Butternut the Gumball Camaro

AEGIS43

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
May 16, 2008
267
Gilbert, AZ
I joined this site in May 2008. I didn't own a Camaro then and had no prospects. I did own a ratty nothing 1972 Camaro that didn't run, for a minute, in 1988. I had traded a decent running 1972 F100 for it. But I remember the day in August 1976 my 14 year-old brother came home from the movies talking about this movie he saw about a race from New York to California, and all the cool cars that were in it. I was 12 at the time and I've always been more of a car guy than him, but not by a whole lot, and I asked a ton of questions. It wasn't until over a year later that we got cable and I saw it for myself on the then brand new HBO. Of course I was freaked out by the Daytona Spyder and 1966 Cobra, but the yellow Z28 blew my mind and has haunted me ever since. Hence my short flirtation with that '72 Camaro, but I was in no way in a position to do anything about my dream 33+ years ago.

Fast forward to June of 2008 and my first post on nasty, at least I believe it was: https://nastyz28.com/threads/gumball-camaro.123394/

In December 2009, through a guy at work, I stumbled across this for $1000. Believe it or not, my wife, whom has since passed away (God blessed the time I had with you Kelley, I miss you) went with me to see it for the first time and said, "Okay, buy it."


Camaro 012.jpg


It came with two pickup loads of parts plus another (blue) nose - with equally and identically rusted front fenders.

Kelley with the first load

Camaro 001.jpg


Camaro 023.jpg


I had no idea what I was getting into

Camaro 015.jpg


But when my buddy Stew, who came with Kelley and me to look at it the first time saw this, we got giddy

Camaro 005.jpg


Butternut.2.jpg


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AEGIS43

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
May 16, 2008
267
Gilbert, AZ
According to the the guy I bought it from I'm the third owner. It's a Van Nuys car and supposedly delivered to Globe AZ. Roy bought it from the original owners around 1980, and in late 1992-93 he took it apart. I got what I'm 100% sure is the original block, crank, rods, heads, oil pan and valve covers. It's an M20 AC car. Unfortunately, when machine work was done, the block got decked, so that's how that goes :-( But really, who cares about a Citrus Green non-spoiler SS 350 car having matching numbers.

This is actually what our eyes laid on when Roy opened the garage door.

Camaro 002.jpg
 
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AEGIS43

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Lifetime Gold Member
May 16, 2008
267
Gilbert, AZ
Camaro 019.jpg


Nice, huh?

Did come with some mid 3rd gen seats. Weirdly, the original front and rear seats just weren't there. About a week after I drug it home I ran into Roy and asked about them and he just looked at me. After a couple seconds it occurred to me that he must have been thinking that I just paid $1000 for the whole thing and maybe I shouldn't be asking a bunch of questions.

Camaro 024.jpg


I tried to sell them for $50/pair ... then $25 ... then after several more years just put them at the curb with a sign that read FREE. That did it.

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It came with three of these Kelsey Hayes 7" and one 6". I still have those.

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Block front.JPG


014 E 29 1970 block. That's why I'm positive it's the original engine, despite stamp being wiped.

3.31 posi

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Oddly, if I remember correctly, the M20 I got with it dates to 1971. So someone in antiquity blew up the original?

Camaro 006.jpg


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Cardinal

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Jun 22, 2003
8,364
Endicott, NY
OMG! Some assembly required! No battery included! THAT is going to be quite a project. Doable but it's going to take a LOT of time and effort!

By the way, been there done that with a 68 Camaro basket case.
 

AEGIS43

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
May 16, 2008
267
Gilbert, AZ
OMG! Some assembly required! No battery included! THAT is going to be quite a project. Doable but it's going to take a LOT of time and effort!

By the way, been there done that with a 68 Camaro basket case.
Yeah, it's been rough, but I've had help
 

AEGIS43

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Lifetime Gold Member
May 16, 2008
267
Gilbert, AZ
In early 2010 Stew introduced me to an acquaintance body and paint guy that I liked. He's super talented so I took the car to his shop. The only rust was in the fenders, like I mentioned above. I suggested we just get aftermarket - then less than $200 each, but he preferred to make two good fenders out of four bad ones. I liked the sound of that but his price quote to me for the whole car in fresh paint was so low, which was necessary because I really didn't have the money to be involved in a hobby like this, that I told him I couldn't afford that. I reminded him that my goal was to do a Gumball Rally Camaro tribute, which I knew was more involved than just doing an ordinary paint job. He told me he wouldn't increase the price, but that he would need to work on it in between other cars that would come and go. I know no body shops work on one car at a time, but when I asked what he was looking at he said maybe as long as 9 months. I immediately said "OK."

Butternut_8-31-13.2.jpg


Of course the Gumball Camaro had a '67 big block Corvette hood scoop ...

Butternut_8-31-13.hood.2.jpg


Camaro 5.JPG


The car came with no spoilers from the factory, so this is all Josh "the painter." Really spectacular work.

Butternut_9-1-13.1.jpg


Rear spoiler 1.JPG


Meanwhile, I'm ...

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Crusty suspension parts.jpg


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AEGIS43

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May 16, 2008
267
Gilbert, AZ
I dearly love the vintage (patent pending 1976) Eddy Torker that came with the pile that I drug home, and really, really wanted to use it.

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But my buddies were like, "That thing's not going to work. 50 year old technology, and that EGR cross over sucks." I knew I wanted the best aluminum heads for the car, so reluctantly I agree. In the end I did not get the best intake for my choice of parts, but that's later in the story.
 

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AEGIS43

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
May 16, 2008
267
Gilbert, AZ
I had a lot of help and my good friend and talented gearhead mechanic Tom Mobley (R.I.P) went through the axle assembly for me. He said it looked great and did a brake job including parking brake cables, etc.

Axle.3.JPG



Then I hand sanded it for I don't know, 3 or 4 hours, wiped it down with acetone and let it dry in the AZ sun. Then I wiped it real good with a lint free towel and hit it with a couple coats of etching primer. Then used this stuff. I love the look of not rusty bare steel and cast iron. I also love brand new cast aluminum.

Axle paint.JPG


Axle.4.JPG
 




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