Marcelo brought his Camaro to Eaton MotorWorks for one purpose and one purpose only. With an image in mind to turn his classic 1970's era muscle car into a new era Hot-rod.
This classic 70's Camaro is receiving a full ground up restoration & build. It had arrived at my shop with the interior already stripped and gas tank removed. He saved me the hassle of doing that himself. The original plans for this build were to do a custom twin turbo setup with a built LSX engine, 12 point cage along with a tubed front & rear end equipped with a full ride tech coil-over suspension along with some other goodies.
Well.. as you'll soon see, those plans have changed slightly...
When the Camaro arrived to the shop the first order of business was to address the complete condition of the chassis, then start removing everything that wasn't going to be used once the build starts.
So that meant the first things to be removed were the front and rear windows and all the old wiring through-out the entire car.
Once that was done, next plan of attack was to get the car up in the air and remove all fluids for a clean removal of the stock 350 engine & auto trans.
Car came in already equipped with a traction bar kit, drag radials, hooker headers to a cherry-bombed exhaust that was thrown together, all of which is being removed.
Now, most of the above pictures get involved in showing some of the previous patchwork that had been done. When I first looked at the car while on the ground, it didn't look that bad to me and I thought it was repairable for what I needed to do. Well, after removing the patched pannel's it became clear that plans had to change and this build was going to be a lot more involved than it already was.
That was fine and dandy. I think most people would have turn't a job like this away, I saw what I could do with it and had to have it. so with the floors being as bad as they were, it opened the door in having my hands more deeply involved in this build than I originally planned.
Now, I had to change and develop a new game plan.
Your're asking yourself what those tubes are for right? well, let me explain.
With the floors being as bad as they are, having to modify the rear tubs to accept the 345 tires going on the rear, on top of modifying the transmission tunnel to accept the new transmission we'll be running, it made sense to remove the complete floor & build everything from scratch.
Like I said before... Most people would've turn't this type of job away. lol
So, the tubing is connected to 12 different points on the body; that being so when the floor is removed the body doesn't flex/fold in-ward; causing key components like the doors and trunk lid & glass frames to stay in alignment for reassembly.
Crazy right? I know!
So "now what?" you're probably asking your self? Well... I will now be building a complete tubed 4130 Chromoly chassis for this Camaro.
That escalated quickly huh?
Now that the floor is removed, that doesn't mean the body is ready to move forward with. Still lots of work and hours to put into cleaning a few areas up.
A lot of time has to be invested into the top two areas - rot repair, blocking off those large holes, building a structure for the tubed floor to now connect too, cleanup of the fire wall edges after being plasma cut, etc..
Tons of work!
This area hurt my soul as a fabricator... I will be cleaning this all up and have something very cool in store. So, all will be well!
I chose to go with this style of bracing rather then a "X" brace simply for the overkill and I can still fit seats inbetween the framing for mock up purposes before I actually secure the body to the frame.
I've always said and will continue to say that "its the little things that matter". Taking the time to change/modify or just invest time on the little tasks will add up in the end and make the whole project just stand out from the rest.
The way this front end is constructed is with 3 differently formed pieces of metal, overlaid and then spot welded together, thus forming its structure and strength. You can see the 3 overlaid pieces in the above photo.
It stuck out roughly an inch from the top edge. I removed all that material that wasn't needed, welded and blended the seam to create a smooth/cleaner look.
It's crazy to see pictures of this car completely together to now stripped bare with no floor... I've been asked a few times now, " where do you even start on a build like this?".
Well, that's a good question. Every build is different, faces its own challenges and concerns. This specific build required to first remove everything that was not needed to then have a blank canvas to start from. A blank canvas opens the door to do things you normally would've been confined to do.
It can be quite intimidating. Shit, everything that requires a ton of man hrs and thought is. One step and project at a time tho.
Well... more rot discovered that needs to be addressed before I move forward on any dash related projects.
On a project like this, with the time and money invested it's worth taking care of all this "cancer" if there is any. Not doing it now will bite you in the ass, later on. Covering it up with Bondo only hides it till moisture builds up and bubbles the Bondo months - years later.
Goal here is to do things right the first time so it doesn't have to be done again.
June - 25 - 2018 : Large order of 1-3/4” .120 wall 4130 tubing arrives. This is just for the main chassis, more materials have to be ordered for the smaller jobs.
August- 29th 2018: Built LS From Golen Engine’s in Hudson NH Finally arrives. Now that gets me onto a good topic. Build Time - So, in a perfect world where everyone isn’t busy and all parts show up on time, the build can move along pretty well and at a nice pace. Well… we do not live in a perfect world and shit happens.
Parts can take months to come in, Parts that were purchased before the build started will just not work now and countless hours are spent figuring out what needs to be corrected in order to gain progress.
Good example - This car arrived at my shop close to the end of April, the engine finally arrived on August 29th & then the moser Fabricated rear end showed up 2 - weeks later. Zero progress has been made till the engine and rear end arrived for mock up.
September - 26 2018 - Shell’s back in the shop after sitting outside for the past few months since the floor was removed. Everything but the front wheels are placed in there locations to begin designing the chassis.
The first part is to figure out a design for the floor bars then build out from there. This is the hardest part when building anything. The steps of seeing what is and what can be, tons of options to choose from all down to deciding the final decision.
I’ve designed and built tons of parts for customers who are building a project car themselves, only a few to this extent but mostly teardowns and rebuilding for a simple purpose. Some have kept true to those builds and finished while others just can’t handle the time, patience & seeing the car in this state for too long and give up.
I think that’s sad, They had a vision of the finished product but along the way they lost it and gave up cause things got hard. Shit if I gave up every time things got hard I wouldn’t still be here doing this for a living.
I guess what I’m trying to say is just hold onto that vision and make something from it, no matter what anyone else thinks or says about it. We’ve all started some place and at the end of the day haters will hate… just cause its you ;)
“I will be posting and updating this more once I have significant progress to post up and share. I will do my best to get into more details on the posts to come so ya'll can get into my head a bit.”
Thank you for checking this out, be sure to give each photo a good look so you can spot any changes to come!