Grecian Green. It was a half-year-only hue, and one look at Scooter Anderson's '68 L78 RS/SS example leaves us with a simple question: Why? Certainly, green was quite popular in those days, but Grecian Green got the axe midyear. Perhaps the color swatch in the ordering charts didn't show it in its full glory. Maybe there were just too many colors to pick from and GM decided to save some cash by cutting back (Fathom Blue, Palomino Ivory, and Tuxedo Black were slashed at the same time to make room for a few new selections). Can you imagine Chevy offering the Camaro in 19 colors today like it did then?
Whatever the reason, we're glad someone picked Grecian Green for this magnificent beast. Built in Van Nuys, California, the HH-code Camaro you see here was very nicely optioned, with the RS and SS packages, fold-down rear seat, L78 375-horse 396, and console gauges (among other goodies). The first time we saw it at the Memphis Super Chevy Show in 2012, we gave it an Editor's Choice award (it also won Best In Class at that event). We see a lot of F-bodies in our travels, but this one really got to us. We photographed it after the Memphis Super Chevy Show in '13.
Scooter Anderson bought a new L78 Camaro in August '67 when he was a just a young man of 19. "I had read about the L78 and my friend had a '66 Chevelle with it, so I became infatuated with that engine," Scooter explained. "To me, it was the epitome of street performance."
His car hit the track often, and for reasons no one could understand, Scooter's 396 Camaro was a lot faster than the other L78 machines in the area. Some opined that a 427/425 must have somehow gotten installed at the factory, but that definitely wasn't the case. When checked, the engine proved itself to be a 396. Once the last payment was made, he turned the F-body into an NHRA Super Stocker. The drag racing bug bit hard and the car was a terror in SS/D. Eventually, it was rebodied as a '68 and campaigned with a 275-horse 327 in SS/J, and after much success on track (and a win at Indy), Scooter let it go. He built a few more racecars and accumulated a nice collection of restored Bow Tie muscle cars, and eventually decided to get another L78 F-body for himself.
While he has not put the Camaro on track, this '68 definitely returns Scooter to his youth.
Like many, he sought out his original Camaro, to no avail. After one more dead end, he heard about the car you see here. It was found in North Carolina about eight years ago, and all the original parts were boxed, bagged, and accounted for (at some point, the Grecian Green body was painted resale red). Equally important, he got a stack of original paperwork with the vehicle—including the valuable Protect-o-Plate. The original owner traded a '66 Impala for it, for which he received a whopping $800 from the dealer).
The decision was made to perform a concours-quality restoration on the SS396. All the original stainless was re-polished. The body was in very good shape, and being a Southern car, its whole life meant rust was not a big issue, though there was some metal work performed. Ralph Edelen massaged the body back to better-than-new condition, then Randall Gay laid the correct color and stripes over it.
The numbers-matching 396 was pulled and refurbished by Randy's Racing Engines in Thomasville, Georgia. The block was punched 0.030 over, and while all the stock parts were re-used, they were definitely massaged for maximum effect. Scooter says the engine now makes 450 hp at 5,800 rpm and 475 lb-ft at 4,200. Backing the Rat is an M21 four-speed, which sends the power to a Posi-equipped 12-bolt rear with 3.73 gears.
Don't peek under the front or rear looking for the latest aftermarket suspension goodies. You'll be very disappointed. The wheels are 14x7 Rallys wrapped in factory-size redline bias-ply tires.
Scooter, who owns Battery Sales & Service (which has six locations throughout the South), is a devoted Chevy man. When he speaks of them, you can hear the passion in his voice. This Camaro shares garage space with a '69 Z/28, an untouched L79 '66 Nova, a 427/425-horse '66 Sting Ray, and a '62 327/340-horse Corvette. Currently under construction is a rather unusual '69 Z/28: a Rally Green RS with an M22, fiber-optic light monitoring system, and a Cross Ram intake. He hopes to debut it at this year's Memphis Super Chevy Show.