So there you are, staring down your not-so-special tin can of a commuter car—blown in-dash, 3-inch speaker and all—suddenly you get to thinking how cool it would be to get your hands on a vintage ride. You take it one step further and narrow it down to something really cool—like a first-generation Camaro maybe? Yep. That’s the one. So you break open the laptop and begin and extensive online search by clicking on every classic car site, eBay and wherever else the almighty Google takes you. Feeling a little nostalgic even, you get a little old school by hitting your local 7-Eleven to pick up the always-trusty Auto Trader and every other used-car publication on the rack. Now armed with plenty of cars to choose from, the next step is to figure out which one has the fewest body issues for the least amount of cash.
Easier said than done, but that’s the bumpy road Chris Pecoraro took when he bought his first vintage muscle ride.
Chris’ initial attempt at first-gen ownership resulted in a car he was never able to drive due to a bent frame. Thankfully, he was able to return the off-kilter Camaro for a full refund.
That’s all good, but Chris was back to being Camaro-less.
Still dedicated to the Camaro camp, over the years he managed his way through a number of second-gens, but the thought of owning a first-gen was ever-appealing. So, after four-year search, a clean Sequoia Green ’68 caught his eye and he’s been smitten ever since.
“The car was mostly original when I bought it, so I just took it apart, cleaned everything up, and put back together,” Said Chris. “At the 2008 Camaro Nationals I got a 91.6 percent in the Legends class. I had no idea the car would do that well, needless to say, I couldn’t have been happier.
Elegant Motor Car Works in Englewood, New Jersey took care of cars finish−bodywork, paint and buff−Chris handled the disassembly, inspection, and reassembly himself.
Being a Concourse restoration project, Chris makes certain every nut and bolt is factory-correct, but gets a lot of questions concerning the originality of the rare, multi-plex stereo system. “Most people have a hard time believing it’s original equipment, but it is. In fact, I’ve even had a car show judge question it,” states Chris.
With originality being the main focus of this near-flawless Camaro, the immaculate SS rolls on 14x6-inch Rally wheels wrapped in F70-14 Firestone Wide Oval Redlines and is powered by a healthy numbers-matching 396 backed up with a Muncie M-20 transmission.
If amazingly-restored Camaros are your cup ‘o tea, you’ll want to check out Chris Pecoraro’s beautiful example in June at the 2009 Camaro Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as it goes through its second round of Legends Class Judging.