Donna Hilliard’s addiction to Camaro started when GM introduced the fifth generation Camaro in 2009. She loved muscle cars before but she never thought about buying a muscle car for herself and a major change happened when she saw a Camaro back in 2010.
She got bitten by the muscle car bug! And since then, she was thinking about buying a muscle car for herself. Her husband was a muscle car lover too, he currently owns a 1969 Camaro and he is supportive to his wife’s new passion. He encouraged Donna to add another ‘69 Camaro to their garage and after hours of convincing, Donna agreed and they searched through the internet to find their project car.
They found a car 1,200 miles away from their home, Donna and her husband was a little hesitant in buying the car but luckily, they had a friend near the location of the car. Their friend helped them to check if the car was still available and he also makes sure that the couple and the owner were in the same page.
Donna and her husband wasted no time after receiving the go signal from their friend. They rented a truck and borrowed a trailer. Their 1,200-mile journey to rescue a dying Camaro has begun and since it is only few more months before Donna’s birthday, her husband said that the Camaro was a perfect gift for her.
The Dead-End Camaro Project
When they finally saved the dying Camaro, the restoration was immediately planned. The couple had already ordered the necessary parts and they chose Holohan’s Hot Rod Shop in North Carolina to help them in restoring the Camaro. The project was discussed with Dan Holohan and right after listening to the couple’s vision for the car, they quickly started the project in repairing its quarter-panels and installing a new doorskins.
Donna’s husband along with Dan Holohan spent countless hours in perfecting the shape of the car. They really paid attention to its doors, fender and hood gaps since their goal for the car’s body was to achieve a proper alignment.
The body was almost done and their goal was achieved, the next phase was planning its exterior color and designs. Donna chooses to retain the Camaro’s original color and the preparation for the sheet metal was started.
On the other hand, the couple wanted to make this car to express a simple theme but it also needs to boast a little bit of attitude. That’s the reason why they decided to power this machine by a GM 427 crate engine and it is paired with a Holley 770-cfm Street Avenger. The engine bay featured a black powder coated air cleaner with a big 427 badge and a custom-built stepped 1 7/8- to 2 inch Calvin Elston stainless coated headers. To complete the already impressive components of the engine bay, a MagnaFlow 3 inch exhaust system along with MagnaFlow mufflers were added.
When building a classic muscle car, setting the proper stance to the car gives it a stunning look. On the front, SPC tubular A-arms were combined to the stock GM spindles. It is paired with a set of Hotchkis lowering springs to provide a 3-inch reduction in altitude while a DSE 2-inch lowering leaf strings and AFCO ¾ inch lowering blocks were used to lower the rear section of the car. A Bilstein shocks were used on all four corners and the results of this set up are satisfying. It flawlessly gives a smooth and comfortable riding experience.
On the interior, Donna was satisfied by the amazing work that JNG Creations has done to her car. The classic vibe was retained yet it was mixed with the present-day technologies. The car’s interior was heavily colored with dark blue and seamlessly matched the light blue exterior body color. The dash features a Vintage Air control panel and Auto Meter Cobalt Gauges. A nice mid-range and tweeters were placed in the Screaming Performance kick panels to entertain Donna and her husband Jay. A Billet Specialties half-wrap steering wheel was used together with a Lokar shifter.
The car was finished in a span of three years and two months. The restoration process was a special time for Donna because she was amazed of how an old car was transformed into a head turner and also, she fulfilled her dream together with her husband.
For Donna, the best part while driving her car was seeing people’s expression’s. A woman is driving with a big-block 427?!? That kind of scene doesn’t happen every day.
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