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Old 26-04-2009, 06:14 PM
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BlackoutSteve BlackoutSteve is offline
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Blackout

It seems most of you guys have threads on your build ups, so I guess I better join in on the fun.
It's a long story going back to 1992 when I bought the car.. I guess that's where I'll start, and bring it up to speed over the next few weeks..

1992. This is the basket case I bought. The only 1969 Camaro I had been able to find and was in the Trading Post as an unfinished project. (7s & 8s were evrywhere it seemed, but I much prefer 9s even if the dash is a b!tch to convert.)



The steering conversion was just plain wrong, the dash was a total mess, the firewall was a hack-job, the 454 dropped a valve after about 1000 miles, the th350 was scrapped within, and there was more filler in it that you could imagine.. I had no idea what I was about to get myself into. I paid a tad over $10K for it back then.





The huge amount of things wrong with this car is why I'm more the purist and not a fan of modifications. Rarely I see good ones.
So, my goal with the steering conversion on this car was naturally to make it look as though GM made this Camaro a factory RHD. But that's a long while later..

I was recently able to get in touch with the previous owner in California from details on the pink-slip. She told me she had "adopted" the Camaro after it had been stolen, and was found in a paddock with no transmission. She sent me a pic, circa 1983 after she got it running and was driving it for a couple of years. She had named it "Maybe".



Not the original green either. The original was Frost Green which is a lighter metallic green.
This is an example of the original Frost Green.
Yep, I prefer Tuxedo Black.

Last edited by BlackoutSteve; 26-04-2009 at 06:27 PM..
  #2  
Old 26-04-2009, 06:21 PM
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Awsome Steve. I like to here the story behind the build, good luck.

Greg
  #3  
Old 26-04-2009, 06:46 PM
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G'day Steve
I never knew you actually bought that car that way, she certainly has got some history behind her & plenty more to come.
Mick.
  #4  
Old 26-04-2009, 09:55 PM
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AUSCAMARO AUSCAMARO is offline
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Be nice to be able to pick one of these up for $10g's nowa days!!

Looking forward to reading the whole story Steve.

Mitch
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  #5  
Old 27-04-2009, 10:57 AM
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Steve awesome story I love the history of these cars. We need a look at some latest and greatest pics of your car we haven't seen too many yet
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  #6  
Old 27-04-2009, 01:54 PM
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WOW... that's cool that you tracked the owner down. we had to try and track down the previous owners of my one cos I needed to obtain a title for it and perform a lien sale ... Both previous owners were deceased.
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Meh.....
  #7  
Old 27-04-2009, 06:46 PM
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Twisted67 Twisted67 is offline
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Isnt There A Site In The Us That You Can Put Your Vin Into And You Can Trace The History Of The Car??????

Great Story By The Way Steve!!!
  #8  
Old 27-04-2009, 06:48 PM
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BlackoutSteve BlackoutSteve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RANDA67 View Post
Isnt There A Site In The Us That You Can Put Your Vin Into And You Can Trace The History Of The Car??????

Great Story By The Way Steve!!!
Thanks!

Only for Canadian-sold cars to the best of my knowledge..
  #9  
Old 27-04-2009, 06:50 PM
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Great story Steve,
was wondering when you where gonna put some pics up.. oh yeah cheers for the tip of just snipe on e-bay, worked a treat n got my mate a set of gonzo's for his torana
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68 Camaro, Long term Work in Progress
  #10  
Old 28-04-2009, 09:03 PM
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BlackoutSteve BlackoutSteve is offline
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Plain Janes are kinda cool. If this was a genuine SS 396/L78 or something collectable and worth good money, I would have returned the car to LHD. In fact, it would have been much easier.
So, being a no-options car, I haven't felt worried about the modifications required to do the steering conversion.
On the other-hand, the idea of cutting for wheel tubs simply makes me cringe.

