Force Inducted Rat

510Rat

Member
Nov 1, 2011
51
Galesburg, Illinois
Hello to everyone! My name is Bill. I've been lurking on here for about a year and finally decided to join the ranks. I've already found much information on this site that has been of benefit and I'm sure there's more to come. I have a Camaro project of my own going on (well, sort of) and I thought I'd share my story. I'm sure my project won't move along as quickly as some on here and I've never been a member of a site before, so please forgive my ignorance of some of the features. I'm a bit of a speed freak and love cars. Well, at least Chevys! I'm sure this project will be challenging and the reason I say that is.....I really don't know much about cars! I've never had any automotive work experience. Luckily, my cousin has his own auto shop and has done some very nice award winning cars. One of which is a 1947 Packard Taxi, which he totally rebuilt from a pile of rust in about 3-4 months. It is one of only 3 known to exist! So, the plan is to do all the work I can myself. He's the expert and he'll tell me what to do and I'll do the labor, but I'm sure his talents will be required along the way. It's been about a year since I started and haven't progressed too far. She's all stripped down to a shell (that took about a week) and we've started on the engine. There's only two days a week where I could really work on the car and lack of funds slows things down. With the horsepower we're looking for we have to always option for bigger, stronger, and more expensive parts. Not the best mind you, but as much as I can afford.
Well, how about a little history of the car? She's a 1975 Camaro Type LT. (haven't seen too many 75s on here, what's up with that?) Dark green metallic with dark saddle interior. 350 4 barrel, 4-speed with 3.08 posi. Not many other options. Here's the kicker.....I ordered it in 74. That's right, I'm the original owner! How many of the rest of you can say that? It was the first brand new car I owned after high school. It was kind of a bad time to get a car. Smog motors, the Z-28 was gone, and the Rally Sport package didn't come out until later in 75. That left the Sport Coupe and the Type LT. I wanted black interior, which wasn't available in the LT. I liked the seats in the LT better, so I went with that package. Four choices of interior color. I chose the dark saddle. Then I chose dark green as the exterior color since I thought it looked best with the saddle interior. Maybe a stupid way to order a car, but that was my thought process at the time.
Actually tried to take care of the car at first. Owned it about 1-2 months before someone backed into it and caved in the passenger door and rear fender! Never found out who. Got it fixed and then somehow started doing some street racing. I know.....a smog motor? But she actually did pretty well. I found out I could beat 400 cubic inch Trans Ams .....as long as they were automatics. Ended up taking down a few and eventually ended up being allowed to cruise around with the Trans Am club here in town. But, I had to be at the end of the line!
The 4-speed in my car is a Saginaw, which I don't see listed on the info pages on this site for 75 Camaros. I think I got a leftover from 74. Anyway, racing took it's toll on that tranny. We (dad and I) had it out about 7 times. 3 times for clutches, others for broken gears or syncros. He kept telling me he was gonna kill me if I broke it again, but he fixed it anyway. Now we're up to 1977. Popped something in the engine. Sounded real bad. The Camaro got parked waiting for funds for repairs. I got a bonus around Christmas for about $1250. Being young and foolish, it went on a downpayment for a Corvette. So, the Camaro (only 2 years old) sat in my dads backyard for the next 33 years and slowly sank into the dirt. Weather, vandals, and thieving little punks took their toll on on the condition of the car. Then one year, during an ice storm, a tree fell on the car and "reshaped" the roof. It also blew out the passenger window and shattered the windshield.
It's probably stupid to rebuild this car. I've seen pictures of some of the cars you guys use for parts and they were in better shape! But, this all started with my cousins' idea of getting it back on the road because I'm the original owner. So, it's his fault that I've ended up here.
As for my plans for the car, they're inspired by some of the cars that Detroit Speed has done mixed with ideas from all over the internet. I've always thought of building it into an IROC racer look-a-like. I even went so far as to contact the bodyshop that made the fender flares for Spectres' black Camaro. They're actually developing a kit for the flares, but I think it may be a while. Now I think I've changed my plan back to a more of the Pro Touring look. I always said I'd own a big block before I get too old, so we picked up a 454 GMC truck engine. After having a bad experience with a large speed parts supplier (who will remain nameless), and finding out it's hard to find parts made in the USA, it's now a 510 cubic inch stroker with forged internals since I plan to also put on a Pro-Charger (if I can afford it!) I'm a bit worried about breaking parts, but my cousin says that won't be a problem since I probably won't have enough traction! From reading on this site, I think that the new transmission that Mcleod is coming out with (PLEASE!) is for me. I've kept tabs on it and still waiting patiently. Probably going to go with a Ford 9 inch rearend. It helps that my cousin just happens to have one! (hmm, still have to pay him for that!) I plan to run the torque arm rear suspension from BMR Fabrication. I like the way it looks and acts as a traction bar. I couldn't afford the custom 3 piece wheels like Detroit Speed uses on a lot of their cars, but I got a great deal on some barely used 2008 Corvette Z-06 wheels. I picked up a set of used rear tires to use around the shop since they will be going up in smoke on a video when the car is done. Also landed a set of bucket seats out of an 88 Conquest (I believe). They will have to be recovered, but everything works on them. And they were FREE!
I have to admit, I'm not a lover of the big bumper cars. I like the 69s best, but 70-73s are my favorites of the second gen cars. But, I've learned from this site about tucking the bumpers in and I think I can live with that. I've always considered running a rollcage just because I like the "racecar" look, but after reading on this site it sounds like a good idea to have one to keep from tweaking the body because of the amount of horsepower and torque we're hoping to have. I love the cowl hoods, but there are so many of them. So, I think I'm going with an L88 hood. The car will be it's original Dark Green Metallic and I'll probably run the dual white stripes. I've already drooled all over my keyboard many times reading through Olstyles' build and I've purchased the DVDs on how to paint your car, even though my cousin does very well with his paintjobs. My fantasy is to someday take the car to an event like the Texas Mile to try to squeeze it over 200mph. Don't know if that will happen, but that's my dream.
 
