My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod - Team Camaro Tech
Build Projects follow along start to finish

 30Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 20, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

This thread will be about my build of my Camaro with a a back story of how I got it along with what I am doing to it currently.

The year was 1981 ( I was 11 years old) and in a neighborhood trade off of Hot Wheels cars I scored what I had been looking for...the green 68 Hot wheels Camaro. Since that very moment I knew I wanted to have a real 68 Camaro. Fast forward 4 years and I was 15 years old and looking for a Camaro for my first car. My dad said he would buy me one if we could find a good car at a good deal that the both of us could work on and fix up.

Every Saturday I would ride with him to the local country store and pick out a car trader magazine for 25 cents that listed local area cars for sale. In there I found the ad below and while we had called about several cars all of them were already sold. Back then these cars were sought after and in high demand...hot rodding and cruising was in full swing.

Dad called found out the car was still for sale and only 25 miles from our house. However when I showed him the ad he said it looked rough and the black spots down the side looked like holes but decided we would go and look. I remember everything about that day as we pulled up to where the car was in my dads 1936 Chevy pick up truck.


It was there...ermine white with black houndstooth deluxe interior,rear factory antenna. It had 8 inch wide rally rims on all 4 corners and 85,000 miles on the odometer and dual exhaust. The black spots were not rust holes...but the owner had sprayed canned black paint on anything that had surface rust! We test drove the car and the big corvette rims on the front had worn out the idle arm and if hitting a pot hole would send the car into a death rattle in the front....no worries that could be fixed!

The ad in print really hurt the look of the car. A deal was struck and a $1600 (he was asking $1900) check was written and the guy said he would drive the car down to us Monday. I couldnt wait to get home off the school bus to get to this car and hope it was in the drive way!!! It was killing me to have to wait to get home...every bus stop felt like hours...LOL. I ran down the hill and there it was! I climbed all over this car from front to rear....didnt know much about mechanics at that time but i knew i had my dream car..a 1968 Camaro! When the sun went down and night came I drove that car around and around in the neighborhood...I ran out a 1/4 tank of gas that night!



The radio played Manic Monday by the Bangles as it was the hit song that week. Back then in the 80's a 15 year old kid in the country could drive around and neighbors would not call the cops or get irritated...it was truly a different time. It was February 17th 1985 and I had my child hood dream car and life was great!


I cut out the ad and have had it every since. I also took some 8mm home movie (without sound) of the car that day which i still have to document how the car was originally.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Camaro ad.jpg
Views:	96
Size:	57.6 KB
ID:	232061  

1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car

Last edited by drunderdog; Jan 22nd, 20 at 03:14 PM.
drunderdog is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 20, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

I sanded and worked every weekend on my camaro on the side of my Dads shop that he let me have a bay in. As a young kid I did not like hounds tooth seats and they were worn out in the front but the rear was factory pristine. None the less I wanted black and the seats had to be recovered...so we paid to only have the cloth part removed and replaced with vinyl. The car had the usual rust in the rear quarter and front lower fenders. Dad showed me how to fixed all this and taught me body work and fabrication.

We remove the front fenders and inner wells and dad came home one day with a gallon of undercoating. I asked whats that for? He said are you gonna keep this car? I said yes...he said then take this brush and brush this stuff everywhere you can..it will protect and keep it from rusting for a long time. I did...to the tune of 2 gallons everywhere on that car. That undercoating was the good stuff...I dont think we can get it anymore like that...it lasted 30 plus years!

The first time the car was painted it was shot with lacquer metallic blue...we didnt paint it but one of dads friends did and the job didnt come out all that good, because it was mixed incorrectly at the paint store, it wouldnt harden, we had 2 gallons of paint put on this car!. Little did I know that this would be a good thing later on. The paint finish would have been better if we had sprayed it with a popcorn ceiling hopper gun...LOL. This is when my Dad taught me how to compound and buff out paint.

