Tornado Damage: 1969 Camaro

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I’ve seen the immense power of tornadoes first hand and it’s both both awe inspiring and terrifying. This Camaro was stashed in a barn in Kansas when a tornado tore through and caved the barn in on it. It’s took quite the beating, but I’m actually amazed it didn’t go even more damaged. Now don’t get me wrong, this Pony suffered some serious damage and it would be a huge undertaking to make it right. It still runs and can be driven onto a trailer, but I don’t think it would be safe to drive any further than that. With the right tools and know how, it could be fixed, but I have a feeling it will simply be a parts donor. You can find it here on eBay in Wichita, Kansas and has been bid up to $2,750.

The seller states that this is an X-11 SS clone, but they don’t offer any information as to what trim options it received. The VIN shows that it’s a V8 car, but the seller doesn’t state which engine it was equipped with. The X-11 option is a bit confusing, as you could get it on a base V8 without the SS option. So is it an X-11 SS350 clone or is it an actual X-11 that was turned into an SS clone? I’m not sure, but hopefully they can clarify.

As you can see, the roof took the brunt of the damage and fixing that will take some serious equipment to straighten out. I’ve seen worse fixed, but it isn’t something I would want to take on myself. We actually featured a Mustang way back in 2011 that had roof damage that a WyoTech student fixed, you can read about it here. If that pony could be fixed, I don’t see any reason this one couldn’t be as well. The question is, will the right person come along who wants to take on the task? Or will the next owner buy it for the VIN, trim tag and title?

The fact that it still runs is impressive, but it makes the fact that it was damaged by a tornado that much more of a bummer. Hopefully the next owner will be able to fix it or at the very least use it to keep another Camaro on the road. So do you think it’s worth fixing this one back up or is the damage just to extensive?

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  1. Michael S

    I’ve seen worse.

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    • Jeepster

      He is only mostly dead

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      • Jeffro

        Miracle Max

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      • Moose Feather

        Great reference. It will take a miracle to get this on the road again.

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  2. Joe M

    With the weight on the top of the car, all kind of weird things were probably stressed on the body on to be discovered after a restoration is started. Doors and quarter assemblies are probably stressed. If the frame is good find a donor body, if not RIP Camaro.

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  3. Greg

    Looks like this was rolled not crush collapse damage

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    • Steven

      That doesn’t look like Tornado damage, but rolled in say a drag race or back road somewhere on those dirt road’s ? Right front across the hood looks like hit a tree..

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      • Cargirl

        Steve and Greg good call. And then something new everyday on this site.

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  4. terry

    Well that sucks.

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  5. JW

    That is one sad Camaro, IMHO since it’s a clone it’s not worth the investment to restore but if bought cheap enough would be a great parts car, On the other hand a bodyshop class could use it to teach welding and bodywork skills, if it was mine I would just donate it to the school.

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  6. 70kingswood

    I think it is safe to assume that this was a low end X-11 that was later dressed up (or cloned) to look like an SS. two barrelcarb and lack of disc brakes confirm this is no SS. So it looks like a parts car for something better….

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  7. CowboyChris

    It’ll buff out

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  8. Pookie Jamie P

    I humbly agree. It looks rolled

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  9. JohnD

    Hello, Dynacorn? I need one of those new bodies . . .

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  10. Scott

    As someone who lives in Kansas & works for the railroad, I’ve seen 450,000lbs locomotives pulled off the trucks turned topside down by tornados. Anyone that thinks this has been rolled I’ll call BS. #1 look at the windshield post #2 your trying to tell me this was rolled only halfway over and stopped. Take a look at the drivers side not one dent in the door & all the damage to front clip on the passengers side? If it was rolled the drivers door would have a lot more damage than just the mirror broken off.

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    • Johnny

      Don’t you dare tell these keyboard columbo’s the truth.

      Real detectives around here.

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  11. Ike

    Looks like was run through a fence and rolled

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  12. Mr Man

    I work , and have for years in the collision industry. Defenantly not a roll over.

    Very repairable if the Vin justifies the investment.

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  13. leiniedude leinieduedeMember

    Collapsed barn find, strange. No photo of the barn?

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  14. John P

    Lots of guys on here feeling so smart–or just being trolls….hard to tell today.. That vinyl top is crushed–from weight on top of it.. Show me a rollover vehicle with no abrasions or scrapes.. That vinyl top would have been torn to shreds–it looks completely intact.. Use your brains..

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    • Scott R.

      Thank you John P, didn’t even consider the vinyl top, good eye.

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  15. JamestownMike

    I agree, looks like A LOT of damage for a barn falling ON it! Did the car get tossed around in the tornado? EVERY body panel has damage, mostly major! I also agree, you’d be better off buying a brand new Dynacorn body with this one.

