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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a delicate question to ask everyone. I think it fits in this catagory, if not, lock it down. Anyway. I have had this 68 Camaro SS 396 coupe for 5 years now. It's a matching # car(396/325 TH400) though no POP.I bought it from a jerky guy who robbed a store and was sent to jail. The car sat in his driveway for 12 years while his bimbo wife stored gardening supplies in the car and bags of fertilizer in the trunk. Anyway,the trunk from the fuel fill area right is 85% GONE.Trunk pan, frame rail rh drop off, RH quarter GONE from wheel back. Rear body panel and reinforcement Gone from license plate to the right under bumper. Also, NEEDS all floor pans, LF fender, RH door, has cowl rust. It has 28K original miles and pretty much documented. It's Butternut Yellow with white vinyl top and white deluxe interior. No guages, A/C, disc brakes...It runs PERFECTLY, is amazingly tight but the body needs so much work..Norwood built.BUT..I found a 68 Camaro 6cly coupe. LA built car. No A/C, no title but ABSOLUTLY rust free CA car..A few minor dents, no fenders, no motor, no trans no rear, just a shell and a subframe for 700.00..But the body is VERY, VERY nice...Soo...what do I do? Whould you do a body, VIN, Trim tag swap on the cars? Or not? My 396 car is in need of a tremendous amount of work..it's very rusty..I need help here..I'm very tempte to do the swap-a-roo.but feel a little guilty..

Thanks very much for ALL opinions

Gary
 

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Just my opinion but the swap would leave you with a nice 6cyl that's had an 8 transplanted and some questionable areas with respect to the trim and vin tags. That guilt feeling is there for a reason...

That said using the 6cyl as a parts car and rebuilding the BB SS car is going to be more costly. Drivability and looks, it will be the same as if you did it the other way. Funny how out quest for the pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow causes such moral challanges!!

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...Dennis
"The '69, the '96 & the club"
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
John, but swapping the parts involves removing welded pieces and welding them onto the other car. I just don't think I could cut up such a nice car..This shell is unbievebly clean..Original red paint. I don't think I've ever seen as clean a car as this one. Also, even after welding in all the parts, my car wouldnt be as clean looking as an original. The entire RH corner is gone on my car. The spring is just barely connected to the remains of the frame rail.What bothers me the most is that i reserected the my car from certian death. It was a non-running mess..Everyone who say it said "Parts car" right away and now I've gotten it to where its a driving operational car..After I change all the #'s the car would be a worthless shell..that's the part that bothers me the most.

Thanks

Gary
 

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That's a tough one. As much as I'd like to see an original car saved, cutting out the VIN and putting it into another body just isn't right. Cutting up a solid body like the 6 cyl is tough to do as well. I would try to save the 396 with new panels if possible. Worst case scenario would be to cut up the 6 cyl body to use the pieces to bring back the 396 body. The easiest solution would be to sell the 396 and buy a solid car and you'll never have to think about it. I guess I would try to save the 396 even if it took years to get everything welded back together. I would look at it as a long term project. If that 6 cyl body is that sweet, I would turn that into a nice every day Camaro with a modern powerplant like an LT1 or LS1. I would love to get a soid body to build a "modern" 1st gen Camaro with. But I have to get my 69 JL8 finished first.

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Jeff H - 93 Indy 500 Pace Car(supercharged) & driven daily, Hugger Orange 69 Z28 with JL8 brakes, cross-ram & GM fiberglass hood, TI setup, heater and radio delete, being restored
 

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Are you keeping this car or selling it?If youur fixing it to sell i say dont do it.If you plan on keeping it I would do it.
 

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I really dont understand,some want him to replace 75% of the old car and some want him to use 75% of the doner car but not all of it whats the diffrence.I think we are all missing out if he dosent redo the car but I see him being pushed into spending a extra several thousand dollars to re do a car not worth it.The other problem is would you rather buy a car that has had most of it cut away and replaced and will never be solid or buy a car that has had a extra clean donor body used to put all of the original stuff on and I meen all the correct way.The donor car dident start as a 6cy it just ended up that way,the basic cars are the same and you can add anything you need to make it the same as a V8.I think he should cut the dash off on the rust bucket and drive another under it.HA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ORENCH...That's a good point you made, but if i do the swap, am I building a fake? It's not like I'm buying an X33 off Ebay and putting it on a base 69, is it? My car now is legit, not stolen or anything..The "nice shell" is not stolen. The car is in a junk yard! And in the state of Wash.In order for a car to be junked, it has to go through a thourough background check to make sure there are no liens or it being stolen. So..Why would just swapping all the tags be illegal?.....ochrisl..I'm NOT going to restore the car and sell and I WOULD notify any interested party that is a body swap resto. Would that detour any of you away from buying it knowing that?...AllCamaro...good point..I really can't see cutting the floors/quarters/trunk out of the nice shell and installing them on my rusty car..I think I'd rather buy a car that has had a body swap from a very clean donor, than one that has had all metal welded in everywhere..I really want to do the swap, but then, My rusty SS IS still restorable.

Thanks everyone..

Gary
 

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In CA it's against the law to tamper with a cars vin tag. The law is there to actually protect guys like you and I from the chop shops and car theives. I believe most states to be the same way. If you salvage a vehicle without a vin the state has a procedure they use to let you put the car back on the road.

Gary you yourself said it. <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I'm very tempte to do the swap-a-roo.but feel a little guilty..<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> What's driving that guilt?

