Heavy Metal Affliction 04/12/12
Welcome to Heavy Metal Affliction, ForzaMotorsport.net’s presentation of radical rides, builds in progress, dream projects, and barn finds. Wanna share yours? Tell us about it here.
Heavy Metal Affliction can be defined as: the enduring need and passion to seek, purchase, and fix-up cars that speak to us, without regard for investment value or resale.
Some people think of cars as transportation--a simple mechanical convention--built to serve the commute, accomplish an errand, or provide the occasional trip to Grandma’s house. To others--and I think there are a few of you in my audience--cars are works of art, mechanical masterpieces, pieces of history, and, above all, something to be treasured and coveted. This is the attitude we covet here in Heavy Metal Affliction; it’s a place to get your fix of metal, labor, and love.
Each week we will feature a ride that has been submitted to us by readers in the Forza Motorsport community, something we have stumbled upon ourselves, and even pro car shop builds. This isn’t just about hot rods, classics, tuners, or exotics; it’s about why we do it, and what was gained in the process.
This week we are not stepping lightly; we are foot down, stompin’ on it, with some hardcore, classic metal brought to us by Dalton Carter (GamerTag: CAMAROBOY68SS). Dalton comes from Hillsboro, OR, and he and his grandfather put this 1968 Camaro SS together over the course of seven years. They started the project when Dalton was eight years old and finished it shortly before he got his learner’s permit. What a cool car to learn to drive in, and what a special way to spend time together with one’s grandfather, learning about motors and metal, doing hard work, and building something unique and classic.
Dalton’s grandfather found this car the old fashioned way: in the paper. Once they got it to their garage, the two went to work disassembling it and stripping it down to bare metal. They worked on it together in their spare time outside of Dalton’s school and sports commitments. The car was rust-free to start with and a numbers matching original (meaning it contains all of its original components), making it the perfect candidate for restoration. After massaging all the body panels to perfection, they had it painted the original factory Le Mans blue. Under the hood is the original 327 that the pair completely rebuilt with an L79 327ci 350hp cam and a very rare Z28 aluminum intake topped with a 600cfm Edelbrock carb. The original Quadra jet and iron manifold rest on a shelf in the shop like trophies.
Check out this YouTube video to hear this baby purr!
Other than the slight motor mods, the car is all original and came with well-chosen options. In fact, the options for this car were so well chosen it is known as a “Phantom Super Sport.” This means it has almost all the ingredients of an SS but not the SS badging. History tells that, in 1967 and 68, there was no such thing as an SS with a 327, but when someone ordered a Camaro with a 275hp 327 with a four-speed, the factory saw this as a performance car. So, when building it, they endowed it with the 12 bolt rear-end, multi-leaf springs, upgraded suspension, and the Corvette proportioning valve, all components otherwise unique to the SS model. It was called the L30/M20 combo. Dalton and his grandfather decided to badge his as an SS since it already had the SS hood and holes drilled for the emblems.
Some of the other really cool period options his car includes are the tic-toc-tac, a wooden steering wheel, a push-button AM radio, and, of course, the glove box light. Yes, even that was an option.
You could say back in the age of the muscle car, the dealer dinged you for every little thing, but what they really did was let you build your own car. You simply cannot do that anymore; new cars have packages and options, but the level of personalization no longer exists from the dealer or factory. For me, that’s one reason why old cars speak a language I understand, and why I want to buy them, drive them, and fix them. Restoring such a cool car with a grandfather that shared his wisdom, time, and effort resulting in an awesome ride that can be shared with future generations is a valuable and rare opportunity.
Check out these shots of the car in detail and see for yourself that hard work and dedication can do great things!
If you suffer from Heavy Metal Affliction and know of a ride you think we should feature, post the story and a pic or two in our request for community rides thread.
Discuss your thoughts about the column in the forums in the HMA thread.