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  1. #1
    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    Has anybody restored a car?

    Specifically a 67-69 Camaro or Firebird? It's been in the back of my mind lately to do this. During high school, my dad bought a '65 Corvette race car that was just a chassis, a modded body and boxes of parts. It was about $6800, then he spent countless weekends scouring swapmeets for the rest of the parts...all told, it was probably $15,000. He restored it over the course of 2 years to a stock looking daily driver. He put in a new 350 Chevy small block, new transmission, and ended up putting over 250K miles on it before it needed another body-off resto...he opted to sell it for $35,000 and got something "worry-free".

    I've always loved the old Camaro's, and like muscle cars in general. I drive a 2 seater right now, but with a wife and two kids, I'd like the option to take 'Dad's Car' when we go places so we're not always in her Pathfinder.

    I've asked my Dad, but he's of the mind that I shouldn't do it, 'cause he did it, and wouldn't do it again...so I shouldn't even bother.

    Any thoughts or words of wisdom?

  2. #2
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    There is a company in Dallas that is making Camaro subframes brand new and bringing in sheetmetal from overseas and basically building brand new 1969 Camaros. Cannot remember the name. May be the same company that makes the Eleanor Mustang replicas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  3. #3
    <>< SoonerBent's Avatar
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    I've never had a 60s Camaro of Firebird but I have done a 68 LeMans and a couple of early 70s Chevy trucks. All were 20 years ago or so. It would be much easier to do now as far as finding parts goes. Much more expensive, but easier. Places like yearone.com pretty much have everything reproduced to build a 60s muscle car from the ground up. But not cheap.

  4. #4
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    It takes a special breed of people to restore older cars and deal with the car's peculiarities. I know I'm not the type, and rather purchase (for example) a new Corvette than try to keep and restore an older one.

  5. #5
    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
    It takes a special breed of people to restore older cars and deal with the car's peculiarities. I know I'm not the type, and rather purchase (for example) a new Corvette than try to keep and restore an older one.
    I'm in a '99 Vette right now...it's got it's own set of peculiarities...

    Every so often I wish I could just get a bare-bones, computerless, carburated, small block. Restoring one would mean that I know what's wrong with it when it goes wrong.

    Example: C5 corvettes had a nasty habit of locking your steering column while at speed...something in the BCM was telling the locking solenoid to engage. GM recalled all C5 corvettes, but instead of fixing the problem, they installed a relay that told the computer to shut off fuel if you're above 2 miles per hour.

    So...some genius made a Column Lock Bypass relay that means that the locking solenoid can't actually lock the column...but said genius hasn't found out a way to have the fuel not shutoff.

    So...I'll be parked on the street, about to pull into traffic, and my fuel will shutoff with me 1/2 into the lane with cars screaming up to me...In a panic I'll remove the key, restart the car and haul ass (this works about 80% of the time)...going to www.corvetteforum.com has led me nowhere.

    Nice and simple is what intrigues me at the moment. I'm sure my mind will change in a few days.

  6. #6
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    There is a company in Dallas that is making Camaro subframes brand new and bringing in sheetmetal from overseas and basically building brand new 1969 Camaros. Cannot remember the name. May be the same company that makes the Eleanor Mustang replicas.
    Year One!! http://www.yearone.com/

    and if you even think of doing this,just think of the most complicated,costly,time consuming Revell Model Kit you ever thought of putting together!!

  7. #7
    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    ...without directions or the right tools, right?


    I'm actually surprised nobody's come forth saying what an idiotic idea it is.

  8. #8
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mo'Phat View Post
    ...without directions or the right tools, right?


    I'm actually surprised nobody's come forth saying what an idiotic idea it is.
    Well of course its an idiotic idea...that's what makes it fun.

  9. #9
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    Not an idiotic idea at all...if one picked the "Right" Camaro (Numbers Matching 69 DZ 302 Z28/RS for example,If you can find one) and spent 5 years,$40,000 and did it correctly you would have a Camaro worth $100,000!!!

    Like this one...

    Last edited by The Figment; 08-03-07 at 12:26 PM.

