With the ever-growing popularity of first-generation Camaros, backing up big talk is becoming increasingly more important. If original Camaros are your game, the American Camaro Association’s Legends Concours Class is the final stop before you can officially declare victory. It’s a three-year judging system that monitors improvement from season to season and, if the car is worthy, offers what is possibly the most prestigious title in the Camaro world: Legends Concours Platinum. This 1969 Camaro Z/28 is not only one of the nicest original Camaros we’ve ever presented – it’s one of the lucky few to have earned that designation. The 24-year project of a GM powertrain engineer, the car scored 98.7% overall and features more correct pieces than 10 average F1s combined. Legends aside, the car has won big awards at shows like the 2012 Detroit AutoRama and carries a Certificate of Authenticity from Mr. Camaro himself, Larry Christensen. Best of all, it’s still a Z/28 complete with its original 302ci and 4-speed. If you’re looking for the ultimate Z/28 to cap off your collection, they don’t get much better than this.
We’ll get started by breaking down the VIN:
4: 8-cylinder engine
N: Norwood, Ohio assembly plant
697XXX: Sequence number
And highlighting options found on the car:
X33:Style Trim Group with Special Performance Equipment (Z28)
72/72:Hugger Orange paint
711:Black standard interior
G80: Positraction rear end
M21:Muncie M21 4-speed manual transmission
N34:Steering wheel with wood grain
U69: AM/FM radio
U80:Rear seat speaker
ZK3:Custom deluxe seat belts
ZL2:Special ducted hood
Z28:Special performance package
This Z/28 made its public debut at Williams Chevrolet in Mt. Airy, NC where the original owner took delivery on October 23, 1969. By May of 1970, the car had found a new home and one that it would remain in until 1987 when the third and current owner struck a deal. You read that right – just three original owners since 1969! The car was obviously kept out of harm’s way as it features 100% original sheet metal all around. Legends judges awarded the exterior 1475/1500 possible points, so you can rest assured any body work performed beneath the top coat was minimal and executed at the highest level. The shell was professionally shot with a correct layer of code 72 Hugger Orange which is accented by carefully measured white stripes on the hood and deck lid. The look is timeless and shows with absolute authenticity.
At the front of the car, a pointed grille displays the right-justified “Z/28” emblem between T3 headlights and a chrome bumper while clear marker lights ride front and center of a D80 chin spoiler below. Behind the nose, a stylish ZL2 hood flanked by crisp 302 badges draws the eye back towards a greenhouse filled with correct glass and stainless trim. The windshield is a brand new unit and we point that out only because it is one of three pieces on the entire car that isn’t either original or NOS. The side profile features more pristine badges alongside bright wheel moldings, simulated rear vents, a D33 remote mirror on the driver side and virtually flawless rocker trim below. Follow the C-pillar back to a deck lid capped off by a D80 rear spoiler. Rectangular taillights hang beneath, framing a final Z/28 badge above a chrome bumper capped with bumper guards. If you’re restoring a 1969 Camaro to GM specs, this is exactly how you want it to look.
The hallmark of the first generation Z/28 is the high-winding DZ302 that GM developed for SCCA competition. Factory-rated at 290hp and 290 lb-ft of torque, automotive myth and legend pegs these hot small blocks closer to the 375hp mark. The core of this Z/28 is the original 3970010 block backed by a V (Flint, MI) 1001 (October 1, 1969 assembly date) DZ (302/4-speed), a matching partial VIN, and an “M53” code on the back of the block. While you might think that final number is a date code, the “M” is actually a foundry code used to identify parts that were made to evaluate a casting process change. If they passed quality control (like this one obviously did), they were released into production. The unique block retains its original measurements and is filled with correct hardware such as the solid lifter ‘Duntov’ camshaft, high-performance moly rings, hardened pushrods, and a forged steel crank. That package is topped off with correct double hump heads, a Winters intake, and a Holley 780 CFM carburetor. There is a sheet included in the sale that breaks down every major part and their corresponding date codes. Looking over that sheet, it’s astounding how many pieces appear to be original to the engine. Presentation is equally admirable with correct hoses, decals, and hardware throughout. The smog system is even in place for some extra points on the judging sheet. For those of you keeping score, the battery is the second non-original/NOS piece on the car. It is, however, a correct reproduction.
