To keep costs down, Rodney chose a Ford commercial truck color called Suede White, and the
Even though it was barely above stock spec and sported rock-hard 15-inch tires, Rodney decided to get back into his previous hobby of running SCCA autocross events and took the Camaro out for a good time. Of course it was slow and plowed and rolled its way around the course, but Rodney determined to make one change at a time, beginning with an upgraded front sway bar. That continued for a while, but it was during a parts scouting trip to a Goodguys event when he saw their autocross for the first time and all the well-built muscle cars running quick laps that he truly felt bitten by the bug. He told his girlfriend that this was something he had to try.
At his first Goodguys autocross, the Camaro still looked like a beater, but had a few bolt-on upgrades and a better set of wheels and tires. Rodney managed to attract the attention of famed Camaro autocrosser Mary Pozzi, who walked over and asked if she could ride along for a lap. Rodney didn’t know her at all other than by reputation, so he was blown away. After the lap Mary said he had a good base to start with and offered some advice on what to do next and how to attack the course. Rodney couldn’t believe how warm and welcoming she and the rest of the crowd were to him; he was hooked and began attending West Coast Goodguys autocross events whenever he could.
Not too long after, Rodney decided to leave the Camaro restoration shop he was working at. So with some time on his hands, he decided he might as well learn how to paint his car. After all, it was starting to amass a respectable list of parts and turn decent lap times on the autocross. So Rodney volunteered at a paint shop nearby and over the course of a few weeks learned most of the finer points of bodywork and block sanding. Armed with that knowledge, he went out and bought $100 worth of white paint and supplies and set up a booth in his garage. Not only did he spray the base white, he also laid out and painted the ’69 Camaro-style stripe. After all, it was originally purported to be a ’69.
By the time we spotted Rodney and the ’68 on a Goodguys course, and then later at the American Street Car Series’ Run To The Coast (RTTC) event, the paint was polished to perfection and it also sported a fresh stock interior with Corbeau buckets and Auto Meter gauges in the dash. If asked, we would have guessed it was a $40K-plus build, but that just isn’t the case. By trading and seeking out deals on used parts and doing most of the work himself, Rodney stuck to that low-buck, real-world goal. How does about $15,000 total for a slick-looking, autocross-ready, daily driveable LS-powered ’68 Camaro sound? Yes, on top of all of that, the ’68 is Rodney’s daily driver, taking him just about everywhere, including work. It sounds to us like you’re out of excuses; get out in your garage and set your own plan to barter, sell, and swap meet your project to completion. We’ll give you 14 months.
I had a running car, albeit ugly, but I was off to SCCA events with rock hard tires, no interior, and five colors of primer.
By The Numbers
1968 Camaro RS
Rodney Prouty, San Mateo, CA
Type: 6.0L LQ4
Block: GM Iron
Rotating assembly: factory GM
Cylinder Heads: stock LQ4
Camshafts: stock LQ4
Valvetrain: stock LQ4
Intake: Edelbrock carb conversion
Carb: Edelbrock 650 Thunder
Air induction: Spectre airbox
Oiling: Moroso track pan
Fuel system: Holley FPR
Exhaust: Sanderson headers, custom exhaust
Ignition: Edelbrock/MSD LS Timing Controller
Built by: GM/Rodney Prouty
Transmission: Hurst-shifted 1975 aluminum wide-ratio Super T10 four-speed with Centerforce Dual Friction clutch
Rearend: ’71 Nova 10-bolt with 3.55 gears and Detroit Truetrac diff
Front suspension: fully welded and shot-peened stock subframe with 12:1 AGR steering box, Global West upper arms, Detroit Speed & Engineering lower arms, Hotchkis springs, RideTech shocks, and Hotchkis sway bar
Rear suspension: Hotchkis leaf springs with RideTech shocks and Hellwig sway bar
Chassis mods: Hotchkis subframe connectors and Handle Bar subframe stiffener, Guldstrand upper control arm mod
Brakes: C5 Corvette front brakes on original spindles, Cadillac brakes in the rear
WHEELS & TIRES:
Wheels: 17x8 & 17x9.5 Coys
Tires: 255/40R17 & 275/40R17 Falken Azenis