C R G CRG Reports Exterior Engine 1967 Model ID
Numbers Decode General Info Interior Transmission 1968 Model ID
Drivetrain Decode Options Underhood Chassis 1969 Model ID

Stories From Actual L30/M20 Owners

Long-Lost Love

I conducted a title search of my 1968 British Green L30/M20 Rally Sport Camaro in an attempt to locate some history on the car. Through a combination of a lot of detective work and pure dumb luck, I followed the paper trail from Florida to Kentucky to Virginia to Kansas to Colorado, and in the process managed to locate the original owners, Stan and Donna. Stan and Donna were able to give me a history of the car during their ownership (supplemented with the actual period photos from 1968, shown below), clarify the original configuration details with me, and present me with a much appreciated gift of the original Muncie-shifter gearshift knob that Stan had saved when he switched to a Hurst shifter.

Donna in Front Donna in Seat
Donna shows off the exterior... ...and looks great in the interior!

Stan and Donna loved this car; it was the replacement for the Corvette that Stan wanted but they couldn't justify. They got it as Stan was preparing to graduate with his Master's degree. Just married, Donna soon become pregnant, and after graduating Stan joined the Navy in order to have some control over his duty station, since the draft at that time was unavoidable for him. While Stan was in Navy training at various places, Donna drove all over the country following him around in the car with their baby girl in the back seat. Donna notes that she and the baby and the Camaro saw "twenty-five states before the baby was 9 months old." Stan ended up making the Navy a career and retired in '88 after twenty years. (Stan still does Navy consulting.)

Stan Polishing
In this vintage photo from 1968, Stan keeps the new British Green L30/M30 RallySport well polished.

During their service career the car followed them to Guam (the origins of some of the rust battled during restoration), where it survived a typhoon with nothing but a carport roof over its head, and then back to the States. By the early 1980's, the car was less used, and Donna finally talked Stan into selling it to some neighbor kids down their street. She says, only half-kiddingly, that he never forgave her for making him sell it. (Stan hated how the kids were treating it, and he could see it being abused every day.) Finally Stan and Donna moved and lost track of it. Stan still talked about the car from time-to-time, but sadly, thinking that it was probably rusting away in some field, or long since crunched by a recycling machine. The car went through seven other owners in the next 12 years and had a very tough middle life before I found it.

"Greasy Orange Small Block, With Nothing Special"

Dave Loney writes:

I just read the article on the Camaro L30/M20. I am currently and swiftly kicking myself in the rear. I purchased (and still own) my [1968] Camaro in February of 1985 from the second owners who bought it in 1972 from the original owner. When I bought the car the only things that weren't stock were the tires, 8 track under-dash tape deck, and the air cleaner, oh, and cross-flow muffler. I have a long story to tell about this car, including the strange (to me at the time) and extreme performance that it had. At one point I drag raced a 69 Mustang Mach 1 with a 390 Automatic, and ate him up. The guy forced me to show him the engine. I showed him: the stock greasy orange small block, with nothing special.

I still own the car, the reason I'm kicking myself is that it now has an aluminum-headed 461 BBC, with a TH400 and a roll cage! (I was severely bitten by the drag racing bug.) It still sports the 12-bolt Posi, along with the factory faded Posi warning sticker inside the deck lid. It has the brake proportioning valve you mentioned. I still have the original heads that were on the 327, and will double check the casting numbers. I sold the close-ratio Saginaw and threw away the 10-inch clutch assembly. The car was kept in stock form for the first two years I owned it. It really performed well! I never got to the dragstrip until 1987 and by then I had done a complete rebuild of the 327 with cam, bigger valves, etc. I'm sure it would have run a high 13.

Let me know if you would like any information on my car, I'm positive my car is one of the L30/M20 models. I remember the 10-inch clutch, and the close-ratio Saginaw, and most of all the excellent performance. If I had any idea it was all part of a "special package" I would have never modified the car.

From Nam with Love

(Paraphrased from telephone conversations with the owner, Milan Vujanich.)

Milan Vujanich's L30/M20
This original-owner 1967 Deepwater Blue RS L30/M20 still looks good!

I married before leaving for a tour of duty in Nam, leaving my newlywed wife to fend for herself. In the summer of 1966, having survived my tour, I completed duties in Japan before returning to the States. I realized that we would need new transportation when I returned to the States, and during the summer of 1966 I heard interesting things about soon-to-arrive 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. That Fall I wrote to my wife asking her to go to the Chevrolet dealership and collect as much information as she could get on the car.

