Many times, finding the perfect project car is purely a result of being in the right place at the right time. Pat Owens realized that back in 2003. He told us, “I went to help a friend of mine retrieve a ‘69 Mustang Mach 1 that he’d bought. When we got there, I found this ‘69 Camaro in the same warehouse.” He was definitely in the right place.
Not one to miss out on a great project, Patrick struck a deal with the car’s owner, and he and his friend had to make two trips so they could gather both cars. According to Patrick, “The car was rough, yet rebuildable. There was not a lot of rust, and the car only needed a few patch panels.
Patrick began the project immediately upon getting the car home and tells us that most of the work was completed by him in his home garage. Once the body disassembled, it was patched where rust had reared its ugly head, and he smoothed the small dings that the car accumulated during its tenure as a driver. He then took the body to a friend’s shop that just happens to be a working body shop for a slathering of Azure Turquoise. Patrick didn’t farm out the paint job, as he explains, “My friend let me use the paint booth at his shop, and I painted the car myself.”
Once the shiny shell of a Camaro was back home in Patrick’s garage, the suspension was rebuilt to factory specs using parts from the Chevy Store. The standard black interior was refurbished with new parts – also from the Chevy Store, and then installed by Pacific Auto Trim in Portland. You’ll also find a tilt-steering column and a Comfort Grip steering wheel.
Under the hood is a freshly-rebuilt 396 big-block with a forged rotating assembly creating a 9.6:1 compression ratio. Above that are a set of Chevrolet Performance aluminum heads supporting the Bow Tie intake and Holley 750 HP carburetor. Behind that, you’ll find a four-speed and a 12-bolt rearend filled with 3.31 gears and a Posi unit.
Patrick finished by telling us, “I drive the car when weather permits, which is about 2,500 miles per year. I spent roughly five years putting it together in my spare time, and it was worth every minute.” That is what makes this a true Home-Built Hero.
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 [email protected].