1969 Camaro Retirement Plan
When most of us think of retirement, we think of no more work, and maybe a little traveling. Joe Swope Jr. of Columbus, Indiana, has been planning his retirement adventures for years. Joe wants to get back into the world of hot rods. He had been visiting the local car shows for years, getting ideas, and looking for that diamond-in-the-rough Camaro. He didn't want to spend his retirement as a spectator, so he had until 2010 to purchase and build a car to his specifications. After leaving his business cards on nearly every Camaro at the car show, one owner gave him a ring to let him know his was for sale. After a careful and in-depth inspection, Joe decided to purchase it. Shortly after, he brought it to CAB Street Rods in Columbus. There, Joe and the CAB staff worked closely on getting this Camaro to where Joe had imagined.

Joe got his family into the project as well. He assigned different parts of the car to be designed by his grandchildren. They picked the body color, interior design and color, and the wheels. Independent from Joe's ideas, they turned out just how he had wanted. Since the build was completed, Joe has taken his retirement present to a couple local car shows, but with the addition of an enclosed trailer and pickup truck, he plans to explore more.

By The Numbers

Engine
Type: 383 cubic-inch GM Performance crate engine
Induction: Edelbrock 750 carburetor,
Edelbrock Performer intake manifold,
Jegs air cleaner
Ignition: Mallory distributor
Cooling: radiator by Performance Rod and Custom
Exhaust: Hedman headers and chambered
exhaust from Rick’s First Gen Camaros
Accessories: Yogi’s Tru-Tech pulley system
and Powermaster alternator
Performance: 425 horsepower
Drivetrain
Clutch: Lakewood clutch, pressure plate,
and scatter shield
Transmission: Keisler five-speed
Suspension
Front: Detroit Speed & Engineering
3-inch lowering kit, control arms,
steering box, Koni shocks,
Flaming River steering wheel and column,
and Baer brakes
Rear: DSE antihop springs, adjustable shocks,
Moser 3.73 gear 30-spline 12-bolt rearend
with Baer brakes
Interior: Vintage Air air conditioning,
Keyless entry,
Auto Meter gauges, ’98 Corvette front seats,
Kenwood radio and amplifier,
recovering and installation
by Interiors By Ed (Mitchell, IN)
Paint/Body DuPont Hot Hues paint,
shaved door handles, body panels
from Rick’s First Gen Camaros,
smoothed firewall, headlights from Marquez Design,
taillights from Matrix Motorsports,
paint and bodywork
by CAB Street Rods of Columbus, IN
Wheels/tires Budnik teardrop series
17x8.5, front;
17x9.5, rear, Nitto tires

1967 Barracuda One Way TicketIt's amazing what we will do to find true love. Being 51 years old, Jim was at a place in his life that he could get himself a cool hot rod, and had his heart set on finding himself a fastback Barracuda. After a long search, he stumbled upon one online in Washington. Jim and his friend Mike purchased their one-way tickets to bring home this jewel. With their bags packed full of tools and spare parts, they figured there wasn't anything that could stop them from bringing this car back home to Los Angeles. It was true; the 2,800-mile trip went smoothly with only minor setbacks. At 4:00 a.m., alternator failure slowed their pace, while having to wait for the car parts store to open, but then they were back on the road, only stopping for gas and food.

Once the car was home, Jim began to strip it down, and found the usual rust spots. Seeing that the amount of work was enough to recruit some help, Mike notified him of a correctional institute instructor who could have his students/inmates strip the car for him. The program was to give the inmates some trade skills for when they return to the real world, and this car was a shining example of what they could achieve. The car came back in beautiful paint, and was unbelievably straight. They did a great job Jim insists, but now it was time to continue the work on his own.

He replaced the 273ci engine with a more potent 360, backed with a 727 automatic transmission and 8 3/4-inch rearend. He added disc brakes shortly after, and was lucky enough to be able to keep most of the interior original, minus new carpet and seat covers.

Mothers Picture?Perfect Award
This is the place to show off your pride and joy to the rest of mankind, so we figure those readers who took the time to capture a really cool shot of their hot rod should get a little bonus. Mothers agreed, and decided to come to the party with some freebies for the best picture submitted to PHR.

Each month, the editors at PHR will sift through the images and pick the one with the best composition, lighting, and overall quality. The winner will get a cool assortment of Mothers products to keep his or her ride looking nice and shiny. Mail us a photograph or, if you're a modern guy, e-mail us a digital image. Remember that digital images need to be 300 dpi and, the bigger the image, the larger it can run. Also, be sure to include info on the car, along with your name and address. Good luck!