Reposted: “Camaro Restoration” [originally posted on November 2, 2011]

Slowly but surely our plans for the restoration of Mary’s old Camaro are taking shape. And the Camaro [here a picture of its present pitiful state] …


The Camaro - Frontal View

… not only dearly needs being restored, but – as Mary’s “beloved old car” – has also merited it. After all, it was her first car, a present from her father. The car is a 1968 Camaro, and thus well sought-after. We keep being asked if we want to sell it, but that’s out of the question – absolutely – not in the least because of its memory value.

But now more about our present efforts at restoration. This is how they came about. Lately Mary drove the Camaro to Floresville, for the annual state inspection, but even if – by German standards – this inspection is more than lax, the Camaro didn’t pass, because of its brakes. We knew that they pulled strongly to the left, but our local mechanic alsways maintained that nothing could be done about it and we’d have to put up with it. SWe didn’t liek that at all, even if normally it wasn’t a problem and we were only afraid of having to brake suddenly in slippery conditions, e.g. rain, because that would very likely have resulted in skidding and maybe a major accident.

Anyway, the Camaro didn’t pass, and the person responsible there gave us the address of a mechanic just around the corner in Floresville. And that turned out to be a Godsend. The guys at that garage really knew what they were doing [which, btw, I don’t believe about our local mechanic here inKarnes City any more] and their checking the brakes showed that to all accounts it was only the front left wheel that had any measurable breaking power left. Neither the right front wheel nor the two reare wheels got any noteworthy braking power. For the right front wheel the slave brake cyclinder needed to be replaced, and the brake tubes leading to the rear wheels were clogged up that much that they could barely get any air through them when they tried to blow them clear. But Larry had told us nothing could be done! Well, these guys put in a new slave cylinder and also replaced the brake tubes – all of them, I believe. On top of that a new master cylinder needed to be put in as well as new brake shoes for the front wheels as the brake shoes had cracks. And the drums needed turning since they were distorted. Alltogether we now have a nearly new brake system. And at about $ 420 I don’t think this quite large repair was too expensive [not that I know much of it], especially as it was a safety matter.

In addition to checking the brakes I had also asked the mechanic to take a look at the ignition and/or the fuel system as, especially when the engine was hot, it ran very unevenly and bucked a lot [especially after accelerating], didn’t really accelerate, and sometimes even stalled completely. That – stalling completely – had happened on the way to Floresville in the most inconvenient – or rather dangerous – spot, when the stalled engine left the car sitting across two lanes of our busy Highway 181, and in a depression after a slight rise at that, where it could only be seen at the last moment. Not an experience to be repeated! Thank Goodness the engine started again at the third try and meanwhile there was not traffic on these two lanes and Mary could leave that dangerous spot.

But for us that’s all the more reason to get the carburetor – the garage people told us it’s that that causes the problems – replaced, as it can’t be fixed. And that, getting a replacemkent carburetor, has turned out to be a problem, as the car is quite old and carburetors are no longer stored by the regular auto parts stores. What I found out while checking on the internet recently is that carburetors for the big V-8s are easy to be found [perhaps because these muscle cars are much more frquently being restored], but that carburetors for the smaller straight sixes are rare. Mary’s father had beeb cautious and had not given his daughter a car with a powerful engine.

Hers has – at 250 cubic inches – the second smallest block available in a Camaro. And this has a single barrel carburetor, which – as far as I have found out by now – is no longer available at all. Well, according to one website, a double barrel carburetor would work, too, but our mechanic in Floresville said it wouldn’t fit. Which means I have to go on looking for a single barrel one.

It’s apity, btw, that we don’t have  V-8, as I really like that sonorous sound their exhaust makes. It would be nice, even if we really don’t need the power of such an engine.

And here’s a picture to show how small that straight six  looks in the engine compartment:

250 Straight Six

Additional note: with all that I’m enlarging my vocabulary again, from “straight six” to “master cylinder” to “double barrel carburetor”.

Um diesen Eintrag in Deutsch zu lesen, hier klicken.


7 responses to “Reposted: “Camaro Restoration” [originally posted on November 2, 2011]

  1. Seems those vehicles have a way of becoming sagas in our lives. Once they get their teeth into our legs there’s no getting loose. Have a nice saga. Jules

  2. Just checking in, haven’t heard from you in a while, no new posts. You having fun and is everything ok?

    • Hi there,
      Thanks for coming by and checking. Everything’s ok here in Germany. Have been quite busy with routine doctors’ visits and seeing friends. But am really happy that on Friday morning I’ll fly back home.
      Best regards, and happy Thanksgiving,

  3. You ought to be able to find both the engine and the transmission. If memory serves, they’re out their as a set for the reasons you mention. Pricey, yes, but worth it in the long run. Whatever you do, don’t get a 328 which was an option for awhile, I think.


  4. Bummer on the small engine. If it were my choice, I’d find a 350 V8 and drop that in there, thereby eliminating the problem and giving you some “umph” besides. You lose out on the value of the restoration somewhat, but the 250 straight six is not very sought after anyway.


    • Hi Randall,
      That – putting in a V8 – has been on my mind. But what I need to know/check first is if the transmission can take all that torque.
      Best regards,

I'd really love to hear from y'alls!

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