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1968 Chevy Camaro Convertible - Seven Days Of Creation

Overhaulin' Ian Ziering's '68 Camaro

By Andrew Schear, Photography by Dakota Wentz, Andrew Schear

While some restorations take a matter of years, others may take only a few months. Have you ever heard of a full-blown restoration in 7 days? We sure hadn't, until we met the producers of "Overhaulin'" a television show soon to air on The Learning Channel (TLC) centered around building a custom hot rod over the course of 7 days. But there's a twist, the owner thinks his or her car has been taken, stolen or repossessed. In the world of TV anything is possible, but the thought of building a 100-point street machine in seven days seems impossible.

Over the past year we've been working on the QT with actor Ian Ziering to help build his '68 Camaro convertible, but there was still much work to be done. Through an interesting turn of events we made contact with producer Bud Brutsman and arranged to have Ian's car featured on "Overhaulin'." The car was subsequently taken from the shop of long-time SUPER CHEVY contributor Jim Sleeper of Sleeper Suspension Development and brought to Sal Perez's American Muscle Cars where the 168-hour marathon restification would take place. Ian was contacted by Sleeper and told that he was declaring bankruptcy and the car was being seized until further notice. This bought just enough time to keep Ian pacified until a phony meeting could be arranged to further fool Ian into the trap.

As proficient car buffs we don't need to tell you how difficult it is to get the right parts for your project on a short time span. Try getting wheels, tires, transmission, radiator, paint, interior, and everything else needed to build a complete car in a few short days. As can be imagined this was the biggest challenge. Of course there was the talent, which consisted primarily of the A-team: Chip Foose, Sal Perez (American Muscle Cars), Jim Sleeper (Sleeper Suspension Development), Aaron Ohama (Stitz Street Rods), Mundo Hernandez (American Muscle Cars), Orlando Hernandez (American Muscle Cars), Josh Kamholz and Rick Anderson, Jr., just to name a few. Contributors came from far and wide to make this happen. On hand were representatives from Classic Industries and D&R Classics, two of the major contributors of parts for the car.

Starting with the body, the entire subframe and rear suspension were dropped from the car. While the body guys from American Muscle Cars began their manic magic, the cornering experts from Stitz began on the rear four-link. By the end of the first day the bodywork was mostly done and the suspension was well on its way.

After the bodywork was complete the sheetmetal was given a coat of House of Kolor filler primer. Before going to paint the Super Chevy built 406, was test fitted into the new Camaro front clip. With the Global West front suspension assembled, the '68 was given a set of temporary rollers and sent to Chino High School in Chino, California, for paint and a wicked flame job courtesy of Mike Lavallee and House of Kolor.

Meanwhile, back at American Muscle Cars the rest of the crew was scrambling for parts to make sure that the '68 was completed on time. Upon its arrival the entire build team proceeded to wire the electrical, install the brakes, driveline, interior, stereo and trim. The 20-hour days were long and we'd be lying if we said there wasn't tension between some of the build team members. By the end of the last day the car was complete and the build team was suffering from a serious case of white line fever. Exhausted but content the entire build team along with the crew of "Overhaulin'" had completed what we thought was an impossible task. If we hadn't been there every step of the way we never would have believed it. Check out the assembly photos and see why they call it OverHAULIN'!

By Andrew Schear
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