The trim tag shows that it was a V8 (327) (and floorpan shows it was a floorshift auto -with console) from the Van Nuys plant in Los Angeles.
Medium green standard interior, Frost Green paint (no vinyl roof) and built during the 3rd week of November 1968.
The "L492" is just a Fisher sequencing code or something and doesn't relate to any options on the car.(You may also note there are no "X codes" either. X-codes are only on Norwood, Ohio built Camaros built from Dec68.)

No other options can be confirmed except the car came with the larger 1-1/8" diamater drag link, which makes me feel it had power steering. Both big & small block cars are found with this diameter link.
Drum brakes for sure and I expect that they were manual.
It's also a pity the firewall was so cut up by the time I showed up, because they offer quite a few clues. See UPC0-A9 of your factory assembly manuals!



Some bone-head (me) ruined the trim tag in a careless attempt to drill out the rivets that held it in place. I decided that I didn't want to use this tag on my resto, and that I would do the unthinkable according to the purists of the hobby...

Have a new tag made.

...now with Tuxedo Black paint code and standard black interior.


What the hell. It's just a plain Jane and I'm obviously not hiding the fact that I did it by showing everyone on an internet forum. I'm just having some fun.

Neat huh? ..BUT IT'S A FAKE!!

Last edited by BlackoutSteve; 10-11-2014 at 09:49 PM.. Reason: re hosting lost images
  #11  
Old 27-04-2009, 06:47 PM
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BlackoutSteve BlackoutSteve is offline
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Tracking down Corina, who was the last US owner, was quite easy for me.. Like I said, I have all her name and address on the pink-slip.
However, because she doesn't live there anymore, I was lucky that her name and suburb came up in a Yahoo! internet search.
She has her own website dedicated to native Americans Indians (because she is partly Cherokee I think).
Anyway, she is great to talk to and was really flipped out to learn her old Camaro was being looked after here in Australia and under-going restoration.

"Maybe" was bought from Corina on the 4th of June 1989 for just US$1350 by Kosta Skliros of Wantirna here in Melbourne.. (Does that name ring a bell?)
Also, if any of you know Con Manzaris, (think Street Rod registration) he imported the car from California.

Last edited by BlackoutSteve; 27-04-2009 at 06:51 PM..
  #12  
Old 29-04-2009, 10:56 AM
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wheel tubs make me think 315 rubber, YES PLEASE!!
  #13  
Old 01-05-2009, 11:27 AM
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man you know your stuff
  #14  
Old 01-05-2009, 07:31 PM
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BlackoutSteve BlackoutSteve is offline
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I started the resto in 2002. I was only supposed to fix a few things like the dash ducting, and improve the subframe conversion, but as you all know, one thing lead to another and before i knew it, the Camaro was spinning on a rotisserie.

First up was to improve the subframe conversion which I felt was beyond improving.. So, I returned it to LHD using some doner parts and sold it.
The new subframe just happened to be in an online mate's backyard in Arizona.
My good friend Jim delivered it for me for free to Ventura CA so Pete could bring it here.. (Yes, I insisted on slinging him some cashola for his troubles)
Here it is in Ventura, waiting to be loaded into the container.


I knew it was slightly bent, but only out by about a 1/4" or so on the front "horns". Diagonals were pretty good, but some tweeking was required.
No biggy.. I bolted it and the crane to the floor and used a pully to tension the frame in the direction I wanted it to move, then a few taps with Sister Sledge.. I used a cable ratchet to pull the frame so it's diagonal measurements are now within 1/4".
Looks brutal, but it did the trick nicely.


I made a jig for the subframe to do the conversion on using the factory dimensions and a very straight, borrowed subframe. Forget plumb-bobs and spirit levels! A jig will allow me to transfer holes from oneside to the other with plenty of accuracy.


This pic shows the steering box section (cut from a bent Australian delivery Pontiac Parisienne subframe) being located (very accurately) on the right side.


An almost finished top view..


..side views.




Home from the blasters..


..and primer, ready for paint..



Last edited by BlackoutSteve; 10-11-2014 at 09:52 PM..
  #15  
Old 01-05-2009, 08:12 PM
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AUSCAMARO AUSCAMARO is offline
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Very nice work Steve... Very neat indeed.
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