The 1967 Chevy Camaro is a longtime favorite from the past that helps bring back memories of days past for some people and is a source of excitement for first-time owners. The Camaro is still in production and thrives as an American living legend. While it is an amazing car in both the modern age and the past, the two versions are very different. If you are going to restore a 1967 Chevy Camaro, there are many things to consider, especially if it is your first time.
The first step is to make decisions about the end product you want. Have you fully inspected your car with a qualified professional to determine the mechanical history of its current condition? Are you going to restore your car to original factory condition or are you going to modify it with upgrades? In 48 years, it is very likely that the car has been modified, damaged in an accident, or possibly repaired in such a way that you may not even have original factory issued components. The entire process begins with knowing what you have and what you want to finish with.
Before you start any work or turn your car over to someone else you will employ for the task, take a video and photos of every inch of your car. Regardless of your photographic memory and the manuals available for your car, take no chances. Every car is unique, even if it was mass produced.
Cars were special ordered more often in the past. After you have taken inventory of your car with recorded images, it is time to take inventory of your garage and your wallet. Depending on the extent of change needed to obtain the finished product, you are going to need a massive amount of tools and garage space.
Consider, if your frame rails are rusted through, you will have to remove the chassis, the driveline, engine, and every other part of the car touching the frame rail. You are going to need some room to work and to store your parts. Your tool inventory is not inclusive enough.
You are going to need a complete body shop set of tools to include a sealed moisture-controlled room for painting. The bodywork is only a part of the job, but it is a big part. If your upholstery is going to need repairs, which is probable, it has its own tools of the trade. Be ready to spend some money.
Knowledge for the Do It Yourselfer
Restoring your Camaro requires a great deal of mechanical competence and know-how. While you do not need to know everything there is to know about a 1967 Camaro, you do need to know how to find the information you need. If you are going to restore it to original factory condition, then you are going to need information specific to your vehicle. What was the original color scheme? Is the motor that was originally issued under the vehicle identification number the same as the motor that is in the car now?
One of the most advisable courses of action to take is acquiring a thorough manual from the Chevy dealership for your car. There are several websites online that provide step by step techniques for various parts of restoration. There are videos from other do it yourself types on YouTube to help make your path forward more clear.
Where you get your information is not as important as making sure it is accurate information that relates to your car. Before you get started, check out a few car shows and identify Camaros that were restored to original condition and others that were upgraded or personalized. Being able to see the differences may lead you down a more satisfying path.
Care and Maintenance
The care and maintenance of your car is not something that starts when the project is completed. As you strip the parts from your car and restore them piece by piece, there is going to be a problem that presents itself. Take chrome for example. If you clean the dirt off of chrome, buff it down and bring out the shine, you make it susceptible to the elements and oxidation. Restoring a car often takes years and packaging a part on the shelf requires lots of storage space as you move through the process piece by piece.
Part of your project management planning should include a strategic movement from one part to another. If you are ordering used parts from other owners, you want to be able to store the parts in a safe place until you are ready to put everything back in its place on the car. While you want to be quick to inspect every item, you do not necessarily want to restore every part the moment it is removed from the vehicle. Take an inventory of your car and record it. Carry insurance on your shop area that will cover the car in the event of accidental destruction.
The hardest truth to sometimes admit is that there are some things we are not good at. Painting a car for the first time is a bad way to learn when the vehicle is a classic that you are restoring. Using bondo and fiberglass on a metal chassis can be done so poorly as to devalue the car. You are better off finding original replacement parts in good condition if you are restoring the car to original condition.
Sometimes, if we are honest with ourselves, we can make good decisions. Find a professional that you trust to outsource some of the specialty work like painting, upholstery or transmissions. There are shops with skilled technicians who have worked for years in the areas you will need help with.
Linear Automotive is a shop that takes pride in their restorative team and has an excellent reputation for their finished products. When you imagine the finished product while looking at the vehicle you have in front of you, ask yourself if you have the skills necessary to take it from now to then. While you may still do most of your work, if you are going to restore a 1967 Chevy Camaro you may also ask for a little help sometimes.