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Author Topic: First time Camaro gen 1 buyer  (Read 2101 times)
Jbyer8
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« on: September 15, 2013, 10:37:06 PM »

Finally saved up enough money to buy one. I've done some research to learn a couple things but I'm a true novice. I found a 1968 Camaro, not matching. Before i make the 6 hr drive I'm just curious if things look correct. I learned from the cal tag that it was originally butternut yellow, black seats, black top ( converted to hardtop at some point l) and a V8. I'm post pics next.
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Jbyer8
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2013, 10:40:42 PM »

Cal tag
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Jbyer8
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2013, 10:42:14 PM »

Engine
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2013, 10:48:32 PM »

Work performed
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cook_dw
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 07:06:36 AM »

Welcome to the site and congrats on potentially becoming a 1st gen owner.  To answer your question; its kinda hard to tell you much about the car from just the cowl tag minus the paint color & interior.  What is it exactly that you are wanting to know? 

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Darrell Cook
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2013, 07:44:06 AM »

Does the cal tag above look correct? I hear stories about people faking them. I'm hopefully seeing the car in person for the first time this weekend. Is there anything I should look for to make sure I'm not getting a junker with fresh paint? On the inspection sheet it appears they replaced a lot of items. Are any of the repairs a good thing or are they just filler to make it appear its alot?
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cook_dw
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2013, 08:30:18 AM »

The tag looks beat up but seems fine.  I would need to see the vin to know if it falls in line with the tag.


Here is a list of things I would check.  

1.  Make sure the hidden vin matches the vin on the dash. -  http://www.camaros.org/numbers.shtml#VIN
2.  Look for all the areas of rust (since this was a vinyl top car definitely look around the front and back glass), floor pans, trunk area, rear quarter areas etc.
3.  If you are concerned if the engine is original to the car or not. - http://www.camaros.org/drivetrain.shtml#PadStamps
4.  Ditto on the transmission. - http://www.camaros.org/drivetrain.shtml#trans
5.  Ditto on the rearend - http://www.camaros.org/drivetrain.shtml#axle


Honestly, if you just want a good car that is a great driver that you want to enjoy then I would just verify #1 & 2.  These cars were meant to be driven regardless the rarity of them.  When I finish my 3 they all will be driven as much as possible (weather permitting).  If I were you I would spend as much time as possible reading over the info on this site before making a purchase.  If you do not find the answers you are looking for just ask.  Someone here will help you.

http://www.camaros.org


FWIW:
I would at least have the seller send as many pics as they could of the undercarriage, hidden vins, and whatever else you wanted to view before wasting time to look at a car..  
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Darrell Cook
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Jbyer8
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2013, 08:42:40 AM »

Thanks for all the info. Included is vin on dash.
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cook_dw
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 08:49:56 AM »

RED FLAG..

That vin does not line up with the build date...  I would ask the seller to get pictures of the hidden vins..
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Darrell Cook
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2013, 09:10:04 AM »

On my '69, I was able to see the hidden VIN under the cowl panel without removing the panel, by using a bright light and viewing thru the cowl vent slots...   From a 'legality' of ownership perspective, he should at least verify that the VIN he's considering purchase of is actually the original VIN of the car by checking at least one of the hidden VINs.   It appears he's not interested in a 'matching numbers' Camaro, or one with 'special mfg features', but just wanting a nice Camaro to drive.   And the car he's considering admittedly is a 'modified' car.    that said, and if he understands that then the only things he really needs to verify are:
1) Is the VIN correct (this is a legal issue wrt ownership of the car)...??  If this isn't true.. then RUN..
2) Does the car exhibit signs of improper rust or wreck repair? 
3) Does the modified car have the features he desires in a driver Camaro (ie. engine, trans, brakes, interior, etc)?
4) Were the modifications performed to his satisfaction?
5) Does he LIKE the way the car looks and drives for the price ...?

IMO the trim plate only states how Chevrolet built the car initially, and once a car is modified (and if the owner is happy with it), it really matters now at this point in time.
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2013, 09:27:04 AM »

Little confused now. I emailed dealer and asked to see pic of hidden vin, should I be worried by his response of "what do you mean hidden vin"

If it matters I'm using JJ best and they said vin matches the title which I assume is a good thing.