  10. #10
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    My first car was a '69 Camaro. I shoulda kicked myself in the arse for getting rid of it. Prolly be worth ten times what I paid for it now.

  11. #11
    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Figment View Post
    Not an idiotic idea at all...if one picked the "Right" Camaro (Numbers Matching 69 DZ 302 Z28/RS for example,If you can find one) and spent 5 years,$40,000 and did it correctly you would have a Camaro worth $100,000!!!
    But I'd drive the piss out of it, depreciating its value every mile...with a huge smile on my face.

  12. #12
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    In Dodge City Ks. there is a shop that I deliver Parts to...The owner has a Stock Original 1969 DZ 302 Z28 4-Speed with 31,600 miles!!! Plum Purple/Red with White SS Stripes,Stock Hirise Hood,Factory 4-Wheel Disc Brakes,Original Window Stickers ...It has ALL the Goodies!! I Drool like a Fool every time I walk in the shop!!!

  13. #13
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mo'Phat View Post
    But I'd drive the piss out of it, depreciating its value every mile...with a huge smile on my face.
    The Year One Camaro is the one for you....

    Body Shell (with 2008 regie #'s)
    572 CI Crate Motor
    M-22 RockCrusher
    12 Bolt 4.11 Rear End
    Paint of your choosing
    "SuperCar" Running Gear (Make it handle like a slot car)

    This is an 2008 Year One....



    As is this one....

    Last edited by The Figment; 08-03-07 at 12:46 PM.

  14. #14
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    If you're looking for an investment, forget about it, unless you find a really good deal or something rare, you'll probably lose money when or if you decide to sell.

    But if you're looking to have fun restoring it, have the money to spend on parts ($$$), love these cars like me and you're mechanically inclined, go for it, almost anything having to do with these old cars can be learned through reading, online forums, or just talking to guys at a swap meet.
    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    Cheating: a symptom of the problem.

  15. #15
    Senior Moment Member Gee3's Avatar
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    I've had two '69's. A stock 350 that I stupidly crashed and an RS/SS w/a 396ci (non-matching #'s). I loved both cars and I'd love to get another one one day. That or a '55 Chevy!

    Why not find a '69 Camaro shell and dump the motor of the current Vette you have into it! That would be pretty cool Although you'd probably want to modify the suspension.

    As for restoring a car... I never did it but trying to do the upkeep on my own camaro's got costly for good quality repro parts. I'd love to do it one day but at this point in my life I don't have the $$ or the time. And believe me, a good quality restoration costs bank!! even if you do a lot yourself.

    sometimes finding an already restored car is hceaper than doing it yourself. But people that restore cars are of a different breed. They don't care so much about the $$ as much as they do for the actual tear down and build up of the cars. But it would certainly be something I'd be proud to say I did!

    For instance, I see cars up for auction at Barrett-Jackson and the commentators mention that the resto cost the owner over $100k... but the car sold for about $50-60k...

    Then again, if you rstore it and plan to keep it and use it yourself, it may be worth the time and $$ to do it. And maybe you can convince your dad to help you and light his restoration fire again!

    Good luck on whatever you decide!
    This day will be over... one of these days!

    "I have cancer, cancer doesn't have me."
    Quote from a Kaiser commercial that reminds me of my mom.

  16. #16
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Figment View Post
    Year One!! http://www.yearone.com/

    and if you even think of doing this,just think of the most complicated,costly,time consuming Revell Model Kit you ever thought of putting together!!
    No, they company I am thinking of sell turnkey cars, I think it is Unique Performance, but not sure of that fact. I am just not sure if Unique is rehabbing old cars or making complete new cars.

    http://www.uniqueperformance.com/
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  17. #17
    Senior Member tt1106's Avatar
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    Restored a '67 and '68 mustang. Worked on a 67 Camaro and a 69 Firebird. I agree with the poster above, usually the cost of the restoration far exceeds what you may be able to get out of it.

  18. #18
    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody...as for right now, it's a pie-in-the-sky idea I have with a sense that both my kids are going to be out of carseats in a few years. It'd be nice to take both kids to a game or the beach and not have to strand my wife at home with the Vette.

