MadMike's North Georgia Classic Camaro
The Maciolek Family's Z28 Camaro's
In summary, I have 3 Z28's:
The 1980 Z28 - Sentimental, owned since 1985, being put back in street machine trim. August/2006
The 1973 Z28 - my 468 motivated Motion Replica bracket racer (barely street legal). June/2003
The 1974 Z28 - Eventually will be a nice, fancy (i.e. a/c & radio) daily driver. Page updated: June/2007
|The 1980 Z28||The 1973 Z28||The 1974 Z28|
More: About MadMike | Our Suburban & Truck Info | BOOHst (GTP)
My introduction to the Chevrolet Camaro
I was born in 1966 just as the muscle car wars were heating up. Due to my age, I missed out on being able to go to the showroom and order a SS396 brand new and all that. My earliest recollections of cars was when I was a little boy and helped my dad work our 1959 T-bird which was a pile of junk, or our still relatively new 1967 SS 327 Impala. I still remember my mom at the gas station: "Fill it up with Fire-cheif" (100 octane).
I was into airplanes growing up. I wanted to be a pilot. I didn't know a Camaro from a Corvette, except it wasn't a Ferd.
I learned to drive in a 1975 6 cylinder Nova with my grandma. My parents also had a 1975 Oldsmobile Regency with a 455. One of those land yachts. When I was supposed to go for my drivers test, I showed up with my grandma and the Nova.I had to have a PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN, so I got bounced and had to come backwith my mom and the Oldsmobile. I was nervous about driving the big car for the test, but I passed.
Oh boy, now I'm in High School and I got my license. But I got a couple after school jobs and not much money. My friend Gibby (Guilbert) worked at a restraunt and buys himself an ex-drag car, 1969 Nova, the seller removed the 396 and tossed a very healthy 350 into it. the car had ladder bars, 4 speed (howling M22), stripped out..... wow. This is cool. We had to remove the hood scoop and quiet the car down so it would pass inspection.
1982 - My first Camaro - 1977 Sport Coupe
One day I came home from someplace and a blue car was sitting out front. It was a cool looking car. My moms friend was over and she had a 1977 Camaro. I jokingly said "You wanna sell it?". Ha Ha. I'm broke, and I couldn't afford something like that. She said "No" anyway. A couple weeks later, she called my mom and asked if I was interested in buying her car. I said "What car?". OH YA! THAT BLUE ONE! YA YA YA... I want it.... I want it.......
Oh boy, it's a "stick". A 3 speed. Good golly, I hope the shifter is on the floor, I hope I can figure out how to drive it. I'm going to be a street hero and all the local chicks are gonna dig me. It only had a 6 cylinder 250 engine and was a rusting out - teal color. Before Teal was "in". Blech. But I wanted the car. My grandma gave me $1000 and I coughed up the other 1/2 and I bought it.
Now I got a 1977 Camaro. Yee-ha. I would cruise around, just drive around for the hell of it. My friend gibby would smash his car up a whole lot, and was always having mechanical trouble with his car. My pokey Camaro ran like a top, but it was "lame". I remember one night a 1971 Camaro toyed with me and I tried to get away from him but he was ALL OVER ME. I was a sitting duck. This car had a top speed of about slighly over100 MPH. It took a while to get up there too. I graduated from High School and by now, I've heard of the Z28 and know "a little" about Camaros. This car got me to Los Angeles, and then back home again. While living in LA I got into the cruising scene at UC Northridge. Hanging out at Riches Burgers and Cruising all over the Freeways in LA (when not stuck in traffic).
|"Hanging out" (1985)||My old 1970 RS||My 1980Z|
Late 1984, Enter - "The Z"
I needed "more" car. I beat the holy-hell out of the poor 77 Camaro and it just kept on ticking. By now I was out of high school, I had some bux, and I was feeling restless. My choice of replacement cars for the 1977 Camaro were:
A 1970 - 1972 Corvette. Expensive. A guaranteed chick magnet, but expensive to buy, maintain and insure. I'd probably destroy the car, if not in the whine&cheese crowds eyes, I'd possibly destroy it on the street. I better pass.
A Trans-Am. Screw "Smokey and the Bandit". By now I know about the F-body. I also hate the quad-headlights of the late 70's birds, so my choice of Poncho would have been the 1970 - 1974 Trans Am. With the 455. I knew the Poncho was different (pontiac engine). Believe it or not, I hated the machined aluminum dashboard in this car which turned me off. Alas, I am a "Chevy Man", I knew the Camaro, and I knew the Z28's rep. I knew I wanted the 1980 or 1981 style, so I went shopping. As you probably know by now - I found what I was looking for.
The rest of this cars specific history picks up here.
