Project F73 update: next stop St. Louis
Our resident second-gen Camaro is up and running and currently at Precision Restorations in St. Louis for a fresh coat of the shiny stuff. The plan is to install a complete Borla exhaust system, prep the body, and layer it with DuPont paint.
Precision Restorations will be doing blog updates on its status, so if you would like to check it out for yourself, head over to precisioncarrestoration.com.
CHP is a great magazine; I look forward to its arrival each month. I found your question interesting as to whether I found my project car or it found me. In fact over the next couple of days I thought about your question from time to time and felt as though I could answer it either way. I have to give you a little background so you’ll understand why.
In 1971 I was 7 years old and had the greatest experience of my life or at least one that has stuck with me ever since. On a Sunday afternoon after church my dad’s buddy gave me a ride in his Cortez Silver ’69 Z/28. While I didn’t know at the time what a DZ 302 motor was I’m sure that’s what it had. All I could think was that this car was the coolest thing I’d ever seen, heard, and rode in. I remember it had black racing stripes, houndstooth interior, a four-speed and was “jacked up” in the back. At least that’s what we called it back then. I remember it was fast and loud. After that day I wanted to ride in it whenever I could. A few years later his friend sold the car and bought a Maverick. I asked why he got rid of the Z/28, and he said his wife couldn’t keep the front wheels on the ground. While I don’t know if that was really true, the car did make an unbelievable impression on me. In fact, ever since that time in my life I’ve always wanted a ’69 Z/28. Once I was old enough to drive I started looking for one to purchase. I looked at a lot of cars over the years, and unfortunately I never could afford one or the version I wanted. As time went on they seemed to become even more expensive, and I had other priorities in life to focus on, like going to college, getting married, and raising a family of three boys. I’ve always had a love for classic cars, especially muscle cars, but the ’69 Camaro has always been the car I wanted. While I’d like to say I picked that car to obsess over, in a way it seems as though it picked me.
Eventually I was bitten by the Pro Touring craze and decided that if I couldn’t afford a numbers-matching ’69 Z then maybe I could build my own Pro Touring Camaro. Yeah that will be much cheaper ... or so I thought. Again I searched publications and the Internet, and every time I was close they would always seem to sell before I could get to them. Eventually I found one in West Syracuse, New York. When I called about the car the guy told me someone else had also called so he had to give him the first option. What a surprise. He said if it didn’t sell he’d call and let me know. A couple of days later he called, and said it was still available. I asked why the other individual didn’t want to purchase it and was told they were looking for something all original. This car didn’t have the original motor or transmission and had been repainted a different color. Since I was looking for a project car it didn’t matter. I negotiated the best deal I could get over the phone and took a cashier’s check with me. There was also a U-Haul dealer around the corner from his home, so if I purchased the car I could rent a car hauler and bring it back. I told my wife I was leaving Southeast Michigan in the middle of the night, taking two of my boys out of school and cutting through Canada and past Niagara Falls to go and check this car out. We drove 650-plus miles and found a car that was in better shape than expected. Within minutes after testdriving and inspecting the car it was on a trailer en route to its new home. So, while I’d like to say I found it somehow after all these years it’s as if it found me!
Anyway I hope that answers your question; I’ve attached a couple of pictures of the car for you to see. I put Boyd Coddington wheels on it after purchasing and drove it for a year before taking it apart. Believe it or not the picture of the complete car is the before; the picture of just the body and subframe is how it looks in my garage today a few years later. I purchased a close-out panel for the firewall from DSE and painted it to match the rest of the car’s PPG medium metallic blue. Without going into too much detail I have a custom dash from DSE, Auto Meter gauges, Painless wiring harness, and Baer four-wheel disc brakes, not to mention a few things in the works.
As always I can’t wait to see what’s in next month’s issue.
My dad worked at a Chevy dealership and the day before they went on sale the employees and their families were invited to preview the new Camaro. They were also allowed to testdrive them. I was 13 at the time, and still remember the thrill and the looks we got that night driving around in the new and, until that time, unseen Camaro!
Love those round taillights.
Who says modern V-8s don’t sound tough?
Killer! Dare to be different!
Now that’s a real heavy Chevy. I had a ’55 for my first car, and have lots of good memories of the good old days!
Produce prodigious torque by burning large volumes of hydrocarbons. Apply violently to chassis, driveline, and tires … enjoy!
I have my dad’s Camaro that he bought in 1967.