Like 69Z28 said, I know it's not numbers matching and its been modified. It has all the features I'm looking for and car IMO looks really sharp. I'm just not sure if pricing is correct. I know everyone has their own pricing points but I'm not sure where to even begin or now what's remotely appropriate.

Could this be a firebird frame with Camaro sheet metal? I've heard that before. Thanks again for all the help
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cook_dw
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 09:35:36 AM »

On my '69, I was able to see the hidden VIN under the cowl panel without removing the panel, by using a bright light and viewing thru the cowl vent slots...   From a 'legality' of ownership perspective, he should at least verify that the VIN he's considering purchase of is actually the original VIN of the car by checking at least one of the hidden VINs.   It appears he's not interested in a 'matching numbers' Camaro, or one with 'special mfg features', but just wanting a nice Camaro to drive.   And the car he's considering admittedly is a 'modified' car.    that said, and if he understands that then the only things he really needs to verify are:
1) Is the VIN correct (this is a legal issue wrt ownership of the car)...??  If this isn't true.. then RUN..
2) Does the car exhibit signs of improper rust or wreck repair?  
3) Does the modified car have the features he desires in a driver Camaro (ie. engine, trans, brakes, interior, etc)?
4) Were the modifications performed to his satisfaction?
5) Does he LIKE the way the car looks and drives for the price ...?

IMO the trim plate only states how Chevrolet built the car initially, and once a car is modified (and if the owner is happy with it), it really matters now at this point in time.

That was kinda my point..  If the vin matches the title & you are ok with it & like the car then go for it.  I personally would not buy a car if the vin tag & hidden vin did not match.  Other than that ultimately if you are happy with the car then that's all that matters.
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Darrell Cook
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2013, 10:01:46 AM »

Mr Byer,

I second what has been said before about getting as many photos as possible of the chassis, underneath, engine compartment etc.. AND talking to the current owner..  how long has he owned it, What work has he done on it, who did he get it from, where from?, etc..   ie. Find out as much as you can, and if you hear 'anything' that doesn't jive .. then be very careful.   If you like the photos, and the price, then take a knowledgable friend with you to serve as your 'consultant'..  Sometimes when we want something so badly we can 'taste it'..  we lose our perspective.. Smiley    The 'consultant/friend' will see the car much more objectively than you will.. Smiley

If you aren't sure about what you are seeing, or what you want, or what is 'correct' or not re an early Camaro, then I second/third what you've been told before re 'take some time on this site and the TC site'..  read all the posts... examine all the photos..   check out local Camaros for sale, find a club and go to club meetings..  etc..  in short.. LEARN all you can about these cars BEFORE you think seriously of purchasing a car.    With the price these cars can sell for, you can get seriously hurt (financially and emotionally) if you pay for a 'good car'.. and get something much less than that!
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
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Jbyer8
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2013, 10:58:08 AM »

Cook DW

I read that the vin doesn't tell you anything about build date. Is that not true?
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Jbyer8
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2013, 10:58:49 AM »

On a 1968 Camaro that is
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Jbyer8
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« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2013, 11:15:18 AM »

And to the comment about bringing someone more knowledgable along with me I wish I could. I did have a member of the local car club look at it for me and he said it drove and looked right. He didn't tear it apart or anything but said it was a nice car.

As for what all was done to it I attached the inspection report above. Dumb question, what exactly does it mean if the visible and hidden vins don't match? Is it not a Camaro?
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« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2013, 11:54:23 AM »

Cook DW

I read that the vin doesn't tell you anything about build date. Is that not true?

That is correct.  You can not pin point the date with the vin.  But you can get an idea of if it would be possible.  In 68 the vins started at 300,001 & with the one in question being 363426 that would mean that 63,425 cars were built in the first month or so of production.. To me that is not likely..  Do not take that as gospel; it is just my perception on the production.. 
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Darrell Cook
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« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2013, 04:04:32 PM »

RED FLAG..

That vin does not line up with the build date...  I would ask the seller to get pictures of the hidden vins..

Welcome to the site.  X2 on the RED FLAG.  At very least I would want to see the Hidden Vins. at this point.
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« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2013, 04:15:29 PM »

Cook DW

I read that the vin doesn't tell you anything about build date. Is that not true?

