CRG Discussion Forum

Camaro Research Group Discussion => General Discussion => Topic started by: firstgenaddict on April 27, 2021, 02:48:18 PM

Title: JohnZ --
Post by: firstgenaddict on April 27, 2021, 02:48:18 PM
Saw this over on the NCRS discussion boards -

Where would we be without John's foresight and knowledge as well as his willingness to share his insight wit the rest of us?
I am forever indebted to John!
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: 69Z28-RS on April 27, 2021, 03:47:55 PM
That article sings John's praises for what he did for the Viper and Viper owners, and I'm certain his contributions were great, but regardless of that, his efforts and value to the Corvette and Camaro communities have to be world's more.  Getting to spend several days at Carlisle with JohnZ, and other members of the Vetteheads group (under the Vetteheads tent and banner back in the late 90's) will live in my memory forever!  :)
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: MO on April 30, 2021, 04:05:01 AM
John is such an incredible part of the hobby. And his immense knowledge, that he has willingly shared, is a testament to his character.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: crossboss on May 01, 2021, 06:35:33 PM
Its not uncommon engineers, managers, and CEOs switch companies. Example: Bunkie, Shinoda: GM to Ford, Lee Iacocca: Ford to Chrysler, and Bob Lutz from Chrysler to GM. All had left their 'marks' of greatness during their tenure at each employer. John Z is no different.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: 68camaroz28 on May 08, 2021, 01:36:10 AM
Saw this over on the NCRS discussion boards -
Where would we be without John's foresight and knowledge as well as his willingness to share his insight wit the rest of us?
I am forever indebted to John!

Amen James, John has been PR for the hobby for years and always took the time to assist one and all. Met him once years ago at Corvette Carlisle. I will always be indebted to how he assisted me personally along with his ability to keep things positive.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: JoeC on May 14, 2021, 10:03:25 AM
John always had great posts with a lot of interesting first hand knowledge
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: bcmiller on May 14, 2021, 05:54:03 PM
John is a hero to many, myself included. I appreciate his expert and professionalism.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: BULLITT65 on June 01, 2021, 10:17:03 PM
John is a super nice guy. I had some clown question original paperwork for a 69Z, and John looked over it, and quickly settled the debate as it being all original. In addition to that seems like he always made him self available to provide knowledge and insight from his experience.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: KurtS on June 22, 2021, 05:34:42 PM
John died yesterday.
He was a great guy and great enthusiast and is missed. :(
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: bertfam on June 22, 2021, 05:36:39 PM
He will sorely be missed. His knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge was only one of the great things about John. We've all lost a little of ourselves with John's passing.

Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: luv2sixty9 on June 22, 2021, 06:05:55 PM
He will be missed and his knowledge....RIP John

Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: x66 714 on June 22, 2021, 06:12:00 PM
Very sad to hear. Thank you sharing. He will be missed. He was a wealth of first hand knowledge....Joe
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: 169INDY on June 22, 2021, 06:35:38 PM
Oh My, Prayers for the Family.

Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: jwbavalon on June 22, 2021, 07:13:25 PM
Sorry to hear about John's passing.   He was and will continue to be an asset to the community.

Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: Jerry@CHP on June 22, 2021, 07:14:25 PM
My thoughts and prayers got out to John and his family.  He was a true icon to this hobby that we love.  He's done just about all there was to do professionally in his automotive working career.  His articles and hands-on experience to both the Camaro and Corvette world will live on forever.  I never got the meet John but we had many conversations over the years.  From drag racing to engineering to the restoration world.  He truly loved the hobby and the people who were part of the Camaro and Corvette world.  Rest in peace John.