Below is a pic of the car with slots on it and that paint job in a local car show....i won a can of wax from the judges...true story! It was then I decided to make changes. At this time the car still had the original 327 and powerglide. We installed new caret but not factory style...you can see the seat that i spoke about earlier as well. The trend back then was to put stickers on the rear quarters and have something hanging down from the mirror. This was the summer of 1986
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	38280418_2051536451842278_6204309137879203840_n.jpg
Views:	100
Size:	55.4 KB
ID:	232063   Click image for larger version

Name:	38181995_2051536541842269_5115432381704044544_n.jpg
Views:	94
Size:	59.6 KB
ID:	232065  

1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car

Last edited by drunderdog; Jan 22nd, 20 at 03:17 PM.
drunderdog is offline  
post #3 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 20, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

The 327 engine was good and I still have it stored away...but i knew I needed more power and a different trans...cause i wanted to be able to bark 2nd gear. So by this time i was taking auto mechanics class in high school and I would buy car magazines when I could afford to. BTW i still have the very first car magazine i bought. Anyway... I bought a 350 engine and tore it down and was on my way. My Dad had bought a 1969 Impala for $100 dollars from a family member and drove it home...I opened the hood and instantly seen it had double hump heads ad I needed those! Dad and me worked a deal out on the heads and turbo 350 trans. The trans went in first with a shift kit and i was smiling chirping 2nd gear.

I had high school buddies that had fast cars and I hung around them and picked up knowledge from them and when we all cruised town and they would street race ect...we all hung out a a local speed shop after school also and eventually at the owners house/shop on the weekends. This is a whole different story regarding what we all got into with cars back then.

I quickly got a job and then another job (2 jobs) cause I wanted to do things to my car and engine.... First engine was ported heads and a 500 lift cam dynamics cam and .030 small block with 750 holley and stock rear. I street raced the car one time and got my azz blown away from stop light to stop light in town and later would take on a 55 chevy and just about get him on a 30 kick/roll. None the less I was learning and becoming educated.

I would blow that engine up because i couldn't keep my foot out of it....really...wide open most of the time. At that time I decided to tear the car apart and repaint it and build a bigger engine. Year was 1987 circa.

Pics below are my first paint job on the car and any car ever at that point ad me and Dad firing the engine off for the first time before paint.












1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car

Last edited by drunderdog; Jan 22nd, 20 at 03:19 PM.
drunderdog is offline  
 
post #4 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 20, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

In 1988 I graduated high school and left that summer for college in Nashville TN ( I attended Nashville Automotive & Diesel College,, now called Lincoln School of Technology). I drove the car up there once at graduation but by that time the original 327 was back in it and would stay in it into the mid 90's. Once i moved away from home and on my own the car stayed out in the weather at my dads for 2-3 years. Then I moved it up into a garage where I was living (really a barn converted with a concrete floor) and there it would stay not running but with a 88 Corvette aluminum headed 350 tpi installed in it but not running. This was the rage back then, early resto mod.

I just didnt have the money and had lost interest in the car because I never could bring myself to do anything to it that would harm the value. My Dad always told me dont tear that car up...it will be sought after one day..... Instead I bought a few novas and did the big block route and then totally left hot rodding behind when I got into motorcycle drag racing and sold the novas to get out of debt. But in th emean time in 1993 I bought a 1991 Camaro RS Convertible (triple black) as my daily driver, i still have the car.

I had the Camaro on the local 1/8 mile track in 1988 once but the car wasnt set up for that type of racing. Motorcycle drag racing would grab me and hold on for 2 decades and lead to a business and fabrication and cnc machining shop that i still own today. During the late 90's the car was stored at my business in a stall and under a roof. I did manage to install a 700 R4 in it in 1996 but the car would never be put back on the road then or to this day.

During this time a motorcycle fell over and dented the drivers door real bad as you will see the repair in the photos coming up. It sat in the stall for nearly 10 years until around October 2005 at which point I decided to take it to Goodmark Installation Center in Cleveland GA for metal work to be done...IE full quarters and tulips and rear inner drops and outer wheel wells and rear panel below rear window.

They did a fantastic job on the car and was amazed at the how good the metal was on the car and the floors ect. The main reason....was all that undercoating I had put on it back in 1985!
The following pics are pics I took to document the damage and the condition the car was in prior to taking it to Goodmark







































1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car

Last edited by drunderdog; Jan 22nd, 20 at 03:24 PM.
drunderdog is offline  
post #5 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 20, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

The cars doors have always been solid. Here you can see the factory white color on the doors.






