Author Topic: They Never built it #2  (Read 11372 times)

David K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1121
  • Dr. Longblock
    • View Profile
They Never built it #2
« on: April 26, 2022, 04:03:52 AM »
Many of you know this car because of the number of magazines it has been featured in. The 68 Pete Estes Z28 convertible. Back in the late 1990’s, the current owner was supposed to be at the International Camaro Club annual show in the Poconos. He had a trailer issue but finally made it on Sunday around 4pm. I think his name was Milt Robson. Nice guy, and let anyone left there gawk, ask questions, take photos, etc. Anyway, as I burned up my last roll of film, someone asked him to put the top down. He didn’t know how, so I showed him how to drop it and fold the back window so it doesn’t crease. Anyway, apparently this car has traded hands quite a few times, but I found some erroneous info in every article I read. Every article states a cross ram setup, but it didn’t have one back then. Loaded-yes. Pretty-yes. Coolest Z ever? No question about it. And you have to lose the triple groove pulley—(Got one on my 68 250 cubed engine). A slightly blurred line here? Yes. Attached are pictures of the car, hood, but clearly a single carb with the wacky ducted hood with the cross ram air cleaner on top. It is what it is, but when I found my pictures I wanted to share.

David K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1121
  • Dr. Longblock
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2022, 04:04:37 AM »
Hood

David K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1121
  • Dr. Longblock
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2022, 04:05:56 AM »
Rear window defrost

David K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1121
  • Dr. Longblock
    • View Profile
They Never built it #2- 68 Z28
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2022, 04:08:20 AM »
Back seat

firstgenaddict

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2882
  • caretaker of 1971 LT1's 11130 & 21783
    • View Profile
    • Groome Family Automobiles
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2022, 01:14:16 PM »
Wow white deluxe with power windows... that is a killer color combo and white interiors are rare.
James
Collectin' Camaro's since "Only Rednecks drove them"
Current caretaker of 1971 LT1's - 11130 and 21783 Check out the Black 69 RS/Z28 45k mile Survivor and the Lemans Blue 69 Z 10D frame off...
https://plus.google.com/photos/112392262205377424364/albums?banner=pwa

william

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3116
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2022, 10:41:35 PM »
Dealer paperwork. Sold 12/17/68 for $3124.35
Learning more and more about less and less...

Gars68Tux

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2022, 05:05:17 AM »
So, when was the crossram (dual carbs) added, late 69 model year, I guess? When the cowl induction hood became available.

Did Mr. Estes pick the options or did someone else choose what they thought he needed? :)

Thanks for sharing.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2022, 05:29:43 AM by Gars68Tux »
Garth

68 RS L30 AA 749 Fred Gibb Chevrolet

MO

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1120
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2022, 05:26:32 AM »
GM Chief's 1968 Camaro Z/28 Convertible
This is the only 1968 Camaro Z/28 convertible ever built.
In the 1960s, General Motors executives had some big perks Each of the GM divisions was run by a general manager who had lots of power. These men were able to drive cars—often special models—kept in the Executive Garage.

Pete Estes was general manager of Chevy. He liked convertibles. In 1968, Chevy performance guru Vince Piggins had a Camaro Z/28 convertible put together for Estes. Today, this car is owned by auctioneer Dana Mecum.

Piggins was trying to win approval on special performance parts he wanted to use in the SCCA’s Trans-Am racing series. He built a Camaro ragtop, added the special parts and put it in the Executive Garage knowing Estes would try it out and OK the parts as production options, making them legal for racing.

The Camaro convertible was ordered through the Fleet Special Order Department and assembled at GM’s Norwood, Ohio, plant on July 15, 1968. It was the only ’68 Z/28 convertible built. The car was loaded with extras. It did not originally carry the performance options. They were added when the car was taken from the Executive Garage and sent to the GM Tech Center. Then, it was taken back to the Executive Garage and made available for Estes to use.

The car was finished in dark Fathom Green and had a folding rear seat, auxiliary console-mounted instrumentation, auxiliary lighting, power windows, a remote outside rearview mirror, custom seat belts, a blue light AM/FM stereo system, a rear window defroster, a Comfortilt steering wheel and posi-traction. The racing parts included 4-wheel disc brakes, a performance suspension package with Koni shocks, a cowl plenum fiberglass hood (a prototype of the ’69 Camaro fiberglass hood), a cross-ram intake and tube headers.

Estes liked the Z/28 convertible and drove it frequently, but it belonged to GM. Towards the end of 1968, it was taken back to the GM Tech Center and the racing parts were removed. On Dec. 17, 1968 Bill Markley Chevrolet—located near the GM Building in Detroit—sold the ragtop to T.H. Standen, a GM worker. Two years later, Standen sold the car to Vern Nye, another GM employee.

Vern Nye held onto the car for nearly 20 years. Next, Dana Mecum bought the car for the first time. It then went through a series of owners and had different work done to it. Around 2004, the car wound up back with Dana Mecum.


