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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 1969 Camaro about 2 months ago. It's nothing special...just a base model with a 350, 2bl, auto, ps, pb (drums all around) and A/C. I paid $8700 for it.

It was recently painted dark green with white Z28 stripes (no cowl hood). The paint job is okay, but it could be a lot better. It has plenty of road dings and a new ding/dent on the trunk lid made by some jealous idiot. The rear spolier was installed incorrectly...the guy bolted it down, but then siliconed it to the hood and then painted over that. The whole rear end, quarter panels, trunk lid, tail assebly, trunk pan, and gas tank and straps are all brand new. Heck, even the sending unit, rear springs and shocks are all new. Although, the sending unit is not hooked up all the way.

The interior is okay. It too is dark green and all there. It does not have a counsel or floor mounted shifter...shifter is on the column for now. I have brand new carpet on order. The seats are very nice. The dash pad is very nice. The dash itself needs some cleaning and TLC. I need a new center vent..very hard to find. I need a new passenger side armrest pad. I need a new rear deck. But that's about it for the interior.

Drivetrain: The motor has 87K on it. I added a new Edelbrock manifold, Holley 600cfm vac sec. carb, and Pertronix inside the distributor. The motor is most likely gonna need a rebuild soon. The A/C is all there, but one of the hoses and the "dryer" need to be replaced. Plus, it needs to be converted to R134. The tranny is running just fine. The rearend (10 bolt) has a leak at the pinion seal. I might do this when I swap out the rear gears for 3.55 or 3.73.

If I keep this one I'm gonna need to add a cowl induction hood, fix the dent in the rear trunk lid, install the rear spoiler correctly (possibly buy a new one), paint the whole thing again, install new gears and pinion seal, rebuild motor, get the A/C fixed, hook up the sending unit, and fiddle around with all kinds of other little details.

All in all it's a good vehicle that gets me around day to day (except Winters). However, am I wasting my time on the wrong vehicle? Maybe I should sell this one, hopefully make a little profit and try finding a better Camaro. Perhaps a real SS or Z28? Or maybe a Camaro that's just much better off than this one.

What do you guys think?
 

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Ah, the age old question. My view is that I personally want a driver and something I will transform into my personal vehicle and enjoy. I love Z-28's but don't think it would allow me the freedom to do to it what I want. With my current car, anything goes and I 'enjoy the ride'. Go with your heart, whatever you do.

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Rick Dorion
69 RS Conv,355,M20,4.10's
 

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Depends on what you want... Do you want a car you drive & have fun with? Do you want a trailer queen that you're afraid is going to get messed up? It's a choice you have to make.

I have a base 1968 327 Coupe that I have a lot of fun with! Couldn't be happier with it :) Terror of the neighborhood with the noise the damn thing makes :) It would be neat to have a "real" SS396/RS, but then I would be afraid to drive it around for fear that it was going to get Dirty.

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David
Camaro - '68 327 Coupe, '86 Z-28 IROC 305 TPI
Corvette - '73 Mako Shark II replica, '79 L-82, '82 Cross-fire, '01 Coupe
 

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ditto with the guys. All depends on what you want. I personally am going the customized route so my base model coupe is great.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My big fear was dumping a lot of money into a vehicle that's not worth much, but then I have to remember why I bought the car in the first place...to enjoy. So, it looks like I will be keeping this one and doing what I can to it when I can.

This weekend I took a cruise out to see some other Camaros that were for sale at some "hot rod" dealerships. UGH! Not that mine is in the greatest shape, but these turds were downright nasty...especially for what the asking price was. For example: I saw a 69 Camaro that was orange with black Z/28 stripes, cowl induction hood, and a 427 in it. The body was completely shot. It needed a new hood & rear quarters at the least. The body needed a complete paint job. The interior was in shambles. It had nice 15x7 ralleys in front with 15x8 Ralleys and some monster tires out back. Way too big! Asking price was $8450! UGH! I think they thought that the motor was worth $8000 because the body could only be worth $500.

Another thing that helped was my chance meeting with a local club that I never knew existed. The Illinois Camaro Club was hosting a show at a new car dealership. A buddy told me about it so I checked it out. It was exactly what I was looking for...a bunch of Camaro owners to pass on advice or point me in the right direction. Plus, they were extremely nice.

A few of the guys at the show took a look at my Camaro and were impressed with what I had for the money. That was a big boost.

