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Muscle Cars From the 1970s: This Street Freak 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Is the Family’s Grocery Getter

Drew Hardin Oct 2, 2017
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"Day two" is the 21st century term that today's car hobby has hung on muscle cars modified with period-correct speed equipment. They weren't called that back then, just like World War I wasn't referred to that way until World War II happened. They were just cars, and modifying them was just what you did back when they were simply cars ripe to be personalized and upgraded to go faster and look better ("better" being a relative term in those crazy disco years.)

1968 Chevrolet Camaro 2 2/4
1968 Chevrolet Camaro 3 3/4

In the 1970s, Car Craft magazine coined a term for muscle cars modified beyond the norm: street freaks. They proved so popular with readers that the magazine's staffers scoured the country looking for these jacked-up, custom-coated machines and regularly featured them on the magazine's pages. For a few months in 1974, they even pitted the street freaks from various parts of the country in a "versus" format—Miami vs. Ohio, Newark vs. Phoenix, that sort of thing— comparing the kinds of cars modified, how they were altered, and how they were used.

With Grady Burch's outstanding day-two Camaro on this issue's cover, we thought it would be interesting to feature a street freak Camaro for comparison. What we found was Patty Crofton's 1968 RS, photographed by Car Craft staffer Jon Asher in Ohio in early 1974. Patty's husband Pat also brought a car to the photo shoot, a radically modified (and painted) Chevelle with a 461-inch big-block fed by dual 700-cfm Holleys on top of an Edelbrock tunnel ram.

1968 Chevrolet Camaro 4 4/4

By comparison, Patty's Camaro was relatively tame, its 350-inch small-block topped by a single 850-cfm Holley on an Edelbrock intake, with Hooker headers visible beneath the M/T valve covers. The Camaro was set up for track duty, with slicks and traction bars. "Both cars are strong runners," Asher noted in the magazine's June issue, "the Chevelle obviously the quicker of the two. Patty's car is the family grocery-getter!"

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