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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 11, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Nate
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Hello Everyone

My name's Nate and I'm the proud owner of a 1968 Camaro Convertible with just shy of 64,000 miles on the clock. She was purchased new in late '68 by my uncle and has been in the family since new. From a family with 10 children, the car passed down through 2 other siblings before my Mom took ownership. Fortunately for me, the car remained in my parent's possession ever since. The last time the car was plated was in 1982. We used to get it out every summer, wash and wax it, and then drive it up and down the street a bit until around 1986/87 when the radiator let loose and filled the driveway with some lovely rust colored anti-freeze.

About 5 years later, as an eager teenager, my Dad and I finally began the process of restoring it with the intent of making a nice driver quality restoration, no points car or trailer queen, something we could enjoy. Our vision at the time was to keep everything stock with the exception of the powerplant. We intended to pull the original 327 (210 hp version) and Powerglide and put in its place a more peppy powerplant with a TH350 or 400. After acquiring a parts catalog from a vendor here in Indiana for sheetmetal, we began with the tackling the rust on the rear quarters, wheel wells and trunk drop-off's. Opting to do a full replacement of the sheetmetal, we ran into a road block when we went to order the quarters and found they were not available (even though they were listed in the catalog with prices). Unfortunately, this was not before an anxious teenager had cut the majority of the quarters off. Hind sight being 20/20, we could have probably gotten by with patching the quarters with available skins or patch panels. A valuable lesson was learned on my part, have the replacement part in hand before you take the original off...just to make sure you have a replacement! We were on a budget, and it didn't allow for NOS sheetmetal, so we stopped; learning that eventually reproduction quarters would be available.

So, needless to say, the car sat while life happened. To make matters worse, my Dad was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in the early 90's. His condition weakened his motor skills to the point that he could not turn a wrench without extreme frustration. So a few years ago, I "purchased" the Camaro from my parents for the grand sum of $1 and made a promise to myself and my Dad to finish a project that we together couldn't all those years ago. I cannot wait for the day when I can take my parents out for a ride in the Camaro!

Now that I've got the means to do the restoration, I plan to follow through with the vision that my Dad and I had with a few added twists of my own, such as opting for a 4-speed instead of a TH350, adding a trunk lid and front valance spoiler, and going with an SS hood to dress it up a bit. I plan to do most of the work myself, with the exception of the body work. In fact, she'll be heading to the body shop next weekend to get the new quarters, wheel housings and trunk drop off's installed and prep'd for paint. Finally!

Thanks for reading my long post. In a few short weeks, I've gained a lot of information and knowledge from the forums here and hope that I can add to it over the next year or two for someone new like me.

Here's a couple pics of the car showing what she looks like currently. Will post more in follow on posts.
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1968 Camaro Convertible - Base 327 with Powerglide, British Green with black top and interior

Restoration in Progress -
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 11, 11:39 AM
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Paul
 
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Thumbs up Re: Hello Everyone

Wow great story and welcome to team camaro!!, I also recently purchased a 69 camaro convertible from a lady who's father sold her the car years ago for $1. After many years of enjoyment her and her husband decided to let the car go as it was not driven very often.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 11, 05:30 PM
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BILL
 
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Re: Hello Everyone

welcome to team camaro!

BILL D.
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if you have a bbc in your 1st gen 67-69 camaro click on the link below and enjoy the veiw and post yours up!!
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if you have an all original 1st gen camaro 67-69 click on the link below and enjoy the veiw and post your up!!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 11, 06:33 PM
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Re: Hello Everyone

Welcome, Nate. Good story and great you're carrying the legacy on.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 6th, 11, 08:43 PM
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Brian
 
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Re: Hello Everyone

Welcome, Nate!! What part of Indiana are you from?

Experience...... It's what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 11, 12:19 AM
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George
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Lakewood, WA
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Re: Hello Everyone

Hi Nate!

Good-looking 68 Ragtop there pal!
What color? (ok, missed it British Green) Got the trim tag data to post? Looks like a black standard interior, right? (got it, std black and black top)

I got a 68 Vert this past summer. Long story here....
https://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=183654
getting ready to attack the body work...some similar upgrades to what you mentioned for my Vert
Good luck, keep us posted!
Post pics, lots of PICS of your build!

George Kettler
US ARMY Retired
o 70 Elky SOLD 9/2016
o 68 Vette 427, 4 spd ac owner 25 years
o 68 Camaro Rallye Green Vert 327/2004R/3.73
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Last edited by kettbo; Feb 7th, 11 at 09:49 AM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 11, 11:43 AM
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Re: Hello Everyone

Touching story Nate.

Keep us posted; we love pics !
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 11, 02:57 PM
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Trey Burks
 
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Re: Hello Everyone

That is awesome nate! Welcome to the team!

67 RS/SS loaded with options Granada gold AKA Christine
Im a Traditionalist when it comes to Muscle Cars
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If you are on Facebook join the group.restore that first gen camaro dont chop it up.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 11, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Nate
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 31
Re: Hello Everyone

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. Spent yesterday morning loading the Vert and making the long awaited trip to the body shop. Over the next few months she'll be receiving new wheel wells, trunk drop-offs, and full quarter panels at a minimum. Potentially a new tail panel...there were a few dents and dings that may be a bear to pound out.

Thanks again everyone and I will most definately be posting more pics of my progress. I'll post more pics once I get them downloaded from my camera.

1968 Camaro Convertible - Base 327 with Powerglide, British Green with black top and interior

Restoration in Progress -
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 12, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Nate
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 31
Re: Hello Everyone

Wow, I just realized it has been since February since I last posted an update as promised. Over the course of about a year and half, alot has progressed. The body is coming together nicely and should be receiving color (Z-code British Metallic Green) from the firewall back this month (Yeeeessss!!!!). The subframe and rearend are ready to go back under the car as soon as the paint is done. Also have a new set of "shoes" with a refurbish set of 15x7 rally wheels freshly powder coated and a set of Mickey Thompson S/T Radials.

I've added a link in my signature to my Photobucket account so that you can see pictures of the progress if you like.

Along the way, i've found out some cool history on the car. One of my uncles bought the car new in August of 1968 from Tom Naquin Chevrolet. He had wanted a Corvette, but his insurance would not cover him on a Vette, so he got the next best thing, a Camaro convertible! He chose the car and color b/c it was sold to him as "Rifle Green". As he was a Green Beret, this was fitting. He noted that if memory served him correctly, the Camaro was about $500 more than the Vette.

He drove the car for less than a month before being shipped out to Vietnam. At that point another uncle took over and drove the car for about 2 years. When he graduated high school (around 1970), he too served our country, and the Camaro was turned over to my aunt. She drove the car for about a year before my mom got the keys (around 1971).

My uncle has told me he has pictures of the car the day he brought her home, which I'm hopeful he can find. He recalled the car having wire wheel hubcaps...maybe the dealer had swapped them, I didn't think those were available on the Camaro.

More to come for sure. And I'll hopefully have my Photobucket account caught up in the next few weeks.

1968 Camaro Convertible - Base 327 with Powerglide, British Green with black top and interior

Restoration in Progress -
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 12, 02:30 PM
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T.C.
 
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Re: Hello Everyone

Nate, That is a great car but even better story! Can't wait to see here back on the road!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 12, 04:26 PM
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Brian
 
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Re: Hello Everyone

Nice history. Keep us informed on your progress.


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1969 Z11 Pace Car - L48 350cid/300hp - 4 Speed Muncie 12 bolt rear.

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