1969 Camaro Pro Touring Coupe. Built by a local customer and his team to satisfy a dream of building the most iconic muscle car ever, his way! Completed approximately six years ago. We purchased this car from him in March 2016. His love for the car and the process to get it into the condition it’s in today is documented below in his words. Dozens of photos are available by request and we have most of the receipts of what was spent over 70k according to the previous owner………………………………………...
My first car was a 1967 Camaro. I rescued it from a junkyard. Though I was only a teen, with a very limited budget, I put the pieces together and gave it new life. Although the love affair with that car waned, I loved the Camaro. As the years went by, the style of the Camaro became less appealing to me that was until the birth of the Fifth Generation Camaro. This new generation sparked the dream. I would build a car that was in the style I loved, and that would compliment the Fifth Generation I had sitting next to it………………This was going to be a “LOT” of work………………………..
The car was purchased from Jensen Camaro’s of Tipton Iowa. The car itself was likely destined for the junkyard. So, likening it to a cute puppy, I rescued it. I trailered it home with a grin on my face. This is going to be awesome. I pulled up in front of my house and was met by my wife, she took one look at it and rolled her eyes. I guess she couldn’t see what I was seeing........
The entire car was built in my garage. The build started by removing all of the bad metal. As the restoration photos show, there wasn’t much of the original car left. It’s all good though, Jensen Camaro’s sold me the parts to make it look like a car again. ( I’m sure they did so with a huge smile on their face.) Anyway, the only original metal left after the strip down, was the inner structure of the car and even that wasn’t totally intact.
………..…….Here is a rundown of the metal that was replaced…………………….
Floor pan, trunk pan, rear frame rails, inner and outer rocker panels, package shelf, inner rear fender wells, complete rear quarter panels, rear body panel, gas tank, trunk lid, roof skin, complete door assembly’s, upper dash, firewall, front wheel wells, fenders, hood, radiator support, header panel, and the lower valance panel. After about a million spot welds, it looked like a car again.
You may be wondering about the paint scheme. The paint color was chosen so that when the car went down the road, it would turn some heads. So, orange it was thought, would do the trick. Remember me saying I had a Fifth Generation sitting next to it. Well, it is Inferno orange. So, the car was painted to match. (Kinda like a momma and its baby.) The paint is a 1996 Hugger Orange with 3 different pearls added. The choice of paint color turned out to be a good one. I have had many people yell to me, as I was driving down the road, that they loved the car. This became true too as many comments were made at the shows it went to. In addition to the color, it was decided that it would have all of the Rally Sport options.
The car was given a four wheel disc brake upgrade, as well as power rack and pinion steering to help improve safety and drivability. The tubular upper control arms were replaced, after a couple of years, with Global West, to help in properly aligning the front end.
The cars power plant had to be something that generated enough horsepower to make you pucker. So, it was decided on that a small block stroker would do the trick. The engine is a 4 bolt main that was taken from a 1976 Chevrolet pickup truck. It has an Eagle rotating assembly with forged internals. A medium cam was used to give the engine good sound, but would still generate enough vacuum to operate the RS headlight covers. (Later in the build, it was decided that the headlight system would be electric, not vacuum.) The engine had the original iron heads, after the initial build, with an aluminum intake. After the first season of driving, the heads, intake, carburetor and water pump were upgraded to the Edelbrock brand. The distributor is an MSD ready run. The car was given a large capacity aluminum radiator with a variable control electric fan. Though the car has never been dynoed, the machine shop believes it to be in the neighborhood of 400hp. Needless to say, it isn’t a slouch. The transmission is a Turbo 350 automatic with a shift kit. The rear end is a Chevy 12 bolt with 4:10 gears.
It was decided that the interior of the car was going to be black. It also had to be the deluxe interior option. The steering wheel is a new style that mimicked the style of Fifth Generation. I loved the Houndstooth design for the seat covers but, I could only find white vinyl with the orange Houndstooth. I called the manufacturer, and asked them if it could be made in black vinyl. The seat padding was upgraded to a bolstered cushion for comfort. The instrument panel has all new gauges and the console gauges have an upgraded volt meter that did away with the dangerous amp meter. (Those meters caused many fires in the old Camaros.) The radio is modern with a retro look. A Memphis Audio amp and speakers finished the sound system. The entire wiring harness was replaced, from the front of the car to the rear.
The wheels that were originally placed on the vehicle, were an aluminum five spoke from American Racing. They looked very nice on the car but, I had to put the original style steel wheels with center caps and beauty rings on her. There are a few original pieces that were placed back on the car. The rear window, the two rear side windows, the ash tray, and the trunk latch.
The finished car is pretty much as you see it now.
Well, she’s yours now. I hope my dream fits in with your plan for her. Remember, she is a girl, and girls like to have special attention paid to them. So, add your own touches to the dream and make her all yours. Above all, I hope you enjoy her as much as I did.