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1968 Chevy Camaro - Matchmaker

Claude and Jennifer Minor's day-two–restored '68 Camaro

By Tommy Lee Byrd, Photography by Tommy Lee Byrd

Tech Notes

Who: Claude and Jennifer Minor

What: '68 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS

Where: Sevierville, TN: Think Smoky Mountains.

Engine: The Mouse motor started with a Dart Little M block, which offers a final displacement of 415 ci thanks to a 4.125-inch bore and a 3.875-inch stroke. The Cola S-series crankshaft sends a set of Eagle 6-inch H-beam rods and JE pistons into motion. With 10.3:1 compression, this is tame enough for pump gas, but the CNC-ported Airflow Research 210 cylinder heads offer big-time power. A Comp Cams solid roller motivates the stainless steel valves, while an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake draws in plenty of fuel and air from the 830-cfm Race Demon carburetor. A complete MSD ignition system lights the fire, while Hooker Super Comp headers relieve the engine of its spent gases. Claude built the engine himself but received help from Richard Reagan when it came time to tune it on the dyno, where it made 540 hp and 520 lb-ft of torque on 93-octane pump gas. The small-block looks the part thanks to a set of N.O.S. Mickey Thompson valve covers.

Transmission: Claude's car was originally a four-speed, so he kept it that way but updated to a BorgWarner Super T10 from a '78 Camaro. A Hays flywheel hooks up to a Centerforce 11-inch clutch, while a Lakewood blow-proof bellhousing contains it all. A super-rare N.O.S. Hurst Ram Rod shifter selects the gears.

Chassis: The front suspension is all stock aside from a pair of QA1 shocks, but the rear suspension has quite a few goodies. The stock leaf springs are equipped with Lakewood traction bars for the old-school look, while a finned-aluminum cover dresses the 12-bolt. The big rearend contains a 4.10:1 gearset, a Positraction differential, and a pair of Moser axles. Braking power consists of stock discs up front and drums out back, while the original power steering setup is still intact as well. A four-point rollbar and Chassis Engineering subframe connectors keep the car sturdy.

Wheels/Tires: This is where some folks just don't get it. Cragar S/S wheels that protrude past the quarters are out of style, but they are absolutely perfect for this car. The fronts are 15x4.5, while the rears come in at 15x10 inches with 4.5 inches of backspacing. When you consider the 26x7.5- and 28x12.50-inch Mickey Thompson rubber, this combination would've been a car guy's dream in the early '70s.

Exterior: Claude only added a steel cowl-induction hood to his '68 Camaro during the restoration. The stock body was sent to Boruff's Auto Body in Maryville, Tennessee, to be prepared for the car's original color of black. Jim Boruff laid down the PPG base/clear paint, and he sanded and buffed the fresh materials to a mirrorlike finish. This car is undoubtedly slick, and Claude didn't spare any expense when it came time to buy new moldings, emblems, and trim. The rear spoiler has Grumps Group hand-lettered on it as a tribute to Grumpy Jenkins' racing team from.

Interior: Deluxe houndstooth material covers the seats, while the steering column is fit with a vintage Stewart Warner tach, and a Grant three-spoke wheel. Matching Stewart Warner gauges ride in a three-gauge pod beneath the dash. Simpson harnesses add to the cool factor, as does the glovebox, which has been signed by The Grump.

By Tommy Lee Byrd
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