Time to Redo My High School and College Ride - 1979 Z28

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by snowdog, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. snowdog

    snowdog Member

    Nov 14, 2002
    Lexington, KY

    Long time member but have not posted anything until now.

    In 1980 I found a 1979 Z28 I wanted so much I could not stand it. I had 2K for a down payment and needed a loan. Interest rates were crazy back then, they wanted 15% because well, I was 16 and worked at a Pizza joint.

    In the first picture you see me and my Mom and Grandmother. Mom liked her Oldsmobile's with 455 Rockets, and my Grandmother drove a 66 Malibu with a 327 in the 60's and a 72 Dodge Dart with a 318 in the 70's. Add the Smokey and the Bandit movie to that and there you have it... Off subject but funny, one day I was out in her Dart, baby blue Swinger, and a friend who's parents gave him an 80 Vette pulled up next to me... he was THREE car lengths behind a quarter mile later and so pissed)

    Anyway, I got home from school one day and there was a payment book in my grandmothers name for the remaining 4K. You better believe i never missed a payment.

    Mom gave up her space in the garage because she though my Z was too pretty to sit out and put me on her insurance. The car used that space from 1980 through 2016. It was stored there and not driven from 1990 to 2016 when I moved it.

    Mom never said a word about the speeding tickets, not even the 100 in a 55 that was actually a drag race with a mustang, and it turns out she actually stole cars for joy rides as a teenager and was arrested several times. She also had a few 100 mph tickets in her past it turned out. One year I had to go to defensive driving THREE times for tickets. Not a word, unless you consider her laughing her ass off at me.

    When I was in collage it was stolen off the dealers lot while in for repairs by carnies who sold their blood for gas money and were picked up in Arkansas for speeding. It was in to get the speedo fixed to match the new tires. Dumbasses...they hadn't fixed it yet. The dealership fixed everything that was even remotely in need of attention to make up for it.

    The picture of it in silver paint is from 1980, the ones with it in candy apple red are from 2016 when I took it out of her garage to move it to my house. I lost Mom right before Christmas and its time to "fix up that damn car" as she would put it. It has 78K miles.

    The body is almost perfect, two quarter sized rust spots, the interior needs work, and the 3rd engine is history. Here is the plan.

    1. Return it to stock appearance, silver paint (2010 Camaro Silver base coat clear coat is close enough), stripes, wheels, the whole deal
    2. Replace the 3rd engine with a modern day incarnation of the 1970 LT1
    3. Add posi, it came without, one I added went out with a bang, torn on keeping the cooperate 10 bolt. Hog head is welded though
    4. Replace the interior, it is really showing its age there, plus cops took the ashtray one bad night and I never found a carmine red one to match. They never got it to match back then.
    5. Retain the few mods that I like, functional hood scoop, true dual exhaust with headers and factory resonators. It has T/A tailpipes, not sure about that...they are cool
    6. All the little things like emblems, rubber seals, all the little details that will make it seem like new again.

    As each part of the project happens I will document it here. Thank you all in advance for your help, I know where to go if I need answers.

    Me Mom and Nana.png 12961686_10154044171735782_3599327670921626846_n.jpg 12933153_10154044171925782_4085253673457087225_n.jpg 12901049_994742847269358_6017611001438328637_o.jpg

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    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  2. FunBobby

    FunBobby Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Simpsonville, SC
    Hey Snowdog! Our stories are pretty similar. I got my '80 Z28 in 1982 after lusting after it for over a year. Unfortunately I let it go and couldn't find it, so my build a few years ago was to clone a car exactly like I had in High School and College. I can promise you its worth the effort. There's nothing like popping in some 80's music and going for a ride. I tell people it's my own personal time machine! You're in the right place. There was so much I didn't know when I started the project, and I wouldn't have been successful if it weren't for all of the answers and advice I got right here. If you have time, check out my build thread in my signature. I think you'll see some similarities. Good Luck!

    p.s. - I lost my mom in 2016 and she was also very much a part of my car build....so that car is even more special now....so I know where you're coming from!
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
    snowdog likes this.
  3. f-body freak

    f-body freak Veteran Member

    Nov 22, 2014
    northern ohio
    Cool story. You're in the right place here. Lots of good people & good help
    snowdog likes this.
  4. Jas0n

    Jas0n Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2010
    Verona, ITALY
    Hey snowdog! really cool story and really cool plan, I look forward to see progress coming!

    PS: sure enough that cop own a Camaro with carmine red interior and missed the ashtray lol!!
    snowdog likes this.
  5. jimrr

    jimrr Veteran Member

    Jun 12, 2016
    Awesome sauce!! You haven't changed a bit!!!!!
    snowdog likes this.

    72BIGBLOCK Veteran Member

    Feb 2, 2008
    Awesome story but I would recommend you paint the car the original silver that it came with.

    Very cool car so get working :)
    snowdog likes this.
  7. Donald Kelly

    Donald Kelly New Member

    Aug 7, 2017
    I love the story. I remember the guys who's parents gave them corvettes for gifts too.
  8. snowdog

    snowdog Member

    Nov 14, 2002
    Lexington, KY
    That is the plan, I am conflicted on what Silver to use. The 1979 Camaro silver just didn't look very shiny even new, it had a battleship grey look to it. When I was shopping for a 2010 SS I really liked the new silver. BUT... I have not seen 79 silver in basecoat/clearcoat. This has been a major issue with me. I repainted it in the early 80's because there were so many around I wanted mine different and went with 1966 Ford T-bird candy able red and gloss black wheels, rockers, fender vents, and scoop. It turned out to be a good thing because we used Imron and it basically sealed the car with polyurethane and I have almost no rust at all. It is going back to stock with the stripes, factory wheels, factory tailpipes, et. but I have time as the engine is first on the list, then interior, then body.
  9. snowdog

    snowdog Member

    Nov 14, 2002
    Lexington, KY
    His name was Carl Dick... that says it all. Italy? My family is from Bari and Filidelfia.
  10. snowdog

    snowdog Member

    Nov 14, 2002
    Lexington, KY
    I have found it is hard to come up with a question that hasn't been answered here, but I bet I have a few!

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