O'So Orange Tri Coat
Black
377 V8
4 Speed Manual

Once in a while, even here at RK Motors Charlotte, cars come along that make us do a double take. Orange Camaros are nothing new, of course, but when you take a closer look at this particular 1968 Camaro SS, you start to see a level of detail that you may have missed at first glance. In truth, this is a nasty, snarling, razor-edged beast that has been dressed up in some of the coolest paint we've ever seen. Taking this car to your local cruise night will draw a crowd like moths to a porch light, and on the road, you'll need to bring some pretty serious hardware to outrun it.

The color is PPG O'So Orange, and it's actually a three-stage urethane that is simply jaw-dropping in the sun. There's a pearl effect, plenty of metallic, and, well, it just seems to have an inner glow that will simply astound onlookers accustomed to garden-variety Hugger Orange. Of course, if you're going to drop 10 grand on paint, you'd better make sure the bodywork is worthy, and it most certainly is. The panels are straight enough to use as mirrors, panel gaps are exacting, and it fits together better than any factory F-body ever did. I'm personally happy to see a stock hood with those cool chrome simulated velocity stacks instead of a reproduction cowl induction piece—somehow it makes this car seem even more custom, not less. You'll also note a subtle Pro-Touring front spoiler from Rick's, as well as a traditional ducktail unit out back, giving it a traditional high-performance look with a twist. Correct black stripes have been added to enhance the illusion and buried under the clear for a seamless look. The car has already won several “Best Paint” trophies, and it's really not hard to see why.

This one has all the correct markers, from the SS grille up front, to the dual-element tail lights out back, and all the badges in between. The chrome bumpers are both in excellent condition, having been restored during the transformation, and all the stainless has been mirror polished to match. The glass is clear with no visible marks, and carries factory tint but nothing more aggressive, so you won't have any problems with the local constabulary.

Looks like this also demand big horsepower, which comes in the form of a 377 cubic inch small block built by Chuck Spanel and cranking out more than 400 horsepower. Nestled into the beautifully finished engine bay, it features goodies like a Demon 725 CFM carburetor, a polished Pro Comp Air Gap intake, and gorgeous Brodix aluminum heads that have been fully ported to make the most of the high-winding small block's power curve. A set of Hooker long-tube headers handle the exhaust chores and look awesome wearing a polished ceramic coating. Traditional Chevy Orange on the block mirrors the O'So Orange bodywork, and everything that wasn't painted was polished or chromed, including the Bow Tie valve covers, cool air cleaner, and the stainless fan shroud. A thick aluminum radiator keeps it at a rock-solid 175 degrees no matter what the temperature outside.

Power is shipped aft through a Muncie 4-speed manual, just as the General intended, and out back there's a bulletproof 12-bolt full of acceleration-enhancing 4.11 gears on a Posi. The floors are super solid, and it's obvious that this car has never been rusty, and a uniform layer of undercoating material ensures that this will always be the case. The front and rear suspension are stock, although a set of high-performance shocks make a big difference. The custom dual exhaust system sounds just right without being obnoxious or annoying, and there's a new polished stainless steel gas tank hanging out back. Brand new 18- and 20-inch Coys wheels were installed less than 100 miles ago, and wear 225/40/18 front and 255/35/20 rear performance radials.

The black and gray leather interior has also won its share of awards, thanks to some beautiful upholstery work that features smooth hides on everything from the seats to the rear package shelf. Modern buckets with integral shoulder belts are a big upgrade over the factory Strato buckets, yet look right at home in the vintage Camaro. Upholstered in black and gray leather, they're comfortable as well as properly supportive for spirited driving, with the rear bench upholstered to match. Custom door and side panels were created using the same materials, tying the entire passenger compartment together perfectly. The original gauges remain in place and are fully restored, with a tachometer mounted on the column and a pair of auxiliary gauges under the dash. A cool Hurst cue ball shifter manages the Muncie, and a powerful AM/FM/CD stereo with speakers throughout the passenger compartment provides entertainment. In back, the trunk has been finished with matching black carpet.

This car is nice way out of proportion to its price, and probably cost twice this much to build. Stunning bodywork, aggressive performance, and a top-notch interior make it a very cool early Camaro with a lot of appeal. If you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary, but with a lot of traditional hot-rodding tricks built in, this is your car.

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