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  16. joeinthousandoaks

    Does it matter is it rolled over or had a barn dropped on it? It is too far gone to restore. Only worth the VIN for your Dynacorn build.

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    • Cargirl

      I’m just a student here so I like to hear both sides of the argument but the question would be rolled or the victim of a collapsed barn in a tornado, would the damage be the same if you are looking to restore it?

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  17. RNR

    Wonder when it was damaged – looks like it sat a while outside afterwards. The rust on the bare metal looks like more than some recent “flash” rust.

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  18. John C.

    Good for parts only, spend your money restoring one in better condition.

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  19. Bruce Best

    As part of my profession as an architect we study tornado and storm damage all the time. I suspect that this car was kept in a very secure garage space to have a little damage as I can see.

    The collapse of the structure is nothing compared to what can happen when a brick, board or concrete piece can do when it is going 60 to 150 miles per hour. I also live in the Kansas/Missouri area which is know as Tornado Alley. I have seen more than a few. I have had to help repair more than a few building and I have see cars and trucks wadded up into balls by these kinds of winds.

    Can this be restored, with enough love, time, hard work, yes. Will it be worth it is an entirely different question and depends upon the owner, and new purchaser.

    Hitting the sweet spot is rare and the first generation of Camero’s hit it out of the ball park. This is a car that is now nearing 50 years old and still looks current and in many ways still is. From a design standpoint that is a home run. That there were so many cars of that era that were that good is hard to believe but it is true. If you have to buy a new shell do so but save it for not for memories but to show future generations what excellence in design is.

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  20. krash

    …on a side note…sad thing is that some poor community was hit by the same tornado….hopefully their were no lives lost or homes destroyed….always amazed how resilient those communities are as they rebuild their homes and lives….a real testament to how tough the people are that live with the constant threat of tornadoes….really something….

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  21. JW

    In my live time of 63 years I’ve had close calls with 1 tornado in northern Illinois and 1 down here in the Kansas City area, never any damage but could see them in the distance and seen the damage / impact they can have on families, but anywhere you live there is a threat from mother nature or the planet itself so life must go on. Material things can be replaced but family and friends can not so no matter tornadoes / earthquakes / wildfires be prepared. Be safe !!!

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    • Scott R.

      Two things in this life will always be undefeated. One is Mother Nature & two is Father Time.

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  22. Bob Hess

    Find the guy who wants it with the talent to fix it. Have fixed worse. Am presently getting spooled up to “unbend” a race car we recently moved a Jersey barrier with that’s worse than this one and not near as valuable. If it’s good metal with no rust it’s a no brainer. There aren’t any more.

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  23. Steven

    I say salvage what’s good on it and then set it out on the back forty to use as target practice.. As first of all a Colon isn’t worth restoration

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  24. John

    An original clean car which had the entire dashboard sucked right off of it. It also left the hood, but sucked the air cleaner off. I’ve been through a couple of tornados. They can do some weird stuff. This is one of the weirdest. I don’t argue with the tornado damage. However, I would argue that its been a good long while since this was an original and clean car. I see some opportunism here.

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  25. Doug Towsley

    When I was stationed in Incirlik Turkey, there was a system called Beyaname. Basically what comes in must got out or pay huge import taxes for GIs, Stereos, Electronics and Cars.
    Some years earlier a guy had a 68 or 69 Firebird and not long before his tour was up he rolled it end over end off the freeway over there. No time to fix it or do anything with it, So he made a deal with a local Turkish Military officer and they waived his Beyaname. So the Car stayed and he left. We heard stories of this car, The Turks were amazing craftsman and could fix anything. We heard it was immaculate when done. We were all thinking it was an Urban legend, The great white whale. I had my 1963 Nova SS over there, that I swapped in a 327 and a Muncie 4 speed. (Extended tour). One day we were on our way back from Korrikos down on the mediterranian sea and a fun day at the beach. Headed back to base thru Mersin which is a port city we saw off in the distance the great white whale… The fabled Firebird. We could not believe it. Finally caught up to it, and the story was true. It DID exist with Turkish license plates. I saw a few errors on some of the trim, but DAMN! Those Turkish body guys could repair anything. We heard that car was smashed beyond recognition, and that thing was beautiful. Cok Guzel! Watching them form metal in dingy little shops was amazing. To weld,, they had a pressure tank and would throw a chunk of this powdery stuff in water inside the tank and crank down the lid. Then they did have regular Oxygen.. Would use a coat hangar wire and do the most amazing gas welding that would make an Aerospace Tig welder blush. True Artisans. So yes… this car COULD be fixed good as new with the right skills.

