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Discussion Starter #1
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.

Bruce G.
Lynn Haven
 

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Welcome to the Team and thank you for your service to our country.

There is nothing wrong with a big bumper 2nd Gen Camaro. I am particular to the aluminum bumper since I have a 76. Although I do have an 69 as well.

I love your ride and can't wait to see your modifications as your project thread begins.

Regards...
 

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I love the big bumper camaros...my first car (high school days) was a 77 camaro. I made it a full on 77 Z28 clone, with the hood you have, and added a few things from later F bodies,including 78-79 Z28 fender louvers, and a disk brake rear and sway bars from a then brand new Trans Am....If I ever find that car I'd buy it back in a heartbeat, Lots of great memories of street racing...and other things involving girls:D
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Because my first post was so long, I decided to outline the project in this follow-up post. Rather than a full restoration, the car will get a freshening up with some upgrades for comfort, convenience, and highway use.

One goal is to keep the accumulated costs low so that I can insure the car on my regular USAA policy. It will be a daily driver (though I don't actually commute), and my 19-year-old son can drive it without the multitude of restrictions that come with collector car policies. (I have such a policy with Grundy for the 1967 Mustang. It provides unlimited mileage at an agreed value of $38K, but all drivers must have a minimum of 9 years of experience—which excludes drivers under 25 years old.) Grundy’s policies are actually some of the most lenient.

My primary goal for the Camaro is to make it roadworthy for any length of trip. I love to drive across the USA and explore the secondary roads. This is especially fun in a classic vehicle—a guaranteed conversation-starter at every stop—and although some might consider it adventurous to travel in a decades-old car, I actually like the fact that are no computer components or electronic sensors to leave me stranded. In the 15,000 miles I’ve logged in the Mustang during the past 12 months, I experienced a few mechanical issues, but none left me stranded for more than a matter of hours.

So, here’s the list of improvements/upgrades:

1. Freshen up the engine compartment
2. 700R4 transmission swap
3. Replace carb with EZ-EFI
4. Ceramic-coated shorty headers, dual exhaust, Dynomax V/T mufflers*
5. 1-inch lowering coil springs and leaf springs, add sway bars
6. New subframe bushings and front suspension/steering components as necessary.
7. Refurbish a/c with Classic Auto Air system*
8. Line interior and trunk with sound/heat insulation
9. Aftermarket or late model reclining bucket seats
10. Dakota Digital VHX gauges and cruise control*
11. Power windows
12. Tilt steering column
13. Retrosound USA Model 2 head unit*, 4 interior speakers, Bazooka BTA-6100*
14. Mild mods to front and rear bumpers

For the record, some “before” pictures of the engine compartment and the interior.





As soon as work gets underway, hopefully within a couple of weeks, I’ll begin documenting the project and tracking the costs.

*I have these products in my Mustang and am completely satisfied with them.

Bruce G.
 

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Bruce-- welcome aboard fellow Floridian! :beers: I love the second-gen Camaros too... and I've owned/restored quite a few (check my signature)...

Here's a picture of a '75 I parted out and shouldn't have. It was a "Bumblebee" look-a-like (from the Transformers Movie...) My son was so ticked off that I sold it.

Anyway... enjoy the process! Looks like a SUPER_CLEAN one to start with. nice!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bruce-- welcome aboard fellow Floridian! :beers: I love the second-gen Camaros too... and I've owned/restored quite a few (check my signature)...
Todd--had to laugh at your "Sunny-rainy Florida" tag. The photos of your Bumblebee '75 (RIP) were definitely taken on a day of "maximum humidity." I know your son was upset, but from the looks of the sheet metal and interior, that car would have taken far more to restore than the "big bumper" cars are worth. A steel bumper 2nd Gen is a different matter, IMHO.

You have a real pedigree of builds in your resume. What part of the Sunshine State are you in?
 

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I love the car! It's beautiful..My first car at 15 years old was a 74 Camaro. I love the body style and will have another one one day...
I'll be watching your progress!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As a quick update to my inaugural post about this project, most of the drivetrain and suspension components have been acquired and are ready to go:

700R4 transmission built by Transmission Technologies, Inc. in Michigan
1-inch lowering rear leaf springs and front coil springs
body mount bushings
front suspension rebuild kit
rear sway bar (1-inch)

Work should get started soon, with Dallas Scott at Grease Monkey Garage in Lynn Haven doing the majority of the skilled work. As previously mentioned, the goal is to create a nice looking, great riding, dependable cruiser/roadtripper--not strictly a show car or garage queen--on a reasonably low budget. I'm keeping an Excel spread sheet of all expenditures, and so far the total outlay for the car and all assembled components is $7700. Once the mechanical work is done, my son and I will tackle the interior.

As soon as the car goes on the lift and stuff starts coming off, I'll update the thread with photos and progress reports. Hopefully that will be happening soon.

Bruce G.
 
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