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Old 02-17-2017, 02:02 AM
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Default Paceme's "Reliving My Youth" 1969 Z/28

<span style="text-decoration: underline"><span style="font-weight: bold">Reliving My Youth </span> </span>

by <span style="font-weight: bold">Steve Shauger</span>

Below is the story behind purchasing my first Z28 Camaro and reuniting with it 27 years later, and the journey of uncovering the history….

As antique and classic car collectors, we play an important role in preserving these historically significant cars. Well these cars also play a role in preserving our youth, and for me they bring me back to a simpler time.

I would like to retrace my steps in being a certified car nut. Really, there is no denying that if there was a certification test for this distinction I would pass with flying colors. Let’s delve into how I became one and why I chose this year and model car. It started in the spring of 1967 while on my way to elementary school. There I would first hear this car tearing down the back roads of suburban Philadelphia. The tone of that exhaust, the lope and sound of the solid lifter camshaft left quite an impression. It was a white with black stripe 1967 Camaro. In following years it turned out to be a schoolmate’s brother’s 1967 Z28 Camaro, one of 602 built for the Trans Am racing series.

Fast forward a couple of years to the summer of 1969, I was on Bishop Hollow Rd in my home town of Newtown Sq., Pa., riding my bike when an orange 1969 Z28 power slid into the Sun Oil research facility. Years later I became friends with Bill Scott (a member of the Penske race team) and told him about my recollection of this orange Camaro. He stated “that was most definitely Mark Donohue driving his personal car to see me and likely pick up some parts”. Bill ( known as Scotty) worked at Sun Oils R&amp;D facility as a designer/machinist, but was on loan to the Penske race team. In fact Scotty was Penske’s chief mechanic on the Grand Sport Corvette and was a member of Penske race team until the early seventies. The Penske/Donohue race team dominated just about every form of racing from Lola, Formula One and Indy, but none more so than the 1968 &amp; 1969 Trans Am racing series, driving the Chevrolet Camaro. OK now you know how I got hooked on these cars.

Mark Donohue met his untimely death on August 13, 1975 as he prepared for the Austrian Grand Prix. Well the loss of Mark had an affect on me and my goal was finding a car identical to the one Mark drove into the Sun Oil facility. On Oct, 24th I found such a car in Franklinville, NJ. My first impression was wow, just like I had vividly pictured Mark Donohue driving into Sun Oil facility. Well I took a few steps closer and I wondered to myself what were those hideous turn indicators doing on the fenders (U46). Next I looked inside and really liked the hounds tooth interior, sans the box (8 track U57) mounted on the console lid. Now as a collector those two options are rare, collectible and quite fashionable today. Yes listening to the hi fidelity of a 60's Delco 8-track is something special. At the time I bought this Z28 my everyday driver was a Chevy Vega, and also owned a marina blue L79 1967 Corvette survivor, well sort of, but only twelve years old.

I remember driving the car home from NJ, crossing the Commodore Barry bridge into PA, and through Philly. Everything was going smoothly, but as I approached my town of Newtown Sq. Pa, on Rt 252, my excitement got the best of me and I ran through the gears. Just at that moment my luck had run out, because I was immediately pulled over and ticketed for several violations, no inspection, registration and excessive noise (geez give a kid a break). Believe it or not I found out years later that the police officer was a Camaro lover who owned a fathom green 69 Z28, but unfortunately that didn’t prevent him from giving me the tickets.

I rebuilt/restored the car in 1980-81, removed the front clip and drivetrain. K&amp;G Speed did the machining work and I assembled the engine, detailed the subframe and engine compartment. I stripped the exterior of all bolt on items and trailered the car to a shop in West Chester, PA for prep and paint. In 1981 a job transfer landed me on Long Island and this slowed my progress, since during the week I was on Long Island and only weekends to work on the car.

Finally the moment I had been waiting for, it was finished. I pulled it out of my parents garage, and drove it on the lawn next to the side driveway for a quick rinse before taking it out for my first drive post restoration. That turned out to be a mistake, because my mother while backing out of our side driveway inexplicably drove her Chevy Monza onto the lawn and hit my car on the drivers fender. At that moment I was in the garage and my mother came in very upset, and explained what had occurred. As I approached the car I didn't say a word, and my mother kept apologizing. My only comment was &quot;I don't want to talk about it&quot;. Well it was back to the paint shop for a new fender and grill. My mother would always say &quot;I can't understand why you didn't get angry with me or yell&quot;, we laughed about her hitting my car in the years following.

