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As some or most may already know, my father special ordered ( late January '68) and purchased (April '68) this car new. After purchasing the car he immediately changed the wheels and began the personalizing touches to make this special car his. Soon after while working in Ohio at Lucas Machine he and his brother made a set of homemade traction bars along with purchasing a set of Delco Pleasurizer shocks and got rid of the smog system added a set of Hooker Headers and finally did away with one of the biggest downfalls of the car the Muncie shifter and replaced it with a Hurst Competition. From then on he would do what every other red blooded American did which was street race with the occasional track pass. I can remember stories my uncle talking about my father street racing on their lunch break. The one car that gave him the most trouble was a '70 440 Six Pack Cuda. Out of 3 runs from a dig the Cuda jumped him by a fender twice and couldnt pull away and he could gain any ground and the other attempt was dead even up to 120. As time went on the 68 became the secondary car as he was always wheeling and dealing with other rides. Believe it or not my mother drove the car the majority of the time and put the most miles on the car. In '75 they moved down to TN and the 68 was still driven just not as frequent as in the past. In the 80's is when the car show bug bit him and this quickly became one of his passions. I can remember people asking him in the 80's when he was going to restore it. His response was always; "its only original once!!" Even then when restoring musclecars were starting to take off; especially into the 90's, he had the foresight to see that original cars were more important than restored ones. Eventually he retired the '68 from showing it and began restoring cars and had several very nice 69 Pacers that won several shows with both. In October of 2006 he left this world and the car sat in the garage ever since. I would occasionally get it out and fire it and bring it up to temps and take it down the road and then back in the garage it went. The time has come that the car has starting to show its age even more so now than ever before. Respecting his wishes and respecting him for the man and father that he was I will NEVER restore this car but I am going to start a preservation to insure it will survive long after I have left this world and the next caretaker will be able to enjoy this machine and hopefully will respect the wishes of my father and myself. That is a small back story of the car and an even smaller look into the person my father was. Now to today; I started with the first item of business which for me was the vinyl and plastic on the exterior and interior of the car.



Special thanks to James (aka firstgenaddict) for willingly giving me processes he uses when refurbishing interior components, rust converting and prevention and Mike Phillips (from Autogeek) for the how-to thread on preserving single stage paints.



I started out with using Oxiclean in a clean bucket with extremely hot water and making sure to mix it well together.








This is the brush I started out using but later went to a larger stiffer bristle brush.




As you can see the vinyl top had serious embedded dirt. This is where the hot water and oxyclean comes into play.






I picked up these microfiber towels from Harbor Freight as I didnt need anything special for this process. I just wanted something that would be lint free.




This is a quick shot of a portion that just cleaned against an untouch area.




This is a shot of the mf towel after a few swipes of the vinyl after scrubbing.




Right at 2 hours later and biceps and forearms in misery the finished product.






This is just from the vinyl top.. Yeah that was pretty bad. Just a tip for those that have vinyl top cars: when you put the car up and put the cover on make sure the top is completely clean because over time it will grind the dirt into the vinyl..

 

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After a short break and a cleaning of the bucket and getting a new oxyclean solution, I began the tedious cleaning of the interior. At first glance the door panels and front seats dont look that bad at all..






Unfortunately a closer look shows the dirt down deep in the crevices..








Door panel wasn't as bad plus a forgot to get a before pic. Here is the door panel armrest after.




Seat after cleaning



 

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Continuing with interior cleaning as well as documenting small items.










I thought this was of interest. Carpet on driver's side is under the firewall pad.






Accelerator pedal after cleaning






Parking brake pedal clean






Another point of interest. Front portion of the carpet has 4 MAR 1968 but the rear portion has 5 MAR 1968..






Here you will see carboard type paper under the driver side seal plate but the passenger side had nothing.








Quick change of pace with a look at the door latch mechanism.. Notice that the pass side the lock was in the closed position but the driver side was in the open position






How the carpet but around the pass side of the kick panel area. The rear shot has some type of black tape on the galvanized tin and the door frame.



 

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Here is a look through the door jam as you can see the tape from the door stripe rapped around the edge on the pass side and driver side wasn't.






Here you can see a suede type of paint used on the inner heater box.




Here you can see that the carpet was cut in front of the console from the factory.






This is showing the carpet in relation to the inner heater box.





 

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Now that's how an un-restored, but well taken care of old Camaro should look, I may be in the minority, but am not a patina fan. (sick of the term, used to call it rust, can't afford body and paint work, and I've been around this a long time) Even the Rat Rod we built is patina free.

Bet those door shut just as nice as mine:beers:
 

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Had a little time this morning out in the garage. I applied Meguiar's Gold Class Leather Conditioner to the seats and panels. Still waiting on a few more products to come in before I can go much further. But the interior cleaning is far from over.

Pic of the conditioner and seats








Reconditioned deluxe seat emblems




Here are the seat belt dates

Driver shoulder belt




Driver lap buckle




Passenger lap buckle




Passenger shoulder belt




Driver retracting belt




Passenger retracting belt




Passenger seat safety cable




Door jam vent before




Door jam vent after





Stay tuned. More to come soon
 

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Darrell,

That car is WAY too nice to even consider restoring!! beautiful condition as a one (family) owner should be... :)

Gary
 

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Thanks guys and Gary I could never consider restoring it.. But steps and processes have to be done to ensure it outlasts me.. ;) :D
 

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Yours is certainly one to be kept a time capsule, just as it was originally personalized. Even when they sit covered in the garage, age still creeps in on them and they require PM. Great job over the years. You still got that other Z for restoration, get to have fun detailing this one:thumbsup:
 

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Yours is certainly one to be kept a time capsule, just as it was originally personalized. Even when they sit covered in the garage, age still creeps in on them and they require PM. Great job over the years. You still got that other Z for restoration, get to have fun detailing this one:thumbsup:
Exactly.. And since I am a few years out before I can start on the Z this will help pass the time as well as building engines for people. :D
 

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Small update. The wire gutter had fatigued with age and broke away from one of its mounting bolts..




Luckily I was able to repair it and its almost as good as new.

 

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Since starting this thread I wanted to go ahead and add in photos of the car from over the years that I have currently. I realize I have posted some of these before but I figured having all of them in one thread would be better. As time goes on I will add more when I digitize them.

April 1968 days after picking up from the dealer.












Around 1978








Early 1980's
















Yep that's me behind the wheel..









If you notice a friend of the family painted up a sign for the car back in the late 80's. I still have the sign. I need to dig it out and see what shape its in.

 

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A few more pics and a video from when he and the car were on Motor Trend TV's Musclecar Archives. This was filmed in the fall of 1996 and aired around Feb of 97. I still have the raw unedited footage that I need to get converted from VHS is DVD. Maybe I need to add that to my to-do list for this weekend.


Motor Trend Musclecar Archives Video







This was several months after his passing I had written into Chevy High Performance telling them about my father and the car and they took one of the pics I sent and put it in the April 2007 edition.

 
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