1986. By now, my 1980 Z28 has evolved into a serious street machine. As well as a serious PITA for maintenance and a big-time money pit. I got sick of the "hey mom - can I borrow your car"... my 80Z was supposed to be my daily driver.
My friend at work had a 1970 RS Camaro and I asked him if I could buy it. He said "No". Three weeks later he said he was selling it and asked if I wanted to buy it and I said "HELL YA!" so I went to the credit union and got $3000 and bought it. This car was awesome. Me and my (future) wife travelled around it in, it was an excellent commuter car, it was FAST AS HELL and it was reliable, which for a performance machine was surprising to me. Anyway, I put 20,000 miles on the car in one year. One day me and the cars previous owner were hanging out at a local cruise area and some kid SMASHED INTO MY RALLY SPORT! To make a long story short, I still had the 1980 Z28, the fellow who smashed my car up paid me $2500 cash for the damage, I was getting married soon and I was buying a house, so I decided to "go normal". I offered the car for sale smashed up, for $1500. I was paid that in cash before the ad ran in the newspaper then had to fend off a non-stop ringing phone for 3 more days saying "It's sold". I used some of the money to buy a POS 1980 Citation to get around and paid bills with the rest of the money.
Over time - actually while the car was backing out of the driveway, I started missing the car. (YOU IDIOT, WHY DID YOU SELL THAT CAR? YOU COULDA FIXED IT!)
1996. Serious pre-midlife crisis (aka "Getting Nostalgic") Well, I always liked racing. By now I'm anchored down in Georgia with a house and a job. Got some kids. I have torn up my 1980 Z28 to "redo it and build it to race". Many times I've heard my wife say "I wish you didn't screw up your Z28. It was nice to just drive around in it with the tops off". My 80Z28 has been in the garage torn apart since 1995. A comedy of compounding errors. I want to go racing, but In the meantime I'm not going anywhere in anything.
I need some fun transportation again. Fun = a 4 speed. I needed something like my old RS back. It's getting to be very easy to buy horsepower these days, or simply put a blower on a new 1996 Camaro or mustang and kick serious butt. I realize I won't be king of the street, nor am I trying to be.
I shopped around and finally nailed a 1973 Z28, 4 speed in 1997. That story picks up here.
This started the whole Camaro deal snowballing. In order to restore the 1973 Z28, I bought a 1974 Z28. I couldn't help myself. The Camaro biz took off which allowed me to buy the 1971 Z28.
Now, I gotta relax, consolidate my stuff and get some stuff fixed. I got enough hardware to keep me busy for the forseeable future.
Y2K - stuff is coming together I finally got my head out of my a$$ and sold the 1972 RS/SS I was sitting on. This freed up some funds and added some focus to the overall plan. If you notice, I (now) have (only) one of each major style 2nd generation Camaro. A 73, a 74 & the 80. No need for holding onto 15 front ends, 5 different transmissions, interiors for everything, etc....
Getting laid off from my day job gave me the necessary time to screw around with this stuff semi-full time now. Everything is coming together and 2 of my piles should be making some noise within the month of may. The 80Z with a 350 and the 73Z with a 468. See the specific car pages for details as they become available.
This is one of those "Take my advice - I ain't using it" deals. I know I got a lot going on. Trying to stay focused on any given task it tough. This stuff is EXTREMELY expensive and time consuming. I put my family 1st, so this may explain why it's taking a long time to do anything. The temptation to scrap all my crap and be done with it (except my 80) has crossed my mind a time or five. I'm not in panic mode, nor am I pressed to get anything done. If I get something done in TEN-YEARS - well, that's the way it is. Obviously, I hope to be running Super Gas in the year 2000 - but, there's a 99.9% chance of me being over-optimistic on my time frame.
This page was originally created in 1997 to depict the restoration of my then newly aquired 1973 Z28. Since that time, I aquired a 1974 Z28, then got a very beat up 1971 Z28. I had all 3 cars contained in this page, but recently split each car into it's own page. At one time, I had my 1980 Z28 contained under my racing section, but with the addition of the 1971 Z28, and some expenditure of brain cells, I changed my mind and decided I should put my 1980 Z28 back on the street and race the 71 Z28. As my website has grown, I'm updating it to wrap everything together so that it's easy to follow along with.
Former web subsections (expect this stuff to get wrapped up in here in some
way, pages are either superceded, stale, dead or remnants of rewritten sections) also, I will
make no attempt at correcting busted links or do maintenance on these pages: If this information
is still pertinent to my site, I've wrapped it into some other main sections.
Racing Page, my old 1980 Z28 plan & 1983 Z28 which is pretty much sold off. My Street Machine page and my Photo Gallery
Auto Tech page
1971 Z28: This cars story | Restoration Plan | Car Photos | 1971 Camaro Info | My 71's specs (SOLD)
Racing stuff |
The 1971 Z28 - which was sold
Return to Main Page