Jbyer8,  look at this link;  http://camaros.org/geninfo.shtml#HowMany
GM did keep records of the last Vin. built each month at each plant.  That Vin. is about 2 months out of line.
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« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2013, 04:28:36 PM »

I read that the vin doesn't tell you anything about build date. Is that not true?
That is not true. VIN's were sequential so knowing the VIN, you can easily tell what month is was made.
Tag is Sept, VIN is December.
I'd guess the VIN was swapped. Not good, no matter what the paperwork says.
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« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2013, 04:41:18 PM »

Jbyer8,
  Don't take this wrong, guys here are not "brow beating" the car, it is a nice car.  Point here is, IF they have changed either the VIN. tag or the Cowl Tag, they probably had a reason for doing so that they are not willing to reveal.  IE, they may have done some serious Body work they don't want to disclose.  The guys here are just trying to give you a "heads up",  could even cause some serious legal issues later if/when you decide to sell the car.  I hope it all works out for you.
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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2013, 05:04:28 PM »

Jbyer8,
  Don't take this wrong, guys here are not "brow beating" the car, it is a nice car.  Point here is, IF they have changed either the VIN. tag or the Cowl Tag, they probably had a reason for doing so that they are not willing to reveal.  IE, they may have done some serious Body work they don't want to disclose.  The guys here are just trying to give you a "heads up",  could even cause some serious legal issues later if/when you decide to sell the car.  I hope it all works out for you.


X2 on MYRed67's comment and everyone's caution.
They've obviouslly thrown a lot of parts and restoration cash into this car, but it is still only going to be a driver.  So, don't pay a ton of money if you decide to buy it.  And use just as much mechanical caution as you would in buying any used car.  In other words, even in a non-matching, pieced together car, you don't want to drive away with a lemon that you will never get out of it half of what you put into it.
I do agree, however, the car looks nice.  It could draw notice driving down the street or at a local cruise-in.
Although, according to my taste, I don't see why anyone would restore a great looking butternut 68 with a black vinyl top into a vanilla black and white...  Grin Roll Eyes Huh
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« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2013, 06:37:48 PM »

I really appreciate everyone's advice and comments. I'm learning alot. Being the new by that I am I've just really fallen for this car. But y'all are giving me perspective. Knowing that the car is a Frankenstein and alot of work has gone into it what is the value of something like this? I know value depends on what you're looking for in a car. Should the dealer selling this car know that the vins don't match? Especially if they did all this work to it? Sorry for beating a dead horse. The car itself has everything I'm looking for in it. I
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« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2013, 09:45:59 PM »

Not that clarification is needed but when asking about price I want to assume the below.

I recognize the fact that its not numbers matching. Factoring in all the work that has been done to it( see earlier post) no visible rust or welding issues and that its not a lemon. Long story short the dealer is asking 32k for it. Am I crazy?
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« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2013, 09:58:25 PM »

IMO, if the VIN and the trim tab date do not *align*, then it is much more likely that the Trim plate was changed, than the VIN.  it is against the law to change the VIN plate.   If you check the hidden VIN and it does not match the visible VIN plate, then there are *legal issues* with the car.    If the VINs match the hidden VIN, but the trim plate dates/etc doesn't line up, then it is likely that the trim plate has been changed to reflect a 'more desirable' model or set of options... which isn't illegal, but can drastically affect the value of the car.
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
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90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
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« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2013, 10:39:46 PM »

That thing does look like its been beat to death. Any tell tell signs to inspect to see if its been replaced?
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69Z28-RS
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« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2013, 11:02:55 PM »

Others have indicated your TT date and the VIN do NOT match up in time... so if the VIN is the original one (ie. .. matches the hidden VINs), then the TT has been changed, but that  TT is basically a 'manufacturer's plate'..   same as that little plate on the back of most refrigerators, computers,e tc..  which identifies the model number, mfg, etc..   your car will run just FINE without a trim plate.. and it has nothing to do with ownership.  It's only critical if you are *showing* the car in original classes, or 'playing the matching numbers' game..  Smiley   

Note:  If it's true what was posted earlier, that your VIN was for a December built car, and your TT was a September date, then it seems beyond possible that they both were on that car from the factory.
What you should do is this:

1)  Check the hidden VINs against the title VIN and the displayed VIN on the car.   if these do not match, DO NOT THINK ABOUT purchasing this car.  you could pay good money for it, and then have another owner claim the car and you LOSE... everything..  car.. $$$$..  money everything.   You should suggest the current owner run the REAL VIN (the hidden VIN) with law enforcement to check if it's stolen (but DO NOT BUY IT).. Smiley

2)  IF the VIN's all match, assuring you that the title is the correct one for this car, and you are buying it from the titled owner, and if you like everything else about the car, then you might want to buy it...  you WILL be the legal owner per the VIN and title.

