Much of the time we've kept this column specific to by-the-numbers factory restorations, but we'll get back to that in the next issue.
I love late '60s and early '70s hot rodding and drag racing style (as long as it was done in good taste). It's called old school, retro, day two, and period correct, and it's making a comeback. For this column I'll stick to period correct (PC).
In some cases, enthusiasts are finding Camaros in most of their PC trim, just as they were built and raced in the late '60s. Especially the COPO Camaros; owners know that the cars have added value and have been tucked away for a long time. These cars were ordered for the sole purpose of getting the car to the strip as soon as possible and many had a ton of hot rod parts bolted on them within days of leaving a dealership.
Some guys find cool track stickers and drag race lettering during a restoration. This can help track the history of the car and adds tons of cool points to a PC restoration. If you get a Camaro in PC trim and don't want the parts, sell them-there's a market for them. If you decide to perform a PC restoration, where should you start? Some parts haven't changed a lot over the years, and those like Cragar wheels and Lakewood traction bars can pull off the look. Passionate restorers feel it defeats the spirit of the goal, and won't open a current catalog to order brand-new parts that look similar to PC stuff, at least not for the parts visible on the surface. They'll look on eBay, craigslist, and swap meets. That's where they locate the real hard-to-find, obscure parts.
To drive the point home, Jeff Murphy's ZL1 is being restored at Super Car Workshop in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, with finite PC details. His Winters' aluminum ZL1 block and heads were assembled with all the correct factory bolts and accessories, but dressed in hard-to-find 427 script M/T valve covers, orange M/T Super Scavenger headers, Delco SS 550 racing wires, and more, to give it the authentic PC appearance.
In the late '60s and early '70s, some cool hot-rodded Camaro existed, but some had poor execution of style, taste, and talent behind the build. You'll have to use your best judgment to perform a PC restoration by leaving the bad ideas in the past, where they belong. Good luck with your project of restoring or creating a PC Camaro build.