Author Topic: Family survivor 69 Camaro  (Read 21732 times)

gma_camaro

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Family survivor 69 Camaro
« on: March 16, 2018, 03:41:56 AM »
New member here with a nearly untouched Camaro that has been in my family for its entire life. I am posting here to share its story with an appreciative community and help if I can by documenting anything during the time I am working on it. I am just starting on a resto-mod type project with it. While it will not be 100% preserving or restoring this car, I respect those that do and would love to be a help. There will also be some parts for sale I will not be using and do not plan on keeping.
 
This 1969 Camaro was purchased new by my great-grandfather in December 1968 during his retirement. The story goes that the husband of one of his nieces had bought a 69 Camaro RS after coming home from Vietnam and great-grandpa loved its look so much that he bought one to be his “fishing” car. He traded in a 61 Biscayne for the Camaro. Being an old retired farmer he did not want a lot of options so he ordered a base model with the few options being a two barrel 327 and a floor shift three speed. He drove it for a few years and after his passing my grandmother (his daughter) bought it from the estate for $1500. That was over the objections of my grandfather, he did not want to have to keep “just another old car” around the farm.
I first knew the car as a young kid in the 80s when grandma would drive to the grocery store with me and on her own fishing trips. As I got older and my interest in cars and all things mechanical grew, Grandma and I talked a lot about the car. I started my first project on a 1968 C10 (that I still have) in the garage next to the Camaro in the late 90s. I drove it occasionally (whenever Grandma allowed) after high school, mainly to keep it in working order. Shortly before Grandma passed, the car became mine and I recently trailered it to my home in IL. I drove it occasionally for the past year or so and am now ready to start work on it to keep the family enjoying it for another 49 years.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmeFqB6B Flickr album

Picture of the car with me and Grandma, this ended up being the last time she rode in the car.


Some details on the car. It has 81,687 miles on it and has been in no accidents or had any major components replaced.  There was some minor body work done on a dent in the rear quarter in the 90s and the camshaft was replaced in the 80s. Living its entire life in rural North Dakota, it is rust free but has many rock chips from life on gravel roads. The missing piece in the grille and the scrape on the front passenger side fender both carry a story. Originally it had no radio but a Custom Autosound unit was added in the 90s.

Pictures, VIN plate, order forms. Some of these pictures are nearly 10 years old but the car has not changed in that time.










My plan for the car is to keep the body completely stock and unrestored except for wheels and tires. The interior will be cleaned up and will replace only a few items as needed. The headliner and door panels are perfect but the dash pad and steering wheel have some cracks. Air conditioning and a vintage looking modern radio will be added. Powertrain is a LS6 with Holley EFI, cam, ported heads and a T56 transmission. The LS engine will be dressed to look like a SBC from 1969. Suspension will be a complete Ridetech coilover system and brakes are from a Gen5 Camaro. The goal is to keep the survivor look of the car but update it to be reliable modern performing car that can be driven anywhere.
As I start the work on the car I would be more than happy to take any notes or share pictures of anything with the people on this board. As parts come off, there will be some available for sale. Please contact me by PM for that.

Likely items for sale: Engine accessories, AIR system, carb, brackets, fasteners, distributor, etc.
Seat belts, seat covers, carpet, nearly all electrical items, maybe dash pad and steering wheel
Wheels, spare tire, brakes, control arms, steering box, other suspension pieces
Not for sale: Engine and transmission 
Possible for sale: Jack, rear axle, gauge cluster

Hope you all enjoy reading about this car that carries with it so many family memories. Let me know if there are any specific pictures I could grab or if you have any other interests or questions.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 05:37:29 PM by KurtS »

69Z28-RS

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 04:20:26 AM »
That's a great inheritance from your grandparents!  :)   Congratulations and good luck at keeping it for another 49 years.. :)
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

KurtS

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2018, 05:25:46 AM »
Thanks for posting. I look forward to the details.
My picture requests: cooling fan and clutch, dip stick, close-ups of the top of the engine before you pull parts.
I'm surprised you're selling that many of the interior parts. I'd suggest keeping those parts and figuring out what needs changed out after you get the new drivetrain in and running....

People - Please don't post requests for parts. Please keep those in PM's and off the forum.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 05:33:18 PM by KurtS »
Kurt S
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bcmiller

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2018, 09:54:53 AM »
My suggestion would be to do the transformation in steps. Get your engine and trans swap complete, to the point it can be driven. Then work on the interior.

