Award-Winning 1969 Camaro Tries to Keep Streak Alive at Detroit Autorama
Bob Chiusano knows a thing or two about restoring Camaros. His 1969 Camaro Z28 won Best in Class at the 2016 O’Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels in Chicago. With his sights set on winning another award, Bob debuts his car at the 2017 Detroit Autorama. During our video interview, he shares his lifelong love of the Camaro and describes the trials and tribulations involved in getting this car show-ready. Have you participated in a never-ending restoration like Bob? We would love to hear your war stories. Leave us a comment.
Love at First Sight
It is a common tale among collectors. They see the car of their dreams in a dealer’s window and a lifelong obsession is born. Bob is no exception. After starting his collection, he knows it will never be complete without the Camaro Z28 of his childhood. Thus, the search for the elusive car begins.
Finding the right candidate is no small task (as many of you know!). Bob does locate the perfect car, an intact Le Mans blue Camaro with the original white interior. The only problem, rust is everywhere. The intense bodywork fell to Ed’s Rod & Custom in Cedar Rapids, IA to complete. It takes eight to nine months of hard work to cut out and sand the rusted metal.
“Getting the Body Right is Key”
It takes 19 months before the car is re-assembled and the engine installed. Bob knows you cannot skimp on metal work if you want an award-winning car. “Getting the body right is key. It forms the basis for how the lines and gaps fit,” Bob says. “I’m proud of the way it turned out.” The show judges seem to agree with him.
Certified by Jerry MacNeish – Camaro Expert
Bob’s Camaro Z28 is numbers matching and certified by Jerry MacNeish of Camaro Hi-Performance Inc. He is an author and expert on Camaros, Chevelles and the Nova SS Chevy II. He is also a car consultant with Barrett-Jackson Auctions. Part of the certification service Jerry provides is a photo data analysis. It confirms VINs, trim tags, engine stamps, build sheets and transmission stamping to make sure they all match up. Documentation proving your car is numbers matching is priceless.
Camaro Buyers Beware
Because many Camaros were raced or driven hard during their early years, they may not have many of the original parts. Jerry has built an extensive database of all the parts produced for these cars. He knows exactly how many cars were built each year and in what colors. If you are looking to acquire a late 60s Camaro of your own, heed these suggestions from Jerry:
- Determine if the drivetrain is original.
- Make sure the trim tag is authentic.
- Verify all original paperwork.
- Check the hidden VINs on the body. They should match the one on the dash.
- Verify that the car maker produced the current exterior and interior color scheme. For example, a larger number of black Z28 Camaros now exist that were originally produced by Chevy.
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
Bob is happy with how his dream Camaro turned out. “It runs great! I will never part with it.” We are glad that he has decided to share this fantastic car with us. Hopefully Bob’s story inspires you to start or continue the search for your dream car. Once you have it, protect it even during its restoration. Classic Auto Insurance offers affordable coverage for a variety of collector cars. Let our knowledgeable staff answer all your questions and customize a policy to meet your needs. Visit our website at www.classicins.com or call 888-901-1338 and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.