Frame Up Restored Camaro RS/SS 396/375 HP 4 Speed
If youve been paying attention to the market and to our inventory, youd know that early Camaros are red hot right now, and none more so than the 1969 models. Of course, cars like the COPOs and Yenkos are out of reach for most mere mortals who work for a living, and even the Z/28s are closing in on six figures. For the moment, the big block SS396 cars seem to be where the smart money is goingtheyre still affordable and the best ones will definitely be highly-sought in the not too distant future. Fun to drive and dead-nuts reliable, cars like this RS/SS 396 are outstanding hobby cars that can be driven and enjoyed regularly without worrying about hurting their value.
When you say 1969 Camaro, this is probably the car most guys think ofa Hugger Orange SS. Nicely restored, it shows extremely well today. New sheet metal was used wherever necessary, and on a Camaro of this vintage, its always better to use the new stuff than to try to salvage the original steel with patches. The result is a tight-fitting body with great gaps and exceptional panel alignment, and it feels like a new car going down the road. Two-stage urethane was used to replicate the original code 72 Hugger Orange, which gets its name from advertising of the time that claimed the Camaro hugs the road. Black hockey stick stripes were replicated as well, tying in beautifully with the black vinyl roof, which prevents this car from being too much orange. As an SS396, the rear valence was blacked out as it was originally, and the RS package added those cool concealed headlights, which are fully functional. The work was finished in November of 2010, so everything is factory fresh and ready to show this summer.
Chrome bumpers were part of the package, and those on this car have been restored to better-than-new condition along with the rest of the trim. This car carries optional items like the gill trim ahead of the rear wheels, as well as polished wheel lip moldings. Correct 396 badges have been installed on the front fenders, along with SS badges fore and aft. The hood trim, which was designed to resemble carburetor velocity stacks, is a nice touch and more desirable than the ubiquitous cowl-induction hoods that end up on so many of these cars. The vinyl top has been expertly installed with no wrinkles or bubbles, and the metal underneath is rust-free and clean, so there are no surprises.
Under the hood youll find a date-coded L78 396 cubic inch V8 featuring a correct JH block. Making 375 horsepower, it delivers stunning acceleration and the solid lifter camshaft cackles at idle and revs like a race piece. The engine bay is finished for show, with correct details everywhere you look, from the big things like correct air cleaner and intake, to the littlest details like the hose clamps and large diameter pulley on the alternator. For authenticity, the exhaust manifolds were left raw cast iron and look the way they might have the day the car rolled off the transporter at the dealership. Markings, like the shift stamps on the firewall and decals on the radiator cradle, are all accurate reproductions of the originals. A reproduction Delco battery topper looks much more authentic than a parts store battery would in this exceptional engine compartment, and the bottle for the overflow is still bright and clean. This car has been driven only test and tune miles since it was completed, and runs as it should. And be warnedthe L78 wasnt available with power steering, so this is definitely not your mothers grocery getter.
A Muncie M21 4-speed manual lives behind the big block, reinforcing this cars all-business attitude. Out back, theres a rugged 12-bolt full of 3.73 gears that can easily withstand the big blocks prodigious torque output, and uses a Positraction unit to plant as much power as the bias-ply OEM-style Goodyears will allow. The floors were replaced during the restoration, and like the quarters, the new stuff is so good theres just no reason not to use it. An accurate reproduction exhaust system with transverse muffler has been installed and sounds exactly right, not too loud and not too quiet. The power front disc brakes have been rebuilt and include new lines and hoses, and all the suspension bits have been replaced, including the correctly marked shocks. Speaking of markings, the entire chassis features correct tags and assembly line markings, so while youre under there admiring the view, be sure to give a nod to the guys doing the research, too. In back, a new gas tank has been installed for trouble-free motoring now and in the future. Rounding out this exceptional chassis is a set of 14-inch Rally wheels wearing G70-14 Goodyear Polyglas tires.
Chevrolet was hitting on all eight cylinders when it came to the interior of this Camaro, which has been brilliantly restored in OEM-style houndstooth cloth. Original a standard black interior, this car was upgraded during the restoration, and the choice was a good one. New foam was installed under the fresh seat covers, making these seats all-day comfortable and keeping the fabric taut. In back, the original bench was re-covered to match. New carpets and a fresh headliner are correct, and the dash is full of original gauges that are all 100% functional and have a nice patina. A gorgeous rosewood steering wheel has been installed, and it exactly matches the woodgrain on the dash and console, which was a running change during 1969 Camaro production. The original AM radio remains in the dash, and the seatbelts were restored. Under the deck lid, youll find a correct mat, full-sized spare, and a complete jack assembly.
Here at RK Motors Charlotte, weve gotten pretty good at spotting trends. Of course, 1969 Camaros have always been popular, but now that Z/28s are edging towards the six-figure barrier, we expect the market will move on these big block cars next. This is a beautifully restored, highly accurate example that has been thoughtfully upgraded with period-correct options. Its the kind of car you can show and drive and your investment will remain safe. As a rare RS/SS in a killer color like Hugger Orange, it has wide appeal, and that is the foundation of any valuable hobby car. If youve been looking for a great Camaro to park in your garage, we respectfully submit this gorgeous L78 coupe. Call now!
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What Customers Are Saying
RK Motors, in my opinion, is the best place to find and buy your high quality dream car or next toy. Their inventory is full of high quality automobiles painstakingly preserved or restored the correct way at very fair prices. I throughly enjoy my automobiles purchased for RK Motors and my friendship with them. I would highly recommend them to anyone as i have to all of my friend, acquaintances and folks who have asked me for recommendations and advice.Mitchell W.