If you go to any cruise night in the US, you're likely to find more than a few early Camaro convertibles. However, finding an RS/SS convertible with a date-code correct L78 big block under the hood restored to this level is virtually unheard-of. There's a definite line between nice cars and show winners like this one, and when you show up with this Hugger Orange ragtop, you are well and truly The Man. This one also brings with it a good amount of documentation and a lot of nice options:
A01 Soft Ray tinted glass
A39 Custom deluxe belts
C06 Power convertible top
D34 Visor vanity mirror
D55 Center console
G31 Special rear springs with bumper guards
J52 Power front disc brakes
L78 396/375 horsepower Turbo Jet
M21 4-speed close ratio transmission
N10 Dual exhaust system
N34 Wood grain steering wheel
N40 Power steering
U15 Speed warning indicator
U17 Special instrumentation
U63 AM radio
ZJ7 Rally wheels
ZL2 Ducted hood
Z22 Rally Sport package
Z23 Special interior
Z27 Camaro Super Sport
This car was built the second week of January, and carries a CE warranty replacement block with a casting date of 3/30/69, which is about 90 days after the car was built. Since the original VIN stamped engine is not present and we don't have a Broadcast Sheet, we can't make a claim that this is a numbers matching, $150K, keep me in a bubble kind of car. Instead, this a car you buy to drive, show and enjoy. Showing just nine miles since it was completed,Camaros simply don't get much more impressive than this one, folks.
It takes cubic dollars to bring a car to this level, and there were no shortcuts here. The bodywork is expertly finished, with great gaps and accurate panel alignment all around, and the uniform quality of the paint is proof that someone spent a lot of time making sure it looked better than new before it went home with its owner. The Hugger Orange paint is two-stage urethane, not enamel, so it will last virtually forever with only cursory maintenance, and the hockey-stick stripe instead of the usual SS stripes is a nice change. Front and rear spoilers compliment the steel cowl-induction hood, giving this Camaro a very aggressive look that must have been incredibly intimidating back in '69. There's also a correct blacked-out tail panel, which was exclusive to big block SS Camaros.
The bumpers, including the optional bumper guards, have been fully restored to show condition, along with all the stainless trim around the windshield and wheel arches. The front grille is brand new, and the hidden RS headlight doors are fully functional. All the lenses appear to be new pieces that are crystal clear and fit exactly, while the gill trim ahead of the rear wheels always adds interest. New glass was used throughout, with a windshield that nicely duplicates the original Soft-Ray look. This is a very, very nice car.
As I mentioned earlier, power comes from a correct CE code warranty replacement L78 block, casting number 3955272. It's topped with a correct cowl induction air cleaner assembly with reproduction decals, and a set of freshly chromed valve covers that were standard equipment on the big block SS cars. The Chevy Orange on the block is awfully similar to the Hugger Orange on the body, and has been just as skillfully applied, thick enough to ensure complete coverage, but not hiding any of the important details. Look a little closer and you'll find correct markings on the hoses, as well as vintage tower hose clamps, a new alternator with the oversized pulley, and beautifully restored cast iron exhaust headers. You'll also note that the hinges are finished in a bare-steel paint that looks correct but won't rust, and the plating on the brake system is uniformly shiny. A Delco battery finishes off this exceptional engine compartment.
The engine is backed by a correct Muncie M21 close ratio 4-speed manual transmission driving a highly detailed 12-bolt full of 3.73 gears on a Posi limited slip. The floors are surely new, given how satiny smooth they are, but the installation is seamless. The original control arms have been refinished, and the suspension is covered in reproduction tags and markings. Just about the only non-original component is the oversized dual exhaust system, which includes a pair of Flowmaster mufflers in place of the original transverse piece, and the improvement in engine note is worth the price of admission all by itself. There's a new gas tank, new fuel lines, freshly rebuilt brakes, and all-new hardware throughout, ensuring that this car is not only correct, but reliable and safe. It all rolls on a set of lovely Rally wheels wearing reproduction F70-14 Goodyear Wide Tread bias-ply tires for a truly authentic look.
In terms of authenticity, the interior is equally well restored. New seat covers, fresh carpets, and reproduction door panels make it feel like 1969 all over again, and there's very little evidence that this car has been driven since it was completed. The original console has been restored with fresh woodgrain appliques, and carries those cool secondary gauges with white faces, just in case you were thinking those were a recent invention. A Hurst shifter lives atop the Muncie, ensuring that you'll never miss a shift again. That steering wheel is a lovely reproduction of the original woodgrained piece, which was always a slightly different color than the dash and console. The gauges have all been rebuilt, including the original speedometer with the optional speed reminder—annoying, but kind of a cool idea for a car capable of the speeds that this one is. Overhead, there's a nicely fitted black convertible top with a new rear window, and the trunk is nicely restored with a correct mat and full-sized spare and jack.
Go ahead, spend some time really inspecting the cars at the next show you attend—I can guarantee you won't find many nicer than this. Until you see top-flight cars that have been restored to show condition, it's hard to understand how wide the gap between a merely nice car and a professionally restored piece really is. This one also happens to be incredibly potent, thanks to the fire-breathing L78 under the hood, and loaded with options. Have a look at our selection of Camaros here at RK Motors Charlotte, and you're certain to find something you like. But if big block power and a Hugger Orange body are what you seek, this is the one I'd take home. Call today!