Author Topic: A Most Amazing Thing...  (Read 975 times)

ko-lek-tor

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A Most Amazing Thing...
« on: June 07, 2019, 03:17:47 AM »
...I have owned my 69 for 40 years and just learned the whole owner history!! Many older members may recall, I have a Hugger Orange SS/RS 396, 4 speed. When I bought the car, it was somewhat “clapped” out. The engine was gone. It was painted black with heavy gold flake and flames on the doghouse terminating half way down the doors. The tail panel and grille had “cobwebbing”. The original steering wheel was gone and a foam Superior 12” in its place. The original wheels and radio were MIA and three holes were cut in the plastic of the assist handle above the ashtray and 3 SW gauges installed. Homemade slapper bars and shackles installed and the black vinyl top removed. Otherwise, the car was in pretty decent original shape. I gave $400. Actually, I was already working on another 69 I bought, an SS 350 and did not have the money to buy this 396 car. Since I could not afford it, I told my best friend , we were both 18, about this car. He bought it and I was there when he did. We got back in his car, he looks over at me and says, “pay me back when you get the money.”. I did.
8 years ago, I decided that I had the time, energy and money to attempt a restoration on this longtime family member. It never occurred to me till I got involved with this site in 2013 to acquire documentation or learn owner history. I really had no leads and did not know where or how I would find information about this car. I got advice from a member to place an ad on Craigslist. The wild paint scheme made the car unique enough that surely someone would recognize the car. Sure enough, the very next day, I get a call from a guy who claimed to have owned the car. He only owned the car for about 6 months. He traded his Sb Nova and boot to his H. School Senior buddy for this car. Upon graduating he traded, late that summer, for a motorcycle. That buyer that traded the M.C. Was who I got the car from. So, to recap, the H.S. Buddy had it the 1st half of his Senior year, then traded to owner 2 who traded his Nova and later traded to owner 3 for a M.C. And I bought from owner 3. But this only covered about a year’s time. The Senior year of 78-79 to the early fall of 79. That 1st of those 3 owners could not recall who he got the car from. The only thing he could recall was the guy lived on a local street call Melody lane. That is where the trail ran cold. I thought about looking up court deed records and attempting contact of home owners from around that 79 timeframe. I never did this.
Fast forward. By chance, in March of this year, I was out at a Cracker Barrel with the wife and mother-in-law. There was this older gent leaving about the time we were finished and leaving. I noticed he had a sweatshirt from a local large car show. This prompted a discussion about cars. I mentioned that I owned a 69 Camaro. He exclaimed that he had once owned a 69 Camaro, an Orange SS. I mentioned that was what my car was and would be once restored. I said it had a black flamed paint job when I got it. He said that he painted his car black with flames. Now THAT caught my attention. After comparing a few notes, I was convinced that I had found a previous owner. I asked for his phone number and other contact information. I asked if he lived close by? He told me that he has lived on Melody lane since 1964. He went on to tell me he was the second owner. He and the original owner , both, worked at the local Ford plant. This guy is the guy who sold the car to who I referred to as owner 1 out of the 3 high school age owners just before I acquired this car. This guy bought the car from his co worker friend in 1973. His friend bought the car new from Central Motor in Hamilton, Ohio. Afterwards, he was drafted to serve in Viet Nam. He parked the car in his dad’s garage. It had 22k miles on it when sold to owner 2 on Melody lane. That second owner I met told me he painted the car black with flames. He also told me the car was ordered with Rally wheels and he still had them off this car under his work bench. He claims that he has the “build sheet”, but has not found it yet. I’m hopeful he can produce that. He says he does not have the POP. He told me that the car had a standard black steering wheel and he made the traction bars. I have a few pictures of the car now from back in the day. I am wanting to meet up and get better copies of his pictures, but he has been slow in setting up a meeting. The OO is deceased, but I have reached out to his family on FB, with no response. More to come.
James to strangers, Bentley to friends
1969 SS/RS 396 coupe Hugger Orange X22 712 owned since 79
1969 SS 350 coupe LeMans Blue 713 bought in 79(sold)
1969 D.H.COPO replica 4spd. 4.10 posi coupe Daytona Yellow 711 owned since 85

ZLP955

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 10:49:22 AM »
That is awesome Bentley, I will never tire of hearing this kind of story. The fact that it happened to such a deserving member of this community is yet another example of good things happening to good people.
Would love to see those old photos whenever you get a chance to post them!
Tim in Australia.
1969 04A Van Nuys Z/28. Cortez Silver, Dark Blue interior, VE3 bumper, Z21, Z23, D55/U17, D80, flat hood.
Sold at Clippinger Chevrolet in Covina, CA. Ex-Racer at Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach.

x66 714

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2019, 11:17:17 AM »
Great story Bentley. Thanks for sharing...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

69Z28-RS

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2019, 11:58:14 AM »
Congrats Bentley!   :)    That new information will spur you on to finishing this car...  Did you get the wheels yet? :)
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

JKZ27

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2019, 01:39:55 PM »
Super cool! I was waiting to hear this story after I saw that you had found the previous owner history. Thanks for taking the time to tell us about it. Can't wait to hear and see more!
John
69 RS/SS Cortez Silver, L48 MC1
68 RS Ash/Ivy Gold 327EFI M20

Jon Mello

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2019, 12:32:28 PM »
Very cool, Bentley.  Great story.  Congratulations on getting the ownership history figured out.  I look forward to seeing you get this car done.
Jon Mello
CRG

69pace

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2019, 03:50:20 PM »
I LOVE these reunion stories. It seems there is always a series of chance meetings that pull a vehicle and old owners full circle and happily back together. Never know.

