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Old 11-26-2016, 10:23 PM
carnut4life carnut4life is offline
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Default Orange/Orange Dale Chevrolet 1969 427 4SPD Camaro



Several of you on this site already know about the Hugger Orange/Orange Houndstooth 1969 Dale Chevrolet COPO 9561 Camaro 124379N651524 we took to the Barn Finds and Hidden Gems display at the 2015 MCACN show or the article that appeared in the March 2016 issue of Muscle Car Review. If so you might want to skip this post because itís a long story. Itís not a #ís matching survivor or anything special compared to some COPOís out there, just a cool old hotrod that hasnít been messed with since the mid 70ís that we enjoy driving as much as possible.

We found this car almost by accident after my good friend Jim Brown Jr. told us about it in a garage up in Eagle WI about 20 miles from the original Dale Chevrolet dealership in Waukesha, WI. We were simply looking for a black 67, 68 or 69 Camaro to replace the 94 Firehawk Iíd bought my girlfriend, Kandy the year before because she didnít like it and wanted an old black Camaro instead. Jim wanted my Firehawk so he passed the lead to me and we ran with it not really knowing or caring what it was. But the more he told me about it(big block, four speed, cowl hood, 4.10 posi, tach, no SS or Z28 badges) the more I thought it sounded like a COPO Camaro, even though I knew we couldnít find one of those if we were actually looking for one. When Jim finally sent us pictures of it and I saw the big block heater core I knew a trip to Eagle, WI was needed to check it out better and get the VIN and trim tag info and look at the rear end code. The car had the usual rust under the windshield and in the trunk but otherwise was a good solid car so we decided weíd better try buying the car and told Jim if he would convince the owner to sell it to us I would sell him the Firehawk for half my original asking price, which he agreed to. I couldnít read the rear end stamping(which turned out to be a 0519 dated BE) during the inspection but seeing the 6k red line tach convinced me we should run the VIN through the NCRS which eventually led me to Dale Chevrolet through the SYC site and one of my favorite car buddies in the world, Bill Glowacki. Through an incredible twist of fate Bill worked with Jim S, the original owner of my car in the mid 70ís in Waukesha, WI, even though neither one of us would know it until months later. It was always assumed Jim S had owned the OTHER Orange/Orange Dale COPO Camaro with the automatic transmission that was on the lot when the Yellow/Yellow Dale COPO Camaro was purchased new by Mr. Jerry Speaker in December of 1969 since the Orange four speed car wasnít a known car until it popped up in 2015. Apparently after Dale sold the orange 4 speed car to Jim, they ordered another orange Camaro just like it with the TH400 which was still on the lot when Jerry bought the Yellow/Yellow 4 speed Camaro in December of 69. I ended up calling Jim S out of desperation when all my other leads went dry to see if he had ever seen the 4 speed orange/orange 427 Camaro around Waukesha back in the day and didnít put two and two together until he told me ďwhat automatic are you talking about, my orange 4 speed Camaro was the only one I ever sawĒ! I almost passed out and called Bill immediately to figure out how weíd had it so wrong for so long? We have had an absolute blast meeting people, driving the car like we stole it and meeting all the previous owners weíve found so far and hearing their stories. Like Bruce, the history of the car and the previous ownerís stories are just as important to us as the car itself so Iím going to reach out to you all here and hope we can find the missing link in the ownership history of this car. After reading the post about Bruce finding all the previous owners of his Rally Green 69 Yenko Camaro this week Iím motivated at taking another shot at finding the missing piece of our puzzle as well so here is the history of the car that we know so far.

Our Camaro was purchased new by Mr. Jim ďSleepyĒ Schwalbach in June of 1969. Jim was 24 year old bachelor who happened to be at Dale Chevrolet looking at used Corvetteís on the day the first load(he thinks there were 4 or 5 others on the same truck) of 427 Camaroís arrived at Dale Chevrolet. He said he didnít think much of the cars at first because they looked so plain but once they started firing them up and unloading them the distinct note of the exhaust caught his curiosity so he started asking questions. After a test drive and little negotiating Jim traded his gold six cylinder 67 Camaro on the 427/M21 equipped Hugger Orange/Orange houndstooth Camaro. Jim drove the car everyday rain, shine, sleet or snow since it was his only car and kept it two or three years before it was traded if off to Soerens Ford in Brookfield WI for a new station wagon once he married his wife Bonnie and started having children. Jim says that after he traded the car off in 71 or 72 he never saw the car again, which is where the ownership chain is lost.

