Have you ever had a vision or perception about something that when you finally got to see it, it turned out to not be as you had hoped? For Brendan McRorie, the initial thought of this ’79 Chevrolet Z28 Camaro didn’t live up to what he initially envisioned. Brendan told us, “When I was 15-years-old, my dad told me about this car and how his buddy from work shared a garage with its owner.” The car sounded promising, so the father and son duo contacted the car’s owner to see if they could check it out.
When 15 years old, most young men have dreams about the ultimate car, and like all of us, we’re certain that Brendan’s mind ran wild with thoughts of what the Camaro could be. When a young man finds that first car, he immediately begins to envision everything he could ever want: shiny paint, a powerful engine, and a car that will “get chicks.” Unfortunately, any preconceived notions of grandeur usually get a little deflated. Brendan told us, “As it turns out, the Camaro was going to be a much bigger project than I expected, and I didn’t want it anymore.” That is, until dear ole dad chimed in. Brendan continued, “My dad just couldn’t turn it down, and now I’m glad he didn’t.”
Brendan remembers that on April 15, 2015, he skipped school for the day, and he and dad picked up the car. Brendan was happy to tell us, “From that day forward, he and I would work on it after school, and eventually it came time to fire up the engine. I was so excited to hear it run.” Brendan was ecstatic, and says that all he could do was smile.
The Sr. McRorie’s plan was to have the Camaro moving under its own power by the end of that following summer, but when Brendan saw the progress they had made, he thought it would be appropriate to not only have the car running, but actually be able to drive it to school on the first day. The team forged on, and roughly one week before school started, the car came out of the paint booth. Brendan confirmed, “I begged my dad everyday to put plates and insurance on it just so I could drive it for a month before winter set in. But he said he wasn’t going to spend money on it until spring.” Brendan was a little jaded, but when he finished work one day at his Summer job, he was met with a surprise. According to Brendan, “I went to work one day and dad showed up in the Camaro! The bad part was, he wouldn’t switch me keys so I could drive it home.”
Although the car was not completed at the time, Brendan still wanted to drive it. What did eventually occur though, was he did get to drive it to school on that first day. This high school project is well on its way to being a great cruiser as Brendan stated, “The Camaro was built on a budget and isn’t completed yet. My interior is a mess and I still have a few things I would like to do to it before it’s just right.”
But, Brendan does have things together where it counts. Under the hood is a 454ci big-block that the McRorie family just happened to have as a spare. Behind that is a Turbo 350 and the stock rearend. Brendan finished by telling us, “We painted the engine, put a new Edelbrock intake on it, attached it to the transmission and dropped it in. It was a tight fit, but it went in without any issues.” Like we said, this is a true high school project and Brendan on the right path to building a great ride. I’m sure we can all remember what that was like.
Do you want to read about other Reader’s Hardcore Projects? All you need to do is click here. If you’re working on a project, we want to hear about it. Since we’ve started the Hardcore Project series, we have received more than a few candidates, but we still want to see more, as we can never get enough. 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].