The TT has NOTHING to do with legal ownership.

PS.  Kurt indicated that he thought the VIN was probably changed, but that would indicate a STOLEN car.   IMO that's less likely that the TT was changed out.  LOTS of people change our the Trim Tag simply to make the car look more desirable (ie. take one from a September car and put it on your Dec car).  It's NOT a good thing, but it's not illegal, although it's unethical and immoral... and it's done to *fool* people (namely buyers).
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
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« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2013, 07:13:57 AM »

Cook DW

I read that the vin doesn't tell you anything about build date. Is that not true?

That is correct.  You can not pin point the date with the vin.  But you can get an idea of if it would be possible.  In 68 the vins started at 300,001 & with the one in question being 363426 that would mean that 63,425 cars were built in the first month or so of production.. To me that is not likely..  Do not take that as gospel; it is just my perception on the production.. 

Cook DW

I read that the vin doesn't tell you anything about build date. Is that not true?

Jbyer8,  look at this link;  http://camaros.org/geninfo.shtml#HowMany
GM did keep records of the last Vin. built each month at each plant.  That Vin. is about 2 months out of line.

I read that the vin doesn't tell you anything about build date. Is that not true?
That is not true. VIN's were sequential so knowing the VIN, you can easily tell what month is was made.
Tag is Sept, VIN is December.
I'd guess the VIN was swapped. Not good, no matter what the paperwork says.


I stand corrected.  Thanks Mike & Kurt.  I didnt realize that data was available.
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Darrell Cook
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« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2013, 02:28:24 PM »

What would be the easiest way to get to the hidden vin and how would I do it?
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« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2013, 09:07:25 PM »

at the very least,you might be able to pear down through the cowl vent(near the passenger wiper arm) with a light and make out the numbers. At the most,you may have to have owner remove cowl vent panel so numbers can be accessed. There is a second set of numbers under the heater fan, but serious diassembly would be needed to see this set. Most would be satisfied if the cowl vent number matches. It is a partial vin starting with 8n------(norwood built) or 8L------(los Angeles) for a 1968 model year. The rest of the vin should match dash vin 363426.All this information is here on this site.Proceed with caution!
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« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2013, 02:58:18 AM »

IMO 32k for a frankenstein with at best a swapped out firewall tag, and worst swapped vin tag, is no way worth it. You could buy a nice 68 with the right vin and firewall tag, for much less. You can drop a big block in, and add the wheels to any 67 68 or 69.  They made a ton of 67, 68 , 69 camaros keep looking and educating yourself and you will find the right one. One suggested site for numerous cars is cars online.com, I am not saying every car has been authenticated but it seems like they always have about a 100 of 67 68 69 camaros listed for sale, and have new guys posting all the time.
 And as mentioned before, if you can't find the answer post the question on CRG were here to help!
Welcome to the site and the obession!
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« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2013, 05:09:52 PM »

Not that clarification is needed but when asking about price I want to assume the below.

I recognize the fact that its not numbers matching. Factoring in all the work that has been done to it( see earlier post) no visible rust or welding issues and that its not a lemon. Long story short the dealer is asking 32k for it. Am I crazy?
IMO 32k for a frankenstein with at best a swapped out firewall tag, and worst swapped vin tag, is no way worth it. You could buy a nice 68 with the right vin and firewall tag, for much less. You can drop a big block in, and add the wheels to any 67 68 or 69.  They made a ton of 67, 68 , 69 camaros keep looking and educating yourself and you will find the right one. One suggested site for numerous cars is cars online.com, I am not saying every car has been authenticated but it seems like they always have about a 100 of 67 68 69 camaros listed for sale, and have new guys posting all the time.
 And as mentioned before, if you can't find the answer post the question on CRG were here to help!
Welcome to the site and the obession!

X2 A non matching 68 is simply not worth that price.  Keep looking....
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