The next known owner of the car is, believe it or not is another Jim, Mr. Jim Fuchs who lived in the Watertown and Jefferson, WI areas while he owned the Camaro from 1974-1979. Jimís uncle Dave Fuchs was working at a speed shop in Butler, WI called Mr. Cís(formerly known as Buttittaís home of the Lilíl Boss Camaro) and told his nephew Jim they had the perfect project car for him to build a hotrod out of for $500.00, a wore out 69 Camaro in primer with a 396 and a four speed with orange interior. By this time the car was already starting to rust so Dave replaced the quarters, fenders, trunk lid and tail panel with NOS pieces and applied the paint job the car still wears to this day for a whopping $1300.00! Jim kept the car as his nice weather hotrod for five years and blew the original M21 transmission on a 2/3 power shift and replaced it with a 68 M20 he bought at a salvage yard on the edge of Watertown WI. In 1979 Jim finally sold it to his ex-girlfriend Sue Hamann for $500.00 after years of her continual pursuit of the car. Sue loved the car from day one and kept the car for the rest of her life. When she passed away in 2009, her family had a picture of the Camaro put on her headstone and also mentioned it in her obituary! Thereís no doubt in my mind she loved this car more than anyone thatís ever walked this earth so I have to tip my hat to this wonderful lady and regret that Iíll never get to meet her in this life and hear her stories. Her father Paul and brother, Pete took me to the cemetery to see her grave stone and told me many stories about Sue and even gave me copies of the few pictures they had of Sue and the car, including one Sue had taken of Jim Fuchs sitting in the driverís seat of the Camaro when they were dating. After Sue passed away her boyfriend Tom had the car appraised and bought it from her estate and kept it until the summer of 2015 when we stumbled upon the car and brought it home on 6/24/15.

The car as it sits today currently has a high modified 1965 Impala 325 HP 396 that has been in the car since Jim Fuchs bought it in 1974, with what appears to be the original 427 pulleyís, water pump and brackets on it. I believe the original 427 was replaced under warranty when Jim S blew a head gasket on it because he said it took Dale 2 or 3 weeks to fix it and that it never ran the same after he got it back. The radiator is one of the biggest mysteries to me but looks to be an original unmodified four core Harrison radiator with a straight neck, IL is on the drivers tank and OO on the passenger tank with a E date on it, unfortunately the tag on the radiator is missing. The trim tag is dated 055 instead of 05E and the NCRS document says the production date on it was 6/4/69. The interior isnít that pretty but its all original with the exception of the tape player Jim Fuchs put in it back in the 70ís. The clock and tach still work and it has that vintage old car smell to it so weíre not going to mess with the interior at all. We have a September 69 dated CE block for it and a 69 CC stamped M21 transmisson with M22 gears in it that we plan to put back in it after JM inspects the car next spring but have no intention to do anything else to it besides driving it as often as possible and preserving it as is. Itís an animal on the street with the 396 and 4.10ís, canít imagine how it will run with a 427 back in it!

In an attempt to find the owner/owners between the Jim Schwalbach and Jim Fuchs[1971 or 1972 through 1974] Iíve tried the following: Soerens Ford is still in business and Iíve tried calling them to ask if they have any leads for me on the car but my calls have never been returned. Iíve spoken to a couple of former Mr. Cís employees, including Jimís uncle Dave who painted the car but nobody remembers where the car came from. Iíve attempted to locate Mr C. himself, John Chobanian with no luck whatsoever. A the title search in WI goes back to Sue buying the car in the 70ís and leads to another dead end so Iíve run out of ideaís which is why Iím reaching out to memberís of this site to see if something new turns up. If you have any suggestions for me to try finding prior owners, know anything about this car, have any history to share or questions about it feel free to post them here or PM me because Iíd love to know how it went from a nice used Hugger Orange 427 Camaro in 1971 or 1972 to a rusting out, left for dead beater in primer by 1974! Like Bruce, I have nothing to hide, just looking to fill the gap in the ownership history of the coolest car Iíve ever driven and learn more about these awesome cars. I'll add more pics of the car soon.

Thank you,
Chad Slocum
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2016, 10:24 PM
carnut4life carnut4life is offline
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Default Re: Orange/Orange Dale Chevrolet 1969 427 4SPD Camaro

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Old 11-26-2016, 10:26 PM
carnut4life carnut4life is offline
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Default Re: Orange/Orange Dale Chevrolet 1969 427 4SPD Camaro

As we bought it

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Old 11-26-2016, 10:28 PM
carnut4life carnut4life is offline
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Default Re: Orange/Orange Dale Chevrolet 1969 427 4SPD Camaro

As she sits today with Torque Thrust Wheels

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  #5  
Old 11-26-2016, 10:30 PM
carnut4life carnut4life is offline
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Default Re: Orange/Orange Dale Chevrolet 1969 427 4SPD Camaro

Original owners Jim and Bonnie Schwalbach with me when I met them in Waukesha, WI

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Old 11-26-2016, 10:33 PM
carnut4life carnut4life is offline
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Default Re: Orange/Orange Dale Chevrolet 1969 427 4SPD Camaro

Jim Fuchs back in the mid 70's shortly after the car was painted [img]
https://www.yenko.net/ubbthreads/pics...4-69_jim_f.jpg[/img]
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:36 PM
carnut4life carnut4life is offline
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Default Re: Orange/Orange Dale Chevrolet 1969 427 4SPD Camaro

Jim Fuchs shortly after the car was painted in the mid 70's.

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Old 11-26-2016, 10:38 PM
carnut4life carnut4life is offline
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Default Re: Orange/Orange Dale Chevrolet 1969 427 4SPD Camaro

Sue Hamann shortly after purchasing the car from Jim Fuchs

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Old 11-26-2016, 10:41 PM
carnut4life carnut4life is offline
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Default Re: Orange/Orange Dale Chevrolet 1969 427 4SPD Camaro

Original interior
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Orange/Orange Dale Chevrolet 1969 427 4SPD Camaro

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