Automotive racing legends are hard to contend with and even harder to forget. Just the same, the cars that these individuals rocket into fame are as legendary as their drivers. That is why it is one rare and exciting day when such a notorious vehicle as Dave Strickler’s “Old Reliable” ‘68 Camaro Z/28 goes up for sale. That’s right boys and girls, the “Old Reliable” Z is currently up for bid on eBay from RK Motors of Charlotte , North Carolina, but you’ll have to act fast; the sale ends on Christmas Eve.
Dave Strickler is a household name among many muscle car enthusiasts. As a fierce competitor in National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) races of the 1960s, Strickler made a name for himself as being the guy to beat due to his amazing out-of-the-shute driving and because of his stealth-like shifting.
As one of the pioneers of Super/Stock and Factory Experimental drag racing, Strickler won a World Championship title, 16 National Class Championship titles in both NHRA and American Hot Rod Association competitions, and set 41 records, both national and world wide in his career.
Adding to Strickler’s fame were the cars that he piloted. Known as “Old Reliable” Chevrolets, the fleet was prepared by Strickler’s friend and fellow race legend Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins. One of the most famous of this fleet was the ‘68 “Old Reliable” Z/28 Camaro.
Featuring a 302cui small-block V8, Stahl Headers, 5.38 rear end gears, modified race suspension and 9-inch slicks, the Z/28 dominated the race circuit and gave plenty of big-block Super Stock Camaros a run for their money with 11.7 quarter mile times.
Finishing off a dominating 1968 race season, Strickler and his Z/28 captured the victory at the Super Stock World Championship, the most prestigious NHRA Super Stock event in 1968. He did this after winning at the NHRA Super Stock All-Star Meet just two weeks earlier.
After 1968, the Z/28 was retired and “lost” in the world of racing, although it was raced on tracks all over the country by its next two owners. The fate of the car was all but determined when Camaro historian and expert Jerry MacNeish tracked down and bought the Z/28 in 1993.
The vehicle you see here is the result of MacNeish’s research and dedication to the car. After the Camaro was obtained in 1993, it received graphics like those originally used on the car and mechanical upgrades. The car was then raced by MacNeish from 1994 to 2007. After being retired from the track again, the Z/28 underwent a complete restoration to as-raced condition.
The Z/28 is now in the condition you would have found it back in 1968 with the addition of a 6-point roll cage and racing harnesses. The Camaro features a correct 302cui engine that has been built to the specifications of the 1968 race car, with an original Z/28 camshaft, cast iron cylinder heads, stock rocker arms and stock valve springs.
The engine is equipped with a correct 302 aluminum intake, 780CFM Holley carburetor, twin groove pulleys to eliminate belt jump at high speeds and Hooker long-tube headers. The engine even features a rare factory cowl plenum air cleaner. All together, the engine pushes about 400hp.
Turning that power into speed is a Muncie M22 four-speed manual transmission with Hurst shifter paired with a 10-inch 3-finger Advance Clutch Technology clutch. The rear of the Z/28 is equipped with a GM 12-bolt with 5.57 rear end gears.
The suspension on the Strickler Camaro includes as-raced springs, shocks and A-arms in the front, as well as leaf springs and traction bars in the back. As rare as it is, the Z/28 is even equipped with its original Cragars wheels and Stahl skinnies on the front.
The interior of the car is completely original, right down to the carpet and headliner. It features the original radio-delete block-off plate, Stahl tachometer on the steering column and original seats. According to the original odometer, the Z/28 has only a little over 5 miles on it. This was truly a track car and used for nothing but racing.
As you can imagine, Strickler’s Z/28 is extremely documented. With articles in over 30 automotive publications between 1968 and 1969, this Z/28 comes with pages of features, articles, literature, advertisements and photographs from its original racing days.
It also comes with a copy of its original Pennsylvania title, duplicates of its original window sticker and a letter from the National Insurance Crime Bureau confirming the VIN as belonging to the original “Old Reliable” Camaro.
To buy the Strickler Z/28 is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There is no doubt that this car would make a rare addition to any Camaro, NHRA or muscle car collection. With the asking price of the Camaro set at $499,900, we hope that the car goes to a serious collector who will enjoy the car and its history like it was intended. If you are interested in buying this rare Strickler Camaro or place a bid, you can contact RK Motors via eBay.