Hugger Orange! 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 350

Imagine walking into your neighborhood Chevrolet dealer in 1969 and finding this car on the showroom floor. Not only is it an SS 350 Camaro with an L48 engine, but it’s painted Hugger Orange (below today’s primer) and has a black deluxe interior. And, by the way, it’s a convertible, too. It all adds up to a desirable combination. 52 years have since passed and neither Father Time nor Mother Nature has been too kind, so it will take a lot of commitment to get this car back in shape again. The question becomes Is it a worthwhile project? If so, the Camaro is in Erie, Pennsylvania, and available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $12,600.

Camaro production for 1969 would reach more than 243,000 units, thanks in part to an extended build cycle due to a delay in getting the all-new 1970 models ready for the assembly line. Out of that number, more than 22,000 cars would be built with the L48 V8, a 350 cubic inch motor good for 300 hp. That production figure includes both coupes and convertibles, but we don’t know the breakdown between body styles. But given that coupes always dominated sales, drop-top numbers would be somewhat low and the ones that have likely survived into the 21st Century may only be in the hundreds of cars. And, by the way, there would be no second-generation Camaro convertible offered by Chevrolet.

A restoration was attempted and abandoned by a previous long-term owner. Rust runs rampant throughout the car now, including the floor pans and trunk floor, as well as all exterior body panels. Surface rust covers most everything else, including the cowl, dash top, windshield frame, and convertible top folding frame, plus the corner of the driver’s side quarter panel has taken a small hit. The interior is said to be all there, but much of the material is old and tired and will need replacing.  The steering wheel is not original, having been lifted off a 1971-72 Chevrolet. The convertible top frame is okay, but the shared convertible top was removed for transport.

When the Chevy arrived on that showroom floor in ’69, it was well-optioned. Factory air conditioning, power top, power steering and brakes, console, AM-FM radio, and Rally wheels were all part of the equation. The drivetrain is numbers-matching including the Turbo-Hydramatic transmission and 12-bolt rear end. We’re told the motor turns freely and the whole car was running as recently (or as far back) as 10 years. If you were to choose to restore this rather rare drop-top, how high can the bidding go before making the project no longer viable?

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Comments

  1. Eric Johnson

    “And, by the way, there would be no second-generation Camaro offered by Chevrolet.” I think you mean “And, by the way, there would be no second-generation convertible Camaro offered by Chevrolet.”

    Like 8
  2. Troy s

    What is it about some cars, that look like they were driven into a lake, thats my impression here. Too bad as this wou,d have quite the looker.

    Like 9
    • Ike Onick

      My “lake” comment didn’t make the cut. I don’t think they like me anymore.

      Like 3
      • Francisco

        What a rusty pile of ……

  3. Kurt

    That there is a lot of rust. Looks too far gone.Rust in piece(s)!

    Like 3
  4. PAT

    driven into the lake is not the problem they didnt drag it out for many years

    Like 4
  5. Jeff

    This car must have been awesome when new. Convertible with AC in a great color with a small block. What a shame to see the remnants of that car now.

    Like 5
  6. Ray Sebesian

    A challenge for the likes of Foose or Kindig it.

  7. Charles Sawka

    Walk away

    Like 2
  8. scantar

    Someone skilled in bodywork/welding would look at this and say “I can save it.” The question is where is the cusp where the bidding overtakes the roi. Right now, it’s close…but the matching numbers drivetrain is worth a good chunk

  9. Larry

    Money pit

    Like 4
  10. Steve W

    Very doubtful this is an SS. No fender markings, nothing on the rear panel, nothing on the steering wheel. Besides the fact it’s a piece of junk.

  11. Peter k

    Just another car to haul down to Sonora MX, to be redone in a way that won’t break the bank.

  12. Steven Brown

    Not worth restoring good parts car.

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