In the classic TV show The A Team, Col. John "Hannibal" Smith would often utter the phrase, "I love it when a plan comes together." He was right. Nothing beats the feeling when things just click. Jack Hodson's story is a bit like that, except what came together in the end bore little resemblance to the original plan.
In fact, the initial plan wasn't even to build a first-gen Camaro. As Jack told us, "After seeing the debut of the Hotchkis F71 Camaro, I was really interested in fixing up a second-gen." His lack of experience building cars meant that he wanted something fairly complete to start with. You know the story; it's the same one we've all used to sucker our significant other. We say, "I'm just going to clean it up a bit, maybe swap out the old wheels for something nicer." Yeah right, like that's gonna happen.
Jack swears that was his plan, but when he couldn't find a decent second-gen, his plan took on the first of many changes. "I had just about given up when a friend from work told me about a '67 he knew was available. When I checked out the car, I was so excited that I missed some of the things I should have been looking for," remarked Jack. Those overlooked details included signs of rust and other body "issues." The ride had a lot of good points, though, like a TPI fuel-injected engine, a 700-R4 trans, and even a 12-bolt posi rearend. The paint was nice. The RS front end made Jack drool, and soon a deal for $6,000 was struck with the seller.
Unfortunately, the owner had misplaced the title, and after six months of waiting around Jack began to think the deal wasn't going to happen. "Finally, the guy called and said he had found the title while digging through some paperwork. That night my wife, Joy, and I pulled the money from the bank and headed to his house," Jack said. The pair actually went to the wrong house first, where there was a junked '69 Camaro up on jackstands, to which his wife commented, "You've got to be kidding. You're paying $6,000 for that?" After Jack calmed his wife, they found the right house, and upon seeing the '67, his wife nodded with approval.
Jack drove the car home that night anxious to start tinkering with it. According to Jack, "Within a few days I washed the car, not realizing water was pouring through the front and rear windows and into the trunk." This meant that his plan of a simple refresh was blown, and soon he found himself really tearing into the Camaro. Before long Jack was yanking the motor and front clip while simultaneously explaining to his ever patient wife that this was just a small departure from the original plan. Jack and his buddy, Dennis Lawhorn, tagged and bagged the Camaro down to nothing. Soon the duo realized this was going to be a ground-up rebuild. "I really had no idea what I was doing, but thankfully, I had friends who did," relayed Jack. "I really need to thank Dean Livermore and the guys at Hotrods by Dean for letting me hang out in their shop and ask a ton of questions. My first welding project was building a body cart using scrap tubing and Dean's welder."