Ride Of The Week 06/28/2021: Chris, Chris & Kris' 1969 Camaro RS
Our final Camaro in June comes from Camaro Nationals in Frederick, MD which took place June 24-26 at the Frederick Fairgrounds. In the building 9 invitational display was a gorgeous green restomod that was turning heads all weekend. I’m a sucker for green Camaros with an RS package, so I talked to the owner and his son who built the car together. Turns out we had a lot in common. We were both from Westmoreland County, and the Camaro that got us hooked was Mom’s. I got the scoop from the younger Chris.
“My mom bought the car in 1979 when she was 18, I think? It sat for like 20 years in the garage. It was originally a Cortez Silver RS with black stripes & a black vinyl top. The original engine was a 307 ci V8 mated to an automatic and backed by a 256 posi-traction rear.”
Chris and his dad told me that as the car sat for many years, stuff piled up on top of it in the garage. “I’d have to fix some plumbing so I’d climb over the car or sit on the trunk lid,” the elder Chris reveals. “My wife had stuff piled up on it. It wasn’t until the gas tank started to leak that we decided to do something with it.”
In Chris Sr’s mind it was basically just about getting the car running and upgrading to driver status with better brakes and steering, but Junior had other things in mind.
“We started 12 years ago. We stripped and sandblasted it and put it on a rotisserie. Replaced the doors and quarters with fresh sheet metal. My dad wanted to make it look original, but I wanted to make it more enjoyable.”
And young Chris was successful in pushing his pop to go less resto, more mod. The car now has Dart 427 under the hood. They swapped the Turbo 400 automatic for a T-56 Magnum 6-speed backed by 373 gears in the rear. Also installed: 4-wheel disc brakes and 17” custom wheels on all four corners as well as some trick side-markers that really hide in plain sight.
The car is finished in a Pontiac G8 color, Poison Ivy. The interior includes new seats, Dakota Digital Drop-in Gauges, a toggle switch cluster where the seatbelts used to be stowed and custom embroidered headrests.
When I asked about the logo on the that adorns the seats and wheel centers, Chris explained it’s origin. “It’s something that I came upon when I was in college. Our family was descended from the Hohenstaufen dynasty in Germany. That crest dates back to 1142 when they came in to power, so I just kind of adopted it.”
Our thanks to Chris (dad), Chris (son) and Kris (mom) for sharing their story with us!
Don't miss the next Camaro Nationals in 2022. Check out CamaroNationals.org and be sure to follow @camaronationals on Facebook & Instagram for details on next year's event when they are announced!