1968 Camaro SS with LS3 Engine Swap

Posted by kingmaker

Here at RestoMod USA we love to see classic cars with well balanced modifications and tons of power! This 1968 Camaro SS has been re-imagined and LSx'ed with the handling to match the power. Read more to see all the specs and the making of this restomod.

A nine month project that started with a roller found in Scottsdale Arizona. It started life as a Camaro SS 396 with A/C optioned car. It was stripped down in the 1980s and left for dead in a vacant home owned by an real estate investor. Once the home came up for sale the car had to leave and ended up on Craigslist. Being that first generation Camaros are hard to come by in decent shape it caught the eye of Nichols Restomod in Phoenix Arizona. At first glance it looked fantastic... Original glass, great floor pans and original seats! However nothing is as it seems when you are looking at a Camaro in a crowded garage. Deep under all that primer lay a roof that was eaten alive by rust from the wonderful vinyl covering that once was. Other than the roof and filler panel the car was a solid find with a straight body—"great bones" as my father would say.

Exterior Paint & Extras:

  • Custom two tone paint job — red, black top with a silver stripe creating a great balance between the two.
  • Bottom of car cleaned off and painted with POR-15 Top Coat gloss black
  • OE Re-Chromed Bumper, new tail light assemblies, side markers, mirrors and door handles.
  • 6000K BIXENON HID high and low projector lamp housings with halo
  • Camaro SS Hood with new chrome louvers

Interior:

  • Dakota Digital (Analog Style) gauge cluster
  • Vintage Air system with new OE A/C chrome parts
  • Original A/C control head cleaned up and painted gloss black
  • Pro-Car Seats with 3-point seat belts.
  • New carpeting
  • Rear package tray including third brake light (coming soon)
  • Dash painted the same black as the exterior
  • POR-15 Silver added to entire floor & trunk pan for rust prevention
  • RattleTrap sound deadener added all over interior and extra padding over top

Wheels and Tires:

  • 275x40x17 all the way around on MB Old School chrome wheels

Suspension & Drive-Train:

  • Heidts Pro-G front subframe, rack and pinion steering, and 12" Wilwood Brakes.
  • BMR TA001 torque arm with watts link rear suspension (in process)
  • 12 bolt rear with locker

Power-Train:

  • 6.2L LS3 engine with custom cam swap
  • Hooker Long Tube Headers
  • 92 mm Nick Williams Throttle Body
  • Custom radiator and fan setup
  • EFI fuel tank and corvette regulator
  • Tremec T-56 transmission (6-Speed)

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 Read on to see the process this car went through to become a restomod anyone would be proud to own.

 
November 2013 - Goodguys Car Show, Scottsdale Arizona

You should always do all you can to prevent future rust. Even though the floor pans were clean of rust—POR-15 is well worth the money when you see how great it lays on the metal to encapsulate it.

All cleaned up with POR-15 Silver to encapsulate the metal to prevent rust.


Underside and Firewall cleaned up and POR-15 Gloss Black goes on.

So begins the fun of removing the roof and the sail part of the quarter panels. These will be replaced with new reproduction metal. All of the metal body structure underneath gets cleaned with rust convertor and coated in POR-15 as well. You can see that the lower quarters were perfect, no rust at all. A lesson in buying a car with a vinyl roof, expect rust.

 

The new roof, sail panels and rear filler deck are plug welded into place with care taken to understand where the window will be centered to ensure good gaps.

The Heidts system has arrived and we are putting the LS3 in place to ensure it all aligns well. No issues at all, the Heidts Pro-G fits great and the LS3 looks like it was made to be there.

Body and Paint by Whipple Motorsports. Great care had to be taken to get the door gaps. The doors had to be replaced with reproduction metal because they were not worth fixing with years of damage and one of the doors was not of the original car.

 

In goes the Vintage Air system, accessories and the Dakota Digital gauges.

Did you like this article? Do you have a car that you would like to see featured? Send us your information using our contact form. If we like what you have to say we will contact you back with additional information we need to feature your ride. *Please ensure that you have a wealth of images and a full write-up detailing the restomod process