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81forme

Veteran Member
Apr 8, 2010
290
Wisconsin
welcome to nasty, thats great that you are the original owner so you know everything that has been done to it and also what it really needs to get it done. the car i have came from in Illinois and is in really good shape. have fun with the car and keep us all updated with lots of pics.:D
 

Paratrooper1

Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Oct 29, 2011
54
Cincinnati, Ohio
Welcome and what a story. That is awesome you took it out of the back yard after all these years and getting her back on the road again. looks like you have had quite the start on it at the shop. Keep posting pictures of the progress!
 

brooksman9

Veteran Member
Jun 10, 2007
6,353
Olive Branch, MS
Welcome aboard. I have seen people start with worse on here. Looks like it is in capable hands. Those BB valve covers threw me off there in nthe first pic for a minute. lol. I like the M/T's better than the Motion covers, they were Motion weren't they?. Glad you are restoring it rather than trashing it. Not a lot of 75's around on here at all. You definitely came to the right place and reading Guy's thread will teach you just about all you need to know.
BBFL
 

RS1970

Veteran Member
Sep 1, 2011
500
Washington
Welcome! Nice job on the ” custom” head work on the big block. I think you're right, the valvecover may have a sealing problem. Lol!

Good luck on this build. Keep those pictures coming.

What tranny is Mcleod building?
 

510Rat

Member
Nov 1, 2011
51
Galesburg, Illinois
Thanks to all for the words of encouragement! brooksman9...I sort of like the M/T valve covers. Thought about them for a while because my cousin has two sets and was willing to sell me one. Not sure if they will clear the stud girdles we want to run. I was looking for some orange ones to match the engine, guess I could have powder coated the M/Ts. RS1970....I found out on this site that McLeod is working on a 5 speed that's supposed to be stronger and about the same price as a tremec. I believe they also said it was smaller and lighter than a tremec. Last update I saw they said they hoped to have one at the SEMA show and may be ready to start taking orders. I haven't found anything on it yet.
 

510Rat

Member
Nov 1, 2011
51
Galesburg, Illinois
Here's a few more pictures of parts.
morefun001.jpg

morefun007.jpg

morefun003.jpg
 

B.M.

Veteran Member
Jan 11, 2010
903
Columbus,Ohio
Welcome to the forum.As you have already noticed,there is alot of good info here,and alot of very cool people willing to help with any info they can provide.Looks like your making good progress on your car,sure it needs alot of work,but the fact that you have a cool story to share about it's history makes it well worth saving.
 




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