Author Topic: The Vince Piggins Camaro  (Read 6056 times)

Jon Mello

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3466
    • View Profile
The Vince Piggins Camaro
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:59:44 AM »
Nice feature from Super Chevy on the only Camaro that Vince Piggins owned, which happened to be owned
at that time by Vince's eldest daughter, Diane Sorensen. Interesting that Vince chose a '69 SS396. Anyone
out there know Diane Sorensen and know if she still has this car? It sure would be nice to talk with her and
hear some of the stories she has about her famous dad.








Jon Mello Collection
Jon Mello
CRG

ZLP955

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 748
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 10:48:01 AM »
Nice story, glad you posted it Jon; wonder where both Diane and the car are now?
Tim - 04A VN '69 z/28 69-69 715 ex-E/MP

ss jim

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2013, 12:54:34 PM »
 Jon, I was just looking through some of my old magazines yesterday and read that article. Jim

Jon Mello

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3466
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2013, 07:08:45 PM »
Here's a link to a short article that Hemmings "Muscle Machines" magazine did on Vince Piggins back in 2005.

http://www.hemmings.com/mus/stories/2005/07/01/hmn_feature8.html
Jon Mello
CRG

motorman

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2013, 12:12:37 AM »
Here's a link to a short article that Hemmings "Muscle Machines" magazine did on Vince Piggins back in 2005.

http://www.hemmings.com/mus/stories/2005/07/01/hmn_feature8.html
when you called that department the girl answered "product promotion"
new Camaros owned 68 and 69 Z-28. new Corvettes owned 59,62,63,64,65,66,97,99 02,05 and 08.

maroman

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2013, 12:29:45 AM »
So he never actually owned the convertible Z?
Doug  '67 RS/SS 396 auto I know the car since new

Jon Mello

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3466
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2013, 12:43:09 AM »
No, the convertible '68 Z/28 was built for Chevrolet General Manager E.M. "Pete" Estes.
Jon Mello
CRG

janobyte

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 924
  • 1968 z/28
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 12:32:34 AM »
You never run out of interesting reading Mr. Mello.

maroman

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 01:20:55 AM »
No, the convertible '68 Z/28 was built for Chevrolet General Manager E.M. "Pete" Estes.
Good grief, I knew that. Getting old the brain turns to mush.
Doug  '67 RS/SS 396 auto I know the car since new

Jon Mello

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3466
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2013, 04:31:50 AM »
Good grief, I knew that. Getting old the brain turns to mush.
I'm glad to know I'm not the only guy that happens to...
Jon Mello
CRG

69Z28freak

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 363
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2013, 07:02:16 AM »
Very Cool. The car came with front & rear number guards. Someone removed them before the photos were taken. Also hard to tell what colour the car is in the pictures, since they are black and white, but it does not look a light colour like Lemans Blue. Love the article and love the car, and Dianne. I guess she's not single anymore?
Mike 1969 Grandma Camaro

Jon Mello

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3466
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2013, 02:22:45 PM »
The text of the article says the repaint was done in Midnight Pearl Blue so a very dark blue color, non-stock.
Jon Mello
CRG

69Z28-RS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2978
  • owner since 4-Apr-1976
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2013, 03:22:37 PM »
Surely you wouldn't marry a lady for her Camaro?  would you?   :)     Do you think someone beat you to it?  :)
J/K...  :)
Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe, '70 Mach I 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55-'56-'57 Nomads, '55-'57 B/A Sedan

Pat87

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2014, 01:22:04 PM »
This is so cool. I work with Dianne. She is the office manager where I work. She still owns the car btw. If you want to buy it....the line forms to the left. It is a one of one car built by GM. When I asked her if she was the queen her face just lit up! She said, "I was once upon a time"

Jon Mello

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3466
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2014, 01:41:31 PM »
Thanks for posting. I'm very pleased to hear Diane still has her very special car. She is the queen.  ;D
Jon Mello
CRG

