I had always wanted a '69 Camaro. To me they are the epitome of classic muscle cars. I finally bought my Camaro in February of 1998. I was working in San Francisco, California and a co-worker had one for sell. I had initially intended to leave the car relatively stock and restore it to look like a Z28. Those plans changed relatively quickly though. I started to hang out with the local street racers in Concord, California and they talked me in to hot rodding it instead. I have acted upon a lot of the things that they suggested, but I still want the car to be streetable, so there are some things that I won't do. I started out by making sure that the car was mechanically sound. I replaced all the suspension and body mount bushings with new poly-urethane bushings. I also replaced the tie rod ends and ball joints. I even went as far as to install new coil springs in the front and multi-leaf springs in the rear. I have purchased a set of sub-frame connectors, but haven't gotten them installed yet because the front sub-frame is a little tweaked on the back and the connectors won't fit correctly.
After I made sure that the car could drive down the street safely, I decided that I needed to step up the performance level of the engine. The car had a basically stock 350 with a TH350 transmission. I bought a built 377ci engine from one of the Concord crew who was stepping up to a big block. It's a 400 block bored .030" over with 350 crank & rods. Inside is are forged pistons. The fuel and air come through a Holley 750 double-pumper and flow past an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake and through Dart Sportsman II heads into the combustion chamber. After the gases are burned, the are exhaled through Hooker Competition Ceramic coated 1 7/8" headers with 3" collectors. The exhaust pipe is 3" in diameter and ends with Flowmaster mufflers before the rear axle.
The car's body and interior are pretty rough. I intend to redo the interior first so that I can install a roll cage in it. I'm going to keep it as stock appearing as possible by using reproduction interior components. I intend on keeping the back seat even though the cage will make it a little hard for passengers to get in. I am trying to figure out a way to put a positive reverse lockout on the stock horseshoe shifter. I like the look of the stock shifter, so I don't want to install an aftermarket shifter. After the interior is to a satisfactory condition, I'll finish the body. I plan on painting the car dark blue with white Z28 stripes on the hood and deck lid. After that, the car should be back into pristine condition. The only other modifications that I have thought about making are to install rear disk brakes and beefing up the rear-end with a set of 33 splined axles and a spool. If I do that, I'll change the ring and pinion so that it will have a 4.10:1 ratio instead of the measly 3.08:1 that it has now.
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