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1972 Chevrolet Camaro SS - Orange Crush

This Camaro Got A New Lease On Life And Went From A Parts Car To A Killer Resto-Mod

Oct 18, 2013
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Build something nice and you will get compliments, but create something stellar and you will get customers. This sentiment is pretty spot-on when talking about this killer orange '72 Camaro. Originally constructed by Jeff and Sierra Richards of, this gearhead couple does it all, from building the engine to covering the interior, and every splash of paint in between. After completion Jeff decided to sell the car to fund the next one so he tossed it up on eBay. Usually with something of this caliber you get a lot of tire kickers, low ballers and offers to trade for all sorts of things. This was not the case here; in fact, Bill May of Las Vegas saw it on eBay and instantly fell in love. There is more to this story, but lets back up and talk about how the car came together.

According to Jeff, "The Camaro was a classic Craigslist find, and, oh buddy, did it ever embody the saying ‘pulled out of the weeds' or maybe it is more apt to say, it was pulled out of the woods. My cousin arrived back from Olympia, Washington, at approximately 12:30 in the morning after an exhausting day of extracting it from the sticks. It was full of garbage and miscellaneous parts, and since this was a parts vehicle it was pretty much stripped of all its useful components. It had to be completely overhauled. So we stripped it, gave it a full rotisserie restoration, bought truckloads of parts necessary for it, and at the end was Orange Crush (OC).

 Chevrolet Camaro Ss 2/10

"I build these Camaro's with the help of my wife. We do all the work. Once we start them, they don't leave until they're complete. Between this and a previous Camaro we were able to start Plus, I made a lifelong friendship with Bill May, the current owner of this Camaro."

The car is powered by a '73 big-block that has been punched out to a 468 with TRW 10:1 pistons, '69 oval-port iron heads, Crower 306H cam, Edelbrock C-66 dual quad intake with a set of 600cfm Edelbrock carbs. Ansen valve covers, MSD ready-to-run distributor, Hooker 2-inch full-length headers, run down to a Flowmaster American Thunder exhaust system. Orange Taylor plug wires and Billet Specialties pulleys complete the powerplant. Jeff backed the Rat motor with an M21 four-speed rebuilt with all new components.

The suspension is all Heidts, starting up front with the company's Pro-G clip fitted with 2-inch drop spindles, tubular arms, adjustable billet coilover shocks, rack-and-pinion steering, Borgensen steering joints, subframe connectors, and Wilwood 12-inch brakes with four-piston calipers and aluminum master cylinder. Out back is more Heidts componentry, including a Pro-G four-link with billet coilovers and a Panhard bar. Another set of 12-inch Wilwood's are hung at each end of the 3.73-equiped 10-bolt rear. All the suspension components were treated and got primed, smoothed, and painted Silver Pearl before being cleared. The big rollers on the car are from Coys in 20x7 in front and a massive 22x9 out back. Hankook was spec'd out for the tires in the way of 235/35 in front and 265/35 in the rear.

While the outside and driveline has been resto-modded, the interior of the car stayed basically in stock form. Sierra installed a completely new interior. The factory seats and door panels were recovered with new black vinyl, along with a new carpet kit. The only thing that deviates from what Chevrolet did is the instrument cluster, which has been upgraded with Auto Meter carbon-fiber gauges. Carrying the electrical power throughout is an American Autowire Direct Replacement harness, which also feeds a Pioneer/Kenwood audio system.

Jeff cut out all the rust, hammered out the dents and blocked the body arrow-straight. Since the body was on a rotisserie, the underside is just as nice as the top. Once the panels were ready, Jeff took it all in the booth and laid down a clean white base for the orange color to come. Once the paint dried, Jeff taped off the stripes and sprayed them in Silver Pearl. All of that was buried in clear, color sanded smooth, and polished to a bright shine.

With the paint completed, Jeff started the final assembly process. All new glass, trim, chrome seals—basically everything—was installed. That completed the car and Jeff almost instantly put it up for sale to fund the next one.

This is where Bill enters our story. He has had cool cars since the day he could drive and had a trio of second-gen Firebirds throughout the '70s (including an iconic Smokey and the Bandit-style black-and-gold Trans Am). Bill wanted to participate in the Super Chevy events, so he stepped away from Pontiacs and bought himself a '69 Camaro. After completion, he showed it for years. bringing home trophies from every event he attended. That car was finally sold to help fund a new home, but the love and passion for muscle cars didn't go away.

 Chevrolet Camaro Ss Rear 6/10

A few years later, Bill decided it was time to have a show-winning muscle car again, and had his eyes set on one of the increasingly popular second-gen Camaros. Bill is a self-employed guy who stays pretty busy, so he didn't have enough time in his schedule to dedicate to build something this involved, so he went looking for something done. It was three years of Internet searching and reading every ad in the paper before the Orange Crush popped up on eBay. Bill said the moment he saw it he knew this was what he was looking for and in an instant he made a bid and got it.

Even though this was a near perfect build, Bill still wanted to tweak it to fit him better. He swapped out the M21 for a Henderson Transmission-prepped a 700-R4 fitted with a Trans Star 2,400 stall converter, which sends power back via an Adam's Driveshaft.

Bill added a little more shine underhood with an Edelbrock water pump, polished balancer and polished stainless radiator hose. He also put in some new trim and vents in the interior, and with the help of a family member rebuilt the rear and added new axles.

Bill now had his new dream car, and a Super Chevy Show was right around the corner. Bill and Jeff's efforts with the car did not go unnoticed as it won an Editor's Choice and Best in Class award in its first showing—not too bad for a car that was once buried in the woods and left for dead.

1972 Chevrolet Camaro Ss Side 10/10



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