Gars68Tux

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2022, 05:40:43 AM »
Thanks for the history. I knew some of that, but nothing about the "racing parts". Interesting!

I thought it was British Green?

Much appreciated!
« Last Edit: April 27, 2022, 06:14:55 AM by Gars68Tux »
Garth

68 RS L30 AA 749 Fred Gibb Chevrolet

Petes L48

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 789
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2022, 03:45:56 PM »
Must be the only convertible with a factory UPC U03 tri-volume/low note horn?  Wasn't that normally a coupe only option? 

william

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3116
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2022, 05:07:24 PM »

Piggins was trying to win approval on special performance parts he wanted to use in the SCCA’s Trans-Am racing series. He built a Camaro ragtop, added the special parts and put it in the Executive Garage knowing Estes would try it out and OK the parts as production options, making them legal for racing.


That version has been repeated so often it is accepted as fact.

The chronology of the concept, design, development and availability of the cross-ram intake and Corvette 4-wheel disc brakes is available in an excellent book written by Wayne Guinn “Camaro Untold Secrets” written many years ago.

Development work on 4 wheel discs began very early in 1968 as evidenced by several Chevrolet engineering drawings dated January 1968. It was released as an off-road part March 1968.

Development work on the cross-ram intake began late in 1967. Documents discussing a dyno comparison between the stock 1 x 4 system and a fabricated 2 x 4 system are dated August 8, 1967. The earliest production-type manifolds had casting dates of October 21, 1967. The cross-ram was released at the same time as the 4-wheel disc brake option; the instruction sheet is dated March 20, 1968. 

Both of these new systems were featured in the May 1968 Hot Rod magazine in an article titled "Just For Fun: 68 1/2 Chevys". Car & Driver tested a cross-ram/JL8 '68 Z/28 in the July '68 issue. Magazine lead times were about 3 months so these events took place around March 1968. 

There is no way this car, built 4 months AFTER the release of 4 wheel discs and the cross-ram had anything to do with them. It was retrofitted with a cross-ram and 4 wheel discs for display at race tracks hosting T/A races later in ’68. That equipment was not on the car when it was sold December 17, 1968.

Body tag indicates the car was built British Green, white convertible top, white custom interior. Should have a white top boot.
Learning more and more about less and less...

Hans L

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2022, 09:17:45 PM »
I was an intern at GM at the Warren Tech Center back in 1991.  The Tech Center News published the following about the Estes '68 Z/28.   Note the comments about the cross-ram being removed before it was sold to the public.  Enjoy the read.

https://www.instagram.com/69camarorsz28/
'69 Camaro RS Z/28 Van Nuys Built
'69 Chevelle SS 396 4 Speed

Gars68Tux

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2022, 07:44:25 AM »
Hans, William, Thanks

Must be the only convertible with a factory UPC U03 tri-volume/low note horn?  Wasn't that normally a coupe only option? 

What gives you that impression?  The White Book doesn't specify, which it usually does with certain options.

Garth

68 RS L30 AA 749 Fred Gibb Chevrolet

Petes L48

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 789
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2022, 08:27:15 PM »
Hans, William, Thanks

Must be the only convertible with a factory UPC U03 tri-volume/low note horn?  Wasn't that normally a coupe only option? 

What gives you that impression?  The White Book doesn't specify, which it usually does with certain options.



The RPO Spreadsheet has a note for UPC U03, in the right side "Requires" column, that indicates "Coupe" as a requirement, and in the "N/A With" column it lists 12x67 convertible body. I know for where they mounted the third horn for 67 in the left fender, the convertible ballast was in the way and thus the reason.  Not sure why the case in 68, since they moved the third horn location out of the left fender, per the AIM.  And of course the U03 option wasn't available in 69. 

Also I recalled Ed's post #4 in this old thread.   
http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=16151.msg145662#msg145662
 

Gars68Tux

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: They Never built it #2
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2022, 08:48:40 PM »
Hans, William, Thanks

Must be the only convertible with a factory UPC U03 tri-volume/low note horn?  Wasn't that normally a coupe only option? 

What gives you that impression?  The White Book doesn't specify, which it usually does with certain options.



The RPO Spreadsheet has a note for UPC U03, in the right side "Requires" column, that indicates "Coupe" as a requirement, and in the "N/A With" column it lists 12x67 convertible body. I know for where they mounted the third horn for 67 in the left fender, the convertible ballast was in the way and thus the reason.  Not sure why the case in 68, since they moved the third horn location out of the left fender, per the AIM.  And of course the U03 option wasn't available in 69. 

Also I recalled Ed's post #4 in this old thread.   
http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=16151.msg145662#msg145662
 

Ah, I see. The White Book for 67 does say "coupe only". But not for 68.
Garth

68 RS L30 AA 749 Fred Gibb Chevrolet