Classic Camaro Buying Tips

Before buying a classic Camaro, there are some things you need check, especially if you plan to restore the car. Keep this list in mind when you are looking at a classic Camaro; most of these things do affect the asking price, but they could give you problems if you're planning a full factory restoration.

  • Body: When looking at a Camaro in any condition, bring a magnet with you. Touch the car with the magnet in places a Camaro is known to have rust spots: under the doors, at the bottom of the doors, around the fender wells, along the back under the trunk lid and on the firewall. If the magnet does not stick, the previous owner used body putty or fiberglass to fix holes in the vehicle.
  • Drive train: If the Camaro is drivable, take it for a test drive to make sure the engine is running well and that the transmission works properly. If the engine and transmission need work, make sure the asking price reflects the condition.
  • Rubber: Look at the rubber on the car. If there is dry rot in the rubber, it may leak. Lift the carpet and check the floors. The floor pans rust out if the door rubbers allow water to get inside the vehicle.
  • Paint: If you are buying a restored Camaro at an auction, check inside the door jambs. You can see if the car was painted, unless the painter did a particularly good job and painted the inside of the door jambs. Often, these are not painted.
  • Parts: Check the numbers on the body tags and the engine tags to see if they're original equipment. If the numbers match, the Camaro still has its original engine. The VIN will also tell you which engine belongs in the car. Camaro makes different models: a standard Camaro, an SS Camaro and an RS/SS Camaro. The SS and RS/SS are often "faked" onto a standard Camaro. Use the VIN number and body codes to determine if you are looking at a real SS or a real RS/SS.
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