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Camaro Research Group Discussion => General Discussion => Topic started by: Kelley W King on December 22, 2020, 02:01:47 PM

Title: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: Kelley W King on December 22, 2020, 02:01:47 PM
Anyone read the recent magazine article about this car serial #3? A production car with pilot parts, 68 parts. Seems odd a car like that would have a past with no information on how it got from a GM photo car to the street.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: 69Z28-RS on December 22, 2020, 02:28:47 PM
Anyone read the recent magazine article about this car serial #3? A production car with pilot parts, 68 parts. Seems odd a car like that would have a past with no information on how it got from a GM photo car to the street.

I haven't seen the article, but I'd like to...  How about a reference?  or a scan of the article if hardcopy?  :)
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: crossboss on December 22, 2020, 05:24:44 PM
Anyone read the recent magazine article about this car serial #3? A production car with pilot parts, 68 parts. Seems odd a car like that would have a past with no information on how it got from a GM photo car to the street.



Actually, this happens quite often. Some pre-production cars/magazine/test/ cars do get re-sold in the dealer networks. That said, they are supposed to be crushed because of experimental parts/components that were installed. Most notable were some Ford cars. In one case I remember, a car with an pre-production engine was pulled from the last minute (because it was cancelled), yet it was sold on a used car lot. Im confidant this happened among GM/Chevy also. I also have heard rumors that one 1969 Ram-Air V Pontiac Trans-Am survived the crusher and is in private hands. That said, I would also like to see/read any info on the GM photo car in question.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: MO on December 22, 2020, 06:56:23 PM
I would also like to know where to find that article.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: crossboss on December 22, 2020, 07:01:22 PM
A bit off topic, the black prototype ZL-1 Camaro that was posted on this site, is in my opinion one of the best looking Camaros I have ever seen.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: Kelley W King on December 22, 2020, 07:08:36 PM
The car #3 I posted is in the latest Muscle Machine Magazine. Gary will like it, HO with black top.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: william on December 22, 2020, 07:26:06 PM
N500003 does not have a vinyl top.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: GMAD_Van Nuys on December 22, 2020, 10:07:54 PM
I haven't gotten my Hemmings Muscle Machines yet, but I can't imagine a 1969 Z28 production car with 1968 parts.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: crossboss on December 22, 2020, 10:34:18 PM
I agree. A 1969 'production' car would not have '68 parts...unless they were carryovers.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: 169INDY on December 23, 2020, 01:58:19 AM
N500003 does not have a vinyl top.

MCACN Nov 2019
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: william on December 23, 2020, 03:52:11 AM
Also there about 10 years prior, unrestored.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: 169INDY on December 23, 2020, 03:54:47 AM
Poster Board (Readable?)
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: Kelley W King on December 23, 2020, 01:51:26 PM
I can,t figure away to post a link to the article and the magazine just came and since I get it monthly it probably won,t hit newstands for a while but it is interesting reading. After reading the article I wondered if it was a real Z or a car pulled from the line and made a Z.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: usa1ti on December 23, 2020, 02:21:22 PM
I can tell you from first hand experience Crossboss is right. 27 years in Teir 1 automotive supply and Several times we traveled to the assembly plants and would pick up pre production/production cars for evaluation or to trouble shoot last minute major problems with production parts. I remember specifically in the mid 90's we went to the BMW Spartanburg plant and picked up #23 Z3 roadster in a box trailer. No VIN. No title and was to be crushed/destroyed. It is still waiting for that. As far as the 68 parts. This is entirely the case in Automotive with a new platform launch. Everything is late and or last minute so to get the first production line tooling / testing done you grab what you have and use what will fit for anything missing. There is no magical #1 car start with all correct, all working parts. Those cars have probably had a lot of rework at some point. I work in retail manufacturing now and we run some things down the assembly line 100 times over and over to get the line smooth. Those parts are sold or given away just like the cars were sometimes with no warranty, title or VIN. There is a lot out there. Have an open mind.