Anyway, as I said, I think I'm gonna keep this Camaro. You boys are right...an SS or Z/28 would be real nice to own, but could I enjoy it like I can with this one without crying when it gets dirty? NO! What I might do is convert my BASE Camaro into a wanna-be Z28. This way I get the best of both worlds.

Thanks guys!
 

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personally. i think your right keeping the base model so you can modify it. maybe instead of turning it into a wanna be z28 (like you said) just modify it into what you want. custom in my opinion is alot cooler thn stock anyway. i'm basically going to do that to mine, i have future plans (would be present plans but hte funds are dry
) like disk brake convert, rack and pinion steering, 3.55 posi rear, and maybe a big block (probably not, lol).
good luck with your car, and have fun with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess I didn't explain myself well enough...I meant I'd like to turn it into my version of a Z/28.


I'm thinking of something along the lines of stock looking, but with some touches of my own.
 

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You never said if the 350/2bbl was the original engine. If it is, I'd rebuild it and modify to a 4 bbl, retaining all the original stuff, of course. I'd leave everything else stock, including brakes, unless you plan some serious street games.
I bought a rust free plain jane, with no motor or tranny, and am cloning a Yenko. Great fun, but not so valuable that I would be afraid to drive it.
Of course, it costs about the same to build a clone as an original-- only difference is the price of the starting point(unless you luck onto something special.)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good points! Especially about the parts being pricey. I've been searching and searching for some dinky stuff that I thought would be cheap...I was wrong. For example; rocker moulding ($19.95/each side), wheel well chrome ($19.95/each wheel), and the A/C vent in the center of the dash ($75.00!!!). Ouch!

By the way, I already swapped out the 2 bl for a 4 bl. I do have a set of headers on the way too. That may be all I'm gonna do for now until I get the motor rebuilt. No sense in adding stuff if it's gonna be torn down anyway.

On that note, am I better off pulling this motor and having it rebuilt or going with a crate motor? Obviously, going with a crate motor would be easier. Which is cheaper to do? Remember, that means the heads need to be rebuilt too.
 

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Rabid,
I'm doing the same as you- I have a base 68 coupe that I've added a Z hood to, a 355" small block, and a B&M Turbo 400 trans. I'd love to add the RS grill but $$$$!!!!
I feel the same as the other guys- I'm kinda glad it's not a Z-28 or RS-SS because I'd be terrified to drive it. As much as I want a real 69 Z-28, I could never bring myself to modify it or hot rod around in it. Build it the way you want it and enjoy it.
On the engine, if you have the ability and desire to do it yourself I would. You can build a better engine than a crate for about the same or less. I'm no engine pro but I build all my own, and I feel much better knowing what's in it and how it was built.
If it's your only means of transpo then a crate engine might be the way to go, but if you have the time to tear it down yourself and do it right that would be my choice.
Have fun!

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1 '68 Camaro, 1 '69 Nova, 1 '69 Firebird, and a whole bunch of bicycles!

[This message has been edited by pete b (edited 08-28-2001).]
 

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If the motor is original, I'd stay with it rather than install a crate motor.
When I rebuilt my 427, the costs were: Heads--magna flux, valve job, new guides, hardened exhaust seats, replaced a few valves new valve springs and adjust height--$300. Engine--Pressure test and magna flux, bore .030 over, align hone, turn crank .010, install new freeze plugs, install cam bearings, install wrist pins, custom hone cyl walls to each piston-- $350 Engine rebuild kit-- $425. Cam,springs and pushrods --175.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hmmmm, still a tough decision. I guess it'll come down to the time when I pull the Camaro in the garage, put here away for the winter, and start pulling things off.

A crate motor would be so much easier, but probably more expensive. Ahhh, who knows! I guess I'll have to wait and see. Maybe I'll get lucky and come across a good used, freshly built motor for cheap.

Thanks for the advice guys.
 

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Actually, if it's the correct number matching engine, then I would pull it out & set it aside, and put in a crate. That way you're not shortening the life of the original engine any more. Crate is easier & in the long run cheaper.

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David
Camaro - '68 327 Coupe, '86 Z-28 IROC 305 TPI
Corvette - '73 Mako Shark II replica, '79 L-82, '82 Cross-fire, '01 Coupe
 

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I would sell it before you modify it up . You didn't make a mistake. Put it out for the most cash you can get. Camaros are hot selllers. Take the 9 or 10 k put it in an account- save your *** off, you will be surprised how quick another 8-10 grand comes your way. Be very choosey and get the car you want w/o the hassles. I'm afraid too many guys out there like to rip things apart and waste time money etc ,etc, Its like finding the right woman why settle. Good luck in whatever you decide.
 