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  26. Tyler

    I believe I remember seeing this car in a magazine a couple of years ago, may have been Muscle Car Review but not 100% sure now. The restored car was bought off of eBay & misrepresented, but all the irregularities did not become apparent until seeing about repairing it after the tornado damaged it. The owner & seller were in a lawsuit over it at the time but I don’t ever remember seeing a resolution. Does that ring a bell with anybody else?

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  27. SquirrleyGig

    Looks to me like a Saturday night back in the 70’s w/ Buddy Repperton behind the wheel & Richard Cholony riding shotgun w/ a fifth of the devil between them & a ’58 Plymouth Fury in the rear view mirror behind them. Pardon the reference to the movie Christine. One of my all time favorites!
    Either way I see a Friday or Saturday night & a bit of “the nectar” gone wrong?
    Here’s how I visualize it going down.
    Too much speed & liquor? A straight away into a long sweeping left hand corner w/ a slight apex in the middle. Drift into the ditch on the right, into an obstruction of one sort or another. Maybe a spin to justify damage on the drivers side & then whatever obstruction was initially hit falls on top of the car.
    Sounds good right?
    Other things I would question that make me wonder about “tornado” damage is this.
    Are the pictures of “the car in the barn” the “actual” barn it was in during the tornado?
    If so, why do the other two Camaros (?) to the left look untouched by nature & it’s destruction?
    I am in the Pacific NW so my familiarity w/ Tornado’s is essentially nill.
    Perhaps someone can help explain?
    Otherwise, I’m sticking w/ my theory.
    If you doubt me & have access to a copy of the original movie Christine (I still have a copy I watch on VHS!!), watch the scene where Buddy & Richard leave the liquor store in the Camaro & Christine starts following them to the service station. Notice the way Buddy steers into the corners w/ an exaggerated “jerking” motion of the steering wheel (tires squealing in the rain, no less).
    Subtract an evil ’58 Plymouth Fury from the rear view mirror & I could see my theory happening?

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    • JW

      Living in Tornado alley I have seen some weird stuff done by them, example a whole house ripped from it’s foundation and taking it down the street a block BUT leaving just one room at it’s original location without the furniture even moved a inch. They are the most unpredictable forces of nature.

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    • Scott

      Living in Kansas most of my life I’ve seen my share. The reason somethings get destroyed & something setting next to it doesn’t, is caused by vertical wind shear basically it works like a shop-vac the inlet pulls stuff in & the difference being a shop-vac catchs the debris in a filter & air comes out the other side a tornado doesn’t have a filter to catch the debris so it basically picks it up & throws it, 90% of the damage is done by that debris & not the actual funnel. A F5 tornado has wind speed in access of 300 mph inside but it a small area. Tornadoes a mile or a mile and a half wide which are rare pickup more debris so they do more damage.

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  28. Doug Towsley

    In my opinion the book was far superior, usually the case anyways, But very much so here. Too many nuances were lost in the movie plus the actors did not do it any justice. Not that I dont enjoy a good movie. And while on the topic, My all time favorite movie with cars as a back drop plus just so twisted beyond belief is
    “Harold and Maude” Should be in any car guys film collection, the scene at the end is beyond art. Epic stuff. (Not expensive at all to buy on Amazon, Perfect gift for the weirdos on your list)
    As to the damage, I have spent many years doing body work and metal fab. The first rule of restoring damaged metal is fully conceptualizing as well as deconstructing HOW the body panels were damaged. I have a friend who is an engineer is an expert legal witness on forensic accident reconstruction as well some in LE who worked as investigators. The science and engineering in that field is fascinating and I never pass up an opportunity to learn more. (I worked for a while at the State Crime lab). But back to body work,, These Camaros are a subframe car and Semi-monocoque and energy absorbed spreads thru the entire structure. You have to focus in on each part as well as how it interacts with the entire structure. This is Just my long winded opinion, but based on the pictures, IIMHO I believe the collapsing structure tale. ( limited info of course).
    As to its current abode,. Its apparent that it was pulled from what ever calamity befell it and currently stored. The conjecture about this car in a convoluted case and long term sale is plausible. Sounds like perhaps they settled their issues and car is being sold, or a flipper came in at some point and is peddling it.
    In the end of the day,, I love the speculation about it (upvote for your vivid Imagination). I frequently over analyze why people do some of the things they do as well as what the hell were they thinking? Regardless,, this car has life left as a donor or a rebuild. It has value. And some people cant see past rust of body damage.
    I bought 2 motorcycles from a guy who works at/operates a salvage yard-reseller who is under the misguided notion that any part that shows damage should be removed before selling. They present better that way. I dont agree but I understand the logic. In my case I have a Ducati 998 Super bike with 6 miles on the odometer and the idiots threw away critical parts. In the Fuel tank was a very expensive Fuel pump assy, plus other bits on the bike that have been expensive to replace.

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  29. Wayne

    I would love to have it even with the damage done its still sexy

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