Ideas for Bastard Camaro
Alright, so here's the story:
In my possession is a 1974 Chevy Camaro, basically as a rolling chassis right now. The body is in decent condition, it will probably need new floorboards welded in but the rest of the body is mostly surface rust in all of the usual spots. It belonged to my dad, who passed away January 28, 1999. He was a month away from retiring from the Army with 20 years, was working 24-hour duty at Fort Hood, and had 10 work days left. He fell asleep on his way home one morning and drove off the road, flew threw the air, and hit a concrete embankment. He was in a little Volkswagen Rabbit, so he really had no chance. The Camaro was promised to me by him, even before he passed away, and every time I try and work on it, something comes up.
He died at the ripe ol' age of 37, so I've already lived longer without him than I had with him. In the years before he died, he taught one guy EVERYTHING he knew about cars, which was quite a bit. In fact, most of my mechanical knowledge comes directly from him, there's just no way I was going to learn to rebuild a car at 8 or 9 years old. In return, the family friend taught my dad everything he knew about computers.
Once my dad passed away, the guy talked my mom and I, into sending it off for paint and bodywork, so I gutted the car completely, and sent it off. While it was being worked on, we rebuilt the 350 that was in it, got it to where it needed to be and then...he started fixing up Mustangs for his 3 kids. Each one of them recieved a "classic" Mustang from him upon graduation. So my Camaro, freshly back from paint and body, was put in his backyard to sit. It all started my freshman year in high school. Since then, I sold the motor, for a few hundred $'s profit, then bought another when I thought I'd get started again, but didn't, and sold that for a few hundred $'s more.
I'm now about to graduate with my undergraduate degree, but am coming back for my Masters. I like to think I'll have the time, but at this rate I never will! So I'm going to try and make a dope daily, on a college students budget. Don't worry, this will not affect the 10, but I'll probably post my stuntbike for sale or part it out to try and fund part of the project.
It's sitting in my backyard now, covered with a pretty heavy-duty tarp, storing all of my bike parts inside. In retrospect, I much rather would have rebuilt the motor that was in it, and left it alone. It reminds me of Bumble Bee off Transformers, it was an old red rust bucket but was still safe to drive, if it would have been running. Now it's completely gutted.
Anyways, what I'm asking from you guys/gals is:
Where do I start?!
I want to upgrade the suspension, give it a much lower stance, but aftermarket suspension for cars like this one are limited. What can I do as far as upgrading to a newer Camaro's suspension or any other late-model car?
What kind of motor/transmission should I be looking for? I want it to be my dad's old Camaro, with his son's attitude. Fuel injected or carb'd? I don't know much, but know it would be dope to pop the hood on this old heavy car and see an ls-series motor. I wouldn't mind making this a 2000 Camaro SS in a 74 body, but what kind of work would that be? Also, it used to be an auto but I kind of want a standard, hard to change?
Other things I'm sure I could take care of myself, but I am looking for any input, where to begin, what kind of money I should be expecting to spend, etc. I know paint and body shouldn't have been the starting point last time, wish I could go back but it's too late now. I'll get pics during Thanksgiving of this beast, just want to start making progress.
Also, if you know of any reputable shops, I don't really have the resources to do a motor swap on my own, so that may be something I'd have to let a shop do.
I couldn't sleep last night and my Pandora was playing all kinds of music I used to jam to with my dad in the Camaro in Kentucky. Ace of Base, Collective Soul, and old school Green Day. It put me in the mood to really try and figure all of this out.
.Net, what do I do?!