Behind the 302, you’ll find the original Muncie M21 4-speed manual transmission inside of a ‘660’ case, which carries a P9K10B assembly stamp, and sports a matching VIN derivative to prove authenticity. Out back, the original 12-bolt Posi-traction rear end houses stock 3.73 gears and is stamped with a BU1001G1 assembly code and a date code that corresponds well with the other pieces. The car’s restored chassis and highly accurate suspension have been completely returned to correct factory specifications and include correct spiral shocks, original steel bolts and correctly decaled front disc brakes. All of the car’s inspection marks and decals have been painstakingly reproduced, and the original floor pans wear an even coat of satin black for a cleanly appearance. Spent gases are handled by an NOS exhaust system that forgoes mandrel bent tubes in exchange for correct wrinkle bends. The system exits at the rear of the car through show-quality chrome tips. Not a detail was missed under here as everything has been restored or rebuilt to assembly line standards all the way back to the stainless fuel tank and new fuel lines. At the corners of the car, original date-coded 15-inch silver rally wheels wear stainless trim rings and correct finned center caps that are stamped with “Chevrolet Motor Division”. The wheels are wrapped in nostalgic Goodyear E70-15 tubeless tires which mark the third and final non-original/NOS piece.
Inside this brightly-colored Camaro you’ll find a code 711 standard black vinyl interior practically dripping with originality. In fact, the only non-original piece in the entire cabin is the NOS carpeting spread across the floors. If that sounds like an unbelievable claim, simply take a look around. Aftermarket companies are constantly producing better products but nothing quite looks or feels like the genuine article. The seats show minimal wear and retain their stock shape well. In the center, a factory U80 console offers wood grain applique, a chrome shifter, and the desirable U17 gauge pack that monitors fuel, oil pressure, battery, and temperature. Those gauges supplement the original AC speedometer, tachometer, and a clock that reside behind the wood-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel. Entertainment comes courtesy of a correct AM/FM radio placed within easy reach of the driver. Deluxe seatbelts hang on either side of the taut original headliner while a single dome light and showroom-fresh visors cap off the roof. The trim is exceptional throughout – it doesn’t have the mirror-like aftermarket gloss but instead wears its age openly and remarkably well. Behind the seats, a straightforward trunk space offers a full-size Goodyear spare, all the appropriate tools, correct decals, and a splash of overspray on the trunk latch to finish off the authentic look.
Aside from one amazing Camaro, the sale includes a few extra goodies. For starters, there’s an original owner’s manual that highlights all the selling points of your new F-body. Next up, there’s a 1:24 diecast model that matches the car exactly. Restoration highlights are covered by a CD full of pictures while copies of receipts offer further insight into the build process. Finally, the aforementioned Certificate of Authenticity is included alongside judging sheets from the Legends Concours and a trophy for “Best ’68-’69 Restoration” from the 2012 Detroit Autorama. The car has claimed accolades from other shows as well, including:
•Charlevoix Street Legends (January 2012)
•Berger Chevrolet Dealer Auto Show (August 2012)
•Boyne City Factory Original (September 2012)
If you’re looking for a nice small-block Camaro to wheel around at car shows, we’ll be happy to show you some other great inventory pieces but, if you’re the kind of collector that requires the absolute best, this Z/28 is exactly what you need. Well documented, authenticated, and the recipient of one of the most prestigious titles in the Camaro universe, don’t miss the chance to round out your Chevrolet collection with this amazing ’69 Z/28 before someone else does!