Actually, this happens quite often. Some pre-production cars/magazine/test/ cars do get re-sold in the dealer networks. That said, they are supposed to be crushed because of experimental parts/components that were installed. Most notable were some Ford cars. In one case I remember, a car with an pre-production engine was pulled from the last minute (because it was cancelled), yet it was sold on a used car lot. Im confidant this happened among GM/Chevy also. I also have heard rumors that one 1969 Ram-Air V Pontiac Trans-Am survived the crusher and is in private hands. That said, I would also like to see/read any info on the GM photo car in question.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: GMAD_Van Nuys on December 23, 2020, 03:53:53 PM
I remember when the first 1982 F-Car came off the production line at the GMAD Van Nuys Plant and it was a white Camaro with a V-6 engine.  I didn't look at the VIN plate.  I found an article on the first 1967 Camaro that was built at Norwood and it was also a base model car:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/the-first-pilot-car-camaro-was-the-start-of-something-big/
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: crossboss on December 23, 2020, 05:58:23 PM
I can tell you from first hand experience Crossboss is right. 27 years in Teir 1 automotive supply and Several times we traveled to the assembly plants and would pick up pre production/production cars for evaluation or to trouble shoot last minute major problems with production parts. I remember specifically in the mid 90's we went to the BMW Spartanburg plant and picked up #23 Z3 roadster in a box trailer. No VIN. No title and was to be crushed/destroyed. It is still waiting for that. As far as the 68 parts. This is entirely the case in Automotive with a new platform launch. Everything is late and or last minute so to get the first production line tooling / testing done you grab what you have and use what will fit for anything missing. There is no magical #1 car start with all correct, all working parts. Those cars have probably had a lot of rework at some point. I work in retail manufacturing now and we run some things down the assembly line 100 times over and over to get the line smooth. Those parts are sold or given away just like the cars were sometimes with no warranty, title or VIN. There is a lot out there. Have an open mind.





Actually, this happens quite often. Some pre-production cars/magazine/test/ cars do get re-sold in the dealer networks. That said, they are supposed to be crushed because of experimental parts/components that were installed. Most notable were some Ford cars. In one case I remember, a car with an pre-production engine was pulled from the last minute (because it was cancelled), yet it was sold on a used car lot. Im confidant this happened among GM/Chevy also. I also have heard rumors that one 1969 Ram-Air V Pontiac Trans-Am survived the crusher and is in private hands. That said, I would also like to see/read any info on the GM photo car in question.




Thanks for the conformation! I can also say from experience when I filmed the testing for Motor Trend, and Hot Rod TV shows, the 'pilot' pre-production cars, some did not have VINs. The paper work would say "Property of General Motors/Ford/ or Chrysler" for example. And all of them had manufactures license plates with a 1 million dollar liability insurance sticker. Now, did some of these cars escape the crusher, sure. Normal procedure was after the testing, we would return them to the manufacturer's outlet. Also, of note, since these care were pre-production prototypes, they all were 'ringers'. What does that mean you say? All were 'tuned' for max performance...aka non realistic numbers on a store bought production car. That is why you see the outstanding ETs, and 'claims' from the manufactures.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: 68 Ragtop on December 24, 2020, 02:19:16 PM
I have learned a long time ago not to believe every thing you read in these magazines. Owners tell tall tales to get them in and editors run with it to sell magazines.

The last line of that poster board says it's the first known car with the ZL2 hood. That hood was introduced in December 1968. The first documented car in CRG records with that hood is 12C, December 1968 VIN 569358.

