'68 street machine build - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 14, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Apple Valley, CA
Posts: 460
'68 street machine build

I figured I'd start an actual build thread for my car. The theme for this car is basically an old school, fun street machine. I'm a traditionalist, so I usually like to build stuff with carbs, vintage speed parts, and 14 or 15" wheels with fat rubber. This camaro was originally a basic 327 2bbl 4 speed car. I'm sticking with a small block, and a 4 speed. Rust was actually alot worse than I had originally thought. I was in over my head with all the rust this thing had.

Here's a few pics of how it looked when I bought it:

I bought this car 2 years ago and its been slow to get going, so here's an update. 2 years later, LOL. Life has been getting in the way of my hot rodding... but I'm back at giving the camaro some attention.

I had all the rusty sheet metal replaced, which was extensive. I found a good local body shop up past bonney lake (SC autocraft) to do the really heavy surgery. New frame rails, new trunk, both new quarters (full), new rockers, new package tray/reat seat area, new gas tank, new shock mounts... pretty much everything aft of the doors is all new steel. The trunk lid, roof and doors were OK. I also have new inner/outer fenders, new battery tray, scored an original cowl hood, and new lower valance since I'll be converting to RS grill.

Its not much to look at right now, but basically everything that is black is new metal. This wasn't cheap, but everything I farmed out to the body shop has been done the right way. They did all the work on their frame rack to make sure everything on the car was going together straight. Its a great feeling to have all rust free sheet metal with no bondo.

It turns out that the engine that I THOUGHT was the original 327 was actually a 283 when I ran the numbers. That little 283 engine ran great, but my goal is to build a really FUN street car, and for maximum fun I want to be able to burn rubber at will. A 283 is simply not going to be enough, so I ran an ad on craigslist and sold the engine.

Last winter I put together a 350 engine. I scored a re-ringed 4 bolt main short block from a drift/racer dude in Puyallup. The bearings in it didn't look bad, but I put in new rods/mains anyway along with a new oil pump. I used some 58cc -416 heads that I had sitting around from an old HO 305. I refreshed those and did a couple tricks to 'em to make them work with the 350. I figure its around 9-9.5:1 compression with the stock dish type pistons. It had some kind of rowdy cam in the block already so I left it in there. The drift guy didn't remember the specs but he said it was 'one or two grinds above an RV'. It sounds pretty brutal through headers and it is definitely not stock. I topped it off with old school 'vette covers, vintage edelbrock C4B intake, pro-comp electronic distributor and a holley 600 that I rebuilt myself.

Lately I've been using it as a test mule for different carbs I have. It now has a 650 carter AFB that I had sitting around. I'm really wanting to get this out and drive it soon. I just called my auto glass buddy to order a windshield. He says it will be here tomorrow, and he'll come glue it in. I'm going to put the front clip on and the tail lights, cobble up an exhaust and a couple other things, and actually drive this sucker. The good weather is here, and I just want to get it out and cruise it. No interior, no paint, no glass, and I don't care. Its a hot rod, and it will work fine as is, at least for august, and maybe into september until we get rains again.


I've been amassing alot of parts. I found a '74 nova at the pick n pull. I grabbed the entire power disc brakes swap, dual exhaust, and the 2.73 geared 8.5" rear axle, along with the multi-leafs, and air shocks (ol skool!) Right now, the car has manual drums, so I'll swap to front power discs this winter and also rebuild the front end while I'm at it. I grabbed a huge front sway bar from a monte carlo SS. I think it will fit.

I scored a posi off ebay for the 8.5" rear. I'm planning to abuse this every now and then, so I'm sure the saginaw is not going to last. I scoured craigslist for a long time looking for a tougher transmission, until I finally scored a 3.42 1st gear T10 4 speed out of a '80 trans am. The ST-10 will pair up nicely with the 2.73 gears since thats the widest ratio t10 they made. I do alot of freeway cruising, so I wanted high gears, but with deep 1st & 2nd gears for the surface streets, and thats exactly what this t10 gives me. I'm not sure that I'll be keeping this 350 in the car, but I'll at least rip it for a little bit. I'm still on the fence about that, since I have three 400 small blocks. Another option is I have a b&m 144 supercharger setup too, but I'm yet undecided if I will be using it for this vehicle. I'm considering setting up a 400 for the little blower, with stock pulleys should be good for about 450-470 ft-lbs., maybe a bit more if I home port the heads? I have some large chamber -487 heads I plan to use for the blower.

I also have a complete RS grill & hidden headlights setup too. Probably going to try and send this for paint this winter too. It is a factory red car with black interior, so there's no question thats how it will get painted.

Another idea I have is I am quite a nut for vintage old school mag wheels. I've got some turbines, and also big slot mags too. I love the retro 70's street big/little look, and I also have a set for vintage pos-a-traction torque twister tires stashed. N50's for the rear, haha, not sure if those will go on this car. N50's are pretty outrageously huge, lol.

more later! Thanks for reading my thread.

The important thing here is that you ask me what kind of car I've got. "I've got a BITCHIN' CAMARO"
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'68 350 4 speed

Last edited by kookykrispy; Jul 26th, 14 at 01:28 AM.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 14, 08:55 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 23
Re: '68 street machine build

looks like we bought the same car but in different colours. You are spot on, life does get in the way, especially with young kids(teenagers now), and extended family is important too. Your 1/4's and rear tail panel look great, I am in the process of doing mine now, hope they turn out as well as yours. cheers
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