Home-Built Hero: Jason Kern’s Family Heirloom ’69 Camaro

Camaro

According to Jason, every thing on the car has been rebuilt or replaced. He and his dad tried to keep everything as original as possible, so not everything is perfect. They also built it to drive, so it regularly sees over 3,000 miles a year.

Jason Kern has an interesting story about the life of his ’69 Camaro, and that story begins with his father. “Dad ordered the car while he was finishing up his tour in Vietnam. It was waiting for him when he got home,” Says Jason.  Jason’s dad and mom dated in the Camaro, and it was their only car when they got married. “I came home from the hospital in it when I was born in 1974, Jason quipped.  Unfortunately, the couple sold it in 1976 because gas was too expensive.

Camaro

Many times, that would be where the story would end, and that would be left were the memories. But not this time. “I tracked it down in 2013,” Jason stated. He bought it back, and with some professional help, he and his Dad restored it. The second owner kept the paperwork and gave it to me. Once I had the VIN, I used Carfax to track it down. Once I found where it was, I called the DMV in the town it was registered and they contacted the owner and gave him my information. He called me and we struck a deal.”

Rust was part of the acquisition, and the rockers, trunk floor, upper dash, filler panel, trunk lid, tail panel, and one front fender had to be replaced. “Dad and I spent many weekends welding, wire brushing, and painting the underside, running new brake lines, fuel lines,” According to James, a previous owner did add a deck lid spoiler, but since the Camaro originally came from the factory without a spoiler and it was removed.

Under the hood, it still has the original 300hp 350 small-block. Behind that is the original Muncie four speed, and 12-bolt rear with 3.55 gears. The engine is mostly stock with the exception of a roller cam and Summit Racing ceramic-coated headers feeding 2 1/2-inch pipes with Cherry Bomb glass packs. “It’s a true RS/SS with Endura bumper. The Camaro looks and drives just like when my Dad picked it up at the dealership.”

Camaro

Jason and his dad’s Camaro, many, many years ago.

Inside, the carpet, headliner, and dash pad are new, but the door panels, gauges, and console are all original. It has the deluxe interior with console gauge package.  Suspension is stock with polyurethane bushings.  Headlight doors are still vacuum operated as stock.

Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heroes? All you need to do is click here. If you own a Home-Built Hero, we want to hear about it. Since we’ve started the series, we have received more than a few candidates, but we still want to see more – we can never get enough. If you want to see more cars built by you the readers, send us a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information, and we’ll make you Internet famous. You can send your submissions to c[email protected].

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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