JUNE MEMBER/CAMARO OF THE MONTH
JUNE MEMBER/CAMARO OF THE MONTH
Congratulations Bucky6702! You are the June Member/Car of the Month here at ModernCamaro.com and our very first 1st Gen Camaro owner to win the honor.
I feel humbled and honored to be the very first 1st Gen Camaro Member/Car of the Month. Not only that, but the very first non-5th Gen owner, so that means a lot. If that wasn't enough, it was unanimous, which blew my mind because, in my opinion, there are other Camaro owners that deserve this award before me.
We all want to know a little more about you and your Camaro so I have a few questions for you...
Will you share with us what began your love for cars and/or the Camaro specifically?
My love and passion for cars began just like so many others, I was influenced by my Uncles and my Grandfather. When I was six or seven, you wouldn't find me playing Atari or Nintendo games, you wouldn't find me playing with GI Joe, or Thundercats.... You'd find me in my Grandfather's garage watching my uncles work on their race cars. As a young kid, I was blessed to have so many people willing to teach me and let me do things that other kids had no interest in. By the time I was fifteen, I was helping and assisting turning wrenches on our Modifieds that we raced in Moberly and Holt Summit, Missouri. By the time I was sixteen, I was racing Modifieds myself traveling all over Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and Oklahoma.
I took that same love and passion and applied it to the Camaro. Like racing, I fell in Love with the Camaro at a young age. No one in my Family, or Extended-Family owned one, but something attracted me to them. I can remember going to a carnival in 1982 and winning a small glass picture of the "new" 1982 Camaro. I hung that picture on my wall and protected it like it was the only one in existence. Through the years, I watched the Camaro change for the good and the bad, but my heart was always with the 1st Gen and I knew that one day I had to have one. That day would come on my seventeenth birthday when I traded my 1989 S-10 4.3 V6 5-Speed for a 1968 Camaro, even steven. That car was a plain coupe with a 327 Small Journal Engine with a 2-Speed Powerglide. She was Lemans Blue with White Rally Stripes. From that moment on, my addiction was confirmed.
But I don't discriminate, as I've owned quite a few Camaro's over there year. Here are the makes and models of Camaro's that I've owned: 1968 Camaro Coupe (327, 2-Speed Powerglide, 4.56:1 Gears), 1985 Camaro Z-28 (305 TPI, Auto, Black, T-Tops), 1991 Camaro RS (V6, 5-Speed, Red), 1967 Camaro Coupe (383 Stroker W/Brodix Heads, TH400, 4500 Stall, 4.56:1 Gears), 2002 Camaro SS (345 HP CME, 10-Spoke Wheels, 6-Speed, Sebring Silver), 1967 Camaro RS/SS (Jade), 1989 Camaro IROC-Z (305HO, 5-Speed, Electric Blue) 2002 Camaro SS (345 HP CME, Chrome 10-Spoke Wheels, Auburn High Torque Diff, Bilstein Level II Suspension, 6-Speed, Traction Control Delete, SLP Strut Tower Brace, SLP Subrame Connectors, SLP Headers, SLP "Skip Shift" Eliminator, Navy Blue Metallic)
Please share with us the story behind your 1st Gen Camaro?
Where do I begin with Jade.... From the moment I sold my first 1967 Camaro, I was left with that sick feeling, as if I had done something that I could not take back. I sold her because I enlisted in the Army and at the time, it just made practical sense. She was sold in 1999 right before I enlisted, and at that moment, I told myself that I would have another one. While stationed in Korea, in 2001, I heard the same announcement that everyone else heard, Chevrolet was stopping production of the Camaro. At that moment, I felt like a part of me was dying. So, I saved every penny I could and while in Korea, I started making plans to purchase a 2002. I arrived back in the United States October of 2002 and my new baby was sitting, waiting for me in the show room floor at Lynn Smith Chevrolet, right outside of Fort Worth. She rolled off the assembly line the second week of August, and was signed by Ed Hamburger and Fbodfather. At the time, I thought that is what I wanted... In the 13 months that I owned her, I put 900 miles on her. Not by my choice, but because of obligations to the Army. Even though I owned a brand new SS Camaro, there was still a huge part of me missing. So, when I would deploy, or I'd be at home bored, I would search the internet for any and every first Gen Camaro. That is where I found Jade.
It was October of 2003 when I first discovered her for sale. She was located in Boston Massachusetts, and was at a frame-off restoration shop. She was originally Tuxedo Black, with a White "Bumble-Bee" Stripe. She was a factory optioned car with the Deluxe Interior, Power Steering, Power Brakes, and a 12-Bolt Rearend. I fell in love instantly, and knew I had to have her!! The only problem, the owner was asking $25,500 and I had a $450 dollar payment on a brand new SS Camaro. So, I did what any normal, rational person would do; I sold a pristine, brand new car, with a factory warranty for a car that was 36 years old!!
