Isn't it strange how so many of us spend so much time looking for that perfectly optioned musclecar, only to settle for a semi-clean base model because, well, quite frankly, in this day and age who can afford the car of our dreams? Besides, if we could just get our hands on a viable basket case, we could add almost any option we want and, for all intents and purposes, end up with the exact car we had been dreaming about. So why, then, is it that when we come across a factory-built, numbers-matching, bad a#@ ride, it turns us into drooling, grunting, green-with-envy freaks. While we can't seem to figure that one out, it's exactly what happened to us when we first laid eyes on Warren Friedrich's rare '69 L78 droptop. Could this be the ultimate in stock 1st-Gen Camaros?
Upon close inspection we learned of the long list of options specially ordered by the first owner. The lengthy list includes such items as tinted glass, a power top, an M20 four-speed trans, auxiliary lighting, a rear antenna, and on it goes. One of the more rare options is the rear-window defogger, which works via two fans mounted at the lower corners of the rear window tucked into the convertible mechanism. To top it all off, under the hood lies a 375hp/396ci engine that is even more rare than any other option on this '69. Because of structural rigidity and weight, General Motors didn't put big-blocks in convertible models unless specifically ordered this way. In fact, GM wouldn't allow the L72 427ci engine in any convertibles from the factory, otherwise this car would probably have a 427 sitting under the SS hood. After settling for the measly 396-inch Rat, the car and its original owner met for the first time, two months after ordering, at Parker Robb Chevrolet in Walnut Creek, California, on July 1st, 1969. The total price after tax and the long list of options was $4,428.29. Can't someone come up with a time-machine? Anyway, the car went through two more owners and some slight cosmetic changes until the present owner purchased the car and committed to correctly restoring the car from top to bottom. The 980 some-odd hours of restoration was meticulously performed by Camaro Specialties in New York, and take our word for it...this L78 ragtop, of only 7 known to exist, is simply one of the nicest Camaros, rag or not, that we have ever laid our eyes on.
|TECH SPECS||Owner||Warren Friedrich, Nevada City, CA|
|Vehicle||'69 L78 SS convertible Camaro|
|Engine||396ci/389hp, 376 lb-ft of torque by Hetz Dyno|
|Service, East Aurora, NY|
|Transmission||Muncie, M20 (wide ratio) by Camaro Specialties|
|Rearend||12-Bolt Posi 3:55-gear|
|Body||Convertible, stock GM Burgundy by|
|Interior||Stock Ivory/Black by Camaro Specialties|