Author Topic: My First Camaro - What was Yours?  (Read 1453 times)

rich69rs

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My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« on: August 17, 2017, 11:40:54 PM »
Cleaning out some old documents today and came across this.  It is the dealer invoice copy of the first Camaro I owned - a 1976 sports coupe.

I had graduated from college in late Aug 1975 and took my mechanical engineering degree to my first job in Deer Park, TX (Houston suburb - on the industrial/ship channel corridor).  Within a month I had purchased my first Camaro from Timmers Chevrolet in Pasadena, TX - a 1976 Camaro Sports Coupe - and although from a performance standpoint, she couldn't get out of her own way - she was mine - all mine, my first Camaro.  I clearly remember that I had negotiated an out of the door total cost (car, tax, title, license, etc.) for $5,000 - and I felt pretty good as a brash 22 yr old.

The poor car had a horribly detuned, EGR equipped, 305 CID engine with a Rube Goldberg assortment of hoses and vacuum lines running all over the place - early attempt at emission controls.  The heat riser valve was actually operated via a vacuum canister mounted up on the passenger side of the engine that either left the valve closed or opened it based on vacuum to the canister.  What a mess.  The 305 was rated at 140 HP at the flywheel, and if I got 90 to a 100 HP at the rear wheels I was lucky.  Top speed, flat out, pedal to the metal, long straight run of highway was 90-95 mph.  The mid to late 70's was not the high point of Detroit manufacturing prowess to say the least.....but she was mine all mine.  A pretty car, by mid-70's standards with Firethorn Red Metallic paint.

I kept that car until mid-1988 when a growing family and other transportation needs dictated that it was time to sell - which I did via a private sale to a lady for $1500.

When I sold the car, the door hinges were in need of replacement.  That car had some big, heavy doors on it and by 1988 the hinges were showing the strain of supporting those heavy doors.

All good fun.

Richard
Richard Thomas
1969 RS

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 01:40:23 AM »
My first Camaro was a 70 SS that I purchased when I came home from Viet Nam. I kept the car until 73 when our second daughter came along. Then like so many others, the Camaro turned into a Chevelle Wagon.

Vince

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 05:14:53 PM »
My first Camaro was a 1975 Type LT in bright red with a saddle interior that I bought new off my local dealer's lot.  I had just got my first full-time permanent job after graduating from college and wanted to buy a new car (If I only knew then what I know now I would have looked for a 1st gen just 6-8 years old).  I sold the '75 Camaro to a co-worker for $4,000 in 1978 when I bought my new '78 Z28 that I still own.  My old '75 is still around the local area, and I see if every so often and know the woman who now owns it. 

Mark

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 07:36:57 PM »
Mine was a 68 LF7 3spd Saginaw with console, Teal blue with standard blue interior, white D90 sport stripe.  Bought it in 73 from a local bone yard for $250.  It had been punched in the rear between the taillights, looked like it slid into a pole or tree.  Fixed it up and drove it for my junior and senior HS years and some of my Navy years.  Blew the engine up (cam broke in 3 places, crank in 2 and punched a couple of rods thru the block) around 76 or 77 and replaced it with a 350 from precision motor rebuilders.  My brother sort of commandeered it while I was in the Navy.  Heres a picture from 78 or 79 looking kind of haggered.  Should have put the cowl hood on before it was painted.

Mark C.
1969 Indy Pace Car
350/300HP RPO Z11

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2017, 11:12:06 PM »
My first Camaro was the 1968 Z/28 that I still own. Bought it in 1976...Joe
See America's First, Chevrolet

1968 Z/28 Corvette Bronze. Black Hounds Tooth. 02E Los Angeles born 3/13/1968 pnt OO. Purchased March 1976
1969 SS396 Yellow/Yellow 08E Norwood born 8/28/1969 pnt 76E. Purchased April 1981

sleepsinshed

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2017, 06:27:41 PM »
My first Camaro was a 1968 plain jane coupe that I bought in 1977. It was originally red with a black vinyl top, but had been painted blue before I bought it. It had a 327 and TH 350. I think I paid $80 for the SS wheels. It was a great car but I sold it in 1984 for the usual reasons; kids, house, etc. Bought my current Camaro in 1988.






