There’s little more exciting than a new project for us to get stuck into, particularly if the project in question is a little left field, something which can definitely be said of our latest undertaking – this ’68 Chevrolet Camaro. It’s a car we’re looking forward to getting to work on, not least as it marks the first time Retropower has taken on the fully build of a US muscle car, and we’re sure we’ll be able to do the ’60s GM icon justice.
You might be well versed in the minutiae of muscle car history already, but just in case you’re not, we thought we’d spend a little time looking at what we’ve actually got here, a first generation Camaro from 1968. This places our car squarely in the middle of the first gen lineage, production having begun in 1966 and ceasing in 1969. Arguably one of the most important American cars of all time (and easily among the most iconic muscle cars full stop), the Camaro sold like the proverbial hot cakes, and while never quite as successful as its arch rival from Ford, it remained in production in various guises until the end of the 20th century. It has of course been ‘rebooted’ since.
This particular car comes to us fresh from a light restoration in its native USA, and while we’re generally sceptical of taking on the work of others, careful inspection has revealed it to be a job well done. We’ve yet to decide whether or not it warrants our usual modus operandi – a strip down to bare metal, various blasting stages, prep and a fresh coat of paint, but we’ll certainly be stripping to down to a rolling shell. Camaros were never exactly the best of cars in terms of rust proofing, and while we’ll not be going to extremes in this regard (mainly as the car will spend the vast majority of its time in southern Spain), we will be applying a layer of Waxoyl to various cavities and water traps.
This will be a restomod build, meaning it will ultimately deviate from standard Chevy specification in a number of key ways. Some will be subtle, others markedly less so, the owner’s choice of engine the most obvious instance of this; we’ll be hauling out the small block currently occupying the space between the front wings and replacing it with, you guessed it, an LS3. It’s a more capable engine, well supported by a massive aftermarket scene, and most importantly of all, the owner loves ’em!
This is obviously a project in its very, very early stages, so much so that we’ve yet to have the car dropped off at Retropower. Still, it promises to be an interesting build and one worth following if you like your cars loud, proud and V8-powered.