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Pete's

1968 Chevrolet Camaro

Base 327/5.3L V8

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Build Points

23

  • Color: Red
  • Horsepower: 100
  • Drivetrain: RWD
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  • Vehicle Overview

    Performance Engine : Original 327. Mild Isky 256 cam. Qjet carb. Air conditioning. I rebuilt this engine in my garage when I was 16...some 23 years and 75,000 miles ago, and she's tired, so very tired. LS swap is sometime down the road, when time allows. I love the idea of an new aluminum fuel injected, clean burning engine thats 100-150lbs lighter than the current cast iron small block. I can't wait to sit at the stop light and not smell my car. I am so over carburetors! Drivetrain : Originally a powerglide trans, swapped in a TH350. Swapped out stock 2.73 8.2" peg leg for 8.5" 10-bolt from a 73 Nova with a 3.08 and a G80 posi out of a 93 Buick Roadmaster, finally she will have a limited slip diff after 45 years! Axle will eventually be matched up with a 6-speed 6L80E transmission with 0.67 overdrive making my final "freeway" drive 2.05 (a 25% taller than current). This set-up will also take my overall first gear ratio from 6.88 to 12.40 (80% lower!). Exhaust : Magnaflow stainless 2.5" exhaust system (www.magnaflow.com part#15896) . This system is sweet, its stainless steel, has a straight thru design which is great for power, it mounts in the stock locations and is 100% mandrel bent. It sounds great on throtle without the annoying drone and resonating that many cheap systems have. Stainless steel construction means it wont rust out like other systems. Chassis/Suspension : Front and Rear sway bars. Rebuilt front and rear suspensions with all new poly bushings. Replaced all 6 body mounts. Hotchkis lowering springs in rear (rear is now a full 3" lower than stock). Heidt's 2" lowering spindle in front. Bilstein monotube shocks on all 4 corners. R&R'd gas tank and replaced all rubber, repainted tank. Want to get new upper A-arms to add 6-8 degrees of caster. And of course she rides like a farm wagon but what are you gonna do? Wheels/Tires : 18x8 front, 18x9 rear Boyd Coddington Junk Yard Dog 2-piece aluminum wheels, powder-coated in flat black. Toyo Proxes 225/40-18 front and 275/35-18 rear. Red stripe on the wheels is an ode to the old red stripe tires from the 60's...plus its $5 pin striping tape so can be removed anytime. If you like the wheels you can get your own here: www.billetwheel.com. Chris Coddington (Son of Boyd) and his gang can custom make you a set. They are made from 6061 forged aluminum on the outer with a cast center, then weleded together to whatever backspacing you need, and if you dont know check with the Boyds, they know the right backspacing for almost every car! Brakes : 2000 Corvette C5 disc brakes, 13" front and 12" rear rotors, drilled and slotted. I also used the 2000 Corvette aluminum master cylinder and brake booster, the only thing left from the original 4-wheel-drum brakes is the hard lines. The C5 master cylinder is aluminum so it wont rust and blow out the seals, and the master cylinder reservior is plastic and clear so you know just by looking if you are low on fluid. Got the whole set on eBay, entire swap cost about $1100 for front AND rear. The guys at Kore3.com can help with the brackets and brake lines. The front aluminum GM PBR calipers and 13" rotors are 5 lbs lighter per corner than the old cast iron caliper and 11" rotor, pretty amazing. The car really brakes well now, and the pedal feel is amazing, super firm with great feedback. No more crappy 40 year old technology discs or drums trying to slow her down, this thing stops!! Steering : Fast ratio 12.7:1 high effort steering box from 85-93 IROC-Z Camaro (We pulled this at the junk yard for $50, super easy to find and remove, look for steering boxes with the XH code, the ratio is faster but the stop points are the same), this transforms the steering from super slow 3.5 turns lock to lock to 2.5, and the steering box from the IROC is a "high effort" box which means its not over-boosted like the boxes from the 60's, so you can actually feel the road and get some feedback...what an improvement. Now I just need a little more caster! Safety : Airbargs? No. Side impact door beams? No. Shoulder belts? No. ABS? No. Stability control? No. High strength steal in key areas of the structure? No. Front and rear crumple zones...please? No. Headrests at least? Its gotta have headrests. Sadly, No. It does have a padded dash tho, that seems safer than a metal dash. Exterior Paint : Corvette Torch Red. Body : Front and rear spoilers (probably would not do the rear spoiler today but I thought it looked cool when I was 16 so it stays). Tinted the windows with the lightest UV tint they had, again to make it look a little meaner and to help protect the interior. Did all the body work myself, 95% of it when I was 16 and 17...I had much more time than money back then. Added passenger side outside mirror. Stance : I tried to get the stance just right; wheel diameter & width, tire diameter & width, wheel offset, amount of the lowering front and rear, its something to really consider if you are starting a car, do your homework...most old muscle cars sit way too high. Trim : I really wanted to keep the essence of the original design, I didnt want to change what the original designers came up with back in the 60's. Thats why I kept all the original exterior trim: bumpers, wheel arch modlings, grille emblem, etc. Yes, I lowered the car, added spoilers, and added big wheels (for the big brakes), but otherwise the body and trim is 100% stock. Horn? : Replaced stock horn with a dual note horn out of a junkyard BMW 750iL V-12. Really loud and very euro sounding. I used to have a hron from a Caddy but I could not find a good replacement when that one stopped working. If you want a caddy hron just follow natures rule of Caddillac horns: find the longest, most luxurious Cadillac at the junk yard...the bigger the Caddy - the better the horn! A cheap fun swap for around 15 bucks. Most Caddy's have a triple or quaddrupple note horn so be sure to grab all 3 or 4. Interior Black Standard Interior with deluxe steering wheel. Concept : My concept for the interior is "Time Machine", I wanted it to be just like 1968 when you get in the car...like stepping back in time. So its 100% stock, all the way down to the original skinny steering wheel and AM radio. Audio : Has stock AM radio in place, and it works. I had to send the 4x10 original dash speaker to a guy in Arkansas to rebuild it (Hank Brazeal, he's expensive, was around $70)I've hidden an Alpine iDA-X200 stereo in the glove box with Alpine RUE-M1RF radio frequency remote. 6x9's hidden in rear below speaker cloth. Alpine MFP-F300 300 watt amp mounted in trunk. Will add a 10" woofer someday too. Background I am restoring this car for the 3rd time with my dad, this time around I am doing all the things I never had money to do when I was in high school. I've owned the car for 23 years, bought it when I was 15 for $900 off the original owner, had to tow it to my house cause it didnt run. I still have the original window sticker (see pic below) and the build sheet that was under the rear seat. I drove her as my daily driver for 9 years, all through high school and college. I never sold it cause I had so many guys tell me "I used to have one of these and I sold it, don't ever sell it!" It now has 190,000 miles. If she were a RS or SS I would have restored her to stock condition but she's just a base model 210hp 2-barrel carb V-8 with a 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission so she's a bit modified. Ya gotta love old cars, they creak, they rattle, the ride is ridiculously stiff, the seats offer no support for even mildly sporty driving (you don't really sit in the seats, more like on them), the car has virtually no safety equipment, the rear solid axle and leaf spring suspension is an absolute joke by today's standards (or even by 1968 standards?), the lights dim when I honk the horn, the turn signal blinker speeds up as the car speeds up, the rear tires love to lock up under hard braking...they say they dont make em like they used to...thank god. But they really are fun to experience and enjoy, with more character than a million new cars! She's basically done until I have time for an LS swap.

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