Howdy from Florida. A glance at all of the posts in this sub-forum have me a little uncertain about wading in with my not-so-cool 1975 base model. Most everybody's working on 1st Gen projects with a handful of steel bumper 2nd Gens mixed in, and almost all of them are big-buck projects.
Presenting something a little different.
I'm a disabled veteran and wheelchair user, and drive using a hand control. I plan to document a lo-buck project just to see what interest it generates. I've been around the restoration block a couple of times, which includes my 19-year ownership of a 1967 Mustang convertible (with numerous mods and upgrades). It's about at its pinnacle, having won a gold medal at a Mustang Club of America national show in July 2013.
Last week I purchased a 1975 Camaro base model, equipped with a/c (missing the underhood components) in surprisingly solid condition. The odometer reads 10994, and based on the remarkably clean undercarriage, I'm fairly certain--although not positive--that the actual mileage is about 111,000. In other words, low for a 38-year-old car. The car was delivered straight to a restoration shop here in the Florida panhandle, and work will get underway in a couple of weeks.
The paint is new (according to the seller) and looks it, although the quality is only so-so. Decent driver quality would be a fair grade.
The panel fit is pretty good, and includes a nice aftermarket steel hood with a Z-28 style scoop. The doors do not sag. The glass is all in good condition and there appear to be no leaks--not even into the trunk.
The 17-inch rims are chromed Ridler style with an angular spoke design. They have BG caps. Unfortunately two wheels have the beginnings of some pitting, but for a budget driver they look pretty good. The tires are almost brand-new Hankooks.
Per the seller's info, the engine is a 1967 350 mated to a Turbo 350. This info is unverified, as is the seller's statement that the heads are double hump. I'll know in a week or so when all of the accessories and the valve covers come off. The engine was recently rebuilt with a mild cam, has cheap (rusty) long-tube headers, and an HEI distributor. There is a Holley 4-bbl on top; however the sale included some fuel-injection components and the car already has an electric fuel pump and fuel regulator installed.
The interior will need a do-over, but the upper dash pad is new and the sale included new carpet. All four seats are in good condition. The worst part is the lower dash and console, so everything should be a simple matter of replacing parts--pretty straightforward. The trunk is amazingly clean. I was sure it would be rusted through and a roach condo, but I was pleasantly surprised to find virtually zero rust.
So that's the starting point, for a purchase price of $5,000. The idea is to make this a highway-worthy cruiser that I can work on and enjoy with my son. Our time together will be short, as he has a contract with the Navy to become an EOD technician, shipping out to boot camp in February 2014.
We have road-tripped together in my Mustang, which has logged 15,000 miles in the past year, including a coast-to-coast trip lasting 45 days in 2012.
The Camaro will be a more comfortable cruiser, and in the next post I'll outline the plan for reconditioning and upgrades.