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1979 Camaro Berlinetta – James Cameron

Sometimes, we have plans and then reality hits and we have to change those plans. This Camaro was to be a 1978 Trans Am, so, you could say that this transformation This Camaro started as a father/son project and became a memorial to the father. This project is now scheduled to take James mother on a coastal tour.

Check below to read the incredible journey this car has taken. Make sure to go to the end and check out all of the pictures.

Disclaimer: Customs N Classics does not charge for any articles. These are free and are derived from emails, chat messages and other forms of communication. The details are from the owner/trustee and are not physically verified. Should there be any issues with this story, please let us know, privately and we will do our best to correct any mistakes.
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What type of vehicle is this?

It’s a 1979 Camaro Berlinetta

Who is the first owner of the project and is it still their project?

I am the first project owner of it, however, I don’t know who the original owner was.

When was it purchased?

I found it in a field I was 15 years old. I was working at the local amusement park Lagoon.

How much was it purchased for?

I bought it for $200

Was this a father/son project and why did you choose this vehicle?

I found it in a field. I was 15 years old working at the local amusement park Lagoon and I had purchased a 1976 Pontiac Trans Am  from a co-worker for $25.

When I brought that car home, we found it was too far rusted to be restored at my age, so my dad got involved and helped me find the Camaro. It was in a farmer’s field, just sitting there, so we bought it for $200 and brought it home.

Give me some backstory, are you a mechanic, do you like to fabricate, are you really good at body work, etc. Some info about you.

I am an automotive technician by trade and I do fabrication work, as well.

What have you done to it so far?

We pulled the drive train and interior out of the Firebird and put it in the Camaro.  My dad and I did all the body work on it. I have a lot of pictures of it when my dad and I were restoring it, but they’re all older pictures and I don’t know how to put them onto a computer.

I drove it all the way through High School. As you can imagine, I did a number on it, being the only fast car in the parking lot.

It was driven all the way up to 2005, which was when my father was diagnosed with cancer. I tried doing the impossible on the car, in an effort to take him for one last Drive.

I dumped a bunch of money into it and got it really close to where I could take him, however, he passed away. After that, the car sat for a couple years, just collecting dust, because it was just emotionally to hard to work on it.

We decided to give it one more go and pulled it out of the garage. We had a new plan, to be able to take my Mom for a coastal ride, one last time. Hopefully one day soon it’ll be done so my Mom and I can go on the coastal route, as  her health is fading due to dialysis.

I’ve done all the body work on it all by myself and learned quite a lot. Everything on the car has been hand done by me.

It has a 502 Ramjet big block, with a Moser rear end and a 4-speed BorgWarner. Everything’s been braced up to hopefully handle the power, as it’s about 95% done.

What is left to do to make it complete?

I have to do some electrical and interior work.

Have you had any help, or any special parts?

The only help I’ve had on the car is a body shop up the road from me. It is an old school Body Shop. They sprayed the car in their paint booth.

Also, you wanted to know what kind of a price to build a car like this is, well the TV shows all lie to you, my last count on all of my receipts was $55,000. That is parts only, as labor was free, from my hard sweat, Blood and Tears.

Below are all of the pictures so far. Hopefully, as it is completed, we will update this and bring you the final version.

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My name is Dennis. First, let me just say, I am a Christian, a husband, a father to 1 beautiful step-daughter and 3 strapping young boys and a step-grandfather (She calls me “Grumpy”) to a gorgeous step-granddaughter. These will always be my priorities, no matter what my interests are. That said, I strive to keep and maintain a family friendly atmosphere, so my boys and their friends can enjoy the site as much as I do. (Granddaughter isn’t old enough and daughter has other interests.)

See my home page for more about me.

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