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Old 12-01-2021, 04:14 PM
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Default Preservation of a 68 Camaro

I started this thread on CRG and after more thought I felt it might be beneficial to some here as well that may not have a Camaro or frequent CRG.

Iíve thought long and hard about this and I think, with the rising interest in proper restorations coupled with the surging popularity of survivor cars I felt it would be an opportunity to go through the processes of preserving a vehicle. While I have decided that since RGR is no longer in business and, myself, wanting to help the community, I wanted to start a new thread on how and when to try to attempt preservation on these survivors. I will be using my 68 Z as the platform for the processes I use. I recently brought this car home from a prolonged storage at a friends home and I, then, took a small vacation from my automotive duties. Now that the fog has settled, I have looked the car over and decided to abandon the original plan. Which was restoration that has now turned into a preservation attempt.
I thought seeing how far it had deteriorated to reviving the remaining original car and enjoy the path and hopefully learn some new info along the way. Overall I look forward and encourage additional input from some of the; as I like calling them, Automotive Preservationists. My approach will be from a person that likes to work in the garage and maybe doesnít have limitless resources but I think an average enthusiast can do and feel good about doing it. Also if you have never attempted any of these processes do so on a test panel or junk part before moving to the desired part or area needing the work. Let me make it clear I am certainly no expert when it comes to preserving as this has always been a hobby. With that said, Letís get startedÖ

First letís go over the history of the car to date 11/22/21. Car was originally ordered by Capitol Chevrolet in the fall of 1967 and left Van Nuys plant on 12/22/67. (See Photo 1)







Unfortunately no history has been found but the trail starts to pick up in the spring of 1970 with this article from the Austin Statesman newspaper. I believe that this is potentially the order in which the story goes at this point. Purely speculation to date.



01/20/70

Person w/ 68 Z writes into newspaper about hill climbing/gymkhana racing.
Columnist T.Q. Jones suggests going to Armstrong-Johnson Ford and meet up with the Cobra Colts Mustang Club. (See photo 2)






While this is going on a salesman by the name Bill Pevey sends out a note in the paper that he was currently at Henna Chevrolet the other dealership in Austin aside from Capitol.



01/30/69

Bill Pevey ad for him moving to Henna Chevrolet (See Photo 3)



The cause for this info as he then writes another ad in the for sale section that he was back at Armstrong Johnson Ford in



03/14/70

Bill Pevey (salesman) ad listing he left Henna Chevrolet to work for Armstrong-Johnson Ford dealership (See photo 4)






This becomes important as Mr. Pevey places another ad several months later of a, you guessed it, 68 Z.


07/16/70 - 07/18/70

Ad appears 68 Z for sale to contact Bill Pevey with A/J phone number 454-3711 (See Photo 5)





Also of note is the company Armstrong Johnson is undergoing a name change from the 51% of Bob Armstrongís ownership being bought by Leif Johnson (which already owned the remainder 49%) in July of 1970.


07/27/70

Article about Leif Johnson buying out Bob Armstrong's 51% share of company to become primary owner of Ford dealership which would include the name change from Armstrong-Johnson Ford to Leif Johnson Ford. (See photo 6)


This is very important as the car still has the Armstrong Johnson of Austin dealer emblem on the tail pan. For the next month or so there are several ads with a 68 red Z28 for sale on the lot. (See photo 7 & 8)
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Old 12-01-2021, 04:17 PM
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This is where the lead cools off for a couple years. We fast forward to April 1972 when I was able to obtain the last known registration of my Camaroís vin in the Texas DMV database. A gentleman named Mr. Donald A. Dixon. (See Photo 9)





I have been searching for Mr. Dixon since 2013 as some of you might remember from previous posts. The summer of 2021 became another jumping off point and reignited the search when a friend gave me access to their newspapers.com search and ultimately subscribed myself. As I made my way through all this new found info I began the search again for Mr. Dixon. Mr. Dixon originally was from middle TN and went to Texas for basic training and met a young lady that he dated for a month or two and as it turns out went to his girlfriends house for dinner one night. As he pulled in there it sat in the yard like a shiny penny fresh off the press. He amazingly worked a deal with her father (traded is 69 Roadrunner and $50 for the 68 Z) which was a wheeler dealer of used cars on the side from being a Major. There were several training camps in the area as the Major was living in New Braunfels, Texas. Mr. Dixon said the first thing he did after getting back to the base was go to the local speed shop and bought a new Hurst shifter. Once Dixon finished training and was finally done with his service to our country he moved back in 1974. Upon coming back to middle TN he traded the 68 Z into EB Smith Chevrolet on a 72 Monte Carlo and as he put it the worst mistake he ever made..


No results were found on any transactions or listings for a 68 Z from EB Smith from 1974-1975. The belief is EB wholesaled it to another used car lot where the next owner bought it in 1975. His name was Randy Cassidy. From Ď75 until 2005 he owned the car and in the late 70ís decided to blow the car apart and begin a resto. Luckily for me, the car sat basically untouched until this fall. My father, along with myself, had been after the car for as long as I remember. With the passing of my father in Oct of 2006 the car was passed on to me for ownership. And with that, the preservation will begin.
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Old 12-01-2021, 04:21 PM
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Looking forward to following this Darrell!

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Old 12-01-2021, 04:21 PM
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To start the preservation I decided to work on the pass side roof and see how much the ole Matador Red will come back to life.

Steps used to accomplish this was the following:

1. Wash with your favorite dish soap. Mine is Dawn and dry with a microfiber towel
2. Pick a clay bar of your choice and go over the area you are preparing. Mine for this project is Pinnacle clay bar and Meguiars Quick Detailer as the lubricant.
3. Apply a generous coating of Meguiars #7 polish and hand polish it like you are mad at it and let it sit overnight and out of direct sunlight.
4. 800, 1500 and finally 2k wet grit paper - work backwards to make sure you don't go too far on prepping the painted surface and then go back in the order listed. Every car is different so I can't stress this enough but take your time and practice before you get aggressive with the paper.
5. Meguiars #105 with a wool pad on a DA polisher. Reason I do not use a buffer as you can burn the paint quickly if you are not used to operating one. DA polisher is much more forgiving in this regard.
6. Meguiars #105 with a firm microfiber pad on a DA polisher.
7. Meguiars #105 with a medium (maroon Meguiars) pad on a DA polisher.
8. Meguiars #205 with a soft (black Meguiars) pad on a DA polisher.
9. Finish the area again with #7

Now these are the steps I use and seem to have decent success with this. Realize that every car is different and other products will most likely do the same but for me I have had positive results using Meguiars so that is what I used.


Photo 10 - After washing and clay barring the application of the #7

Photo 11 - Roof after after wet sanding and #105 & #205 (steps 5-9)

Photo 12 - Sail panel after wet sanding and before polishing

Photo 13 - Sail panel after polishing

Photo 14 - Pass quarter before steps listed in previous post

Photo 15 - Pass quarter after

Photo 16 - Pass door before

Photo 17 - Pass door after

Photo 18 - Quarter and door after
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Old 12-01-2021, 04:33 PM
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I was fortunate enough for a good friend to have a good eye and located me an original dealer emblem from Capitol Chevrolet. Thanks Bentley. As you can see although the emblem is a newer design without the attachment pins for the emblem which would have been later replaced by adhesive the location of the ejector pin locations match up perfectly with the original holes that were placed in the tail pan.
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Old 12-01-2021, 04:55 PM
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Very cool! I'm looking forward to learning more about your preservation techniques.
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Old 12-01-2021, 05:51 PM
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Try one of these instead of the clay bar, you'll love it.
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:03 PM
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While I work my way around the backside of the car I continue to use the same procedures mentioned above. Some things to note. The car, at some point (I can confirm prior to April '72 when Dixon bought the car), had been tapped in the rear and I believe that is when the spoiler was added and the trunk lid reshot and a touchup area on the pass side quarter. I will leave it as found as I do not want to disturb the condition of its history. You can also note the original paint along with stripes which were under the spoiler and once an emblem is in place you can see what's left of the cut out of the stripe for said emblem. I will not this later on as I had to find an original replacement emblem as they did not move the emblem when the spoiler was installed. Underside is still original and the remnants of the jacking instructions along with glue residue from the posi traction decal. I will document those later in the process when I begin the trunk area clean up. Now to the photos.


Photo 19 - Another shot of the roof after final process. It's still show imperfections like stains etc. Unfortunately I do not know of anything that will rid them from the paint surface as it embeds deep into the paint.

Photo 20 - Trunk Lid before.

Photo 21 - A little sanding brought out the original stripe under the repaint on the lip of the lid.

Photo 22 & 23 - Trunk lid after. You can see how the reshot did not hold up well over the years. But again will not refinish. You can also see that the pass side bumper guard does not sit flush on the bumper. This is due to what I believe was also part of the rear end bump it obtained. I will have to replace it with an original replacement due to the lower bracket that is welded to the guard broke its welds. I have several used guards so this will not be an issue. The primer sprayed on the drivers quarter and upper quarter and sail panel will be addressed. I will remove this primer and keep whatever is underneath up to the surface.
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:36 PM
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Photo 24 - is the tail panel before being stripped down to begin cleaning of this area.

Photo 25 & 26 - That decal is a parking sticker for a local University here in TN. Middle Tennessee University and is dated to expire in Aug 15 1976. This was when the previous owner finished high school and attended MTSU in '75 but never finished as he was hired on full time with the postal service in Nashville, TN.

Photo 27 & 28 - are the tail panel cleaned and prepped. Again using the same procedures listed in previous posts.


Photo 29 - you can see how the panel was popped outward around the guard mounting hole due to previously discussed tap. I will address this once I am ready to reinstall the components of the tail section. Also not that every bumper to body bolt and bracket had dum dum around the opening.
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Old 12-02-2021, 04:20 PM
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Photo 30 & 31 - While the trunk lock is out I went ahead and did a cleaning and polishing of it. Granted there is some residue in the key hole after polishing but will be removed and clean when reinstalled.

Photo 32 - 33 - Also while out I cleaned the tail light bezels and housings. Bezels were done with Zep Citrus Degreaser (can be purchased anywhere I'd assume but I get it at Home Depot) and a hand polish. Then the housings I did the same Zep cleaning and after wiping them down I used #0000 steel wool and a soap water solution and cleaned the galvanized. I think they turned out ok being originals.


Photo 34 - 37 - Rear side marker lights were soaked in dawn soap and hot water to get them cleaned and then I used the da polisher and #205 to clean up the lenses. Sorry no before photos on these.

Photo 38 - 40 - Last updates for today. This was the original license plate light before cleaning. Cleaning procedure is pretty much the same citrus degreaser but then I soak it in evaporust. Once out of the evapo I coat it down with RPM (Rust Preventative Magic). From my experiences the evapo will remove zinc plating or cad plating. I decided to proceed as I was going to protect it with RPM.
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