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16  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Firebird and the Trans-Am series on: July 11, 2013, 10:28:10 AM
Hey Jon,

Just wanted to add or clarify a few points.  The whole heater assembly, wiper assemblies, etc. were completely removed when I first got the car.  The entire metal dash frame assembly was completely cut out and the firewall was marked up in preparation for some cutting but not actually cut yet.  The stock wire harnesses were all removed and a custom fabbed harness was started with a control panel down by the shifter.  Aircraft toggle switches and indicator lights were used for that assembly.  Seemed like the car got to a certain point and then the modification process just stopped.

The two pics with the heater box and other parts installed were several years after I got the car when I was in the mode of assembling the car for some sort of use.  I borrowed all the dash and firewall components from one of my wrecked 68 Camaros.

The rear flares were solid steel and a very strange design for back then.  It was a challenge to get a tire and wheel combination large enough to fit the shape properly.

A very odd car with an unclear history.  Like you said, maybe it will ring a bell with someone who is willing to share their stories about it......... 


Bob,  If I recall the front hubs had five lugs but they were Corvette rotors and not the OEM Firebird parts.  You just can't make them out very clearly due to the feeble pics I took.




17  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Firebird and the Trans-Am series on: July 10, 2013, 01:32:23 PM
Based on a post I made in the 1968 TransAm season discussion, Jon mentioned I should put some info about my old ‘68 Firebird in this category.  This car never made it to the TransAm races so it doesn‘t have an important race history, but maybe it will trigger some race car memories from those of you who were involved way back then.  So for what it’s worth, here you go. 

Unfortunately I only found a few old pictures that aren‘t really helpful, but then again, I always sucked at photography which is why I don‘t take many pictures.  A couple shots are from the early 70’s, and a couple from the later 70’s when I was getting ready to install yet another drivetrain in it.  Hopefully the pictures show up in this post.

This car started out life as a silver ‘68 Formula 400, which the original owner/builder of the car (whomever that was?) attempted to build into a TransAm race car.  Since this car was from Marin County, it was probably just a well-to-do private entrepreneur that wanted to go racing?  I doubt if the car was ever street driven when new based on the condition of the OEM spare parts that came with it at the time of my purchase (early 70’s) and the fact that the speedo cluster only had 35 miles showing on it, but who knows.

As I was told when I acquired the car, it was never finished supposedly due to some rule change in the 68/69 time frame that caused the owner to give up on it.  I didn’t really believe that story because it was set up with a Corvette Independent Rear Suspension, which I always thought would never be eligible for any sort of TA racing.  When I read the recent posts in the 1968 TA discussion about potential use of an IRS, it prompted me to mention this oddball car. 

Early on, I tracked down the speed shop that installed the rear diff (also in Marin) and the shop owner told me his client provided very specific details as to what was installed and how to do it.  They cut out the trunk floor for the fuel cell, rerouted brake and fuel lines,  installed the IRS per his design, and also completed the manual 4 wheel disc brake combo.  So the rolling chassis was “done”…

I believe the steel rear flares were added after the IRS, because the rears were completed but the front fenders only got cut and never finished.  The cut front fenders were the original Firebird fenders, but the car came with a 68 RS Camaro front end as well so maybe the owner didn’t like the Firebird look and decided to change it midstream?  Either way, that seemed to be when the project died off.  The interior was partially gutted and the roll cage was started but never finished, and as the pics show the firewall wasn‘t chopped up yet.

It previously had a 302 engine with a real M22 which ended up getting installed in my ‘67 Z.  Those were the days when I would swap engines between cars just about every weekend and never cared about what was original or correct, only what was more fun. I installed a spare 427 Corvette engine in this car and drag raced it at Sears point for a while.  It was known as the “Vettaker” (Ok, stop laughing now).  By the 90’s I ended up installing a SBC and setting the car up for street use.  It still had the Camaro RS front end when I sold it, which was always good for starting conversations.

