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Bill Stern's ’69 Camaro

It Was An Arizona Promo Prize Back In 1969

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Often we ponder how cool it must have been to browse the dealership lots of the musclecar era. Imagine it’s the fall of 1968, and you’re watching the new ’69s being unloaded from the semitrailers. The Chevelle is virtually unchanged from the ’68, and the fullsize Chevy looks like even more of a behemoth than last year’s tank. In its intimidating shadow, you fixate on a certain green ’69 Camaro. As it rolls off the trailer, you’re surprised at how different it looks from the ’68s, but you’re sure it looks pretty badass nonetheless. Even better, this particular Camaro is a 350/four-speed car. But it’s not for sale.

This once-green, formerly small-block–powered Camaro was given away as a promo by an Arizona Chevy dealer back in 1969. The elated winner drove it for 25 years and 75,000 miles and sold it in her old age. It ended up in the hands of an auto parts chain and soon became the star of a budget-based musclecar-buildup video series. The Camaro underwent a LeMans blue makeover and took on a new attitude with a mild 427 big-block and a transbrake Powerglide. For reasons incomprehensible to us, after the videos were wrapped up, it seems no one wanted this ’69. Bill Stern, who narrated the Camaro video series, snapped it up thinking it’d make a nice street driver. The drag-inspired ’Glide was ditched for a Turbo 400, the 12-bolt was strengthened with Mark Williams and Eaton components, and an attempt to fix the 427’s persistent oil leak lead to a total engine freshening. The mid-11-second timeslips speak for themselves, but so do the cosmetics. It’s not exactly something you’d give away.

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