    (I know...she's 5'-0", can't see past the huge nose too well, and quite frankly, drives a stick about as well as I can work a sewing machine...sorry for the sexism...but it's true, I can't sew at all)

    I like the aura of certain cars. Vette's and classic Camaros have the same aura, and there's just nothing out there that has got 'that'.

  19. #19
    Senior Member BigSean's Avatar
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    Not a bad idea to find and restore. However the cost of the 60's Camaro is high, even for a rough car. But if ya are patient, shop around, you may just find an old lady original. Maybe even for a good price. The good news is finding parts is not a problem. If ya are willing to devote the time Id say go for it.

  20. #20
    B(.)(.)BS badfishgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerseysbest View Post
    If you're looking for an investment, forget about it, unless you find a really good deal or something rare, you'll probably lose money when or if you decide to sell.

    But if you're looking to have fun restoring it, have the money to spend on parts ($$$), love these cars like me and you're mechanically inclined, go for it, almost anything having to do with these old cars can be learned through reading, online forums, or just talking to guys at a swap meet.

    +1
    Shallow genius, deep idiot.

  21. #21
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    I did a 69 El Camino back in 1986. Everything I could possible want was found in the mid-size city I lived in. Also went to Hershey, PA for hard to find parts but I was looking for the authentic parts there. You can buy every after market part available through catalogs here in the States. Original parts are a different story. If you are looking for anything just to make a car look good, then no problem with catalogs. If you want a true original showroom stocker, then the parts are a little more difficult to obtain. Watch the Barretts Auto auctions on TV and you will see that they are all showroom condition. That is where the class is.

    I put untold hours in scouting for parts. Many Saturdays were dawn to dusk wrenchin'. Would I do it over again?

    Well, All that work went into that car and one day I was behind a stopped School Bus waiting for the kids to get off, and some blind idiot ran right into the back of me. Totalled out the El Camino in a split second. I sold it for junk.

  22. #22
    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfin2004 View Post
    I did a 69 El Camino back in 1986. Everything I could possible want was found in the mid-size city I lived in. Also went to Hershey, PA for hard to find parts but I was looking for the authentic parts there. You can buy every after market part available through catalogs here in the States. Original parts are a different story. If you are looking for anything just to make a car look good, then no problem with catalogs. If you want a true original showroom stocker, then the parts are a little more difficult to obtain. Watch the Barretts Auto auctions on TV and you will see that they are all showroom condition. That is where the class is.

    I put untold hours in scouting for parts. Many Saturdays were dawn to dusk wrenchin'. Would I do it over again?


    Well, All that work went into that car and one day I was behind a stopped School Bus waiting for the kids to get off, and some blind idiot ran right into the back of me. Totalled out the El Camino in a split second. I sold it for junk.
    Up until this point I was thinking, "What a neat story!" but DAMN! That sucks, and I know everybody probably told you that it was a good thing you were alive and a car is just a car...but screw those people. Sometimes a car is more than just a car.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mo'Phat View Post
    Up until this point I was thinking, "What a neat story!" but DAMN! That sucks, and I know everybody probably told you that it was a good thing you were alive and a car is just a car...but screw those people. Sometimes a car is more than just a car.
    I've lost two cars that way, both restored with historic tags. Both rear ended by uninsured drivers, both totaled, both have judgments against them in civil court still to this day, I never got a penny out of either of them. They weren't chevy's though, I like mopar iron myself.

  24. #24
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okpik View Post
    I've lost two cars that way, both restored with historic tags. Both rear ended by uninsured drivers, both totaled, both have judgments against them in civil court still to this day, I never got a penny out of either of them. They weren't chevy's though, I like mopar iron myself.
    One of them wan't this car, was it?

    http://www.1962to1965mopar.ornocar.com/mmo600.html

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    One of them wan't this car, was it?

    http://www.1962to1965mopar.ornocar.com/mmo600.html
    nope, but not too far off, purple 68 cuda fastback with a 383 and a 4 spd, other one was a fairly valuable and rare 68 cuda 340s, and I had quite a few others but those were the only two restored and left completely stock

    not too practical these days to own with suitable fuel being like $6-$8 per gallon, but I miss them anyway

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