77thor

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2017, 09:15:02 PM »
My first Camaro was a 1974 burgundy Sport Coupe with a 3-speed manual.
In 1977 I ordered a new black Sport Coupe with a 350, 4-speed, and positraction,
which I owned for 30 years before selling to buy my dream car (a rust-free 1969 Camaro).
1969 Camaro SS, 350(NOM), M21, 12 Bolt Posi, 01B LOS Build
1977 Camaro, 350(LM1), M20, 10 Bolt Posi, Purchased New, (SOLD)

69Z28-RS

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2017, 10:20:51 PM »
My first Camaro was a '68 Camaro Z28 which I purchased from an individual here in Huntsville, AL in 1974 (for $1000).  It had no options (AM radio and heater) but of course the z28 option (and disk brakes and 4 speed - M21) to go with the original MO 302...  It was all original blue with white stripes and ran like a scalded dog!  :)

A couple of years later in 1976 I traded it to another individual for a 'loaded' 69 Z28 RS which I still own today.  All original drivetrain, sheet metal, tinted glass (and paint) with ZL2 Cowl Induction, custom cloth orange houndstooth interior, gauges, tach, AM radio, remote LH mirror, woodgrain trim, wheel lip mouldings, etc - orange with black stripes and black vinyl top (factory original).   The only things I've added in addition to rebuilding the engine after I got it was 'tilt column', and wood grain wheel (original factory).  It's a KEEPER.. :)

I also owned a '70 Z28 for a couple of years, but I let someone talk me out of it during a period when it had to sit 'outside'... a move I regret!
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
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camaroboy68ss

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2017, 07:13:10 PM »
Mine was and still is my 68 RS L30/M20. My grandfather found it in the paper for sale and bought it for him and I to restore together as a learning experience (he has been restoring cars his whole life and still is). Paid $6500 for a barely running, but rust free, rainbow colored project in 2000, when I was 8 years old.
Young gun with a Camaro or 3.
1968 Camaro RS L30/M20
2000 Camaro SS Convertible
2017 Camaro SS

169INDY

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2017, 02:00:16 AM »
Purchased from my 'future' bother-in-law in 1980 as a junior in high school. 1st Car for ME 1967 Camaro
230 cu/in 4 speed Saginaw open 2;73
We called these a "Singer Special",  Jim Singer @ Longs Autobody paint and tires (Wheels) and flip it.

Was a great First car that I used my Summer earnings from Hard labor on Naval Ships in Bremerton, while buddies partied,,,, Was a fun car to learn on (6 cyl) and develop the f body passion and pursue other F body iron.

Dig the AMC scoops!

I promptly SOLD it to fund my Pace Car in 1984. Funny How you miss the ones that are gone,,,,,Last I saw it was headed to Arizona a dad bought it for his Marine Son, Car Has to be out there somewhere.

Jim
Jim
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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2017, 05:01:58 PM »
Bought my first car a 68 SSRS 396 in February 1980.  It had just been wrecked right before I bought it & unfortunately I was hit pretty bad in it twice, once in 1981 and again in 1984.  We patched it back together each time and I drove it / raced the car all the way up to 2006 when I hurt it out at the drag strip. I let it sit until September of 2009 & then started on a "1 year" restoration that took me 5 years to complete. lol.. I have been driving it again since the end of January 2015. I did everything except the machine work on my block & heads here at home in the garage.  The car is not perfect, but I will say even after 37 years owning it, it still puts that same big @ss smile on my face just like it did as a kid driving it..