I studied all the papers she mailed me, selected the options I wanted, and asked her to order a Camaro; and me without ever having even seen one in person! By the time I returned to the States the car was ready, and we took delivery of a real beauty (Deepwater Blue, RS). While stationed at Eglin AFB for three years this car was our daily driver. But in 1970 I was to be transferred to Germany and I decided to store the car rather than move it or sell it. I spent an entire week going completely over the car: draining the gas tank and removing the carburetor, putting oil in the cylinders, detailing the underside of the car to remove rust-attracting dirt and moth-balling the interior. I even went so far as to remove the bumpers, coat them with preservative, and wrap them in paper.

Four years later I returned, spent another week undoing the preservation, and it was as good as when I left. By this time the car had become a true second car, and the annual mileage became much smaller. In 1979 I decided to fully detail it for show. Today the car remains essentially as it left the factory: original paint, original spare tire. Only the tires and regular maintenance items have been replaced from when it left the factory, along with the factory air cleaner (a NOS replacement has been found) and traction bar.

Matching Chevies

Jeff Case, East Granby, CT, writes:

My father was the original purchaser of a 1968 Camaro Convertible with the following options:

L30 275 HP 327 cid engine
M20 4-speed transmission
Z87 Custom (Deluxe) Interior
N34 Sport (Wood) steering wheel
D55 center console
U17 console gauges and Tic-Toc-Tac
F41 "special performance" suspension
G80 12 bolt positraction rear end
N10 dual exhaust
Z21 Style Trim Group
ZJ9 Auxiliary Lighting
P01 Wheel Covers
Ash Gold exterior
Ivy Gold interior
White convertible top

No power steering, no A/C, no power brakes.
Sticker Price:  $3776.25

Full documentation:  original order sheet, original title,
POP, window sticker, and it remains all matching numbers.

This was the last car my father really wanted to buy. He is a retired mechanical engineer, and I still have his hand calculations of engine rpm versus road speed for different rear end ratios in each of the 4 gears. He was deciding what rear ratio to get and what transmission. He eventually got the wide ratio M20 and 3.07 gears because the car was meant for highway cruising (which it did, covering about 160,000 miles before being put into storage in 1974).

He was familiar with the Chevy dealer, having owned several new Corvairs and the 'experience' that went along with those cars. He and my mother both ordered new Chevys in 68, trading in the Corvairs. My mother got a Malibu with a 307 and automatic in Ash Gold/Ivy Gold, and my father ordered the Camaro. Boy were they surprised when they found out that they both got the same color combo. My father wanted a 'low key' performance car that was a convertible. The Camaro was definitely it, and he was waiting for the second year to make sure they had all the bugs worked out. He knew a few people at Chevrolet (having owned the Corvairs), and tried to convince them to build him a Z/28 convertible with the 275 HP 327. He didn't like the 302 since it had a reputation for throwing belts, but he wanted all the other goodies that came on it. Needless to say, they didn't build him the car. He did, however, get his hands on the available options information and he 'built' his own car. He did not get disc brakes, since they were not a production option at the time he ordered the car (dealer installed only). Also, he knew he didn't want an SS because it was too flashy with the emblems & stripes. The car was ordered on April 17, 1968 at Walt Johnson Chevrolet in Windsor Locks, CT. When he went to the dealer to order the car, they told him that many of the options he wanted were not available. In reality, the salespeople just weren't aware of the options, and once my father gave them the appropriate RPO numbers, things went pretty smooth.......until the delay. The car was not delivered until July 6, 1968. Chevrolet claimed there was a delay due to the availability of the proper rear end gears for the car. We may never know the truth.

Like I said, the car was driven about 160,000 miles and then put away in 1974 due to a noisy timing chain. Luckily, grandma lived about 10 miles away and had a free bay in her garage. My father doesn't really know why he decided to save the car, except he says it was the last car that he really wanted and he felt somewhat connected to the car, having special ordered it. Luckily he saved it. When I was a kid, every trip to grandma's included checking on the Camaro and sitting in the driver's seat making cool engine noises. I am in the middle of a complete restoration. All mechanicals are done, and the body is almost ready for paint.

I have attached a picture of the car taken on July 6, 1968. The young lady in the picture is my mother, about 3 months pregnant with me. My father is barely visible leaning in the driver's side window.

The Case Family L30/M20 in 1968.
(click on the image to expand it)
Jeff Case incognito

I hope you enjoyed the little anecdote. Let me know if you have any questions. Dad's 75 years old now, but he still loves the Camaro and the stories behind it.


 CRG Home  Previous/Back
CSS Validated XHTML 1.0 Validated!