Anyone will tell you that if you want to make a car with a body that’s a little rough look presentable, you paint it white or yellow. These bright colors will hid a multitude of sins because the reflections will not give away wavy panels like a darker color such as black will.
One of the problems with a color like white is that it does an equally good job of hiding a car that has a high level of detail. The `68 Camaro pictured here is a good example of this. Its owner, Jim Rohleder, is a bodyman by trade and his expertise is easily seen once the Camaro is examined a little closer. This is not a Camaro that has anything to hide, it’s as straight as any Camaro and could easily wear a coat of black proudly.
The Camaro’s body wasn’t always like this. Jim’s first contact with it was when its previous owner had it towed into the body shop that Jim manages (Crivello Auto Body, Stockton, California) after he had center-punched a pine tree. The tree won and pushed the bumper about two feet closer to the windshield. After a long battle with the insurance company, they agreed to repair it. The owner decided he wanted some additional work to the rear done as well, but once Jim stripped the back half he found a lot of rust, more than the owner was willing to get repaired. Jim seized the opportunity to buy the Camaro and had it towed to his house so he could work on it and still be home with his family.
Years earlier Jim had to sell a half completed Chevelle SS project because of family responsibilities and with his wife pregnant he was determined not to let that happen again. New quarter panels soon found their way onto the Camaro. Jim worked his way forward every evening after work as well as every weekend. It wasn’t long until Jim rebuilt the drivetrain and had the body in shape and painted.
Jim then turned his attention to the interior and continued doing as much of the restoration himself as he could. The seats were redone in the stock Medium Blue along with the door panels and carpet. He did decide to dress it up a little with the addition of an ididit tilt column and billet steering wheel along with a few gauges from Auto Meter. When it came time to add some tunes, Jim turned to his friend Clarence Galysh to install the Alpine AM/FM/CD headunit, Fosegate amp, and JL Audio component speakers and subs.