One to Watch: 1970–73 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe

Early second-gen Camaros are often lumped in with the emission-starved, safety-bumper-clad late-’70s examples — but it was not until 1974 that GM added the giant Pinocchio-sized schnozz and the not-so-attractive Barracuda-esqe rear window to the F-body. Most buyers agree the earlier cars are a lot prettier.

Camaro buyers tend to love first-gen cars almost universally, but the ’70-to-’73 examples benefited from improvements to steering and suspension that made them more user-friendly on the street.

Prices for these early second-gens have varied widely over the past few years. Numerous nice examples have sold for $30k to $40k, with not-so-nice cars hovering around $20k. Bottom line: Condition is key. A perfect V8 coupe will bring significantly more than a ratty Z/28. Of course, a mint-in-wrapper Camaro Z/28 is still the ultimate, with prices that can push closer to $80k.

As the first-generation Camaros become too pricey for some, these slightly later versions will be the next-best option. But with more attention, buyers become more discerning, looking for only the best. If that includes the Camaro in your garage, the best prices are yet to come.

• Highs: Updated suspension and steering, last of the pre-safety-bumper Camaros

• Lows: Still not a ’67-to-’69 coupe

• Outlook: As first gen Camaro prices increase, so will the value of the ’70–73s, but only consider the best examples

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  1. To me, early (small rear window) Camaros and Firebirds are among the best looking American post-war cars.
    The trouble is many…if not most, spent decades parked at a succession of high school parking lots, were wrecked, neglected, raced or modified over the years, making finding a good one difficult..and that’s before you take into account the very-iffy build quality into consideration.