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Project American Heroes II Unveiling at the Joliet Super Chevy Show
Embedded in hot rod folklore is the ultimate speed shop. It's a place where a slightly less than mechanically inclined visionary brings his car to get "worked on" by car guys with legitimate skill. This "oft dreamed of" shop possesses a strong, state of the art knowledge of the very best parts available, while magically creating a stalwart, old school feel where you pay a reasonable price for excellent work.
Anticipated trips to such a shop help carry an owner through the drudgery of his daily routine as pictures of significant progress and improvements to his ride capture the imagination. Caught up in a high-powered climate of successful enterprise during the workweek, it's the visit to this hot rod shop that makes the 10- or 12-hour days tolerable. Though some might conclude that finding such a shop is beyond the realm of reality, it certainly is no myth. A few of those shops capture that ethos successfully, and Route 66 Motorsports does so more than most.
During the buildup of Project American Heroes 2, our '69 Camaro SS (that now wears an RS grille), it has not escaped notice that the customers of Route 66 Motorsports in New Lenox, Illinois, quickly became friends with owner Bill Jelinek and company, developing a fellowship of enthusiasts passionate about high performance cars. There are guys who come to the shop and literally hang around talking for a couple hours, dreaming about their cars, laughing and joking with Jelinek and his crew. That atmosphere of camaraderie and bench racing makes for the sometimes elusive experience of the buildup of one's machine equaling its subsequent usage. At Route 66, there is no lack for talent, and the cars that roll out of the shop speak for themselves. Concurrently, these are regular car guys building outstanding cars for people who become a part of a family.
The Project American Heroes 2 Camaro was built at Route 66 Motorsports first and foremost to help our military personnel and their families. The Armed Forces Foundation is an incredible organization that accomplishes great things for needy families who truly understand the price of war. Assisting those who have sacrificed so much for the safety and security of our borders, and ultimately the world, must never go unnoticed. Patriotism runs rampant among hot rodders, evidenced by the enthusiastic support of the manufacturers who supplied parts for the Camaro. The heroism of our armed forces personnel evokes the strongest sense of gratitude and admiration from the car world, and the boys at Route 66 understand that reality profoundly.
For that reason, this Heroes Red '69 LS7 Camaro is a very special piece. The challenge of making a red '69 Camaro that would be instantly recognizable as a Project American Heroes car was daunting red '69 Camaros seem to have some measure of popularity among Chevy guys. Would this car be a real performance piece, or would it be a poser with nice wheels and paint? Then the parts started rolling in, and we're talkin' serious, high-performance parts.