It only took a week to sell my Silver SS, and she sold to a gentleman in Redondo Beach, CA. After delivering the car in person, I was determined to work a deal out with the owner of this RS/SS Camaro, that in the end, she would be mine! By December of 2003, we had negotiated a price, the only issue was, finding time to drive from Fort Hood, Texas all the way to Boston to get her. Not only that, but working out payment was another issue, since I didn't have $25,000 just laying around. Oh, and I was deploying in February of 2004 to Iraq in Support Of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I also didn't feel comfortable buying a car site unseen, even though it was a restoration shop and had just completed a 18-month restoration. So, after weeks of planning, working with USAA for financing, it was time to have the car inspected. Hagerty Classic Insurance sent a private Inspector/Adjuster to look the car over and complete an appraisal. After inspecting the car for 2 days, writing a 7 page detailed report, the car came back with no issues and was appraised at $33,000. The minute I received that report, I pulled the trigger.
The owner was willing to store the car for me until I could drive out there, so one week before I deployed, I drove from Texas to Missouri, picked up my brother-in-law, and then headed to Boston. We left Jefferson City, Missouri on a Wednesday, drove straight out there, picked her up, and then was back in Missouri by Friday. Just a few short days later, Jade brought my son Chase Davin home from the hospital. After that, she was parked and stored as I deployed to Iraq.
Since then, Jade has gone from being completely stock, restored as "all original" to how you see her today. She is now my vision of a Classic Car that is all modern and updated underneath, but still retaining the Classic look on the outside as well as the inside. She still wears her Deluxe Interior with her Original Gauges, to include her Gauge Cluster. When I restored her in 2009, I went as far as to update her headlights, as they are fully functional, opening and closing flawlessly. The taillights have also been updated and are LED Sequential. I did 75% of the work myself, with the exception of painting her and building the engine. The paint color on Jade is Imperial Blue Metallic and the stripe is Cyber Gray Metallic. The wheels are custom made wheels from Jason Rushforth, and the brakes are 6-Piston, Slotted and Cross Drilled Wil-Wood. The engine is a 468 Big Block equipped with Edelbrock Performer Aluminum Heads, Holley Ultra-HP 4150 870 CFM Carb, Comp Cams Roller Cam (578/578 Lift, 232/232 Duration @ .50" W/110 Lobe Separation), Comp Cams Gold Series Race Rockers, Comp Cam Hydraulic Roller Lifters and Pushrods, Speed-Pro 10.44:1 Forged Pistons, Stage II Forged Connecting Rods, Forged Polished Crank, full MSD Digital Ignition to include a Pro-Billet Distributer. She has Hooker Super Comp Headers with full 3" Flowmaster Exhaust with a "H" Pipe. The suspension is full Hotchkis, to include the front Coils, Upper and Lower Tubular A-Arms, Sub-Frame Connectors, and Rears Springs. I'm running QA-1 12-way Adjustable Shocks out back and Bilstein Shocks up front. The transmission is a Tremec TKO-600 5-Speed with a .64:1 overdrive for fifth gear. So, cruising @ 70 MPH isn't that bad, around 2300 RPM's. I went as far as to update the clutch system, and she's fully hydraulic, just like a new Camaro. Shifting is a breeze with only about inch and half of pedal travel. Talk about quick shifts!!
All in all, she's not a bad car. Does she still throw fits from time to time?! You bet your bottom dollar she does. After all, she's now 47 years old. Does turning wrenches on her, constantly double checking every little thing get old and annoying?! Yup!! Do I wish that sometimes I had the comfort creatures of the new Camaro?! Ask me that when I'm doing the Hot Rod Power Tour..... LOL. But at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade her for the world.
How did you discover ModernCamaro.com and what has kept you here?
I discovered this site right when the new Camaro was introduced. I joined this site, along with Camaro5, but this site always felt more like a close tight family. Back when Tim owned it, this site seemed like the place to be. You could always seem to vent, have open discussion and arguments without getting warned or banned. I lurked for about a year and then finally decided to join. Although my post counts are low, I'm constantly reading and keeping up with everything. After all, you never know what tomorrow may bring and I may just one day shock everyone when Jade goes bye-bye and a new ZL-1 takes her place....
And finally, do you have anything you'd like to add to the ModernCamaro.com members or anyone else reading this interview?
I want to say thank you to each and every member that felt I was deserving of this award. I'm sure over the past 3-4 years, I've managed to upset a few people and more than likely, ruffled a few feathers, but I've always tried to be helpful when I felt I had input. I've always been vocal about Member of the Month, because I've always felt that if you own any Camaro, you should be eligible. Without the 1st Gen Camaro, there would be no 5th Gen. And when I owned Davin, I still wasn't eligible, even though, IMO- a 4th Gen is "Modern". So, I want to thank the Moderators who changed that rule. To me, it just makes sense because in the next couple years, the 6th Gen will be coming out. It's not fair to the other members that have the same love, the same passion, but yet, we were never eligible. So, once again, thank you all.