Brian
1969 Z-11 350/300 with 4 Speed
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ko-lek-tor

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2019, 02:45:46 PM »
Another breakthrough moment happened this past Sunday. The deceased original owner's sister contacted me via phone after I left a FB Messenger message. She did not promise me anything, but did say she would contact the widow of the owner and try a help get me information. This window into the past seems so strange after 40 years of not knowing a thing, information cloaked in secrecy. I have my fingers crossed. The sister said that the widow, because of her grief, has not gone through his pictures or paperwork since his death. We shall see?
Here are promised pictures provided from owner 2. Sharp eye's will notice the remote mirror in the one picture of it still orange.
James to strangers, Bentley to friends
1969 SS/RS 396 coupe Hugger Orange X22 712 owned since 79
1969 SS 350 coupe LeMans Blue 713 bought in 79(sold)
1969 D.H.COPO replica 4spd. 4.10 posi coupe Daytona Yellow 711 owned since 85

Daytona Yellow 69 Z/28

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2019, 06:09:16 PM »
That is awesome! I tried the craigs list thing several years ago hoping to find any info on my 68 SSRS 396 but came up empty.  :(

janobyte

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2019, 09:00:51 PM »
Satisfying when the story/ blanks are filled.

That car have a motor and trans?
68 Z/28  born with: 302, drive line, etc..

BULLITT65

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2019, 09:54:40 PM »
awesome Bentley. Great story. Hopefully this fuels getting the car further along 😁
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

ZLP955

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2019, 01:07:27 PM »
That flame paint job was so cool..... I love it!
Fingers crossed the original owner's widow can find more......
Q: does any of this change your plans for the car?
Tim in Australia.
1969 04A Van Nuys Z/28. Cortez Silver, Dark Blue interior, VE3 bumper, Z21, Z23, D55/U17, D80, flat hood.
Sold at Clippinger Chevrolet in Covina, CA. Ex-Racer at Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach.

ko-lek-tor

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2019, 01:21:43 PM »
Satisfying when the story/ blanks are filled.

That car have a motor and trans?
Satisfying-yes!
Then- no & yes, now- Yes & yes
James to strangers, Bentley to friends
1969 SS/RS 396 coupe Hugger Orange X22 712 owned since 79
1969 SS 350 coupe LeMans Blue 713 bought in 79(sold)
1969 D.H.COPO replica 4spd. 4.10 posi coupe Daytona Yellow 711 owned since 85

ko-lek-tor

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2019, 01:58:16 PM »
That flame paint job was so cool..... I love it!
Fingers crossed the original owner's widow can find more......
Q: does any of this change your plans for the car?
Not because it is my car, but, admittedly, I think it is the nicest flame job I have ever seen, especially on a 1st gen. Camaro. That was not why I bought the car. I bought it because that is what I could afford. Did not have a lot of money for cars as a teen. I WAS born with a silver spoon in my mouth. But when my interests turned to cars in my youth, my parents jerked that spoon away. I think they would have been happier if I had been a serial rapist ( extreme exaggeration for humorous point)! In other words, they did not want me hot rodding, working on cars (beneath the family name), or hanging out with hoodlums. My fondest memories are from this Camaro and a couple of 67 Chevelle’s (SS 396) I owned and probably why I gravitated to big block engines, although love the Sb too. The engine (396-325) was my 1st one built from scratch and , boy, did it run! It was exhilarating to drive. It was nothing fancy, just a stock 325-396. Traded for heads done by Indy Cylinder Head, used L88 cam lifters and springs, Hedman Hedders, Trantula intake, 780 holley, Accel D.P. I would take it to 7k. Never scattered it. I drove other buddy’s cars to compare, but this thing just screamed! So much, I started to get concerned (paranoia) that the cops were on the lookout for this car. So I sanded the flames off (ugh)!
Which begins to answer your question about if plans have changed?
Not really. If someone could replicate the flame job, well, yes, maybe? I would like to put it back as it was in the day. I figured that was not an option or possible. So two things, I always wanted to see how a high horse big block ran, like a 396-375 or 427-425. I acquired a lot of those pieces as a teen, but lacked the money and a few pieces to put one together. Oh, I would have, had not the Mrs. entered the picture. ( it costs a helluva lot to court a hottie...and worth it !) the car was not a high horse originally. The 375 hp block I bought way back in 80, unaware of dated parts at the time, just so happened to be a month earlier build than my car and it was a JH out of a Camaro. So my plan was to paint the car as it originally was made, build that L78 engine (it is done) and use it in this car and make the car as correct an L78 car as possible so I could see what it was like to have owned a day 1 car, since I was only 7 when this car was made. Now, if the original engine block ever surfaces, well, I would still put this 375 in the car and put the other block on a stand. The original tranny, rear & radiator are still in the car. But like you, Tim, there may be an unplanned twist to my project and who knows?
James to strangers, Bentley to friends
1969 SS/RS 396 coupe Hugger Orange X22 712 owned since 79
1969 SS 350 coupe LeMans Blue 713 bought in 79(sold)
1969 D.H.COPO replica 4spd. 4.10 posi coupe Daytona Yellow 711 owned since 85

BULLITT65

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Re: A Most Amazing Thing...
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2019, 04:34:57 PM »
Well the flame paint job, the mag wheels and the L78 would make a hell of a ride...😎
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