45-Year Barn Find Story: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro

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The 1969 model year brought a close to the first generation of the popular Chevy Camaro. And it would be extended by three months due to issues in getting the all-new 1970 pony car ready for production. The 327 cubic inch V8 would be a solid choice for motors in the ’69 Camaro, and that’s what went into this one when it was purchased new as a graduation present. It was driven until 1977 when the 4-speed transmission went out and has been in a garage ever since – until recently. Here is the story of how this Camaro was discovered and what future plans may lie ahead for it. Our thanks to Larry D for finding this cool car’s saga here on Motor Trend.

Car guy Joe Al was on the hunt for a new father/son project (he’s the son and Dad used to be a body and paint man). As it turns out, Dad’s cousin still had her graduation car from 1969, a white Chevy Camaro with a blue interior. It had been in storage for 45 years. They made arrangements for Joe to peek in a window to see the car and it was love at first sight! He quickly gave the cousin a down payment and came back with Dad a week later to winch the old car out of its hiding place of four-and-a-half decades. It was a cosmetic mess as you might expect but in overall good condition.

Joe managed to catch some of the history of the car. For example, it was purchased new at Smith Chevrolet in San Antonio, Texas, which was just a short hop from where it had lived since it left the dealership. Once home, Joe and his dad began cleaning up the vehicle and found mostly surface rust and nothing very difficult. The interior cleaned up quite well, and the before and after photos almost look like they’re of two different automobiles.

Both the engine and tranny are going to need a rebuild so that work will top the to-do list. Once that’s done, one idea on the table is to do something of a restomod (please don’t). Dad has a lot of experience in that area, so some custom work on the appearance may be inevitable. However the car turns out, we understand that Joe will share photos of the finished product with the magazine, and we also look forward to seeing them (if they don’t go too crazy, that is!).

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  1. erik johnston

    Restomod. That Idea has taken a lot of original cars-like his camaro and taken away many cars that are best,clean stock body left to not be customed up. This camaro is not a rs or ss or a z-28 so I got to give it that,but it is a 4spd car a clean one at that.(that is just my thought)Ill bet it cleans up nice I like it that its a plain 4spd and the stripe is just right

    Like 0
  2. george mattar

    Needs everything, but it’s all there including the smog equipment. 69 Camaros are everywhere, but that’s why they are popular. Popular new. Popular old.

    Like 0
  3. Little_Cars Little_CarsMember

    Love before and after photos. Can’t wait to see the “after.” Hope nothing was changed in an attempt to modernize the look of this time capsule. This is typical of what was parked in my high school parking lot in the 1970s.

    Like 9
  4. half cab

    I had the yellow and black version of this car cep had the power glide and 327. Got it in ’76 from a lady that had also gotten it for her graduation.

    I was 17 and kept it til 1984

    Like 4
  5. 356ASuper

    Fairly rare to have a 327 in a ‘69 Camaro. Despite it being a long production year, the 327 was dropped in Dec ‘68 and replaced by the oft maligned 307 as the low end V8.

    Like 4
  6. Robert West

    Who forgets they own a 1969 Camaro?? Why are all these cars popping up that haven’t seen the light of day in 30-45 years?

    Like 0

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