This project began like so many do – a bunch of gearheads were sitting around at a show bench racing. The conversation inevitably turned to the recently released reproduction ’69 Camaro convertible bodies, and what that meant in the greater scheme of things. The big question was whether the availability of these bodies meant enthusiast could build an all-new 1969 Camaro.


Building an all-new old car is not unprecedented, of course. Street rodders have been doing it for years by using any number of reproduction fiberglass or steel bodies, repro frames, and so on. Even vehicles from the muscle era, such as the Shelby Cobra, can be duplicated in an all-new form using readily available components from the aftermarket. The Camaro body does break new grond, however, in the sense that it’s the first all-steel reproduction body and chassis the duplicates a popular, mass-production muscle car.


At first blush, building a new old Camaro by starting with a repop body seemed relatively straightforward. After all, once the basic body shell is obtained, virtually everything else is available, right? How hard could it be? There was only one to find out, Get a body; build a car. The YearOne Mail Order Camaro project was born.


The following parameters were to be followed during the build. First, use only new components if possible. Second, painstakingly document the build, keeping track of everything used and photographing the assembly in detail. Third, write a book about the project so that others interested in doing the same thing would have a guide to go by. Oh, and one thing – do it all in 60 days!


Since the idea was to determine if a completely new Camaro could be built, and if so how everything would come together, it only made since to document everthing so others could learn from the experience.


As for the question of whether an all-new 1969 Camaro could be built – well, the quick answer is “probably”. There were some components used on this car that came from a crashed donor vehicle. That’s not to say alternatives for used components couldn’t be found through careful parts research or fabrication, but in the interest of time a desire to do what most people would when confronted with a similar, issue, we went with donor parts.

Vehicle Specifications:


GM Performance Parts ZZ4 350

Vintage Air Front Runner

Cooling System:

Reproduction 4-core radiator

Be Cool electric fan

Rear Axle:

Moser 12-Bolt 3.73 posi

Front Suspension:

OEM style front control arms


SSBC 4 wheel disc brakes


17″x 7″ front and 18″x 9.5″ rear

Billet Rallys from Wheel Vintiques

BFGoodrich Tires

215-45-17s front

295-35-18s rear


Reproduction all new 1969 Camaro Convertible body

Mini-tubbed rear body

SS hood

1969 Trans Am rear spoiler


Vintage Air A/C


TCI TH700R4 automatic overdrive

Rear Suspension:

OEM style leaf springs

Rear Suspension:

OEM style leaf springs


Southern Polyurethane paint products