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With all the hoopla surrounding the new Camaro 1LE, let's look back at the original.
The story of the ZL1 Camaro, fitted with that rarest of the rare, all-aluminum 427 big-block V-8, is one that has often been told: How only 69 were made, how they exploited the GM option-ordering system, and how they've become the Camaro guy's ultimate Camaro.
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If you like to drive, small block Camaros are what you want. Cars like this 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS are nicely balanced, with great handling and acceleration that still intimidates other drivers on the street, all without the fuel economy penalty of a big block. This fresh-looking hardtop offers all the virtues and none of the vices of an early F-body. Repainted with purpose, this SS absolutely sparkles. The Blue Metallic finish is a great choice today, providing a more vivid profile and attention-grabbing presence that the original Garnet Red ever did. Somehow this one looks longer and sleeker, perhaps due to the modern finish, or maybe its the stance, which is more road race than quarter mile. Its been stripped of all badges for an even sleeker looker, and the cowl hood and ducktail spoiler out back set an aggressive tone. Finish quality is quite good but not perfect, and the 1969 Camaro sheetmetal doesnt tolerate sloppy workmanship with that sharp crease running along its flanks, leaving this one looking pretty darned good in the flesh. Although the build sheet has been lost to the ages, this one definitely has an SS look throughout the build, although some liberties have certainly been taken. Sparkling chrome bumpers, shiny door handles and mirrors, and polished stainless window trim all add some glitter that sparkles against the vivid blue paint. A white interior in a blue car is perhaps the best possible combination if you want to attract attention, and with newer seat covers, clean door panels, bright wood appliques throughout, and black carpets that look plush, the interior is ready to rock. Even what GM called the standard setup was pretty stylish, and with a center console and that horseshoe shifter, the Camaro becomes a pretty nice place to spend some quality time. The SS gauge package is present, with the speedometer and tachometer ahead of the driver, along with proper auxiliary gauges built into the middle console. The original AM radio is gone, so its ready for the head unit of your choice and the original Astro-Ventilation is still in place as well. The trunk is finished with spatter paint and provides plenty of room for luggage during those long-distance cruises. The reason we like this Camaro is the 400 cubic inch V8 up front, which is hundreds of pounds lighter than a big block, improving handling and braking in a big way without a major sacrifice in acceleration. With an Edelbrock 4-barrel carb and intake up top, chrome valve covers, and bright Chevy Orange paint, it looks every bit the part of a hi-po bowtie. Factory-style headers and a newer dual exhaust system give it a great V8 rumble that few other engines can match, as well as a fat torque curve. The TH350 3-speed automatic transmission snaps off shifts like rifle shots and the 10-bolt out back is built to take it. Power front discs and power steering make driving this F-body a breeze, and the 15-inch Eagle Alloy wheels and 215/65/15 front and 235/60/17 rear performance radials certainly help. If youve been looking for a great early Camaro, try bending this 69 into a corner before making your decision. Call today!
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