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Ever since I saw my first 69 Camaro that I could remember I have always loved the look of the car and swore to myself that I would own one someday. I wanted to build my own car starting from the bare shell and build it right and the way I wanted it for myself. Over the next 30 years I watched for one that would suit my project goals; and during that time either missed a sale, or the car was already restored, or the owner was unrealistic in the price of the wreck he was selling.

Fast forward to August 2014 I decided to put a want ad out for a project 69 Camaro and to my surprise I received a message of a shell that was available if I was interested. Within a week I was on my way to central Alberta with a trailer to see it. When I first saw the car it was a shell sitting in the trees on top of an anthill, my initial reaction was the car was too far-gone to repair. The serial number and the tags were intact but she was gutted and very neglected. I decided that I would purchase the car, as the price was low enough that I could take a chance on it. On the 8th of August I brought her home and put her into my garage. Before I invested time or energy into the car I went to the insurance company and registries and registered the car in my name.

Because the car was already stripped it didn’t take long to totally disassemble it to the bare shell. I also cut out sheet metal so when the car was blasted the inside panels were easily accessible. On the 29th of August it was blasted so I could get a good idea what I was in for… A lot of work… But, cheaper than a reproduction shell, no registration hassles, and a clean slate for my build.
 

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That I did Kevin! I have actually been working on this car for the year and I will post pictures.. The good thing about this car is I don't feel guilty about tearing apart a car that should be restored! Here is a few more pictures.
 

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In this picture I am in the contemplation most and telling my Dad what I have in mind! LOL.

The Plan

I will be building a resto mod/pro touring car, the body will initially appear stock but with subtle changes. I am leaning heavily towards the Art Morrison 4 link rear suspension and a complete Art Morrison front frame and suspension. Brakes will be Wilwood four wheel “big disk” 6 piston front and 4 piston rear with hydro boost assist. I am thinking of an LSX454/427 with a Tremec T56 Magnum 6 speed manual transmission, Nitrous?? I would like to retain the RS lights just upgrade the headlight door electrics and upgrade to modern lights. (LED and HID) I would like to tastefully upgrade and modernize the interior seating, instrumentation, power windows, power doors, power brakes, power steering, tilt, Vintage Air air conditioning, hands free calling, stereo, GPS, security system, etc. To do this tastefully, make it look like the factory built it that way will be an interesting challenge.

I am no stranger to sheet metal work, fabrication, and building engines in a variety of performance applications and by no means this is my first build. In which I am sure will be many pages following, I will document my build.


The Build Stage I

I always break my large projects into stages, this way I have a sense of direction and helps me keep on track to complete smaller manageable goals.

Stage I (the body shell) will consist of the following:

- Build body jig
- Rust removal and sheet metal replacement/repair.
- Sealing and coating all internal sheet metal, cowls for rust protection.
- Interior and exterior body modifications.
- Partially smooth firewall and fill in any holes that are not required.
- Mini tub DSE.
- Install Art Morrison rear 4 link suspension.
- Install new doors and trunk lid.
- Spoiler.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
At this point I have owned the car for about 3 weeks and I have taken it to be blasted. Now is the time to figure how much sheet metal I have to replace. This is where I realize that I have a long road ahead. Fortunately I do fine my time in the garage therapeutic and there is nothing better than working on your OWN project!

I also hung the original doors on new hinges and put the original rear lid on to look at gaps, I also opened up the cowl.

I need to build a jig for the car and see how straight this thing is.
 

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At this point I am removing rust, I cut out the rest of the dash and started to fit the new one. I also found parts to convert the car to a standard transmission. Next is to build the jig and set the shell on the jig.
 

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Finished the jig, measure, measure, measure, welded the pins on the jig for the shell. I set the shell onto the jig and was floored that everything lined up! I then did a lot of measuring to make sure everything was square and centred. Once I was happy I spot welded the shell to the jig. I will weld more supports in as I go thru the shell replacing sheet metal.

I did a little more research into the car for those who are interested:
- 6 cylinder auto RS
- Fathom Green with black vinyl roof
 

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Beginning to purchase parts for the shell...

I started to remove the rear panel and trunk floor.. The rear jig support is not in place because you will notice that the back of the frame rails are rusted away. The reminder of the rear rails are welded to the jig. As I install the new pieces into the back I will screw everything in place. This way I can do adjustments when I get the quarters/tail section in place. I was going to salvage the rear shelf supports but I decided to replace with new pieces.
 

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Installing the trunk floor and the rear shelf supports. Fortunately there is a gentleman in town here that has a 69 coupe and he has graciously allowed me to use his car for reference during my build.. I just can't take his car apart :) lol.
 

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Next step is sanding, rust, removal, etching, and rust protection on each panel as I go until paint. If I haven't mentioned before every seam will be sprayed with weld thru primer and internal panels will be blasted, sanded, etched, primed, rock guard applied. When I get the shell finished and AFTER mockup I will have sound deadener/heat guard and rock guard sprayed inside and under the car.
 

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I While I was waiting for parts I started to work on the firewall, I will be using a Vintage Air system so I decided to block off the "heater hole". Instead of purchasing a panel built I made a template and cut out my own, cut out the old applied weld thru primer and spot welded in the new. I will be welding in some of the small holes that are not needed as I go.
 

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6 months into the build just after Christmas I got a few new parts! I'll tell ya it is very expensive for shipping up to the great white north in Canada.. Oh well it is all good.

With the rear Art Morrison frame/suspension I also picked up DSE mini tubs, Once I get the rest of the floor/inner and outer rockers/floor kick panels in I will install the frame on the jig. I will have to modify the jig for the frame but that is a little ways off yet.
 

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Next I removed the rear upper panel and did rust removal and fitting for the new panel. The upper joint I taped off for the weld thru primer. I then primed and rock guarded the inner support. I then drilled holes in the upper panel for spot welding and ground down around the holes for welding and used the upper panels as a template to spot grind the spot welds near the trunk lid and applied weld thru primer. Oh spot welding and grinding every inch thru that weatherstrip panel PITA!!
 

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Thanks Darrell! I have snooped around at other builds on an install for the Art Morrison and didn't find detailed installs I will slow down and take many pictures and post in more detail when I get there.
 

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You work fast! All this today?!!?!?

:p
 

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After I finished welding in the upper rear panel I decided to install the new lid and spoiler. I do have a bumper and I put it on for a gander.. may modify the spoiler but that will happen down the road.. I also got my rear quarters. So I should start thinking about installing the rockers.
 

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I wish George, I am just posting my build up until "today" still have a few more posts to go.

My next project at this point (June 2015)is to weld in a few more supports on the jig. I have thought about this part for a long time and I have decided to remove the drivers outter rocker panel weld in the new one and screw it to the inner rocker. then install the drivers side floor kick panel then install the inner rocker panel I will screw to the old floor. Hopefully this will reduce issues with body alignment.

When I removed the outter rocker in the first picture there was a divider/reinforcement inside I cut out the old one and welded in new patches in the rotted out areas and sandblasted, primed and rockguarded it. I then drilled holes and used weld thru primer and welded it into the outer rocker panel.
 

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