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.
The first order of business to begin the transformation was to remove the hood. Lou Zamora
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.
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.
We're on our way to a mean-looking second-gen.
$1,650 for RS conversion, $309 for Harwood Hood plus optional springs.
After the hood was removed, Miramontes took his time and moved onto the front end. He bega
Most of the front will come off as one piece. For example, once the hood latch assembly is
With the front end almost completely torn down, Zamora moved onto the passenger side fende
Admittedly, with the Camaro missing half its face, the task started to look a bit daunting
Rusty As with most vehicles 30-plus years old, rust is a factor. Luckily, our F73 is in p
Classic Industries also supplied us with its new passenger-side fender from OER. OER uses
Miramontes unpackaged the new frontend clip and lined it up for placement. Once he determi
Clips Since the holes in the body parts aren't threaded, it's important to cover each hol
With most of the frontend complete, Zamora and Miramontes started to fasten the front clip
What was left? We still needed headlights, turn signals, the nose cone, a front grille, an
The nose cone was next. This cone also holds the grille, and we really like the factory-st
The two-piece grille was next and was also installed with the supplied bolt kit. Each piec
Miramontes wired up each turn signal and installed the new lights into their places. Miram
To finish up the facelift, we installed a new 3-inch cowl hood from Harwood. Since this is
While our transformation took the better part of the day and a few hours into the night, t
|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 |