This 1970 Camaro has been in Willie’s family since new. His now 92 year old mother bought the car brand new in 1970, and then around 1977 his older brother became the next owner. A year later in 1978 Willie bought it from his brother for $200 (the price of the new battery he had just bought).
By the time it had gotten to Willie, the 1970 Camaro was in sad shape. The driver door and fender were smashed up, and instead of repairing the car with that money, his brother purchased new chrome rims.
Willie went off to college in 1979 and would spend the money he earned on new GM body panels to restore the damage on the Camaro. That is, until his father drove through the boxes being stored in the family garage, crushing Willie’s new quarter panels!
Willie had the 1970 Camaro moved to a “restoration shop” in 1980 for the next two years, where he thought it would be in good hands. As it turns out, the shop wasn’t very good and the Camaro wasn’t in the best shape when he received it back after finishing up college. He was so disappointed that it was parked in the garage, where it sat for the next few years. Continuing the trend of misfortune, the very first day he took it out of the garage, a tree fell on the Camaro. The quarter panel was now crushed once again.
Not to be dissuaded from getting the beloved 1970 Camaro back in shape, Willie decided to undertake the restoration job himself. After all, how hard could it be? He would soon find out that the task isn’t exactly easy if you don’t have the proper knowhow.
Over the years there would be several attempted restorations without much progress, and Willie finally duct taped the parts back onto the car and sent it to a proper shop in March 2019. By a year later in March 2020, the 1970 Camaro was back in his possession looking great and finally finished up in top shape.
Since the car was now in order, he drove it to his mother’s nursing home to show her the progress on her old Camaro. Unfortunately she couldn’t recall owning the car in her state, but Willie says that there was a twinkle in her eye that indicated to him there was some recognition still left.
“you know the one all Camaro owner’s get when they look at their car….priceless.”
Now that the work has been completed, Willie hopes to drive the family 1970 Camaro for a few years as it stands, then eventually he hopes to pass it along to his brother’s son if he too wants to own his father’s and grandmother’s old classic car.
“The car is pretty special in that it has boat loads of family history…”
As it stands, this Camaro retains the original 307 small block and automatic transmission that it came with stock. He has just had the original carburetor rebuilt and plans on replacing the aftermarket unit that was installed in the 1980s. He has kept as much of the car as original as possible but has chosen to go with Cragar S/S wheels and to remove the original vinyl roof during the restoration, as well as install a factory rear spoiler.
Future plans don’t entail too much, as he hopes to simply keep wrenching on his family 1970 Camaro, not really intending to modify anything. In the off chance that the original 307 finally fails, he will need to rethink what he plans to do with the power plant, but Willie’s hoping that winds up being someone else’s decision in the future.