A 1969 Pro Touring Camaro Built As a Labor Of Love
Updated May 29, 2016
For some, the labor for their restoration project is a matter of writing the checks. For others, the joy of completing a project is the satisfaction of doing every single step in the build themselves.
Tony Ramos is a man who falls into the second category. In building his dream 1969 Pro Touring Camaro, Tony insisted on doing all of the work himself. He refused help on anything that came up. However, he did have to make an exception for tasks requiring two people. In those cases, he called upon his wife, Nicole for some muscle.
When talking about his car, Tony starts the conversation “This car was built entirely by me. There were no checks given out to professional shops to build the car. It was built and painted by me in my garage. This car isn’t a trailer queen. I drive it to every event.” His car was built as a driver, one that Tony could race.
With the Camaro being his first restoration, Tony wanted to do everything himself. After taking his stock 1969 Camaro to a show, he had the itch to own a 1969 Pro Stock Camaro. His itch was scratched in the form of a 1968 Camaro roller for which he paid $4,000.
Tony never thought he couldn’t do it. He tore the entire car down to only the frame and taught himself to weld, applying his newfound knowledge to fix the floors, rocker panels and the quarter panels.
To incorporate the Pro Touring look, Tony erected mini-tubs and modified the fender and quarter panels to accommodate the wider wheels.
The mechanical part of the build was a lot easier. Tony found an LS6 and had it modified a bit with a Howards cam, 243 cylinder heads, and headers from Stainless Works mounted to a 2 ½-inch Magnaflow stainless steel exhaust system. Power was channeled to the rear wheels through a double-overdrive transmission, with shifting controlled by a clutch pedal.
With the powertrain complete, Tony’s next project phase consisted of the suspension system. Wanting to enter the car in autocrossing competitions, he focused on the basics. The RideTech TruTurn steering kit was combined with Speedtech upper and lower control arms. RideTech air springs, adjustable shock absorbers, and 1 1/8-inch antis-way bars. The set up lowers the body of the Camaro by three inches, which is good for not only a nice stance, but also for bringing the center of gravity closer to the ground.
Keeping the vehicle on the ground are 275/35 and 335/30 BF Goodrich KDW tires mounted on 18×10 and 18×12 Rushforth Fuel light rims.
For the interior of the Pro Touring Camaro, he made some changes in the form of a custom instrument panels and front seats from a BMW M3. Tony made the custom mounting brackets himself and was so happy with the results, he found BMW M3 bucket seats for the rear that matched the front seats. Both the front and rear seating pods are connected to a custom console.
Not wanting to stop with welding, Tony wanted to learn how to paint the car himself. He viewed a few tutorials online and bought a $40 spray gun. He then converted his garage into a paint booth by putting up sheets and thoroughly cleaning the floor. Considering this was Tony’s first attempt at painting the car with a cheap spray gun, he is quite happy with the results.
Since completing his build, Tony has taken the Camaro on long trips across the United States and Canada traveling to car shows and auto crossing events. He says that the car if very reliable and if anything goes wrong, he would be able to fix it.
Categories: Gear Grinding