Mike Binkel's story is one we've heard more than a few times. Heck, we've even lived through it ourselves. Mike was a guy with a plan. He wanted to find a ready-to-enjoy '69 drop-top with the intention of just doing a few tweaks and changes to personalize the car. Yeah, right. After eight months, he found the perfect ride. As Mike tells us, "We found a car on Craigslist in Nevada, which is about a seven-hour haul from Southern California. I brought a knapsack full of bills and an experienced car builder with me and, after a test drive, I bought the Camaro." Mike should have known what was in store when the new purchase wouldn't even fit on the trailer until a big-ass hammer was used to "modify" said trailer.
Once home, Mike started tinkering with the 'vert and, within three months, the car was basically pieces. Mike spent many 18-hour days on the weekends doing all the various projects. Manual windows were converted to electric, a Vintage Air Front Runner serpentine drive system was installed-all little stuff. But the more he did, the longer the list of things to do became. Eventually, Mike moved on to the car's paintjob. By Mike's own admission, it was in great shape but just needed a couple of issues fixed. Still, it wasn't long before the bare shell was headed off for media blasting. David Carl Peters then worked with Mike to come up with a paint scheme and Devan Noonan laid down the PPG mix.
With the car painted, it was time to put it back together. Mike was tired, so he farmed that job out to Dick Kvamme at Best Of Show Coach Works in San Marcos, California. "I met Dick at the Del Mar Goodguys show and one thing lead to another. A '69 Camaro his shop built won muscle car of the show, and that convinced me to take my freshly painted '69 to him for reassembly," Mike recalls. This 1969 Camaro convertible is powered by a stroked 383 small-block, while the GM suspension was upgraded with parts from Global West and QA1. The wheels are Foose Legend series wrapped in BFG rubber.
Right now the Camaro is at Elegance Auto Interiors getting the full treatment from Mark Lopez and should be done and on the road by Christmas 2010. That is, unless anything needs a little more work.