Anyways, if you happen to be that rich guy from Marin and have been looking for your old Firebird, it’s probably still cruising around Sonoma County getting strange looks…

Thanks for the letting me share!  Charlie
18  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: 1968 Trans-Am season review on: July 09, 2013, 11:27:14 AM
Interesting note about potential use of an Independent Rear Suspension.  Could it have been Pontiac?

I used to own a 1968 Firebird Formula 400 that was built for TransAm racing from brand new (it only had 35 miles on it when I got it in the early 70's).  It had a Corvette IRS, steel flares in the rear and a 68 RS Camaro front end - perhaps some sort of prototype or private party experiment gone wrong???  The story that came with the car was something in the rules changed that wouldn't allow it to be raced back in 68-69 so it just got stuffed away in the back of a shop.  At one time it had a Chev 302 and M22, which I replaced with a Corvette 427 when I drag raced the car for a short while. I eventually set it up for street use with a SBC and sold it in the early 90's.  The IRS and 4 wheel disc brakes was a very nice combo for street driving and a lot of fun, but it was more fun to watch people do a double-take at the Camaro front end on the Firebird rear body...... 

Always wondered what the true story was behind that car???  Charlie 
19  Orphans - documentation or VIN-stamped drivetrains - in search of the original cars / 1969 - Orphans / 19L529887 V0410DZ engine in Ca. on: December 07, 2011, 11:35:39 PM
A friend of mine has a Norwood Garnet Red 1969 Z/28 with a 302 engine out of a Los Angeles ’69 Z (19L529887  V0410DZ).  He’s not interested in selling it but I asked his permission to post the numbers just in case the matching car still exists and could possibly be reunited.  Don’t know any prior history of this engine but the red car has been in the SF Bay Area at least since the ‘90’s.

I realize we shouldn’t post ads looking for particular VIN related items, but maybe in this case it would be OK since this isn’t a “wanted ad”.  I’m sure if the owner of the matching numbers 302 for my friends Z/28 were to surface (N5894XX), a plus or minus trade deal could possibly be worked out for the Los Angeles engine.  For all I know, his 302 could be in the car that matches the engine listed above?  Stranger things have happened…..
20  Orphans - documentation or VIN-stamped drivetrains - in search of the original cars / 1968 - Orphans / Re: 18N445552 Muncie Main Case on: August 06, 2011, 05:36:39 PM
My first attempt at pictures.......



21  Orphans - documentation or VIN-stamped drivetrains - in search of the original cars / 1968 - Orphans / 18N445552 Muncie Main Case on: August 05, 2011, 08:34:11 PM
Digging through some of my ancient transmission parts boxes and came across a main case for a Muncie 4 speed - cast number 3925660.  VIN 18N445552 with assembly code P8E29.  Probably came from one of my old SS396 Camaros but who knows......
I'll post pics as soon as I have a chance.
Charlie
22  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: 1968 LA L78 car - real or not? on: July 25, 2011, 10:57:59 PM
Thanks Kurt,

I appreciate all of your groups comments and information!

My pencil rubbings would not be usable or legible if scanned.  The car that engine came from was stolen from Sonoma County Ca probably 25-30 years ago.  I held on to the engine for a long time but now it belongs to a local friend of mine who's going to put in my old 68 RS/SS L89 Convertible that he talked me out of (he's stashed the L89 engine away).  Been meaning to stop by and see how the old car is doing and I'll be in his neighborhood on Weds, so maybe I can get some good current pics for you to work with.

Thanks again all........

Charlie
23  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: 1968 LA L78 car - real or not? on: July 25, 2011, 10:02:29 PM
I wasn't really looking for specific fraudulent paperwork identifying details in this case, more just in generality.  If these were original but partially modified docs, that indicates only a certain amount of effort was used to create them but that portions were probably original.  Based on their authentic look, if these were completely made from scratch, than that would lead me to believe I probably shouldn't trust any docs out there...

I am investigating a couple of 1st Gen prospects at the moment, and will be happy to submit some info on them if I get any further in the process.

