Home-Built Hero: Don Zabolski’s ’68 Camaro

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It’s hard to beleive this paint was applied in 1990.

When Don Zabolski from Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin was a scant 15 years old, it was 1975, and he located and rescued this ’68 Chevrolet Camaro for $1,295 from a local dealership. He didn’t have a driver’s license yet, but as soon as that long-awaited great day in every teenager’s life arrived, Don and his Camaro became inseparable. We can say that, because, as Don told us, “I’m proud to say I still own it, and as of this November, it will be 42 years.”

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Definitley not stock and it looks great. The interior pieces were refurbished at United Auto Trim in Fond du lac, and an Ididit tilt steering column, billet steering wheel and custom seat upholstery are all cool touches, and not overstated.

Although Don initially used the Camaro as his daily mode of hauling him and his buddies around town, the realization that the car could someday be more valuable caused him to find another mode of transportation and then use the F-Body only on occasions deemed worthy. This was in 1975, and the car has not seen a winter drive since then.

All GM sheetmetal was used during the rebuild.

Don tells us, “Several years later, I took it apart to rebuild it, and then it sat for 9 years.” Although untouched for a long period of time, always hoped to get it back together. Don’s neighbor, Bill Hanke, is the local “car guy” that can rebuild anything, and Don’s son finally asked Bill if he would be interested in rebuilding the ‘68. He said he would work on the car, and the project once agani had momentum. Don continued, “I had all new GM quarter panels, fenders, door skins, shock towers, inner fenders, and wheelwells, so the body is once again all GM with no aftermarket sheetmetal.” The color is GM Medium Garnet, and Bill finished the car in May of 1990. Here we are 27 years later, and the finish looks like it did when it was applied.

The car has undergone several changes over the years, and the engine is a 350ci small-block that has been bored .030-inch over, and benefits from upgrades like Trick Flow aluminum heads, a roller cam and rockers, a set of Doug’s headers, a Holley double pump carburetor mounted on a Weiand Team G intake, an MSD ignition, Griffin radiator, and B&M tall valve covers. To help clean up the engine bay, the MSD 6AL box and ignition coil have been relocated to the glove box.

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Don finished by letting us know, “I have won awards at several car shows, but the one I’m most proud of is winning is Outstanding Achievement and my class at the Super Chevy show in Joliet. I have my family and friends: my two sons DJ and Kurt, Bill Hanke , Don Winke, Dan Crouch, Mike Freund and his son Nick of Classics Plus, for helping make this happen.

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Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heros? 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].

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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