1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car
drunderdog is offline  
post #6 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 20, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

Goodmark documented every part of metal work with pictures and give them to me on a disc when I picked up the car. If I remeber right I think they had the car for close to 2 months.


They found more rust damage that had occurred during the 90's and fixed it all. The drivers door was done by a very skilled metal worker...I still am impressed how he worked that metal and shrunk it back to shape...the pics dont show how bad the damage was...it was caved in!


Front tulips were replaced on both sides...they had rot in bottoms real bad






They had the resistance welders to do a factory style weld.





















1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car
drunderdog is offline  
post #7 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 20, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

Rear quarter replacement









1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car

Last edited by drunderdog; Jan 22nd, 20 at 03:25 PM.
drunderdog is offline  
post #8 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 20, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

The car would sit once again from 2005 till 2014 but this time always inside! After I got it back home from Goodmark I started to build my house and then the Great Recession hit and for the next decade not much would happen, except for pulling the sub frame out. Here are pics from 2014 showing the installed body panels and the drivers side door body work the master metal worker did to the car.

The tpi motor would later be found to be no good due to a number of factors unknown at time of purchase.At this point the car was pretty much ready to start till that was found. So I pulled the engine and was going to rebuild it till i found the extent of the damage inside.

Everything was set up for small block...then one day i just said to my self ...well if i am starting over...I am going to do this car like I always wanted it to be when I was in high school BUT knew I could never afford to until my mid 40's. A complete restoration with everything new or reconditioned. I wanted a new car with big block electronic fuel injected engine and a 4 speed and now that I was older I NOW like the houndstooth interior and wanted that.


I still really like the look of that L98 TPI in the Camaro....wish it had been good.















1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car

Last edited by drunderdog; Jan 22nd, 20 at 03:26 PM.
drunderdog is offline  
post #9 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 20, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

As I said along the years pretty much only work that was done was the removal of the sub frame and some paint stripping. I am trying to catch this build up to modern day and time. Below are pics of the process of the original sub frame removal....this had never been removed from the car until i did it. The tags were still on the coil springs and to this day I have not been able to cross over what these were.


Year 2015


What is the YW spring?...if anyone knows please comment. It is amazing that these tags stayed on and are still able to be read since 1968!








There was damage done to the frame back in 1986 when we have a huge snow storm drop 12" of snow and the Camaro slid into a ditch. You can see where my grandpaw hooked a chain to the frame at the front left corner in the hole and yanked the car out of the ditch...but in doing so it deformed the frame hole...that was one hell of a yank! And YES this car was my daily driver and it went in all weather.




That undercoating is everywhere and protected the metal you can see where it is peeling off....





first time remved since it was installed on the factory line in 1968







I went crazy with that undercoating back in 1985! But like I said it was about to pay off for me.



1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car

Last edited by drunderdog; Jan 22nd, 20 at 05:41 PM.
drunderdog is offline  
post #10 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 20, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

We all know how the mount areas on the frame have bad rust issues...I was really surprised to see the condition













1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car
drunderdog is offline  
post #11 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 20, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

one area of the frame that had taken abuse as most have was the center where pretty much every one wants to place a jack...UGGG! I will show you next how i fixed this area where it will not cave in if I ever (which i will not) have to jack up the car at this area.






1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car
drunderdog is offline  
post #12 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 20, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

Tear down was next. I made sure to take a lot of pics back then and it is paying off now. This was a untouched frame except for a couple of upper A Arm bushing that were put in with out removing the arm.We did that back then with a air hammer and lube.




undercoating is everywhere...but you can see the factory ball joints still in place






great view of the brake line routing










here you can see a good view of that chain snatch out of the snow back in 1986....front tip of frame










back at my Dad's shop....where it all started








Tear down complete








The frame would be like this for the next 4 years.....

1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car

Last edited by drunderdog; Jan 22nd, 20 at 08:17 AM.
drunderdog is offline  
post #13 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 20, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

My Dad had a serious stroke in Sept of 2014 so this put the brakes on anything or any progress that was planed. At the same time we found out that my step mother (his wife) has stage 4 lung cancer. But i did manage to get a few things purchased and traded for along the way during this bad time of my and their lives. It took my mind off of things for a bit.