Some have said if you plan on keeping it do it... What happens if you don't keep it? You sell it to me at a fair price with the real story and I take it and then sell it without the story and nobody ever knows until the car is up for sale a third time and someone that knows the car sees it and spills the beans... The guys here on the site jump on this stuff all the time with cars on eBay... I would hate to be the guy that thought he did his homework and found out different.

Sounds to me like there's a chance to see two cool cars come out of this. Maybe a numbers correct restored SS and a bad boy orig 6 car turned pro-touring 427 efi SBC with a 6 speed!!


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...Dennis
"The '69, the '96 & the club"
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay..think about this...let's say I was going to cut the back half of the nice car and weld it on my SS...would you say that would be okay? Yes, I would feel guilty because I don't want to present something that isn't legit..but at the same time, this other car would make mine REALLY nice. The only other thing I could do it to swap my drivetrain into the 6 cyl body but NOT swap the VIN, and call it a clone.
..It would feel bad having a clone when I had ther real thing...
 

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It doesnt matter if you use the body panels from the good car, or you buy all new sheet metal. It can never be the original car, but if the work is done right, it can still be considered a numbers matching car as long as you leave the trim and vin tags alone. I dont think it would be considered a clone, or that it wouldnt be legit as long as it is restored to all the original specs, and all the numbers match. Im no expert, but thats just my thoughts.
 

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I don't get it, what will happen if the aftermarket industry came out with a repro body shell? You have to re-locate the trim tags, no? It's not impossible, cause I've seen repro body shells for Volkswagen beatles. It's just a matter of demand & supply. Donor cars are gonna disappear someday and what will happen then, the SS, RS & Z/28 are going to dissapear with them? We take care of our cars but what if a tree falls on top of your car (hurricanes
) and you don't find a Z/28 body shell to replace yours? Then another Z/28 gone forever?
Just thinking out loud.

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Our affair with Camaros is a live sentence without the possibility of parole. www.geocities.com/c68ss http://home.coqui.net/borench
 

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Cavemate; I've been thinking about this since yesterday. You'll have to decide how much time and money it is worth to avoid the dreaded "C" word. Then again, if you use any reproduction sheetmetal that was not originally produced by GM, would that make your car a "semi-clone"? In the end, what will this car be used for when completed? If you plan to enter it in car shows and such as an "original" SS, restore the body. For a daily driver or weekend car that will be subject to the elements, I would use the 6 banger shell. I have to admit that I would be very tempted to switch the tags, but, being a purist, I don't think I could do it. Maybe you could take the VIN and cowl tag off the SS and hook them to the other body somewhere; just for posterity. Don't forget that my opinion is worth what you paid for it.-John.
 

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Why don't you have both cars, fix the 6 banger, and sell it to finance the parts need to get the SS on the road? Just a thought!

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Probably the first place to start is find out if it is legal in your state to swap the body and VIN. If not, then you don't have a dilema. If it's legal, the problem arises when and if you have to sell the rebodied car. We all know how many people would buy it in a heartbeat knowing it's a rebody and then turn around and sell it as all original to someone else. You could give the VIN to CRG and the rest of us would know what was done, but not the people who are new to Camaros. I'd really like to say that if you know you'll never sell the car, go ahead and rebody it if it's easier than fixing the original body. But check the legallity of it first. By the way, it's no longer legal to put a V8 engine in a car that originally came equipped with a 4 cyl or 6 cyl here in NJ so building a clone isn't legal here any more. There's a lot of cars and trucks up for sale now because they aren't legal.

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Jeff H - 93 Indy 500 Pace Car(supercharged) & driven daily, Hugger Orange 69 Z28 with JL8 brakes, cross-ram & GM fiberglass hood, TI setup, heater and radio delete, being restored

[This message has been edited by Jeff H (edited 12-16-2001).]
 

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Unfortunately the 68 without a POP or other doccumentation is a tough issue. and original cars (68's)without doccumentation should be taken with a grain of salt. Make absolutely sure the 68 ss big block is what it appears to be.
Once satisfied, I'd lose alot of sleep.
I'd like to think that I'd do whatever it took to keep the Big Block car as legit as possible...

Best of luck
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all your help guys..I think I'm going to forget the shell and try my best at the orig. body.


Gary
 

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personally, i think people put too much thought into this kind of thing. the ss cars and the base cars were built one after another on the line. my 307, th350 nothing nova could have just as easily been an ss with a 350 and a 4 speed, or gotten shipped off to yenko to become a yenko deuce. the only thing that made it what it was is the fact that that particular body was coming down the line when the vin plates that got on it and determined what it would be got to the top of the pile.
personally, i would strip BOTH cars to nothing, and "accidentally" have the "good" vin plates and all the other stuff on it. that is the way the factory did it. you would just be duplicating what the General did 34 years ago.and there are companies that sell reprodution bodies- for pickups. you can buy a complete cab and box and put them on your frame- it becomes whatever your truck was. maybe if you at least keep the original subframe it is technically legal?
i guess this makes me a common criminal, huh?

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1971 Nova(looks like 69 camaro from underneath!)
355sb, vortec heads, HOT cam,T-10 tranny, 3.70 gears 16" IROC wheels
 

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It's only illegal if you get caught!
,

you got a good point Novaderrik, if you legally own both cars, I think you are doing yourself a favor, by preserving the SS, and restoring it..... VINs and all.... Just my opinion. Ask your local authorities about the situation, obviously you have good intentions...
 
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