OK, so, a couple of weeks ago, we showcased Jimmy Johnson and the 1956 Chevy truck he built. We also shared that it would be making it’s debut at the Goodguys Autocross event.
This has been one of the most popular interviews to date, so, I thought, heck, why not showcase more? You seem to really like his builds, so, let’s take a look at this one.
This 68 Camaro is designed and custom built by Jim Johnson of Jim’s Body & Paint in Geneva ,Iowa.
What is the year, make and model of this one?
This is a 1968 Chevy Camaro
Who is the owner of the Camaro and is it still theirs?
It belongs to Donny Warneke. Donny got the car in 1985 and drove it throughout High School.
Was this a father/son, Daughter project?
No, however, Donny and my boy, Travis, ran together.
Travis had a 71 Chevelle at the time. They were two of the local gear heads, who, together built,raced, swapped, and grenaded more than a few engines, as well as, scattered many other parts across the countryside.
I helped put the Camaro back together after a couple of out of control ditch rides.
I guess, in a way, that explains why you built this vehicle, but, can you give us some background for it?
Along the way the 68 got pushed, motor less, into the barn for a long rest.
In 2003 it was drug into my shop again, this time for a nice restoration. It had been beat to death and needed it all.
So, I asked the question, why restore at this stage? Let’s just build.
It went Dec. 27, 2007 to Recovery Room Hot Rod Interiors for a one off Custom treatment by Tracy Weaver and Crew.
So, with all it needed, can you let us know what you did to it, what parts were used, what fabrication needed done?
The engine was built by Donny and Travis.
It is a fully balanced and blue-printed 440 cubic inch GM Big Block with Heads that are 1967 GM Aluminum, small Chamber Rect. Prt. 2.19 intake 1.88 exhaust, with 10.5 compression. It has all aluminum accessories and pulleys.
It has a Solid Roller Cam .620 lift with a Single plane intake & 830 cfm. Carburetor.
Ceramic short style Headers for ground clearance and Custom Stainless with Torquetube exhaust.
March Long Pump serpentine belt and pulley system and a Large crossflow Aluminum Radiator with Dual Fans to allow it to handle 650 HP.
The Modifications to the underside and drive-train include:
The Drive train is a 6 Speed Transmission, which was adapted from a 2005 dodge Viper, with a new, heavy duty clutch system converted to a Hydraulic Clutch. A 12 Bolt. Rear/4.10 Posi-traction, GM Standard four wheel Disc Brakes ,all Stainless lines, Quick ratio GM Power Steering, 2 inch drop spindles, Coil-overs, Tubular A arms, 1inch sway bar, a relocated and dropped rear Leaf spring, Heavy shocks and Z’D shackles.
The rear suspension is heavily modified. Wheel tubs moved inboard 2″ (2 inches), the shocks were relocated, the springs were lowered and moved inboard, traction bars were installed, disk brakes added, new bearings, seals, fuel tank and lines and a new fuel pump.
The battery was relocated to the rear.
All of the lines are new and are stainless steel and the fasteners and hardware are also new, throughout.
It rolls on Billet Specialties Wheels, 18X8 front 18×9.5 Rear with Z-rated Good Year tires good for 200 MPH plus.
The front bumper is a 1969, which was narrowed and reshaped, painted and mounted with fabricated brackets.
The upper grill opening is smoothed and recessed to accommodate quad (4) headlights from a 1970 Oldsmobile and is also hand fabricated stainless steel grill, the turn signals and driving lights were adapted from a 1969 Camaro. The lower valance had the lower grill opening fabricated.
The front fenders have lower extensions molded ahead and behind the wheel. The lower air dam and fender extensions are one-off, made of molded fiberglass.
The hood has a steel cowl induction scoop welded in from the bottom side and molded smooth all around.
All inner front panels and support systems were smoothed, relocated and modified, then painted body colors.
Side rocker panels were extended the full length to give an even and finished look to the bottom edges, then the rear quarters were smoothed, side lights removed and ends of the rear spoiler were molded on.
The rear deck lid has the original spoiler reshaped and molded to it.
The rear body panel has lamps fabricated in from a 1969 Camaro and reversed. The gas cap is a custom pop-up welded in.
The doors are smoothed and a 2003 GM latch and handle system was installed and molded.
All painted surfaces are finished with P.P.G. base coat/clear coat system in super red and silver pearl.
Other modifications include new instruments, altered oil pan, steering linkage, transmission mount and tunnel, emergency brake moved from the foot to the hand, new pedals and a steering wheel.
So, Jimmie took what would have been possibly a minor restoration/project and completely remade this Camaro. Check out all of the pictures below and let Jimmie know what you think of this Camaro.