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Last Indian

Camaro's by KiD/Z

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Ringo, please excuse the pictures, all were way before digital cameras. Two cars here, the first is my wife’s “74” the second was my “69”, both are gone now😞! The KiD/Z moniker came from my racing days and just kind of stuck.

"74" this project was done in 1989

 

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"Blacky", the"69", of all the machines I've ever built & or driven this was the most incredible. I bought the car new in 69, raced, it drove it daily, married & had a family.   On Christmas Day evening 1977 the car was totaled in one of the worst snow storms in decades in Cleveland. I could not part with car, so I did what any red blooded hot rodder would do, I made it better than new. In those days I didn't live where I do now so I didn't have a garage or even a concrete drive, as you may notice in some of the pictures. The really old picture of the car not wrecked was from the summer of "77" before the accident.

 

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Love these Camaros! Especially the '69, I love first gens. Got a detailed list of what was done to each?

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Whole lotta love shown to that ride for many years.  They become part of you with that many hours involved.  Awesome job.

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Well after the wreck the 69 was about 85% or so handmade. The the front subframe was destroyed, but the firewall was untouched. So I found a subframe and took 2x3 channel and built the back half of the frame & welded them together. Similar to the 74 frame you see in the pics, but in the case of the 69 the 3” is vertical not horizontal all the way, this changes the vertical flex, which in cornering helps substantially with down force flex in cornering. The entire floor from firewall cutoff to the rear valance was 20ga. 304 stainless. Original Z/28 3 leaf, leaf springs & Monroe Max Air shocks. The front sported big block springs and sway bar. Because of this work the car dropped 300lbs and weight was redistributed, which in turn lowered the center of gravity 5” & lowered the roll center 13”. It also balanced the car to a 50/50 weight distribution, but best of all was it would pull over 1.3 Gs on a 300 ft skid pad test @ 50 mph. It also reduced Yaw by 1 full second@ 50 mph. Every part and bolt, clip, nut, washer et. That could be made or bought of 304 stainless was. The engine, well what can I say, it was a stock DZ 302, but what else do you need? People will argue about this motor and its power, but the fact is that the 302 was tested by many reputable people, Smokey Yunick as one and none were ever tested under 600 hp. The with one caveat with mine was the 202 valve heads were replaced with 188 fueler heads. Without getting into a long oration, smaller valve heads actually run better for the street and slalom racing with the 302. Most engine pieces were handmade except for the obvious. It might interest you that if you look closely at the side shot of the engine you can see the power steering & water pump pulleys. They are billet pieces I designed and made. Likewise the front engine pic shows a billet ribbed master cylinder cover I designed & made. I once made the mistake of going to a car show in this area and Mr Gasket, which at that time was out of Cleveland’s west side was there stole the designs. Just another reason I don’t do car shows. 
The interior was all custom, see pic. Wheels were American Racing billet bean slots that I machined to look like Hildebrandt wheels & the lugs 304 SS machined to a bastard size for security. Rear fenders were custom flared. In 1974 I converted the Z from the Muncie stick to a special built 350 turbo automatic, as my wife, no matter how I tried, couldn’t handle the 2500 lb. clutch. So with that there was so much power and hookup with the automatic it would wind the rear axle up 40 degrees and really S shape the leaf springs. As a result I built what I called ladde- tracs, as they were a cross between ladder bars and traction bars. Traction bars wouldn’t work as the power was to great and would just S shape the springs wrap the axle anyway, had to stop the axle from over rotating. The rear end cover was a custom made piece, see pic. 

The “74” was my wife so I made it a much more docile machine, detuned, automatic obviously, but it would corner very very well. 

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