1970 Chevy Camaro RS - There's Waldo

With One Part Luck And Two Parts Persistence, You Can Score A Sweet Deal In The Least Likely Of Places

Stephen Kim Jan 1, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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As miserably delusional and unoriginal as it may be, every hot rodder dreams of someday scoring a muscle car for peanuts off some chump who has no idea what he's got. If this guy actually exists, he somehow manages to covertly evade detection, as if trained by a CIA operative, or better yet that punk Waldo. Overwhelmingly slim odds aside, Randy Rodgers spotted a potential candidate at a small-town Texas car auction seven years ago and went in for the kill.

His target was a clueless-looking dude standing next to a near-perfect '70 Camaro RS, complete with the original 350, four-speed, and 12-bolt rearend. The owner-who won the car as part of a radio station giveaway-had no idea what he was selling, and Randy took the car home for $14,000. Although fate led him to a chance encounter with Waldo, Randy realized it was up to him to make the most of his prized new possession.

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Over the years, Randy has owned over 10 different Camaros, but the one he misses the most is a numbers-matching '70 Z28 that he sold in 1992. Buying another second-gen was his way of vicariously re-living his youth, and the car didn't stay stock for long. He immediately installed a set of headers, an Edelbrock intake manifold, and a bigger carb. Nevertheless, the car still felt slow, and Randy realized that he just wasn't as passionate about it as his first '70 Camaro. Fortunately, Randy had passed the Camaro creed down to his son, Ty, who was more than happy to take the second-gen off his dad's hands for a cool $9,000. "He definitely sold it to me for much less than it was worth, but he was happy to keep it in the family, and he knew I would finish it the right way," Ty recalls.

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With the father-son handoff complete, Ty left the car unchanged for the first year. While giving the motor a beat-down one day, it threw a rod, which gave him an excuse to tear it apart and build a 383. Wanting a durable yet potent motor capable of propelling the Camaro into the bottom 12s, Ty spec'd it out with an Eagle crank and rods, and matched them up with forged 9.7:1 Speed-Pro pistons. The short-block was topped off with a set of AFR 195cc heads, an Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap intake manifold, and a Barry Grant 750-cfm carburetor. A Comp 240/246-at-0.050 hydraulic roller cam actuates the valves, and the exhaust escapes through Dynomax long-tube headers and Flowmaster mufflers. The setup has never been on a dyno, but Ty estimates that output is in the 475-500hp range.

Granted the Camaro was now putting down some respectable forward grunt, but the car was too plain for Ty's tastes. "The car looked great, and the paint and bodywork was beautiful, but I always wanted to build a Pro Touring second-gen," he explains. The induction setup on the new motor wouldn't fit under the stock hood, so Ty used it as an opportunity to beef up the Camaro's appearance with a cowl-induction unit.

Pleased with the results, he further enhanced the car's aesthetics with lowering springs and a set of 18-inch Coys C5 gunmetal wheels. Although the Camaro isn't a real Z28, Ty likes the fact that the Coys wheels resemble the shape and color of the original Z28 rollers. "Since the paint on the car was so nice, I knew it would be hard to get the new hood to match. I ended up calling the radio station to find out who they hired to paint the car. Luckily, they still had some paint left over from the original job, and painted the hood to match the body perfectly."

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