We couldn't take it anymore. The backyard-built cowl hood and bland no-go-fast looks just had to be replaced. Plus, the passenger-side fender was diagnosed with rot and couldn't be revived without a bit of reconstructive surgery. Also, while the one-piece bumper and single-headlight setup has its place, we really dig the RS split-bumper look and had to have it.

Aside from, say, lopping off the front end of the car with a large automotive trebuchet and starting over, we had a remedy in mind that wouldn't involve much of anything except a little patience and elbow grease. Thankfully though, these days nearly all the body parts for most of our muscle cars can be replaced with a factory-fit, leaving your sled looking fresh as the day it entered the showroom.

For the new panels, we headed over to Classic Industries in Huntington Beach, California. Think of it as a one-stop shop. Carefully scrutinizing the company's catalog, we found everything we needed for the swap. To say that Classic has a plethora of parts in its inventory for a second-gen would be an understatement. Everything-and we mean everything-was there, including the bolts needed for assembly.

Getting the job done right was our next step. If bodywork isn't quite your forte, leave the job to a competent race shop or the like. In our case, we left all the replacement body panel work for Lou's Performance in Sun Valley, California. We made an appointment with Dr. Lou at his shop, and he and the boys took a full day and put F73 under the knife for its facelift. No anesthesia needed, just the tried and true method of remove and replace.

In the end we not only saved a bit of weight by replacing the hood, but we've got a more desirable-looking '73 Camaro. The split bumper and dual light fixtures on both sides really bring the looks and attributes of the classic Camaro alive. All our second-gen needs now is a little body filler and the shiny stuff. Follow along as we go through the details and show you what to expect before you attempt your own RS conversion.

Quick Notes
What We Did

Converted the straight-bumper-look over to an RS assembly with Classic Industries components and finished it up with a 3-inch Harwood cowl hood.

Bottom line
We're on our way to a mean-looking second-gen.

Cost
$1,650 for RS conversion, $309 for Harwood Hood plus optional springs.

Shopping Cart
MFG PN DESCRIPTION COST
Classic Industries 3973942 RS grille surround chrome $350
  3962990 RS urethane nose bumper 400
  K897 Headlamp housing, right 39
  K899 Headlamp housing, left 38
  C36A Frontend sheetmetal hardware set 45
  A14874 Serrated lock nut, 1/4-20 1
  A11182 Acorn cap nut, 1/4-20 1
  K55 RS grille divider bracket 37
  11246 Headlamp adjustment screw 1
  9851 Headlamp adjustment screw nut 1
  3415 Bumper bolt with nut, 3/8-16x1 2
  K57 RS center grille divider inserts 25
  KW556 Front bumper brackets 55
  KW596L RS bumper filler, left 30
  KW596R RS bumper filler, right 30
  KW554 Front inner bumper brackets 70
  KW555 Front bumper brackets cushion 14
  3990473 RS valance panel 270
  3962943 Headlight bezel, left 35
  3962944 Headlight bezel, right 35
  327539 RS header panel 270
  3990470 RS front spoiler 120
  3962973 RS grille, left 65
  3962974 RS grille, right 65
Harwood 11103 Cowl hood, 3 inches 309
    TOTAL $1,994
SOURCE
Classic Industries
8-66/-656-1706
www.classicindustries.com
Lou's Performance
Harwood
17824 Hwy. 31 E.
Tyler
TX
8-00/-822-3392
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