Feature Car December 2015/January 2016

This is the third attempt of a test, and unless more cars are submitted, this "Feature Car" idea will not be continued. Please consider submitting photos and some details in a writeup about your car. The feature car does not have to be a show car. This is an opportunity for you to share some of the details about your vehicle. The feature car this time is owned by Darrell Cook.

This 1968 Camaro was built the fourth week of March in 1968 at the Norwood Assembly plant. The car retains its original exterior color (Rallye Green with a black vinyl top) and the original interior (black custom bucket seats).

The two images below are vintage pics of the car from the 70s and 80s.

Carman Cook (Darrell's father) special ordered the car in late January 1968, and the car was purchased in April of 1968. Some of the options on the window sticker included the SS package, the most powerful big block offered that year (375 hp L78), a 4 speed close ratio Muncie transmission (M21) and positraction rear axle (3.55 ratio).

The car did receive a few modifications almost right away. While working in Ohio at Lucas Machine, Carman and his brother made a set of homemade traction bars. A set of Delco Pleasurizer shocks was purchased and the smog system was removed. Hooker Headers were also added, and finally one of the biggest downfalls of cars like this (the Muncie shifter) was replaced with a Hurst Competition shifter.

From then on, Carman would do what every other red blooded American did - street race! The car would also get an occasional run down the strip at the track. As time went on, the 68 became his secondary car, as he was always wheeling and dealing with other rides. Believe it or not, Darrell's mother drove the car the majority of the time - and she put the most miles on it. In 1975 the family moved to Tennessee. This car was still driven - just not as frequently as in the past. The car show bug bit Carman in the 80s and that quickly became one of his passions. People would ask - “When you gonna restore it?”. His response was always - "It’s only original once!"

Even when many others were restoring muscle cars, he had the foresight to see that original cars were more important than restored ones. Eventually he retired the 68 from going to car shows, and began restoring other cars. He had a couple very nice 69 Pacers, and won several shows with each one.

In October of 2006, Carman Cook left this world, and the car sat in the garage untouched. Darrell would occasionally get it out, fire it up and bring it up to operating temperature. It would get a short run down the road, but then back in the garage it went. The car was starting to show its age, but still retained a great look.

Recently Darrell has been doing outstanding minor cleanup and preservation of the car. Over the years the car only had minor cosmetic and easily reversed modifications.

Respecting the wishes of his father, Darrell says he will NEVER restore this car. By preserving the car it will be enjoyed by future generations and whoever the next caretaker is when Darrell is gone.


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