Thanks........
24  Camaro Research Group Discussion / General Discussion / Re: 1968 LA L78 car - real or not? on: July 25, 2011, 08:25:19 PM
Quick question about the docs for this particular car...

By stating that the paperwork is fake, are you saying that all the documents included for sale with this car are completely "made from scratch", or are they perhaps documents that have been partially modified in some way in order to match this vehicle?  Is it possible the owner managed to acquire original docs for his car?  Just trying to learn more to maybe avoid being the next victim of a fraud.  If I ran across this car locally (i.e. not advertised for sale to the public), I would have believed the docs were legit.....

On another note, I compared the aforementioned engine stampings with some pencil rubbings from one of my old L78's from around that same basic time frame (T1026MQ  18L311599), and I can see some variations between the stamps that don't look right to me.

Charlie
25  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Research Topics & Reports / Re: Gas tank date codes on: July 10, 2009, 08:02:31 PM
Here goes my first attempt at this forum.....  since you were looking for an early production '69 you made me go look (never checked before).

My 10A '69 Norwood Z/28 has a gas tank code of 6  69 (very clearly stamped).  The car has approximately 40k original miles and still has the original gas tank as far as I know...

Learn something new every day !!

Thanks for the info...
Charlie

26  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Decoding/Numbers / Re: Seeking help decoding possible 69 R/s Z/28 Export Broadcast Sheet.... on: August 07, 2006, 08:21:34 PM
Hello again,
Been out of touch for a while but got an email this item was brought up again so I thought I better respond.
This sheet is definitely the CHASSIS Broadcast sheet and not the BODY broadcast sheet.  I haven't been able to get to the car or the sheet lately (like I said, it's really stashed away) or I would get a better photo and breakdown of the details to you guys (be patient).  The code at the bottom is 5712 followed by two letters, A and one I cannot see clearly in my current photo.  I was under the impression that this would be the same code for the interior (in this case 712, blk custom) that would be shown on the window sticker, etc.(i.e. 5712AA)  The two letters apply to the ECL codes that follow the option codes.
After checking the CHASSIS sheets for some of my other 69 LA built Camaros, I finally noticed that section 148 on line #1 says "EXP PREP" which might be a good indicator for an EXPORT PREPARATION vehicle?  Unfortunately, that portion of the Z/28 sheet did not survive.  I'm agreeing that it was most likely not an export vehicle due to the LA build instead of Norwood, but you always hope to find some exception to the rule........ (i.e., needle in the haystack).
Thanks for your help and I'll try to get more info sometime in the near future....  Charlie
27  Camaro Research Group Discussion / Decoding/Numbers / Seeking help decoding possible 69 R/s Z/28 Export Broadcast Sheet.... on: June 01, 2006, 10:32:55 PM
Hello Guys!!
I posted this question on the SuperCar Registry site and they suggested I post it here as well (please excuse my copy and paste laziness............) :
"OK you Whiz-Kids, let's test your Braintrust on this one. Twenty-plus years ago I acquired a Los Angeles built 69 R/S Z/28 from the 2nd owner who brought the car back from Germany. Over the years I have tried to determine if this was originally an Export car or just one that was shipped over after it was sold in the USA. The previous owner (Charlie Brown was his actual name) told me had to swap out the Kilometer speedo to a MPH speedo in order to get it registered in the USA upon it's return, but I have no proof of that.
I managed to save about 2/3rds of the Chassis Broadcast sheet from the gas tank and many codes are still legible (after many hours of careful resurrection).
So, are there any specific codes on the Broadcast sheet that would tell me it was an Export? I've heard that they may have used a different sway bar and perhaps other HD parts? I'm open to ideas here........
And just for FYI, it's a Burgundy, flat hood, white stripes, black deluxe interior car. And unfortunately, the original 302 was exploded on the AutoBahn.....
Put on your thinking caps please !!!"
The car and the actual Broadcast sheet are deeply buried away at the moment so I can't run out and check any details.  The photo of the Sheet I have is partially legible so maybe I can check codes on that for now?
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!  Charlie
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