1972 Camaro

It wasn't peer pressure or bad influence, but just the effects of being surrounded by muscle cars growing up that set Greg Bates of Lima, Ohio, on owning a muscle car of his own. His family wasn't into cars, not in the way he and his friends were. They saw them as a way to get to work or to the store, and that's it. Greg had to rely on his friends to expose him to the hobby. They took him along to the dragstrip where he would watch his buddies make passes. His first car wasn't quite race worthy. It was a rusted-out '64 Ford Falcon whose floor was just about to fall through from the harsh winters. He did what he needed to keep it running, but nothing more.

As Greg's senior year approached, he started searching for a real car to bring to the car shows and dragstrips. He found this '72, only three years old at the time, with decent paint, and a V-8 that would surely charm his friends. The next year though, the engine took its last revolution and seized due to a bad bearing. He got a new engine from a '70 Impala with a four-bolt main, and built it up to keep it looking close to the original. Now he regrets not keeping the original motor and fixing it up, but in 1976, no one was thinking about keeping second-generation Camaros with matching numbers. The first day out with the new motor he got hit by a truck that ran a red light. He saw this as a great opportunity to fix up the quarter-panels that were rusty, and repaint the whole car.

Since then there hasn't been too much Greg needed to do the Camaro. It runs smoothly, and looks just as it did the day it was repainted in '78. He always keeps it garaged between the dozen local car shows each summer he takes it to. Every year he goes to Mid-Ohio racetrack to watch the cars drive the circuit and dreams of being out there with his Camaro one day.

By The Numbers

1972 Camaro
Greg Bates, 51 • Lima, OH
Type: 350ci small-block Chevy
Block: four-bolt main
Cylinder heads: 2.02 fuelie iron
Camshaft: Crane
Valvetrain: factory rockers, pushrods,
Cloyes double-roller chain
Induction: Edelbrock performer
intake and carburetor
Ignition: Crane FireBall
Cooling: HD radiator
Fuel system: stainless hardline
Exhaust: Hedman Tork-Step headers,
21/4-inch exhaust, Thrush Turbo mufflers
Fasteners: ARP
Transmission/shifter: TH350, B&M shift kit,
TCI Breakaway
converter and flexplate
Driveshaft: factory
Rear axle: GM 10-bolt, Yukon axles,
3.73:1 gears, Eaton posi
Front suspension: Monroe shocks
Rear suspension: Monroe Max-Air shocks,
multi-leaf springs
Brakes: Raybestos rotors,
calipers, and pads, drums rear
Wheels: Appliance 14-inch aluminum
Tires: BFGoodrich Radial T/A,
195/60R14 and 245/60R14

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, email 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!