Muscle Car Garage — PARTS CAR

October 20th, 2011

Text and Photos By Bob McClurg

With Styling Cues From the First Three Years of Classic Camaro Production, You Could Almost Call This Texas-Based Coupe the “Styling Cue-Maro”

Emory, Texas, Camaro enthusiast Alan Pound owns this Quasar Blue Dupont Chroma-Base-colored ‘68 Camaro street machine that he acquired in a trade in 1988. At the outset however, the relationship was a tumultuous one.

“I originally traded a ‘70 Nova SS for the car, which at the time needed a new set of rear quarter panels. But that’s about as far as things got after I started my restoration business, A&R Restorations. “In 1991, the Camaro was put in storage for three years. With a workload that couldn’t justify its restoration, it was sold to an 18-year-old girl [1998] who was looking for a father and daughter project. Three years later, she got married and sold the ’68 back to me in unfinished condition. By that time, I had also gotten married, and was in the middle of building my bride, Dianna, her first new home, so about the only thing that got done to the car was a new paint job. Once again, the ’68 was put back in storage where it remained until last year when I finally finished the project.”

At first glance, Alan’s coupe looks like any other well-executed classic Camaro street machine. But those in the know will immediately spot a number of styling cues borrowed from the first three years (1967-69) of classic Camaro production.

For example, while the body may be a ’68, the front fenders are 1967 Camaro RS with a set of 1968 Camaro side marker lights installed. All of the body trim is 1967 Camaro SS, while the front valance is a 1968 model with a set of 1969 Camaro running lights installed. You’ll also note that Pound’s Camaro makes use of a set of 1969 “hockey stripes,” while the rocker moldings are from a 1967 Camaro RS. The ‘68’s taillights are also 1967 Camaro RS with custom moldings that resemble a set of 1969 Camaro taillights. The hood (mounted on Detroit Speed billet aluminum hood hinges) is a 1968 SS model with a set of 1967 Camaro louvers installed, and the hideaway headlight front grille is a custom billet piece.

Inside, Alan’s ’68 makes use of a Andy Martin-installed 1968 Deluxe hound’s tooth interior done in 1969 Camaro white vinyl, while the headrests and door panels are both from a 1969 model. The contrasting blue carpeting is Essex cut pile. Andy Martin also custom built the ‘68’s package tray, while the Dakota Digital-equipped steel center console was custom built by Cody Norris. Other features include an Alpine audio system with iPod, Vintage Air Gen IV climate control, a Detroit Speed intermittent windshield wiper system, an ididit six-way-tilt steering column and Painless Performance Products wiring.

Powering Alan’s ’68 is a mildly built Tinker’s Machine Shop-prepared ‘70 vintage four-bolt main 350-cid Chevrolet small-block bored .030-inch over. Internally, the little ground pounder (we couldn’t resist the pun) features a chamfered and micro-polished forged-steel GM crank riding on TRW main bearings. Bolted up to it is a set of ARP-equipped 350 Chevrolet connecting rods with a set of 10.2:1 compression

TRW flat top pistons pressed on to the other end equipped with a set of Perfect Circle piston rings. The cam choice is a COMP Cams roller (260 degrees duration and .450 max valve lift) working in conjunction with a COMP Cams multiple-index timing chain and roller lifters. Lubrication is handled by a 5-quart GM Performance Parts oil pan, and engine cooling comes from a Stewart Components reverse flow aluminum water pump equipped with Vintage Air Front Runner billet-aluminum serpentine engine pulleys and a Performance Rod & Custom four-core aluminum radiator.

Bolted up top you will find a set of GM Performance Parts Vortec cast-iron cylinder heads utilizing a set of 1.90-inch diameter intake and 1.50-inch exhaust, along with a COMP Cams valve train and a set of John Bedenbender-fabricated, custom-made center bolt valve covers. Induction is handled by an Edelbrock Vortec aluminum four-barrel intake bolted up to a 650-cfm Barry Grant Street Demon carburetor. That unique air cleaner is a custom one-off Bedenbender-fabbed 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado twin-snorkel base. Ignition duties are handled by an MSD Pro Billet distributor using an MSD 6AL box and spark plug wires. The exhaust system consists of a set of ceramic-coated Sanderson headers with Flowmaster mufflers.

Backing all this power up is a Paul Ratliff-prepared GM 700R4 equipped with B&M internals. Getting the power back to that 8.5-inch, 3.42:1-geared GM 10-bolt posi-traction rearend is a Jerry Edwards custom-fabricated driveshaft.

Actual suspension on the ’68 consists of Camaro front control arms and ADDCO variable rate lowered springs with a set of QA1 coil-over shocks. Steering consists of a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am W56 steering box, while braking consists of a set of Master Power front and rear disc brakes, rolling on 17 x 8-inch front, and 18 x 9.5-inch Budnik Shotgun rear wheels. The tires are Kumho P245/45xR17-inch front, and P275/40xZR18-inch Kumho’s on the rear.

Alan’s Camaro is capable of covering the standing quarter in the high 13s, and the car is shown around the Greater Dallas/FT. Worth Metroplex where it has won three Best of Shows and one Best Paint.

“I would like to tank my wife Dianne, Ronnie McEnturff, Paul Ratliff, Cody Morris and Andy Martin for all their invaluable help. Without them, the ’68 might still be sitting in storage!” Ron and his missus are members of one of the most active vintage Camaro clubs in the nation, the North Texas Camaros.

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