Is there any documentation to back up the owners claim, or is it just a very low VIN?
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: HOT3O2 on December 24, 2020, 03:28:18 PM
Does anybody know Larry Christensen? From the article it seems like hes been around the Camaro world for quite a long time. I would think someone on this site would some insight on this car.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: GMAD_Van Nuys on December 24, 2020, 05:00:28 PM
This particular Camaro was purchased in 1992 from a listing in Hemmings and has had multiple owners.  There is no mention of any original paperwork, and I find it hard to believe that Norwood would have built a Z28 with 15 x 6 inch wheels.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: KurtS on December 24, 2020, 06:55:52 PM
Lotsa knowledge about the car. It's been discussed before. Can someone post the syc thread about it?
1st Z, used in all those promo pics.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: crossboss on December 24, 2020, 07:51:25 PM
I just received my issue yesterday, and it was a good read. Although I am not a fan of red and white interiors, I found this Z a beautiful car. I am no Camaro expert, so I cannot comment on its build or IF it was the first Z/28 made for 1969. Again, beautiful car!
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: GMAD_Van Nuys on December 25, 2020, 12:10:23 AM
Here is the previous discussion about N500003:

http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=16768.0
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: william on December 25, 2020, 01:39:19 AM
I had the opportunity to examine N500003 when D & R Stevie owned it. There is a very good chance that car was never in production at Norwood. Does not appear to have ever had a body tag; no con VIN on top of the cowl. Probably built up by Engineering from a production '68 body structure with some of the first '69 sheet metal off the presses. Had a hand-made dash cluster, hand-stamped 472 intake. Floor pan had the stamped hole with welded reinforcement, not the torch-cut hole seen on production 4-speeds. Bear in mind that it had some restoration work over the years. The 1992 Hemmings ad mentions 'YH 5 rims' which didn't exist until December '68. It was blue when I saw it; saw no trace of orange paint. But probably not painted as production cars were; may have been painted assembled.

It is not the first production anything because it was not a production car. The Motor Trend photo appears in the October '68 issue. Lead time in those days was about 3 months meaning it was a functioning car possibly by late June '68. Norwood produced '68s well into July. 1969 Camaro production commenced on or about August 22, 1968.

Larry Christensen has been around a long time. He may be one of the more knowledgeable guys out there and has done many fine restorations on some of the rarest '69s built. I found the first page of the article a self-aggrandizing attempt to position himself as "Mr. Camaro", apart from all those "arm chair Camaro experts" on the internet. I collaborate on '69s with a number of very knowledgeable people; none of us thinks we know it all. What we do know is there is always more to learn. Larry has chosen to not share his knowledge with the hobby and as a result is not well known. I can't recall the last time anyone mentioned him. Too bad as I'm sure we could have benefitted from his extensive knowledge.

Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: Jon Mello on December 25, 2020, 05:30:02 AM
I remember when the first 1982 F-Car came off the production line at the GMAD Van Nuys Plant and it was a white Camaro with a V-6 engine.  I didn't look at the VIN plate.  I found an article on the first 1967 Camaro that was built at Norwood and it was also a base model car:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/the-first-pilot-car-camaro-was-the-start-of-something-big/

Dick Guldstrand had a gold '82 Z28 that I believe he was given for promotional purposes.  I saw it at a show back in 1982 and looked at the serial number on the dash and remember it was serial number 1.  I remember that specifically because it was the first time I ever saw a car with serial number one and I just wasn't expecting it.  I wonder whatever became of the car. Guldstrand had the car in Super Chevy and Hot Rod back in the day competing against other cars.  https://www.thirdgen.org/hotrod-shootout-camaro-july1982/
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: JoeC on December 26, 2020, 02:01:27 PM
Sometimes a car would be marked as "scrap" but then sent to a shop to use for parts or a race car build or test car.

not sure how much of this story is true but this 1970 Camaro is said to be a pilot car , then test car , then sat at Smokey Yunick's shop for 20yrs

