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Mid-life Crisis Camaro

By: Mark 08/24/2020

 grew up in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, and 1979 and there were a ton of old cars in South Hills of Pgh. About that time, there was a silver '68 Camaro being built down the street from my house by a guy I only knew of, but I did know the guy who painted the car as he dated a friend of my sister. They really did a job on the Camaro with the paint designs for the time by pulling the body off the frame and painting multi-color stripes over the hood, trunk, and under the gas tank, rear end, floors and firewall. I remember seeing the Camaro and as I was about 12-13 years old at the time, I could only dream and drool. 

I occasionally (but pretty rarely) used to see the Camaro when I went by the shop but after going to college, getting married, divorced, and moving to Florida, I lost complete knowledge of the car for probably 30+ years, but I never forgot about it. So, against all odds and just for my own wonderment, about 6 months ago I was on a couple Facebook groups and posted the question whether anyone remembered the car with a description just to see if anyone knew whatever happened to it. No responses online except for a guy who happened to know the original builder and painter, and we discussed the car but he didn't know whatever happened to it either, as the original owner, Norm LeBlanc, had passed away quite some time ago. Seemed like the end of the line for the Camaro.

But, about 3 years ago, I got tagged in a Facebook response to my post about the car, and a guy stated that he saw a similarly painted Camaro on eBay. Sure enough, when I looked at the link, there it was, looking almost just like it as I remembered it from 1979-ish. So after talking it over with the wife, doing some creative juggling of finances and bargaining with the current owner in Indiana, I was able to buy it. It was delivered a week and 1/2 later and it looks like there was some paintwork done to it, and there's at least one spot that could use some body work but for the most part, it's pretty solid. The Camaro was pretty much destined to be an ISCA show car, I think. As stated, Tom has been a treasure trove of information about the origins of the car and I can't thank him enough. The first guy’s brother actually sold Norm the '69 302 that's in the car to this day. So, I've gotten the car cleaned up a little (still needs the underside go over), and I've started to go through the mechanics of it but yet need to take it to a mechanic to go over the engine and make sure it doesn't need anything (it runs and drives fine, but I want to make sure it's safe). And it needs some required items like seat belts, power steering, and disc brakes that I want to get done very soon (then I'll address the wheel issue). Sorry so long, but thought I'd share the back story to give you an idea of what the car means to me. Thanks, Mark

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