bad thing. The styling was a homerun, with the wide-mouth Z/28 grille, it was aggressive and 100% Camaro throughout. This car has been stripped bare and rebuilt from the frame up, and is better than new in just about every way you can measure. Although it was originally code 43 Lime Green, the current Hugger Orange paint scheme is far more appropriate. The sheetmetal appears to be 100% original, with great gaps and excellent alignment. That cool cowl induction hood was added during the restoration, but it fits well and has always looked exactly right on the F-body. The 1970 COPO 9796 spoiler became standard equipment in 1971, and vastly improved the Camaros looks, both coming and going, especially when combined with the optional D80 front spoiler. Paint is two stage urethane with the white stripes buried under the clear, just like all the top restorations these days. There simply cant be many second generation Camaros nicer than this.
Trim has also been restored, and as a non-Z/28 dressed in Z/28 clothes, all the details are correct. The front grille and fenders have correct Z/28 badges, as does the rear spoiler. The bumpers have been beautifully refinished and all the stainless is freshly polished. All the glass, including the hard-to-find back window, has been replaced.
Under that cowl induction hood youll find a beautifully detailed 350 cubic inch V8, which, in 1971 was rated at 330 gross horsepower (although new ratings were coming into use at the time, adjusting it to 275 net horsepower). Exceptionally well finished, the block has been doused with Chevy Orange paint that is as shiny and brilliant as the bodywork. Polished aluminum valve covers add some flash, and the dual snorkel air cleaner is an original piece, complete down to the chrome lid and 350 Turbo Fire decal. The satin black inner fenders and firewall are proof that this has always been a rust-free car, because theres just no way those parts ever looked that good coming out of the factory. Correct hoses and clamps were used, new wiring is exact, and even things like the finish on the power brake booster and pulleys is correct cadmium plating. It barks to life with a single turn of the key and drives as well as it looks.
One of the only deviations from original is the 5-speed manual transmission, which delivers the same neck-snapping acceleration as the original 4-speed, but adds a deep overdrive to make high-speed cruising a pleasure, even with 4.10s out back. The chassis is just as nice as the engine, with super-clean floors and well-detailed components throughout. This might be one of those places where the term over restored applies; just look at the finish on things like the sway bars and pitman arm. The exhaust system is a reproduction of the original, including the transverse muffler arrangement, although the muffler itself is a Flowmaster. Correct charcoal gray Z/28 wheels carry fat 245/60/15 BFGoodrich T/A radials.
Inside, youll be pleasantly surprised by the leather-trimmed seats. Yes, leather, not vinyl. The buckets are deep and surprisingly supportive, given that it was 1971, and they havent even been broken in yet. The door panels, dash, carpets and headliner are all new pieces, and Im from the group that actually likes cars without consolesthis one just has the Hurst shifter and cue ball knob right out there doing their job. The gauges have all been restored, and are legible behind the relatively plain steering wheel that has been in Chevrolet products for decades. In 1971, FM was starting to catch on, so this car wisely carries an AM/FM radio that works just as well today as it did 40 years ago. The trunk is finished in correct spatter finish paint with a full-sized spare and jack assembly.
This Camaro also comes with a thick build book full of restoration photos. Theres no question that this is a top-quality car, but looking at the pictures will convince you that the job was done right at ever level. From the bodywork to the engine, to the final assembly, this car was carefully built with a lot of attention to detail.
Looking at the work that went into this car, its easy to think it should cost $80,000it probably cost at least that much to build. But second generation Camaros remain extraordinary bargains, delivering performance, style and comfort for a fraction of the cost of their older brothers. This car looks like a million bucks, drives extremely well thanks to the 5-speed transmission, and is surprisingly comfortable given that leather interior. Distinctive, fast, and beautifully built, I have no choice but to consider this car a screaming bargain. Call today!
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