https://www.mecum.com/lots/SC0513-154227/1970-chevrolet-camaro/

In his book, Yunick said he was given pre production cars to build his NASCAR Chevelles
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: HOT3O2 on December 26, 2020, 03:46:53 PM
Thanks for the insight William. Much appreciated.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: Kelley W King on December 26, 2020, 05:25:25 PM
I agree with William about it not being a production car. One thing that caught my eye was the trunk sheet metal. I can,t believe that a 68 pan was even on the line following #1 and #2 even if they were not built in order. My thoughts are the biggest question is how did that car get the 003 vin tag? Maybe the real #3 had issues and was crushed leaving a loose tag someone put on a photo car to title it? In the 70,s I worked at a company and we removed "serial tags" from equipment before we crushed them and sent them to headquarters. I remember lines saying "no tag or lost tag" in the manila envelope we sent in.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: GMAD_Van Nuys on December 26, 2020, 09:43:30 PM
A prior discussion about the first 1970 Camaro produced at the Norwood Plant said it had a 6-cylinder, but when the car was sold at Mecum in 2013, the trim tag shows in is now a 8-cylinder "pilot" vehicle:

https://nastyz28.com/threads/1970-camaro-vin-500001.60516/page-5
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: william on December 26, 2020, 10:40:02 PM
All smoke & mirrors.

Camaro Corral covered the car when purchased from the Yunick auction. Gutted 6 cylinder body shell. No proof it was ever anything but. Yunick didn't even mention it in his book.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: crossboss on December 27, 2020, 12:58:40 AM
Boys,
Please excuse my ignorance to the Chevy build documentation process. My question: Since the Mopar guys have Galen Grovier, and the Ford/Mercury boys have the Kevin Marti reports, are they any sources to confirm Chevy/GM builds? Thanks.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: william on December 27, 2020, 02:36:30 AM
There are no '60/'70s Chevrolet production records. They have searched their records storage facilities, found nothing. Pontiac and Oldsmobile stored their records on microfiche and provide copies for a small fee. No idea if Buick records are available.

Chevymuscledocs.com [NCRS] has shipping information for some '65-'72 Camaros, Chevelles, Novas. All it provides is the dealership the car was shipped to.

Camaro Hi-Performance [Jerry MacNeish] offers a certification service based on a physical examination for Camaro, Chevelle, Nova.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: KurtS on December 27, 2020, 04:46:22 AM
It was a pre-production (aka pilot) car and I can safely say it was built at Norwood.
One of the purposes of the early cars is to test out new tooling and production sequencing and station workload in the assembly plant.
The body was probably not built by Fisher Norwood, but at the Fisher Pilot Plant in Detroit. It was then sent to Norwood for assembly. (Same as in 67).  All the new 69 parts would be marked and were at all the stations in the plant. Lots of logistics, but what is needed when you need to tryout the tooling and build 40-50 cars for testing, shows, design aid, etc.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: crossboss on December 27, 2020, 06:11:52 PM
There are no '60/'70s Chevrolet production records. They have searched their records storage facilities, found nothing. Pontiac and Oldsmobile stored their records on microfiche and provide copies for a small fee. No idea if Buick records are available.

Chevymuscledocs.com [NCRS] has shipping information for some '65-'72 Camaros, Chevelles, Novas. All it provides is the dealership the car was shipped to.

Camaro Hi-Performance [Jerry MacNeish] offers a certification service based on a physical examination for Camaro, Chevelle, Nova.




To 'me' this seems odd. This is not a put down, just a comment: Why would a major corporation like General Motors not have records on their builds? How would they have resolved warranty claims? How can you legitimize a car with out it?
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: KurtS on December 27, 2020, 07:07:09 PM
They kept them for a few years, but how does keeping the build records of 10 year old, no less 50 year old, vehicles help a company? Gotta store, catalog, etc all those records. 5+ million a year - and remember many of those are Cavaliers and Citations....
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: 68 Ragtop on December 27, 2020, 07:33:43 PM
It appears this is a well known car that has been owned and inspected by many experts, including the current owner who is very well know in the upper circles of the super car world and has more knowledge about 1969 Camaro's than Jerry MacNeish.