BULLITT65

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1971
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2014, 04:31:26 PM »
Pat87, any chance of her emailing/sending you some current pics (of the car)?
1969 garnet red Z/28 46k mile unrestored X77
Looking for 3192477 (front) spiral shocks 3192851 (rear) please
Looking for an original LOF soft ray windshield
Looking for original Delco side post negative battery cable part # 6297651AV

janobyte

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 924
  • 1968 z/28
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2014, 12:51:53 AM »
DITTO

VHX032

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2014, 10:27:30 PM »
This is so cool. I love it when a historical car is discovered to still be with the original owner (or family). Looking forward to the photos too.

kool66

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2014, 02:18:41 AM »
To all-I remember reading this article years ago.I was president of the Michigan Camaro Club in 1970.Diane was my club secretary.I can personally attest to her driving ability and the beating of many worthy competitors with more horsepower.In the club we had one 375 and a Rally Green Copo that she couldn't beat but those were about the only ones.Pat tell Diane Lou says hi i haven't seen her in 40+ years.

Jon Mello

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3466
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2014, 04:37:15 PM »
Lou,

Thanks for your recollection. Do you happen to have a picture of Diane and her car from back then or any other pictures that would be fun for us to see? I was also curious, where did your club hold its meetings and how many members did you have at that time?
Jon Mello
CRG

kool66

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2014, 06:48:11 PM »
Hi John-We didn't take a lot of photos but i have a few. Unfortunately i have to figure out how to reduce the file size before your server will accept them.We met at Michigan Ave and Outer Drive at the Plaza in Dearborn.We had 125 members on the books but realistically we had 20 or 30 regulars as many were one timers never to be seen again.Myself,Diane and the other officers plus some regular members attended most of the meetings and functions.We were originally sponsored by Roger Peck Chev. in Farmington.When they quit my Sgt. of Arms Gary Kay and I met with Dick Genthe Sr. at his then new dealership in Southgate and secured a new sponsorship.We ran Telegraph,partied,worked on each other cars and generally had a good time.The Tree Kegs Round Bar and the 4 Vees in East Dearborn were some of our regular haunts.We met with the Corvette Club of Michigan at Bill Wink Chev before we incorporated and got some advice.We had and interesting mix of Camaros,lots of Lemans Blue,A few Z28s and SS's 350 and 396 as well as 2 Burnished Brown 69s one of which belonged to me and the other to the first president Dave C.We also had 2 COPOS both out of Emmert Chev. One Rally Green automatic and a special paint Pontiac Veduro Green 4 speed.It was an interesting couple of years.I moved on in early 71 but i still remember those days fondly.

Jon Mello

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3466
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2014, 06:25:37 AM »
Thanks for that info, Lou. Sounds like you guys had some enjoyable times as a club. I got the photos you sent to my home email and have posted them below...

An original, unused chrome mylar club sticker


Club gathering at "The Plaza". Lou is the skinny guy in the white t-shirt with his hands on his hips and Diane is the blond on the left looking at the camera.


Grand River drive-in.This was located next to Roger Peck Chevrolet taken on a Sunday afternoon.The first Camaro on the right is believed to be Diane's car. Lou's car is on the left


"This was taken on Grand River heading towards the Drive-in.The middle Camaro is mine sometime in 69 as the dog dish caps and 6 in wheels are still on.The Camaro behind me
has Hilborn stack injection! He only came this one time.The car was an automatic and was a real handful to drive.I had to get out in front of him a few car lengths so he could take
off without stalling!


Lou's burnished brown L65 4-speed car circa 1970. The club sticker can be seen in the rear quarter window.


« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 01:56:00 AM by Jon Mello »
Jon Mello
CRG

SMKZ28

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 582
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2014, 02:35:32 PM »
Love the vintage photos and recollections.   Thanks for sharing them.