x77-69z28

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2017, 10:16:08 PM »
My first Camaro was a 69 Indy Pace Car that I bought from the orig owner in 1974 for $1500. Kept it for a year and sold it for $1800. Thought I made a killing. The only reason I sold it was it was a 350/300 automatic. I wanted a stick. Bought a Cortez Silver RS/SS big block 4 speed. Blew the tranny. Racing a 70 LT-1 on the belt pkwy and sold it. That's 2 mistakes! In 78 I bought my 69 Z which I own to this day.
69 Z/28 X77 burnished brown, 711 int 05A bought in 78
70 Z28 forrest green, green int, M40, bk vinyl roof PROJECT
99 SS hugger orange 6spd NO TTOPS bought new 1 of 54
15 z/28 Arctic white, A/C 505 HP #251

z28z11

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 07:37:56 PM »
Bought my X77 in March of '73 from a high school buddy, had to part with my first car ('57 Bel Air) to swing it, princely sum of $1600 (he was asking $1800).Resisted the urge in the late '70's of 1) cutting the roof for aftermarket T tops, 2) modifying the grille to install square headlights, 3) painting the car black, 4) putting aftermarket Ansen wheels on it and selling the 5 original YH rims to finance them; instead I kept it mostly intact including keeping the original exhaust manifolds when I installed headers. Found the original paperwork in 1980 after a tip in Super Chevy led me to the State DOT records, after learning what the X codes meant, and X77 to the car. 
If I had modified the car as per above, I probably would have disemboweled myself with a dull deer antler after signing up with the CRG - fortunately I saw the best thing to do was accumulate what I have when things were a lot less expensive.

Regards,
Steve
1968 Z28 M21/U17 BRG/W
1969 Z28 X77/M20/VE3 LeMans/W
1969 L78 X66/N66 Cortez/BVT
1969 Z11 L48/M35/C60/C06

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69Z28-RS

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2017, 02:52:25 AM »
I know of two 69 Camaro Z28s which went from the dealership in Huntsville directly to a race shop.  I know both owners well and have worked on race cars ran by each of them over the years.   I believe they each drove the Bolus / Snopes car at one time or another, and I think both their names are on the side of the car in one of  your photos...   Do you know the original colors/equipment for the car you owned?
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 
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Oldtimer

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2017, 02:24:23 PM »
I know of two 69 Camaro Z28s which went from the dealership in Huntsville directly to a race shop.  I know both owners well and have worked on race cars ran by each of them over the years.   I believe they each drove the Bolus / Snopes car at one time or another, and I think both their names are on the side of the car in one of  your photos...   Do you know the original colors/equipment for the car you owned?


The car was white when I bought it.  The seller's name, I think (it's been over thirty years), was named Bud Johnson or something like that.  He told me it was the former B&S Camaro.  It had evidence of body damage to the right rear, that had been repaired.  Supposedly stuff into an earth banking at Atlanta during an SCCA race weekend.  Rear spoiler was painted gold, and had been repaired with a piece of sheet aluminum riveted over the damage.  I bought a new one, but kept the old one, still have it, hanging in my garage (along with a fuel dump can that came with the car - the dump can has a racing team name on it, which I can't recall right now, and it's also hanging in the garage and I am at work - I'll confirm that name tonight).



Car had evidence that a center dump fuel filler had been fitted at one time, but the hole had been closed with a piece of sheet metal riveted over it, and the fuel filler when I bought it when through the hole in the rear spoiler you can see in the picture.  There were also holes in the front grill consistent with where the driving lights had been installed, as well as a patch on the roof that covered where the signaling lights had been.

