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Old 03-03-2021, 04:32 AM
427_Rat 427_Rat is offline
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Default "Camaro 427"

Introductions...
"Camaro 427" was painted in Gold on the Fathom Green rear spoiler by the original owner of the 1969 COPO Camaro shortly after purchasing it. It wore this badge during the times he took it to the drag strip to race and as he drove it as a daily driver. Wade was 21 years old when he purchased the car from McClinton Chevy in Parkersburg WVa.
Wade made a few refinements to the Camaro as time passed and the need for speed became the priority. He removed all of the under coating and some of the seam sealer from under the car and painted it with a yellowish refrigerator enamel paint. He also removed the motor armature from the heater blower motor. He said when he was done he had removed about 80 lbs. from the car.
Wade also made several custom enhancements for the Camaro, including stainless steel ladder bars, stainless steel drive shaft retainer and rear coil helper springs.
It is truly a pleasure to hear Wade tell stories about his adventures in this Camaro as we work to bring her back to life.
As time went on priorities changed and Wade sold the Camaro.
It went through a couple owners until I purchased it in the mid 80s.
The previous owner was going to restore it but lost interest and I purchased it as a basket case. The car had been completely disassembled. Most of the big pieces were there, minus the hood. The engine and the transmission case was there.
My intentions were to restore the Camaro at that time, but as is the case, priorities change... Marriage, kids, and life has a way of doing that, not that it is a bad thing.
As my son got old enough to be interested in the cars, I saw an opportunity to get back into the car hobby with him. I had another Camaro we worked on after it set for years. With the help of a good friend who has had years of experience racing and rebuilding engines we rebuilt the engine in the other Camaro and got it back on the road. Cleo, the good friend and engine builder, agreed to help us rebuild the 427 engine for the COPO Camaro after we got the other car running. After saving up for the engine build,, I contacted Wade, the original owner, to see if he would like to help us rebuild the engine. He agreed to help, as well as did my son, and a friend I work with, Steve.
The engine build was a great time for all of us. We all learned a lot from Cleo, and successfully rebuilt the engine. Cleo is one of those people who has lived the life and knows more about all different vehicles. He grew up working on them and is one of the people in the area that everyone knows and leans on for knowledge and support. He is someone who would do anything to help another person if he was able.
Engine is resting on an engine run stand and we start it from time to time to keep it oiled up.
Last couple years have been trying to find small parts and save to start on the car rebuild.
I am fortunate to work with a guy who is very good at rebuilding cars. He has restored several cars over the years and currently is working on a 57 Chevy that is absolutely fantastic. John has agreed to help us rebuild the Camaro.
So... I am sure I will have several questions and need a few parts as the rebuild goes on. I have already posted a couple and had quick answers posted back, thank you so much!
I will try to post some pictures and comments periodically.
Thanks, Pat
Pictures are...
Rear spoiler today with "Camaro 427"
Camaro on trailer back in 1969
Some of Wade's handy work... ladder bars
Car as I purchased
Recent picture of initial refit of the major pieces on the car with Wade by it's side. This was done to make sure it all still fit together well after all these years. Amazingly it fit together very well.
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Attachments - The Supercar Registry WadeWitCar.jpg PreRB_BottomEnd.jpg minnick decal.jpg LadderBar1.jpg
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2021, 09:18 AM
R68GTO R68GTO is offline
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Thanks for posting Pat! Great vintage photos and so awesome you know the OO! I'm really looking forward to hearing more about the car and watching the progress on your build. Since it was sold out of W. Virginia, I assume you're in SE Ohio?
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1969 427 COPO Camaro Lemans Blue/Black, M22 4 speed, 15,500 original miles
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:54 AM
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I could say more...but WOW!
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69 SS/RS 396 M20 X22 Nor 12B,72B,712 bought 1979
FULL OWNER HISTORY
69 Dick Harrell tribute Day II 427 M20 4.10 X11 76 orig pnt, 711
67 Super Stock 302 Camaro re-creation
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:13 PM
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I'm about 45 minutes from Parkersburg and have heard stories about a Fathom Green car from a Parkersburg dealer but was never able to get any concrete info. Was told it was a heater delete car which knew wasn't true but the with gutted heater motor it makes sense. Best I remember they said it was an automatic car. Only copo I ever heard of sold by a Parkersburg dealer.
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:05 PM
427_Rat 427_Rat is offline
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Several locals into racing at that time.
This Camaro is green, radio delete, M22.
Thanks, Pat
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:19 PM
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Default 427 Camaro

Greg Iím going to contact Sherman and ask him about this car.
Richard
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1967 Camaro SS 396/375 4K
2002 Camaro 35 Anniversay Z4C-WU8
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Old 03-04-2021, 03:50 AM
427_Rat 427_Rat is offline
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Default Engine History Treasures

When Wade owned the Camaro in his need for speed he sent the engine to JIM MINNICK RACING ENTERPRISES, INC in Charleston WV to have it balanced and blueprinted. When we got into the engine rebuild we found where Jim had signed the bottom of the engine. It is hard to see,, but if you zoom in you can make it out. I think Jim was a noted racer in the day. I believe the shop still exists but has converted over to being a diesel shop and they are out of racing.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:27 AM
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Default Pre Engine Rebuild

Attached are some pictures of the engine prior to the rebuild. I did not get the distributor or carb when I purchased the car. The engine sat for several years without being started before and after I purchased.
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2021, 02:27 AM
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Default Jim Minnick

Jim Minnick had a successful speed and machine shop in Nitro, WV for several years before transitioning to a diesel engine machine shop. He was NHRA World Top Gas champion in 1965 and was associated with Dick Moroso. He had a 1969 Camaro pro stock for a short while built from a copo car. He died some years ago when a vehicle he was working on fell on him.
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Old 03-05-2021, 03:23 AM
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Default Jim Minnick Info

Thank you for the additional info about Jim Minnick!
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