VINCE Z28

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 457
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2014, 07:25:24 PM »
Hey Lou is that you smoking the pipe in the camaro.... special tobacco ? ;D
" He who knows naught, knows not that he knows naught"  It's not you...  It's just the way my brain is wired.

cook_dw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1224
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2014, 07:57:47 PM »
L65 Z28..  Goes to show clones were popular back then too.
Darrell Cook
1967 LeMans Blue SS/RS L35 clone
1968 Rallye Green SS L78 - unrestored original
1968 Matador Red Z28

kool66

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2014, 10:42:16 PM »
Sorry even back then i smoked just regular tabacky,Boone's Farm and beer were my vice of choice!The Z emblems on the front and rear came off a real Z that a guy wanted to put a blue chevrons on so we traded.It's painted yellow and the 8 has been cut to look like a 9. Z29 the term coined by Car and Driver for the 350/350 Blue Max Camaro.I always wanted to have that engine package but it wasn't to be.I had a lot of guys scratching their heads on that emblem! I still have it some where in the house.I painted the headlight bezels Brown to match the car and shortly after i filled the 350 engine tags COPO style.Never got the cowl hood either.I ordered this car in Spring 69 too late for the LM1 package i wanted.10 bolt 3:36,cast iron Saginaw 4 speed,but it did get multi leaf springs.I wanted a Z28 without stripes but could not afford the extra several hundred bucks and couldn't figure out how to get rid of the stripes.I talked to Jim Mattison years later and found out they did COPO delete some stripes on Camaros but not many.Poor man Z I always said,Deluxe Custom weave,tint glass,posi,spoilers,AM-FM,N44 quick manual steering,L65,white letter tires and disc brakes.I sent Jon a copy of the window sticker which he 's free to show if he chooses.One or two Custom interior cars in the club other that a couple Pace Cars.Forgot dual exhaust and i should have ordered a Fold down rear seat!

cook_dw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1224
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2014, 11:11:01 PM »
Great info and memories!
Darrell Cook
1967 LeMans Blue SS/RS L35 clone
1968 Rallye Green SS L78 - unrestored original
1968 Matador Red Z28

BULLITT65

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1971
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2014, 05:50:49 AM »
Shoot I thought the Z wasn't a whole lot more than a base v8 Camaro. I wonder back then did Z cars stay on the dealer lot for that long, or did they move them pretty quickly? Meaning would you have had a chance to get a deal on a Z if one didn't sell quickly
1969 garnet red Z/28 46k mile unrestored X77
Looking for 3192477 (front) spiral shocks 3192851 (rear) please
Looking for an original LOF soft ray windshield
Looking for original Delco side post negative battery cable part # 6297651AV

69Z28-RS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2978
  • owner since 4-Apr-1976
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2014, 02:04:40 PM »
I was shopping for a '69SS396 Chevelle  (for several months) during the '69 model year, and although I wasn't shopping for a Camaro at the time, I don't recall seeing any/many Z28's sitting in showrooms, and I probably visited 6-8 different dealerships in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama over that period.  I'm guessing that either the Z28s were special ordered, or were purchased very quickly upon delivery to dealerships.  Two friends bought '69 Z28's for SCCA racing purposes; one special ordered his, the other bought one that the person ordering it decided not to purchase it on delivery.

PS.  Another thing the Z28 had going for it was the 290 hp rating; Most insurance companies charged a large premium for cars over 300 hp, esp to young drivers - and I suspect that was the primary reason that the Z28's, Boss302, AAR/TA Chrysler cars, etc had 290 hp ratings even though carguys knew the hp was actually much higher.
Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe, '70 Mach I 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55-'56-'57 Nomads, '55-'57 B/A Sedan

kool66

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2014, 02:16:03 PM »
Bullitt-As far as stocking Z28s in 69 at least around the Detroit dealers i saw they didn't.I'm sure "Performance" dealers like Berger,Nickey and Dana were exceptions to this.Many times a specially ordered unit would be turned down because of the buyers inability to get the loan when the car got to the dealership.I ordered my Camaro and it took about 8 weeks to get.Even 4 speed cars of any type were not the most common on the lots.As i said there were exceptions one being Emmert Chevrolet in Detroit.Do to a interesting arrangement with the dealership owner and a suitor of the owners daughter who was connected in Chevrolet,Emmert stocked L72 COPO Camaros!They were every flavor from somewhat stripped to full blown RS,special paint,houndstooth check interior,AM-FM stereo and endura bumper + loaded pieces! As far as deals i'm not sure this was the case as they realized what they had ordered.As i said in an earlier post my Sgt of  Arms in the Mich Camaro Club had a Rally Green COPO out of Emmert.It was a double COPO.9561+9737,vinyl top,endura bumper,console,automatic and i think it had a factory tach.BTW it had no spoliers! Many Emmert cars were not ordered with them. It seemed like he told me he paid in the low $4000s for it.Go into the CRG section on COPOS for more interesting facts on these cars.

