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Brothers in Arms

A Real Camaro Family Affair

Harvey Schwartz - April 11, 2013 10:00 AM

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Don Baierlein loves classic 1960s Chevy Camaros.

His brother, Billy, who lives in western Pennsylvania, found a 1968 Chevy Camaro SS for sale on eBay, but it needed heavy restoration. The photos showed it rusting in snow on the front lawn of the original owner, located in Ohio.

Don is one of five brothers, all of them classic American muscle car enthusiasts and restorers. Billy traveled to Ohio to check out the car and took more photos. He sent them to Don to see if he was interested. As it turns out, Don was interested and purchased the car in 2007.

When the paperwork was completed, Billy trailered the car back to his own restoration shop in Springdale, Pennsylvania. He leveled the car, cutting out the floorpan and inner rockers, getting it stable enough to trailer the rusting hulk to south Florida where Don lived.

Once the Camaro SS arrived in Florida, Don rented a shop in Coral Springs and the restoration process began. Don flew Billy back and forth from Pennsylvania to Florida, staying for a month at a time working on the Camaro.

The airports were busy as Kevin, another brother who lived in North Carolina, flew back and forth. Brothers Doug and Darren were living in south Florida, so they were nearby to put in long hours restoring the car. This story of brotherly love and cooperation was finished in 2010 with these fantastic results. Countless hours were spent restoring this 1968 Chevy Camaro SS. It was a real family restoration.

Don designed the exterior the way he wanted it to look. The body features the original front fenders taken down to the bare metal, filled and smoothed out. The rear quarter panels were sourced from YearOne. Don didn’t want any of the original side or front badges, but kept the rear SS badge and the chrome door handles.

Don also wanted the custom YearOne-sourced raised cowl induction hood to be for a 2000 Camaro with the center air-intake. Master’s Auto Body in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, did all the bodywork including Don’s design for the giant front spoiler and rear lip spoiler.

They custom-painted the Camaro in a Hugger Orange hue with the two wide, white stripes, just as Don wanted it.

Under the skin are some of the best aftermarket parts available. The engine is a 350 cubic inch small block with a cast iron block and aluminum heads. An Edelbrock 650 carburetor sits on top of an Edelbrock Performer intake. The pistons are stock with a mild cam and chrome valve covers. A three-core radiator keeps everything nice and cool. The engine has been rated 330hp on the dynamometer. A GM three-speed automatic transmission taken from a later model Camaro channels the torque to the rear wheels with a Posi 3.73 gear in a limited slip differential.

The front and rear suspension pieces were replaced. Up front, there are Hotchkis Sport Suspension coil springs, gas shocks and sway bar. The rear features Moog control arms, sway bar and gas shocks. The lowered stance increases stability, handling capability and creates a more aggressive look.

The power steering and rear drum brakes are stock, but Don re-fitted the front brakes with discs and dual-piston calipers for added stopping power. He found a conversion kit on eBay for an easy switch.

The stunning 1968 Camaro rides on Hankook 235/45R17 front and 245/45R17 high-performance tires in the rear. The rubber is wrapped around 17 x 8 American Racing Torq Thrust II wheels for that classic American muscle car look.

The interior is all stock, except for the leather-wrapped Grant GT steering wheel, Pro Car Racing vinyl seats, and the oil/engine temperature auxiliary gauges sitting behind the stock factory auxiliary gauges. The trunk features two Kenwood subwoofers and amplifier plus a beautifully detailed Camaro SS plaque.

All eyes are focused on this stunning restored 1968 Camaro SS because Don drives the car to classic car shows and gatherings in the south Florida area. It is a sight to see and one that does a family proud.

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