Let's pretend you're hangin' with a group of Camaro enthusiasts when one of them mentions that he knows where there's a clean Z/28 for sale. What's the first model that came to mind? More than likely it was one from 1969.
The '69 Z/28 has always been the benchmark year, the car by which all others are judged. Its good looks, awesome performance, and long production run (thanks to the late arrival of the all-new '701/2 models) made the '69 one of the highest produced, with more than 20,000 units built. It wasn't until1978, when more than 50,000 Z28s were produced, that the '69's sales numbers were surpassed, and by then they were more stripes and spoilers than performance.
David Lindsley of Lake Forest, California, is no stranger to high-performance First-Generation Camaros. He has a few, including a numbers-matching '69 L-78. But when he learned of this fully documented Z/28 that had been sitting in storage for 12 years in Newport Beach, California, with only 16,470 miles logged on the odometer, he knew he had to have it. It didn't hurt that it was his favorite color. But no matter how much he lusted after the car, it still took him three years and some serious green to convince the owner to sell.
When he finally took possession of the classic, it was sent out for some major cleaning and tuning until what emerged was a very presentable driver. At that point David really got a chance to see what he'd bought. Everything was there and was original. All the numbers and date codes matched, including the carb, smog pump, and alternator. It still had the original exhaust system, all the way back to the GM chrome tips. The spiral shocks were still there, and the reverse lockout on the Hurst shifter still worked-including the buzzer.
David decided he wanted the Z to be perfect, so he took it down to American Muscle Cars in San Diego for a full body-off restoration. Once there, Sal Perez and his crew stripped the Camaro down to its bare bones and commenced a fairly easy resto. No sheetmetal had to be replaced and, for the most part, all the parts were present. David wanted to take the Z/28 up a notch, so he located a rare factory cross-ram intake and fiberglass cowl induction hood to go with it.
The Z/28 was completed one week before the Pomona Super Chevy Show. Sal and David trucked the meticulous Z/28, along with David's '69 L-78, out for its first showing. It was a worthwhile venture as both machines scored first in their classes; the Z/28 took the trophy in the '67-69 Camaro-Street category and the L-78 took top honors for '67-69 Camaro-Stock group. No question, the worthy keeper of the marque.
OptionsZ/28 - X77Base coupe with special performance packageM-21Close ratio four-speedZL2Special-ducted hoodG80Positraction rear axle with 3.73:1D80Front and rear spoilersJ52Power front disc brakesN44Quick ratio manual steeringU168,000 in-dash tachometerU17Special instrumentation console gauges and clock Deleted Equipment radio