69Z28-RS

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2017, 03:58:51 AM »
That was Bobby Mitchell's car; he ordered it with the JL8, and when it came in he took it to his shop and converted it for road racing.  He began with local/regional SCCA competitions but worked himself up to TransAm and IMSA.  He also was a driver one year with a big name team with other big name drivers at Daytona, but my old memory is not recalling all the names...  may have been the Mecum team out of Louisiana...?   Bob was an engineer in the same lab as I for the Army Missile Labs back in the 70's.  I'm sure he's retired by now; his wife also helped him when he raced by timing his laps and positions.   After he sold the Camaro, he built a Pinto (expensive 2000 cc engine) and raced in the IMSA series (small engine series).  I crewed for him at Road Atlanta at least once.  Bob told me that he sold it to a 'Bud Johnson' who lived in Tennessee at that time (just above the Ala/TN line I think).   I made a minor effort to track Bud and the car down but had no success.   I'd bet the JL8 rear is/was worth more than you paid for the car, and probably sold the car for..  :)

Did it still have the 302, JL8  and other Z28 items when you owned it?

I'd be interested in hearing more history of the car (after you sold it) if you recall anything...
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

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2017, 02:17:05 PM »
That sounds about right, I think Johnson told me it was Mitchell who drifted in to the dirt bank at Atlanta.

It has a 302 in it when I bought, and had the Corvette four-wheel discs.  I think the rear gearing was 4.10/4.11, and was a positraction unit.  I cannot tell you whether the VIN # was still on it, or even if the engine was matching to the chassis (that car had been raced for several years before I got it, and at that, apparently in several endurance races).

While I was racing it, we blew the engine it came with, and replaced it, eventually with an Al Bartz-prepared 302, with dry sump.  That was a nice motor, which made its way into a Corvette I raced and another later model Camaro.

Wish I could help with who bought the car from the broker I gave it to, to sell for me, but never knew the counterparty, all I got was cash back from the broker after the deal closed.  Rumor mill had that it went to a guy in Louisiana who used it for dirt track racing, and eventually totaled it.

Thanks for the help, and information.  It fills in some of the blanks.

68L30

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2017, 07:05:05 PM »
Still have mine, first car & first Camaro....Nineteen Sixty Great!

Steve

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2017, 02:51:00 AM »
That was Bobby Mitchell's car; he ordered it with the JL8, and when it came in he took it to his shop and converted it for road racing.  He began with local/regional SCCA competitions but worked himself up to TransAm and IMSA.  He also was a driver one year with a big name team with other big name drivers at Daytona, but my old memory is not recalling all the names...  may have been the Mecum team out of Louisiana...?   Bob was an engineer in the same lab as I for the Army Missile Labs back in the 70's.  I'm sure he's retired by now; his wife also helped him when he raced by timing his laps and positions.   After he sold the Camaro, he built a Pinto (expensive 2000 cc engine) and raced in the IMSA series (small engine series).  I crewed for him at Road Atlanta at least once.  Bob told me that he sold it to a 'Bud Johnson' who lived in Tennessee at that time (just above the Ala/TN line I think).   I made a minor effort to track Bud and the car down but had no success.   I'd bet the JL8 rear is/was worth more than you paid for the car, and probably sold the car for..  :)

Did it still have the 302, JL8  and other Z28 items when you owned it?

I'd be interested in hearing more history of the car (after you sold it) if you recall anything...


Attempting to clarify what I wrote above about Bob Mitchell's participation in a 'big name team'..   He was a listed driver on the 'Stratograph' team with Cale Yarbrough, Bill Cooper, and Billy Hagan at Lemans and Watkins Glen (at least) in 1981.  I believe he also was a driver for one of John Mecum's race teams, but I cannot find info on that.  If I can look Bob up here in town (both of us retired), I'll try to dig into his memory a little.. :)
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

wtexz10

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2017, 04:20:43 AM »
68 Lemans Blue White stripe Z/28.  Purchased it in 1971 for $1150.00   Drove it until 1974 when the first oil embargo hit and convinced myself that I couldn't afford .35cent gas.  Got $650 on trade for a 73 Vega GT.  What a bone head decision. 
69 Camaro Z10
72 GMC C1500
79 Mazda RX7
04 Mazda RX8
06 Corvette Z06
10 BMW 650i