That said, the cowl hood that caused my doubt about the car is probably original. I missed the CRG section that mentioned it was shown on early press photos.

http://www.camaros.org/exterior.shtml#cowlhood

Is there an online version of the story or is it print only?
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: HOT3O2 on December 27, 2020, 10:02:57 PM
William, Do you happen to know what issues of Camaro Corral had that story regarding the car. Id like to read it. Thanks,
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: william on December 27, 2020, 11:51:18 PM
March/April 1995 Camaro Enthusiast

Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: HOT3O2 on December 30, 2020, 04:56:27 PM
Thanks William, Just read the story. Very interesting write up.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: william on December 30, 2020, 06:02:36 PM
To gain perspective on statements Smokey Yunick is alleged to have made concerning the car, it is advisable to read his book. By his own admission, he was a "...lost ball in the tall weeds..." when it came to race car chassis set up. His thing was making power and he did it well, often to the chagrin of Chevrolet Engineering. His 1st 1966 Chevelle race car "...had power to spare but the chassis was so f**** up..." The second Chevelle was built by Chevrolet Engineering and was competitive until Curtis Turner demolished it. By '69 he was working for Ford, had worn out his welcome at Chevy and with nearly all sanctioning bodies. He was a GMC Truck dealership, had contacts and was provided a chassis destined for scrap, did not have a VIN tag. That Chevy Engineering expected him to do development work with it is preposterous. When Penske/Donohue encountered serious chassis and braking problems with their Camaro race cars, Chevrolet engineers solved them.

For the 1970 Trans-Am, season, Jim Hall/Chaparral Cars campaigned two 1970 Camaros. Hall had an Engineering degree and a reputation for solving high-speed handling and aerodynamic problems. Chevy had contracted with him to solve the serious handling problems of early Corvairs and was every bit an 'insider' at Chevy as Smokey had been. I doubt he received much help from Chevy. By the end of the '69 Trans Am season, Penske was so disgusted with Chevrolet he jumped to AMC for the '70 Season.

Yunick did build a '72 Camaro race car for A.J. Foyt. For some reason it was never raced and sold.

All this and much more was chronicled in a few books everyone should read:

Chevrolet = Racing? by Paul Van Valkenburgh
The Unfair Advantage by Mark Donohue
Best Damn Garage in Town by Smokey Yunick


Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: MO on December 30, 2020, 07:19:34 PM
All three excellent reads if you haven't.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: maroman on December 30, 2020, 10:34:39 PM
I think it's time to break out my copy of Chevrolet Racing again.
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: Jon Mello on December 30, 2020, 10:46:16 PM
Yunick did build a '72 Camaro race car for A.J. Foyt. For some reason it was never raced and sold.

Yunick built a Camaro that was sponsored by A J Foyt Chevrolet and driven by Swede Savage in 1971.  I think that's the car you are referring to.

http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=8038.msg54534#msg54534
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: william on December 31, 2020, 01:01:50 AM
The car is briefly mentioned in the paragraph "Cold Air Camaro Hood." He built a ram-air set up that involved slotting the front bumper to divert air to the engine. They tested it at Sebring and it worked. He goes on to say "I can't remember why we never raced it. Couple years later I sold this car. I sold it to a road racer in Belgium. We took it to a dock in Jacksonville and I never saw or heard from it again."

What he possibly meant was they never raced it with the cold air set up. In the chapter "50 Good Drivers and an Asshole", he mentions building a '72 Camaro to run in the 24 hour race at Daytona-same car? Drivers were to be Jim Hall, Bruce McLaren and Dennis Hulme [no shortage of talent there]. The car never ran at Daytona because "...my interpretation of the rules and those of the inspectors were at odds."

Smokey had tremendous respect for Jim Hall.

Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: JoeC on December 31, 2020, 01:06:06 PM
In 1968 "Bunkie" Knudsen left Chevy and went to Ford. He took Larry Shinoda and Smokey Yunick with him.
Bunkie left Ford in Sep 69.

Don Yenko bought one of the Yunick 68 Camaros and it won the Citrus 250 at Daytona in 1969. Warren D., who was on the Yenko team, said they had a lot of trouble getting it through tech :)
Title: Re: 1st 69 Z28
Post by: JoeC on January 15, 2021, 02:29:28 PM
article on 003 Z/28 1969

https://www.hemmings.com/stories/article/the-first-draft