Jerry MacNeish
Camaro Hi-Performance LLC   
Title: JohnZ's contributions to the hobby
Post by: KurtS on June 22, 2021, 07:43:45 PM
John contributed a lot to the hobby. He started in the Corvette world and was inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame as a historian - I think the first inductee in that category.
Thankfully John also connected up with the Camaro world. One of first things he wrote for us was possibly his magnum opus for the Camaro world (and applicable to all the GM carlines), The Camaro Assembly Process ( He also wrote five other Research Reports and numerous Tech Articles --  JohnZ articles (
But it was the advice and facts that he provided on the forums and via email that helped and was appreciated by so many.
I was lucky to live in the same area and see John semi-regularly. He was a great guy to talk with and learn from. Too bad the bantering back and forth between him and Scott Settlemire at a Superfest show wasn't recorded for posterity - John telling plant stories and Scott telling the dealer/sales stories.
John is missed. He was a good friend.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: bcmiller on June 22, 2021, 07:51:14 PM
John was an icon - and I don’t use that word lightly. I will always appreciate his knowledge and willingness to help others.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: Z282NV on June 22, 2021, 07:56:35 PM
I did not know John but have read many of his articles. My condolences to his family. I think he would be proud of the things he left us and to those on this forum that continue to do the same as he did.
Title: Re: JohnZ's contributions to the hobby
Post by: bertfam on June 22, 2021, 08:12:26 PM
John's 2009 INDUCTION ( to the Corvette Hall of Fame.

Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: cook_dw on June 22, 2021, 11:10:01 PM
Everyone has echo’d my thoughts on John.  He was always super nice and willing to answer any and all my questions..  Thoughts and prayers to his family and give them peace of mind he is in a far better place where pain and suffering will no longer burden him..
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: Red955i on June 22, 2021, 11:32:43 PM
Very sad. I knew his health was deteriorating. Like many, I have spent countless hours reading and learning from his technical articles and posts. His name and legacy in this hobby will go on for many years as new Camaro and Corvette owners read and learn from the wealth of knowledge he was so willing to share. My condolences to his family and a huge thank you for sharing him with us!
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: Jonesy on June 22, 2021, 11:58:24 PM
We are all so lucky to have him around sharing his wealth of knowledge of the Assembly process.
Just a great guy for the hobby. So sad to hear this. May he Rest in Peace.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: MO on June 23, 2021, 02:17:14 AM
Very sorry to hear of John's passing. Sincere condolences for his family.

His work and ardent passion for the hobby will be a forever lasting legacy.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: rich69rs on June 23, 2021, 02:46:24 AM
John was a tremendous member of our community and will be sorely missed.

Our prayers are with his family.  Rest In Peace.

Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: 68camaroz28 on June 23, 2021, 03:20:05 AM
John was helping me with a project much of this year and had told me he was in hospice. After many emails and always answering within a day or two I asked him if he had a sweet tooth or anything I might be able to send. He wrote back he'd love a couple packages of Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes and wrote "yummy." I ended up sending him a large package of cupcakes in two consecutive weeks and after the 2nd shipment arrived he thanked me but not to send anymore as the center did not allow food being sent in like that due to ants, etc. I hoped it gave him a smile or two!
Hard to imagine the countless people he assisted over the years and his contributions to the hobby.
RIP John Hinckley
Title: Re: JohnZ's contributions to the hobby
Post by: bcmiller on June 23, 2021, 10:29:26 AM
From his obituary. Please remove if not appropriate.

After earning a BSME from Michigan State University and spending three years as an Officer in Army Aviation, John Hinckley started with Chevrolet at the Willow Run Assembly Plant as a Production Foreman in 1964, building the Chevy II and Corvair, and moved on in 1966 to the Chevrolet Pilot Line in Flint as Senior Process Engineer-Passenger Cars. During 1966-1968, he was assigned to the Corvette Group at Chevrolet Engineering in Warren as Manufacturing Liason Engineer, responsible for future Corvette assembly processing, and spent a great deal of time at all Chevrolet assembly plants, including build out of the ’67 and launch of the ’68 at St. Louis-Corvette. 

Later assignments during 1969-1975 included planning and execution of the conversion of the Lordstown assembly plant from Caprice/Firebird profuction to the Vega, managing the Vega launch, General Foreman and later Superintendant of Chassis and Final Assembly Production at Lordstown and the lunch of the Cosworth-Vega, followed by ten years from 1975-1985 at GM Assembly Division Production Engineering Project Manager for the 1980 “X” Car program and as Engineer-in-Charge of Advance production Planning and Tooling for all new GM Project Center programs. 