I met my wife in 1982, and we were married in May of 1983. As with any young couple we wanted to own a home, so I advertised the car in Super Chevy and sold it in June of 1983 for $8000. I had several calls on the car, and a deal was struck with Larry Beard, from Crockett, TX. He drove up from his farm with a truck and small trailer with his wife and brother. My wife remembers when they saw the car that Larry and his wife were literally jumping for joy. When loading it became apparent that the trailer was too small, which necessitated the removal of front spoiler and rally wheel caps for it to fit.

I was very fond of that car and called Larry in March of 1985 only to find out he had sold it a few months earlier. The only information he had on the car was he sold it to a gentlemen in Tyler, TX. I always kept that cars old Pa. registration in my wallet for some reason, and it came in handy because I tracked the next owner down thru the TX, DMV. For 24 years I would call the owner Mark 2-3 times a year hoping he would part with the car. Basically the conversations were always the same; he would ask &quot;How much is that old car worth now?&quot; and nothing more. As luck would have it on 10/14/09 I received the call I had waited for, Mark the owner finally wanting to sell. Unfortunately the next day my mother passed, so it certainly was a bitter sweet moment, but I suspect she had a hand in making this happen. Three weeks later I was on a plane to TX. The car needed some work, since it hadn't been run in over 15 years, but it still retains its original drivetrain and many of the modifications done in the 70’s. After a month of negotiation, the great pumpkin (my wife named it) was on her way home. Since taking possession I replaced worn carpet and other interior materials. Next I pulled the drivetrain to rebuild and detailed the engine compartment. The car is back together and retains many day 2 components like it was back in the day. At some point I may restore the whole car, but this car is a driver and I enjoy every moment, especially going through the gears and thrashing on it. Needless to say, I am reliving my youth and I’ve had a blast doing so. Yes, like taking my wife of 34 years out on dates. Below are few pictures of the car when I bought it and reunited Jan
17 2010 and present day.

In April of 2014 the NCRS was providing Assembly and Shipping records for GM Camaros, Chevelles and Novas, produced from 1965 to 1972. I immediately filled the online registration documents for this service and on April 25th received the documentation stating my car was shipped to Zone 15 dealer code 339 and built at the Norwood Ohio plant on Monday Sept 8th. Unfortunately no dealer name or address was available. After extensive research I found the car dealership was Jay Chevrolet located at 715 Haddon rd. Haddonfield, NJ.

<span style="text-decoration: underline"><span style="font-weight: bold">Updated 1/18/17 Now you'll know the rest of the story</span></span>

There has always been a void in knowing the cars history prior to my purchase. I set out on a mission and was determined to find that elusive history. When I purchased the car the last thing on my mind was saving the sellers name address or contact information. In fact I don’t even know who took me to pick the car up. Seven years ago my goal was to buy the car and once delivered to restore the drivetrain and repair or fix anything inoperable. My next task was to fill a void and complete the ownership history. I even contacted auto investigators and offered to hire them but based on the research I had done they felt they couldn’t provide any additional information. I next contacted both the NJ &amp; PA DMV and applied for title history, and both stated the records had been purged. I had searched NewspaperArchives .com, but no Philadelphia papers were accessible, although I found a large amount of information on Jay Chevrolet in New Jersey papers. I knew that Haddonfield Chevrolet transferred ownership and opened as Jay Chevrolet Oct 30th 1967. Jay Chevrolet moved into a new location they built on Aug 21st 1974 to Voorhees, and was taken over and became Rediker Feb 1979, and then Echelon Chevrolet April 1980 and closed its door January 1990.

I noticed an old dealership ad was posted by fellow enthusiast, Andy from the Philadelphia Inquirer for a ZL1 Camaro at Penske Chevrolet. That piqued my interest, and signed up to another site Newspapers.com. I scoured the Philadelphia Inquirer for 3hours using specific key word with no luck except finding a for sale ad I placed for another car. Then I had a thought, why not search the Camden papers where the car was located. Quite frankly although I was determined, I had little faith I would find anything. As I continued my search I tried specific key words, and expanded the search years. I located several 1969 Z28 Camaro. In my mind I always thought the ad would have been very descriptive because I wanted a car that replicated the 69 Z28 I vividly remember Mark Donohue power sliding from Bishop Hollow Rd. into the Sun Oil facility as mention previously. I added orange as a key word and this is what I saw:

Once I found the ad which contained a phone I googled the number and located the area of where I purchased the car. The area code was not in the ad, but remembered what it had been. I really had my doubts this would pan-out. What were the chances that the seller had the same phone number and still living at the same address close to 40 years later. I called and a recording of a very young man stating leave a message. I was discouraged and thought I hit a dead end, except I knew several new area codes had been added. I searched the specific phone number in the newspaper archives and opened the year search up to 2017. I kept seeing an apartment for rent, with the last ad placed in 2000, and included a new area code. My excitement began to rise and I immediately called the number with new area code and left a message on an answering machine..... a minute later I received a call back and BINGO, the caller Paul M. was euphoric stating he owned the car and had been searching for the car for years. Well I wasn't completely convinced he owned the same car so I quizzed Paul a bit and he knew the car had fiber optics and a console 8track and other options. I mentioned I knew the dealer and town and he said he didn't think that was correct. He paused for a moment and said &quot;I have the protect-o-plate for that car let me check and now my jaw dropped. After looking at POP, he said &quot;you're correct it came from Jay Chevrolet in Haddonfield, NJ”.

Paul shared the following on how this car was ordered and purchased. Paul (2nd owner) was very close friends with Bill M., and Bill asked Paul to come with him to Jay Chevrolet, to order a new 1969 Z28 Camaro. Bill’s goal was to order one loaded with options, and that he did. When it came time to pick the car up, Paul drove him to the dealership, and they saw the car in a single bay garage in the rear of the
dealership and it was love at first site. While Bill owned the car he may have installed headers but that was the only modification. One vivid memory Paul tells is of him and Bill sitting in the new car blasting Led Zeppelin 1 and listening to the whole album play on the 8track tape. Now whenever Led Zeppelin comes on, he is reminded of that day as teenager sitting in front of the supermarket they worked at listening to that tape.

Paul’s ownership began in 1971when Bill called him upset, because he had to sell his prized Camaro do to a life change. He was unexpectedly becoming a father. Bill knew Paul wanted the car and offered it to him for $2100. Paul used the car as an everyday driver until 1975. He, like all muscle car owners back in the day added performance equipment such as different cam, dual point distributor, traction bars, and changes the gear ration from the factory 373’ to 488, but found that too radical for every day driving and decided on more street friendly 410’s.

Paul recalls that when I arrived to look at the car I brought a Camaro book and diligently checked all the #’s. His asking price was the princely sum of $4,800, and we settled on $4,500. With the sale of the Camaro along with a 67 327 Corvette a month earlier, Paul set his sights on another 67 Corvette, but this one was a well- equipped coupe with a 427ci-400hp and a/c. He still owns this car today.

Paul, his wife and a couple of his friends are planning a visit to see and drive his old Z28 in February weather permitting. We have spoken quite frequently and look forward to seeing him again and sharing the memories we’ve had with the car.

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Attachments - The Supercar Registry Z28 Loaded say good by to Larrys Brother in law RS.jpeg Paul next to car RS.jpg Paul back in the saddle RS.jpg Larry's next car after the Z28.jpeg
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: Paceme's "Reliving My Youth" 1969 Z/28


It does not get much better than this....thank you for sharing.

Oscar nominated story [img]<<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/headbang.gif[/img]

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Old 02-17-2017, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Paceme's "Reliving My Youth" 1969 Z/28

Great story which shows you can never give up. I just went through a similar experience myself. Good going Steve!
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Paceme's "Reliving My Youth" 1969 Z/28

That is great stuff Steve! Nice to have all that history. The vintage pictures are great.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Paceme's "Reliving My Youth" 1969 Z/28

Great, great story. Think he will give up the P-O-P to you?
I ain't nobody, dork.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:47 PM
Steve Shauger Steve Shauger is offline
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Default Re: Paceme's "Reliving My Youth" 1969 Z/28

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: [email protected]</div><div class="ubbcode-body">That is great stuff Steve! Nice to have all that history. The vintage pictures are great. </div></div>
Paul the previous owner has a picture of the original owner Bill and he next to the car. Sam he has many pictures of the car jacked up high with N50's on the rear in that classic day2 stance. I hope to get copies of those pics and will post. He was planning on visiting this weekend but because of all the snow we've postponed the visit.
Steve Shauger
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Paceme's "Reliving My Youth" 1969 Z/28

Cool story.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Paceme's "Reliving My Youth" 1969 Z/28

Great story! Can't wait to see the vintage pics of it in Day 2 style.
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John 10:30
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Paceme's "Reliving My Youth" 1969 Z/28

great story
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: Paceme's "Reliving My Youth" 1969 Z/28

WOW!!!!! [img]<<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/Can-I-Have-It.gif[/img]
You've never lived until you've almost died -- for those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know!
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