Like many car enthusiasts, Carl Noel’s interest in the hobby started way back at a time before he could actually drive a car, “I’ve been interested in cars for as long as I can remember, but it all started with Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars. I then moved on to plastic models and so on,” commented Carl.
When it comes to choosing the perfect car, classic musclecar owners are a fickle breed, and if there is one thing that sets us all apart, it’s our personal taste. For instance, some people feel a stronger connection to the Chevelle body than they do to let’s say a Nova. According to Carl, “I’ve always liked the ’69 Camaro, and this one is my second.”
Carl started this project by locating what started out as a plain-Jane, Daytona Yellow Camaro with a 307 cubic-inch engine under the hood, and an automatic transmission bolted to that. His build plan revolved around building a restomod. The rebuild path was easy for Carl, because in his words, “I do restoration, custom, and collision-type of bodywork on the side, and my day job consists of selling DuPont (Axalta) paint, and teaching people how to use the products.”
Carl continued, “I first saw this car in the spring of 2002. It was sitting beside a house, so I stopped to inquire about it. The owner was asking a high price for what I would call a Fred Flintstone car, and to me, it was not much more than a title and VIN tag. I drove by the Camaro several times a week for about a year, and then I finally stopped again and made him a cash offer. He accepted with the provision that he keep the 12-bolt rearend.
Carl started to rebuild the Camaro in August of 2007, by replacing all of the sheetmetal except the roof. Carl says, “At the time, one-piece floors were just becoming available, and the frame rails were also being reproduced. I actually raised the transmission tunnel 2 inches to accommodate the larger Tremec six-speed transmission, smoothed the firewall, and added Detroit Speed mini tubs.
The front suspension uses Detroit Speed’s Kit III front suspension, that uses tubular upper and lower control arms, a coilover conversion kit, front anti-roll bar, a new steering box, and upgraded steering components. The front is tied to the rear Qudra-Link rear suspension by Detroit Speed’s subframe connectors.
Under the hood is a 383 cubic-inch small-block that was built by Race Krafters in Lancaster, PA. Inside are an Eagle 3.75-inch stroke rotating assembly, a Comp Cams’ bump stick with 240/246 degrees duration, and .507/.510-inch lift. Finally, a set of Brodix IK200 heads support an Edelbrock Victor intake, and an Edelbrock 800cfm carburetor. According to Carl, the engine makes 510 horsepower, and 506 lb-ft. of torque. Literally bringing up the rear is a 9-inch housing with a Strange Engineering center section holding 3.73 gears.
When it came to the interior, Carl made sure that comfort, style, and class were apparent. So, inside, you’ll find creature comforts like leather interior trim, a Vintage Air A/C system, Auto Meter gauges, a Kenwood stereo with a Kicker amp and speakers, and finally a Billet Specialties steering wheel.
This labor of love took Carl roughly 4 1/2 years of evenings and weekends to build. But, he also knows that he couldn’t have done it without help, “I would like to thank Lonny Gordon, owner of East Coast Muscle Cars in Craley, PA, for all of the technical advice and parts acquisition during the build. Without his knowledge of the type of car I wanted to build, and his knowledge of quality parts, this project would have cost me a lot more time and money than it did. I would also like to thank Jim Gruber, owner of Gruber Upholstery in Elizabethtown, PA, for stitching the interior. Finally, my brother Bruce and buddy Dean for their extra hands when I needed them.”
No project car build is ever entirely uneventful, and according to Carl, this one was no different, “When I took the Camaro out for the first time to calibrate my speedometer, I got roughly a 1/2-mile from the house, and I passed a State Trooper going the other way. He turned around and pulled me over. He stated that he saw I didn’t have a state safety inspection sticker on my windshield, and this was his excuse for stopping me. I explained to him that in order for me to have the car inspected, I needed to have a working speedometer, which I was calibrating. He went back to his car for a short period, and then walked back up to me, smiled and said, ‘Very nice car, do what you have to do, and get it back home.’”
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