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Please do not slap some Z/28 emblems on anther "base" Camaro as millions have done alredy. Nothing makes my blood boil faster than a Camaro being touted as a Z when it is clearly not one. Years ago I was President of a Z/28 Camaro club - The California Z/28 association - we started a new chapter of Camaros Limited wich allowed Camaro owners to enjoy club activities. The Camaros Limited club still meets to this day while the Z/28 club was absorbed into it. I still dont regret my decision to not allow anything but real Z/28s to join the association. Real Z/28s had special suspension and steering systems that made the cars the best handling 1st generation Camaros, they even had stiffer spring rates than SS396 Camaros. I am sick of seeing fake 1st generation Z/28s and am very thankful that I lucked into an Ohio built car instead of a Van Nuys California built Z/28 when I bought my 69 Rally Sport in 1978.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
No offense, but you come off as a snob and I will ignore your advice.

In my opinion these cars were built to have fun with. I love the Z/28's and SS cars. These cars are and will continue to be worth some major dough. Unfortunately, I do not want to pay $20K+ on a vehicle so it can sit in my garage or go to the occasional car show to be stared at. I'd rather drive it and enjoy it. If I wanted to build something to look at I'll just build a model of it. Much cheaper. If I wanted to buy something as an investment I would buy stocks or some land.

So,what is wrong with slapping some Z/28 or SS badges on my car? At least with what I create I can enjoy. It's not like I'm gonna go and pass it off for the real thing and try to get big money for it.

Let's just call these "fake" Z/28's and SS's dream cars that can be driven. Unlike the real things.

For example: Last night I saw an imitation COPO 427 69 Camaro. The guy outright admitted that his was a fake. It had everything a real COPO would have including the old GoodYear tires. I thought that the car was awesome. How cool is that...a COPO that you could actually drive. AWESOME!

Thanks for your input, but it is not appreciated.
 

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Rabid, I don't have a real Z-28, but I kind of agree with the other guy. If you are not shooting for a full blown clone, why bother with the emblems? I had "Z-28" emblems on my base model car for a while and it really doesn't make you feel like your car is any more special because you will always know its not real.

I do have a great story for you, though. I decided to put the standard bow tie emblems back on my car during the resto. In the two or so days I have driven my partially completed car around (mainly to the parts store), I have had two people ask me where I got the "custom" emblems. They didn't realize that those emblems came on the majority of Camaros built! You will definitely be in the minority with bow ties.

But, the bottom line is "to each his own", and if you want Z-28 emblems on your car, go for it!

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Pearl blue & white 69 Camaro with supercharged 350, Tremec TKO, and 3.73 12-bolt

See my website updated 4/16/01 at:

www.geocities.com/gheatly
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I would consider putting Z/28 emblems or even possibly SS emblems on my Camaro because it adds a little flair to the vehicle...a little nostalgia. It's just my preference. Don't get me wrong, I've seen plenty of nice "base" Camaros with base emblems or no emblems at all. They're nice too. My choise is my choice. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind.

Anyway, back to motors...
 

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LOL...I've never seen such a minor point be such a big deal. If someone wants to put Z-28 emblems, or SS emblems, or freakin Yugo emblems on THEIR car what's the big deal? A real Camaro enthusiast will know if it's a real Z or not. The average person wouldn't know the difference or care.
Does the "Z-28 Code of Ethics" mean I can't put a Z hood on my base coupe, or Rally rims, or Z-28 stripes? Just for the record I wouldn't put the stripes or badges on my car, but why get tweaked if someone else wants to? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? As a matter of fact, I'm taking all the badges and brightwork off of my car. That won't get me in trouble with the PCCP*, will it?
Rabid,
I would still vote for rebuilding your 350. Tear it down and check the bores and crank, and if they look good go for it. The only big ticket item you might want to do is a better set of heads. Even if you have to go .030 over and buy pistons I would still do it myself rather than buy a crate motor. I can't see spending that much money for a stock motor when you can build the motor you want for the same.

*Politically Correct Camaro Police


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1 '68 Camaro, 1 '69 Nova, 1 '69 Firebird, and a whole bunch of bicycles!
 
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