John was recruited out of GM by Chrysler in 1985 as Manufacturing Manager, Project Liberty, then Chief Engineer-Advance Process Development, then Director of Advance Manufacturing Engineering for Large and Small Car Platforms, and spent the last five years of his 37-year career as Plant Manager of the Viper/Prowler Assembly Plant in Detroit before retiring in March, 2001. He spent his entire career focused on production engineering, assembly plant operations, processed, tooling and facilities. 

John is a former Chairman of the NCRS (National Corvette Restorers Society) Michigan Chapter (2001-2006), is a veteran Bloomington Gold Certification Judge and Corvette Restoration Workshop Instructor, a Core Member of the Camaro Research Group (, and is a member of the Solid Axle Corvette Club, the Eastern Michigan Camaro Club, and the Society of Automotive Engineers. John has written numerous technical articles for internal GM and Chrysler publications, many SAE presentations, OEM automotive trade journal articles, many technical articles published in the NCRS “Corvette Restorer” magazine, and was named Vintage Technical Editor of the nationally-renowned “Corvette Enthusiast” magazine in 2003, which has published over 110 of his Corvette technical articles and columns.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: Jon Mello on June 23, 2021, 12:04:37 PM
John was a great guy and an absolutely huge asset to the hobby.  He will certainly be missed.  My condolences to his family and may he rest in peace.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: uscrichter on June 23, 2021, 05:57:38 PM
Very sad to hear! Chick, the Hostess Cupcakes was a nice gesture, I guess us NCRS and first gen gen guy's are old enough to know what they even are!
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: DONCZ28 on June 24, 2021, 01:41:52 AM
A true Legend !
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: adjudimo on June 24, 2021, 06:13:52 AM
Really sad to hear this news. Never met or personally knew him but, I sure have used the endless info that he has provided to all of us. And that took time from his family to do so. I pray for his family and close friends. We are all going to miss him, but rightfully, his legacy will live on for many many years ahead. GOD Speed John.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: hrlyfxdl on June 24, 2021, 12:48:47 PM
I wish I had gotten a chance to every meet John Z, sounds like he encapsulated what this car hobby (obsession) is really all about for a lot of us.

Just a thought, but would there ever be any interest in this group to have some small Zoom sessions of forum users? Just to put a face with the name, or account header per say? I chat with a lot of people over on Yenko when I buy things there, but really it's only ever been online. And I read a lot of posts here on CRG from guys who are very knowledgeable and have helped me out personally a lot (verifying as best as I can what my car is). IDK, just thought maybe an online chat session to introduce some of these powerhouse leaders in first gens to the novices like me, face to face as best we can, would be interesting. Take me for a walk around your garage, it'd probably blow minds. Thoughts on this? I didn't see a place over on Yenko to post a general thought like this, so I thought I'd try here. I guess what brought this thought up really, I wish I'd have ever gotten the chance to meet John Z, even if digitally, and listen to his stories, knowledge, etc. Thanks

Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: Vince on June 24, 2021, 09:37:46 PM
May God grant him eternal rest and bring peace and comfort to his family, friends, and all who knew him.  I never got to meet him or talk to him directly in any way, but I learned many things about first gen Camaros just from his posts on CRG.  He will be very much missed. 
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: rszmjt on June 27, 2021, 02:00:46 AM
RIP John Hinckley. He was a wealth of information and it is a great loss for the Camaro world. Prayers go out to his family.
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: janobyte on June 27, 2021, 02:34:15 PM
His advise, just golden. Followed verbatim.
I periodically review his tech articles to simply re-educate myself. My dad, who passed in September, said long ago" one day tuning these will be a lost art"

A few years back I tracked a correct, coded water pump per his advice. Certed, not a re-stamp, didn't break the bank. Got in a good conversation with the guy about John.

Gotta be a special heaven for car folks: smells of Canuba, race fuel, and 90wt,,lol!
Title: Re: JohnZ --
Post by: X66 on July 11, 2021, 07:47:44 PM
 Prayers to John’s family. John was so willing to share his vast knowledge of Corvettes and Camaros with us all. Even though I am not an expert on my two favorite cars as John was and so many of you are I will strive to be like John and share what I know when asked. Especially to the young enthusiasts who will be driving Corvettes and Camaros in the near future.