Survivor: Keep original or modify the engine/drivetrain?

Discussion in 'Original Drivetrain Topic' started by queue, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. 2ndgenSk8

    2ndgenSk8 New Member

    Jul 28, 2016
    I have a bone stock 79 Z 4 speed car and sometimes I think a typical tremec/LS swap would be great but I like the fact this car has not been touched. Your car your call. I think the second you sell it (if you decide to) you will be looking for another one.
  2. 2ndgenSk8

    2ndgenSk8 New Member

    Jul 28, 2016
    Oops,Sorry for the double post.
  3. Chevyforever

    Chevyforever Veteran Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    South Eastern Ontario
    What an interesting post about a subject I too am considering. I have an original survivor 1980 Z28 that has been in the family its entire existence. The problem is its whopping 190 hp just doesn't make it any fun to drive. In my local area, Ontario Canada these cars don't come up for sale often. Most for sale in comparable condition (approx 80000 km / 50000 miles) list for $15000 - $18000. I would prefer to sell mine and add another $12000 - $15000 to buy a '70 -'73. The problem is those cars come up for sale rarely as well. Reluctant to pull a survivor apart and yes you can store the original engine and trans but unless you are extremely capable it is difficult to put it back together as good as "O.E" IMHO.
    70ZED and flowjoe like this.
  4. 70 1/2

    70 1/2 New Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    mpls MN
    I agree with this as well, but if no one wants to give you anything for it, then modify away!
  5. severum17

    severum17 New Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    Chicago area
    Is it still considered a survivor if it has had 1 repaint?
    I am original owner, car has matching numbers and original interior.
    51000 miles DSCN0032.JPG
    70ZED likes this.
  6. Mr Sunshine

    Mr Sunshine Member

    Dec 12, 2016
    I'm the original owner of a 78 Z28 with 86k miles and I went through this last year when planning my restoration. My $.02 - Survivors are great and I like to see them at car shows, but it sounds like you may be like me and want to make some upgrades. My considerations: For the current market a really great 79 Z28 survivor will bring around $18k and I don't see them going to the high values of 69 or even 70 type numbers. So if you want an original 79 it's really not hard or expensive to just buy one. My decision came down to this: do I want the same underpowered car that I've had for 39 years and does not have high value, or do I want the car to be what I want it to be? I've always loved the looks of my 78 and the way it drives, but it's always needed improved performance. So I'm going with slight engine modifications and suspension upgrade while keeping the basic stock look of a 78 Z28. My plan is to restore it to what I want the car to be to have fun driving and auto-crossing. I will still have all the original parts if needed, but I can't imagine ever putting them back and do not ever plan on selling the car anyway. Have the car you want, be it your current 79 or something else.
  7. BULLITT65

    BULLITT65 New Member

    Oct 12, 2011
    I own a couple of survivor cars. "They are only original once" is a motto I live by when preserving these special cars. Now I do agree if you want to put in a hot cam, roller assembly, tremec 6 speed (with adapter to place shifter in same spot). I also agree bolt on suspension stuff would be fun as well. With that particular year, I don't see you hurting the value with simple bolt on parts, just save the original. You only live once, Enjoy the ride !
    flowjoe likes this.
  8. 1978OriginalZ28

    1978OriginalZ28 New Member

    May 11, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    Keep it Original!

    I am the original owner of a 1978 Z28, 100% original w/ 14,200 miles. The Z28 production was over 55K for that year but that was still in the day when every one added after market parts to their cars. (I had a 70 SS at the time and did just that).

    Mine was ordered w/ T-Tops (Camaro first) and aluminum wheels. Took 8 months to receive delivery!

    1978 Z28 016.JPG
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  9. flowjoe

    flowjoe Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2006
    2F682230-F5DC-46A3-9321-85ED9882E3EE.png Values are coming up across the board for the late ‘70s early ‘80s sporty cars from GM (look at TA’s). Look at the curve (shallow as it may be) above for the ‘79 Z/28. Not that survivors don’t even get a category...because they are uncommon and have a special status. Survivors are only survivors once and unbolting stuff to save and bolt on later will make it not a survivor.

    As far as performance? Sure none of the old cars hold a candle to modern power trains, but that’s apples to oranges. The late ‘70s saw HP coming back. 185 to the rear wheels may not be much but it certainly was an improvement over 165HP in Vette’s and less in Camaros.
  10. 80sz

    80sz Veteran Member

    Feb 2, 2014
    You didn't modify just beautify,you're good. Survivor.

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