Too many guys completely blow a car apart with big plans, but then things stall out. Doing it in steps will give you boosts of confidence at each level of completion. Good luck.
Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 coupe - now old school 468 big block
1967 RS/SS 396 coupe L35/M40 - 4 generation family project
Looking for 68 Camaro with body # NOR 181016

HawkX66

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2018, 12:06:11 PM »
Take it for what it is, but if it were me, I'd buy something else and sell that beautiful example of a very original 69. They're only original once and they're disappearing quickly because of LS conversions etc. To each his how and it's your car. Just something to think about. It would be too bad that it lasted 49 years with your family to be modified that heavily.
Dave
69 SS396 X66 L34 M21 BS
Z23 711 U17 Hugger Orange
Semper Fi! USMC 93-02

69Z28-RS

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2018, 02:39:41 PM »
One can hardly blame a 'new camaro owner' for wanting to upgrade it.  When such an original Camaro ends up unexpectedly into a younger persons hands, they typically do not realize how rare it is to have such an original article, and how it 'changes' things when they begin the modifications....

Note to owner:  When you talk about modifying such an original car to those of us at this site (who are mostly worshippers of totally original unmolested/unrestored cars), WE are aghast!  :) 
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

HOT3O2

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2018, 03:09:22 PM »
I love hearing story's about family owned Camaros. Thanks for sharing it with us.. Keep us updated on your project.

Rick
Rick
69 RS/Z28

KurtS

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2018, 03:26:10 PM »
Gary,
We've had that conversation. Aaron has determined the path already, so his offer was for us to be able to glean some information from the car as it gets torn down. Yes, the end product is counter to many on the site, but if it's destined to happen, might as well get some good out of it!
Just installing the trans would make the car immensely more enjoyable. But that's not a whole new suspension and drivetrain.

I also want to see the engine mounts and bolts when you get to that stage.
Kurt S
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bcmiller

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2018, 08:02:50 PM »
A good steam cleaning of the engine bay would do wonders. Looking forward to the pics and details on this car.
Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 coupe - now old school 468 big block
1967 RS/SS 396 coupe L35/M40 - 4 generation family project
Looking for 68 Camaro with body # NOR 181016

gma_camaro

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2018, 01:55:44 AM »
Thanks for the comments guys. Believe me I thought hard about doing more of a restoration angle but especially after driving it for a year as is I decided that making it a more enjoyable/modern behaving car was the path. If it was a SS 4spd or a big block rather than a base 2-bbl 327 I would probably being going a different route. No chance I would sell it either, the family history is too strong. Again, I truly enjoy the restoration community and have checked out this site more than few times over the years. I've picked the aftermarket parts with an eye towards minimizing cutting and other irreversible changes.

The project will take some time but I've done a long term project on my 68 C10 and varying duration work on 04 and 06 GTO. Those two are gone but the C10 is a reliable hot rod so that will scratch my classic vehicle itch for the next couple years while the Camaro is being worked on.

I'll get to the detailed pictures soon, this weekend is pretty booked so may not be until Sunday night or Monday. Keep the requests and questions coming. I'm already interested to learn about what you're looking for. I forgot the trim tag picture so here it is:

gma_camaro

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2018, 01:58:31 AM »
Kurt - I may hang on to more of the interior yet. Depends on what things look like as I dig in.

gma_camaro

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2018, 03:17:15 AM »
That's a great inheritance from your grandparents!  :)   Congratulations and good luck at keeping it for another 49 years.. :)

Great stroke of luck that great-grandfather bought a Camaro and not an Impala.....but inheritance,  not so much. Grandma needed some cash near the end and I had to purchase rather than inherit. Good lesson in financial planning wrapped up in that one.

gma_camaro

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2018, 03:27:17 AM »
A good steam cleaning of the engine bay would do wonders. Looking forward to the pics and details on this car.

Any tips on how to clean up the firewall without damaging the factory markings? Any definite "don't do" cleaners or methods?

BULLITT65

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2018, 01:58:35 AM »
THere only original once. It would be too bad that it lasted 49 years with your family to be modified that heavily.
X2
I have been fortunate to be the "custodian" of a couple of cars like this. It only works for you if you can appreciate the originality aspect.
 It's your car to do with as you please, and I appreciate the photos and parts, BUT there are so many 69 solid project cars out there that would be great for a LS swap. If I were a close friend or Nieghbor I would suggest you may want to rethink this one. :)
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 03:23:08 AM by BULLITT65 »
1969 garnet red Z/28 46k mile unrestored X77
-Looking for 3192477 (front) spiral shocks 3192851 (rear)
-Looking for an original LOF soft ray windshield
-Looking for original Delco side post negative battery cable part # 6297651AV

69Z28-RS

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Re: Family survivor 69 Camaro
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2018, 04:42:13 AM »
A good steam cleaning of the engine bay would do wonders. Looking forward to the pics and details on this car.

Any tips on how to clean up the firewall without damaging the factory markings? Any definite "don't do" cleaners or methods?

No solvents..  If it's really dirty/oily, maybe simple green or a similar cleaner diluted 1/1 with warm water, and applied wtih a soft rag or soft bristle brush.. then rinse with clear water...
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