By 1969, General Motors knew the Camaro was a slam-dunk success. They didn't want to mess too much with it, but did perform some smart upgrades to keep their pony car ahead of the pack, as well as to keep customers interested until the all-new 1970 models could be rolled out. With no fewer than 14 engine choices, hundreds of different options, and several trim levels, it was easy to spec a Camaro to your liking. This beautiful Fathom Green SS396 is a perfect example of the Camaros multiple personalities elegant, yet ferociously powerful, and loaded with great options to create a brilliant cruiser you'll enjoy every time you pull it out of the garage.
Fathom Green might be my personal favorite Camaro color. Not flashy, but elegant and you can spend a lot of time getting to know the color. With a gold base, it has great depth, especially when it is created using modern 2-stage urethanes, which result in a finish that looks miles deep. Sometimes almost black, while in the sun it glitters like an emerald; this Camaro shows lots of evidence of careful body prep and quality workmanship. Panel alignment is good, with crisp details and good gaps all around. The steel hood carries the less common chrome-plated trim pieces for a look that a lot of people prefer to the cowl induction setup that most restorers choose. Again, it speaks to the more elegant side of the Camaro.
And speaking of trim, this one has a lot of high-quality chrome and polished stainless, including the bumpers, window surrounds, and trim in the rear wheel gills, as well as the optional wheel arch stainless bits. Up front, there's a beautifully restored grille, while the remodeled 1969 Camaro taillights are so nice they have to be new pieces. Badges and emblems are correct throughout, including the 396 badges on the front fenders, surrounded by the white SS stripes.
Speaking of 396 badges, they're not false advertising. Under the hood is an L78-spec 396 cubic inch big block that's rated at 375 horsepower. No, it's not an ultra-rare L89 with aluminum heads, but according to the factory, that was more a weight-saving measure than one designed to build horsepower, because they were rated at the same 375 horsepower. At any rate, it's nicely detailed throughout with a handful of smart modifications. The block is Chevy Orange, of course, and the open element air cleaner has a correct chrome lid with reproduction stickers that tell you everything you need to know: 396 Turbo-Jet 375 Horsepower. Obviously an aftermarket performance distributor is in place handling the spark, while a set of long-tube headers manage the exhaust, and together they undoubtedly pull a few more horsepower out of the 396. The chrome valve covers add a bit of factory-correct dress-up to the engine bay, and are complimented by chrome hood hinges. A big aluminum radiator up front keeps it all cool, making this a big block you can drive and enjoy any time without worries. Heck, with a car like this in my garage, you wouldn't be able to keep me out of the driver's seat every time the road was dry.
Adding to the fun is a correct Muncie 4-speed transmission, feeding a stout 12-bolt rear full of highway-friendly 3.55 gears. The floors are solid and have been undercoated for durability and sound control, and there are no trouble spots that would indicate that this car has been cut up or abused. A new Flowmaster exhaust system has been installed for that trademark sound that ensures you won't be sneaking around in your new SS. Brakes have been rebuilt, and the suspension features new bushings and shocks all around. Period-correct Rally wheels wear new 235/60/15 BF Goodrich T/A radials.
Inside, you're treated to one of the most well-designed interiors to ever come out of General Motors. Sporty, comfortable, and surprisingly spacious, the Camaro definitely delivered to a wide variety of buyers. In this car, there are many components that are obviously brand new, from the black bucket seat covers, to the carpet, to the door panels, which are all excellent reproduction items. The vinyl has the correct texturing, and new foam underneath makes the seats all-day comfortable. The steering wheel is a positively gorgeous wooden piece that is either a great reproduction or a beautifully refinished original. The center console houses a complete set of functional auxiliary gauges, as well as a Hurst shifter topped with a white cue ball knob. In back, the seats certainly look original, and if that's the case, it tells you all you need to know about the care this Camaro has received for the past 42 years. A correct, original AC speedometer lives in the dash and the gauges are all in excellent shape. In back, the trunk carries a new mat and full-sized spare with a new radial tire.
I suppose it's no secret why the 1969 Camaros are so popular today. They look great, have a wide range of power options, and with the tweaks engineers made in 69, they handle incredibly well for their age. I'm particularly fond of the way this one looks, and I love how it runs. Fast, smooth, and almost subtle in its appearance (although you'd be crazy to tangle with an early Camaro wearing 396 badges on the street), this car is an excellent example of how some smart choices on the order form could deliver a highly unique car. Fully restored and ready to rumble today, imagine yourself at the next local cruise night in this Fathom Green SS. You'll instantly be part of a well-respected club, and you'll love driving this car from the moment you pull it out of the garage. Call now!
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