Oldtimer

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2017, 02:59:16 PM »
That was Bobby Mitchell's car; he ordered it with the JL8, and when it came in he took it to his shop and converted it for road racing.  He began with local/regional SCCA competitions but worked himself up to TransAm and IMSA.  He also was a driver one year with a big name team with other big name drivers at Daytona, but my old memory is not recalling all the names...  may have been the Mecum team out of Louisiana...?   Bob was an engineer in the same lab as I for the Army Missile Labs back in the 70's.  I'm sure he's retired by now; his wife also helped him when he raced by timing his laps and positions.   After he sold the Camaro, he built a Pinto (expensive 2000 cc engine) and raced in the IMSA series (small engine series).  I crewed for him at Road Atlanta at least once.  Bob told me that he sold it to a 'Bud Johnson' who lived in Tennessee at that time (just above the Ala/TN line I think).   I made a minor effort to track Bud and the car down but had no success.   I'd bet the JL8 rear is/was worth more than you paid for the car, and probably sold the car for..  :)

Did it still have the 302, JL8  and other Z28 items when you owned it?

I'd be interested in hearing more history of the car (after you sold it) if you recall anything...


Attempting to clarify what I wrote above about Bob Mitchell's participation in a 'big name team'..   He was a listed driver on the 'Stratograph' team with Cale Yarbrough, Bill Cooper, and Billy Hagan at Lemans and Watkins Glen (at least) in 1981.  I believe he also was a driver for one of John Mecum's race teams, but I cannot find info on that.  If I can look Bob up here in town (both of us retired), I'll try to dig into his memory a little.. :)

I think this supports what you were saying:

http://www.racingsportscars.com/driver/archive/Bob-Mitchell-USA.html

Boston14

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2017, 12:45:34 PM »
My first Camaro was a 1968 RS Convertible.  Had a 327 w/ 4 speed trans. Bought it in 1972 from a guy who thought the transmission was a 3 speed and was locked up.............. shifter linkage was locked up like the 68's did with the crossmember mounted shifter.  Not a bad buy for $300.00.  But, back then you could buy running, decent driving cars for $100 all day long.  I had the car painted and a new top put on.  I put headers, cam and 600 Holley on the engine.  Drove it for 2 years and wrapped it around a big tree.  I got a few stitches but the car wasn't so lucky, the passenger side floorboard was higher than the seat.  The only good thing was that I had just dropped my girlfriend off at her house, I don't think she would have done well in the crash.  Bought my 1969 SS/RS convertible the same year, but that's another story............
boston14

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Dover White with Black Top and D90 stripe, Red Standard Interior

BillOhio

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Re: My First Camaro - What was Yours?
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2017, 05:48:51 PM »
My first and only other Camaro, was a 67 that I bought about 1985 or 6. The guy I bought it from had restored it and let me to believe it was an original ss396 car. I didn't know any better and it was a nice rust free car with about 30,000 miles on it. Along with the car came a traction bar that was pretty pitted up. He said he never got around to reinstalling it. When I went to put it on the dimples under the back seat had never been pierced. This guy messed around with a lot of Camaros in his time and have learned since, dont trust him!. I later found the car that the traction bar came from. It was a plum color pretty rusty but still had the original spark plug wires on it. Missing it's traction bar. 325 hp 396. My car was originally marina blue, and probaably an RS. Later the guy's brother inform me that it had 327 one time if I remember correctly. The engine was supposed to be fresh, and used some oil. Eventually it wiped the camshaft. I took it apart and he had had the rings upside down on four pistons. He tried to blame his wife. I sold that car at a little auction near me and a guy bought it for his 17 year old son that was staying out all night. He thought it would teach him some responsibility. I watched the newspaper ads after that to see if it ever showed up but I never saw anything out of it again. The one picture is from the super Chevy show in Indianapolis
1969 Z28, Burgandy, numbers matching, 12,900 miles
1967 Plymouth GTX Hemi, 4 speed, dana
1961 Chrysler 300G convertible