I was looking around on craigs List and saw a ad for a muncie trans and just decided to call the guy the next day. So i did....now i did nt have the money he was asking for to spend...so during the conversation I just came right out and said i cant afford to buy the trans but want and need it...would you be open to any trades? He said sure...but what would you have? I laughed and said well the only thing I have is a untouched, unrestored Whirlizter Juke box, 1971 Zodiac with records...but you would be interested in that!


To my surprise he said he was doing a man cave and had been looking but couldnt find one. What crazy luck i had at this moment...the next night we made the swap.







at that time i had not made the decision to go big block...block but his camaro was a big block and this came from it....he converted to a 6 speed TKO. This is a M20 Muncie with correct crossmember. I just really wanted a muncie! So i checked out ebay for parts as this was missing shifter rods and linkage...i was able to find that and a hurst handle for good prices.




1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car
drunderdog is offline  
post #14 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 20, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

Now back to the sub frame repairs. all those years of jacking up the front with a jack took its toll...as you can see here in the pics. But i knew there was no way I was going to restore the frame and have that ugly mess still there....so i brought out the plasma cutter and started fabricating braces from rectangular tube and welded 2 in the middle and beat the plate back flat and re welded it back in place. In upcoming pics you will see the final result ....as i have just completed the restoration of the sub frame this week...5 years later. Now it doesnt take that long to do it...but family issues would spread it out to be this long.













lots of gunk got inside over the years!





next was the bracing after blasting and protecting the underside of the panel that i cut out.










plate welded back on




1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car
drunderdog is offline  
post #15 of 97 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 20, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Doug
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 94
Re: My Childhood Dream- 68 Camaro Restomod

not much happened in 2016 due to losing my step mother to cancer in November 2015 and then dealing with dads health. On January 5 2016 i found out that I would be laid off...so losing a job and then having to look for one put everything on the back burner.

I did build me a front dolly that bolts to the front sub frame mounts of the body that worked awesome! So i started stripping the rest of the paint from the car and the firewall....taking lots of pictures along the way.





this is a trunk lid that i got a hold of in 1988 from my college roommates Dad. he had a 68 butter nut yellow camaro that was totaled and left sitting in a field....he told me i could go get anything i wanted form the car....so i went and got this trunk lid and all the stainless trim and back glass ect.... I think i paid him a total of 25 dollars.... This lid was untouched and a little better than mine...plus it didnt have spoiler holes drilled into it.








Who would have known that Dads undercoating would preserve like this....lots of time and several gallons of paint stripper and a putty knife was used to scraped the undercoating off and wash it away. I just had to keep doing something to the car....



Int the background you can see a brand new rotisserie. It was bought in 2008 by one of my employees back then and car nut at AACA Hersey Fall meet in PA. It was October and when the stock market was crashing that weekend. They were selling the Car Twrillers for $700! That is wen I first realized change was coming...people were freaking out. I would end up having to lay him off in December and bought it from him at what he paid for it. although he wanted less...I told him I just couldnt do that and take advantage of him...I would give him what he paid for it.






no progress would be made in the upcoming year of 2017...due to having to start another job...money got tight. SO this would be the way the camaro would be in till 2018. I did attend a few car shows and pic up little things here and there....but no big advances were made.

I can say i was starting to get irritated at life and the fact that i was now 47 years old and this car had been apart since 2005! I was supposed to be able to afford to do this car like i wanted to now that i was in my mid 40's...right? at least that what i thought back when i was 17 years. old.

Things would turn around soon......I kept telling myself....but if i didnt get this car together soon...it may never go back together. at this point people were telling me to just sell it...but I always said HELL NO!

That car is part of me and my life! It had followed me from my child hood home to the places i lived at during my 20's, then to my business shop and finally now to my new home.


1968 Camaro 468, Muncie 4 Speed, EFI

Owned since 1985- First Car

Last edited by drunderdog; Jan 22nd, 20 at 03:37 PM.
drunderdog is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Team Camaro Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
NOTE we receive a lot of registrations with bad email addresses. IF you do not receive your confirmation email you will not be able to post. contact support and we will try and help.
Be sure you enter a valid email address and check your spam folder as well.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome