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Old 07-04-2017, 04:45 PM
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Default Big Gear Head's '69 RS SS396 Camaro

I've been a member for several years, but never did a thread on my car. I thought I'd post some pictures before I go to SCR20 so that you would know how it came to be what it is now.
The first picture is what it looked like when I got it in Feb '84 when I was 18. I traded a pretty nice '67 SS396 Chevelle for the Camaro. The Chevelle had a Powerglide and the Camaro was a 4 speed. I don't like automatic transmissions, so I traded because of the transmission. The car had Z28 badges on it and a 350 from a truck. It took me a while to figure out that it was actually a SS396 car.
This was an original X22 RS SS396 4 speed car. It was huger orange with black top and black hockey stick stripes. The interior was black deluxe with the full gauge package. It was probably a 325HP 396, but the engine was long gone. The transmission was the M20. The rear end was a 3.73 12 bolt with the Eaton Posi.
The second picture is the beginning of the build that took 18 years before I got to drive the car again. I was probably 19 years old at this time, was working as a mechanic at Lester Ford, and was still living with my parents.
The next picture is the frame that I built at the age of 19. I had quit my job and was going to vocational school to be a welder. Most of the frame was built at school. This was the very first of many rear ends that I narrowed.
The car sat for many years due to a serious lack of money. After getting married, getting a real job as a DOD aircraft certified TIG welder at GE Aircraft Engines and buying a house and building a garage I was able to start on the car again. The reason that I decided to go Pro Street was because the car was full of rust and some after market parts were not yet available to fix it. This last picture shows the entire back end of the car removed.
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1969 Camaro RS/SS396 (427) 4 speed

Last edited by big gear head; 07-04-2017 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:07 PM
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This was the first rear end under the car. The housing is from a '64 Galaxy, the nodular case, Daytona pinion housing and Detroit Locker are from a '69 Mach 1, the axles are from a '65 Galaxy, the 4.11 gears are from a F150 and the disc brakes are from a Lincoln Mark 5. I had to use what I could find due to lack of money. Some of you might notice that I had the ladder bars upside down. I was still learning.
This is the first time the engine was assembled. The block is one of the first Bowtie blocks, the crank is from a L78, the rods are LS6 and the pistons are TRW.
The heads are 3rd design GM aluminum D ports. The cam was a Comp Cams solid roller, rockers are Comp Cams and the stud girdle is an old Jomar. The engine has been apart many times since then. This was the first of 4 cams that have been in the engine.
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1969 Camaro RS/SS396 (427) 4 speed

Last edited by big gear head; 07-04-2017 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:21 PM
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Things starting to come together. This is how I cut the new NOS GM quarters to fit the larger tires. In the late '80s these were still available and cost around $230 each.
I actually started off with a Predator carb, but quickly figured out that it wasn't going to work.
Roll bars and floor coming together. This was the first time that the car had rolled out of the garage on 4 wheels in many years.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:29 PM
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Even though the fenders, door skins and other parts were all NOS GM parts, they didn't fit perfect. It took a lot of work to get the seams right. The fenders didn't fit well at all and it took many hours to work out the problems. My brother helped me get everything fitting correctly.
I had originally wanted to use this pro stock style hood and a fiberglass trunk lid, but thankfully I changed my mind.
This is one of the body shops that the car was in before it finally got painted. I waited over 3 years for the first guy to do the car and I ended up getting the car out of his shop and taking it to this one. 18 months later it was painted. It was painted in '93. Tony Oglesby did a great job on the car and it still has this paint on it.
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1969 Camaro RS/SS396 (427) 4 speed

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Old 07-04-2017, 05:34 PM
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Working on the interior. Dewayne Clark sewed everything together after I got things to fit. I used the dash from a '70 Nova.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:39 PM
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Interior finished. The Nova dash required several modifications. The steering column had to be raised, the dash frame had to be modified some and the Nova dash pad needed some modifications to smooth it out and make it fit. I used the Nova dash because I wasn't going to be able to put gauges in the Camaro dash and make them look the way I wanted them to look.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:42 PM
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Early picture of the 427 with the Milodon valve covers, high mounted alternator, plug wires laying on the valve covers and the old MSD ignition. This was the 3rd of 4 MSD boxes that have been in the car. At this time it still had the original big block radiator in it.
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1969 Camaro RS/SS396 (427) 4 speed

Last edited by big gear head; 07-04-2017 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:59 PM
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Some pictures of when I first started driving the car again. The Pro Stock Centerlines were some of the first that were made. They have 1986 dates on them. The rear wheels are 15X14 and the fronts are 16X7. This might be the only set of 16 inch Pro Stocks that were made. The Unlimited Fiberglass Products hood took a lot of work to make it look good.
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1969 Camaro RS/SS396 (427) 4 speed

Last edited by big gear head; 07-04-2017 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:04 PM
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First picture is of a display of cars in the Madisonville KY shopping mall. Second picture is at the Carl Casper show in Louisville KY. It had been a dream of mine to have a car in the Carl Casper show since I was about 9 years old. Third picture is at one of the car shows that our car club had at Greenville KY. This picture was in the local news paper. I was president of the club at this time.
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1969 Camaro RS/SS396 (427) 4 speed

Last edited by big gear head; 07-04-2017 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:12 PM
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I decided to redo all of the rear suspension several years ago. I got rid of the leaf springs and installed a set of Varishock coil overs. The shocks in the picture are some old Chassis Engineering shocks that turned out to be no good. I made a new set of ladder bars and built a F150 9 inch housing. I made all new brackets and added a brace to the housing. I've got a set of wheelie bars for it, but I haven't put them on.
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1969 Camaro RS/SS396 (427) 4 speed

Last edited by big gear head; 07-04-2017 at 11:37 PM.
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