I had a friend who bought a 69 Hugger Orange Z 28 RS,black vinyl,gauge package,AM radio off the lot at a dealership,Gene Merollis Chev in Garden City, Michigan a Detroit suburb.We walked in and he bought it right off the lot.I believe it was the only one they had at the time.I remember in summer 68 going to Mark Chevrolet in Wayne,Mi just West of Detroit and going into their large storage lot and running across at least 10 1968 Z28s.They were again everything from strippers to fully loaded RS,custom interior,stereo FM ,etc. units!I'm assuming they worked some kind of a deal with Chevrolet to order them at the end of the 68 build.I had another buddy who bought one, a loaded RS,Sequoia Green,FM stereo,Custom int unit.These was my only experiences with this kind of volume of Zs or high performance inventory in stock.As far as pricing i'm sure it was wide open.In those pre internet days you had to prowl the dealerships to see what was in stock,always an adventure!

Rsss396

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 35
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2014, 02:39:59 PM »
I work with a older friend that back in 1970 went to the dodge dealer to get a 383 or 440 challenger but ended up walking out with a 340 T/A, they were hugely discounting it because nobody wanted the 340 including himself.
But after basically offering to sell it for cost to him he could not pass the deal up. He said it was actually a super fast car and never regretted buying it and of course now regrets ever selling it.

69Z28-RS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2978
  • owner since 4-Apr-1976
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2014, 03:16:49 PM »
I work with a older friend that back in 1970 went to the dodge dealer to get a 383 or 440 challenger but ended up walking out with a 340 T/A, they were hugely discounting it because nobody wanted the 340 including himself.
But after basically offering to sell it for cost to him he could not pass the deal up. He said it was actually a super fast car and never regretted buying it and of course now regrets ever selling it.

I'd have much preferred a 340 (esp a six pak) over a 383 or 440...  but a friend of mine bought a new T/A in '70.. his car would just nip my '70 RR in the 1/4... but a few months later, he traded the 340 sixpak engine to another USAF bud for the Hemi in his '66 Satellite!   We spent a while changing out the K member and rebuilding the Hemi before it went into the Challenger TA body.. :)   I often wonder how long my friend (Boyd Cochran) kept that Challenger TA with the Hemi.. he was from the LA area of California, but that has to be a very unique TA.. :)
Gary W / 09C 69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe, '70 Mach I 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55-'56-'57 Nomads, '55-'57 B/A Sedan

Jon Mello

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3466
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2014, 04:19:25 AM »
Here's Lou's window sticker...
Jon Mello
CRG

Freddie KillerWatt III

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2015, 12:21:25 AM »
Hi all new to the forum but I remember this very special car as a kid as I played in & around this car (& wanted it like everyone else) while the car was being repaired and painted by my dad at his shop "St Clair Shores Electronics" back in the mid to late 70's before we moved to Florida in 79 not K&M repair as documented by SS. As I remember being told  Vince himself got the replacement rear quarters & other parts from GM. The paint was lacquer, with the base color of the car being  Black & the white strip had ice blue dusted at the edges then the car was cleared with a blue pearl.As such the car changed colors from Black to Purple and Mid Night Blue,  I myself always wondered why Super Chevy did a black & white photo shoot but it still looks spectacular. I was told that the paint started check a few years back but still looked pretty good.

Jon Mello

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3466
    • View Profile
Re: The Vince Piggins Camaro
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2015, 03:21:42 AM »
Welcome, Freddie! Thanks for giving us more information on this very special Camaro.
Jon Mello
CRG