Mike purchased this 1980 Camaro Z28 about 28 years ago with 21k original miles, it currently sits at 35k miles on the odometer.
At time he was saving up money for an engagement ring, but he found this 1980 Camaro covered up in someone’s garage and had to have it. A late second gen Z28 was his dream car as a kid in middle school.
“I’ll never forget my girlfriends face when I brought it home and her asking me what about the ring?.. it was priceless!”
Needless to say, he did eventually get that engagement ring and they are happily married with 2 children, and in fact just celebrated their 26 year anniversary. She’s actually enjoyed the car just as much as Mike has over the years.
“she didn’t dump me after spending the engagement ring money on this ride .. lol.”
Now that the kids are grown Mike’s decided to rebuild his dream 1980 Camaro as of 5 years ago. He did much of sanding and blasting work himself, as well as the refinishing of the various parts during the frame-off restoration. He also wanted more horsepower, but didn’t want to alter the original motor since it only has 35k original miles on it.
The solution was to purchase a Blueprint 383 stroker rated at 450hp, along with a Monster TH700R4 transmission to handle the extra ponies and provide overdrive. He still plans to do a refresh on the original small block to make it look like it did from the factory.
Otherwise Mike’s goals with his restoration were to keep the 1980 Camaro looking as original as if it were still stuck in 1980. The main exceptions to that theme were an upgrade to rear disc brakes and polyurethane bushings all the way around. He’s also in the process of purchasing the rest of the air conditioning components that he needs to get everything working in preparation of using the 1980 Camaro for the upcoming summer cruises and car shows.
He’s planning on organizing a car rally similar to a motorcycle poker run with a few of the car clubs in his area. At the end of the rally he hopes to have a car show as the finale.