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Steve Shauger Steve Shauger is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 5,042
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My Ultimate Camaro Trifecta: RS/COPO, RS/Z28 & RS/SS L78 Convertible
First 302 DZ Rebuild 1977 installed in garnet red Camaro
Garnet Red Camaro preparing to install rebuilt 302 (found in Corvette)f )redy
Traco Built, Stroked LT1, purchased from Bill Scott and installed in red Camaro prior to 302.. Insta
Journey

Steve's Journey through the years....

I've always had a curiousity about the internal combustion engine and mechanical devices. Before cars I fixed bicycles for friends and it grew to the point that my next endeavor was repairing lawn mowers for neighbors and again expanded over the years to mini-bikes and dirt bikes. My first actual car was a 1966 Galaxie 500, 2 door fast back. It was a hand-me down, given to my sister, then brother and its final stop was with me. I had it about a year and purchased my burgundy Camaro. There are a few pics of my original parents garage. The first is a disorganized disaster, next is my first 302 rebuild. I actually purchased it out of a repossessed 69 Corvette go figure, however it ended up in a garnet red Camaro pictured with hood off ready to install rebuilt 302DZ. I purchased the car without and engine, and initially installed a Traco built stroked LT1 in 1977. To learn about the rest of the story.... check out My Journey and some of the other tabs Was there a person (friend, older brother or father) event, TV commercial racing program, or just seeing certain car drive by that caught your eye??

The events that piqued my interest were the televised Transam races in 1967. Also one day on my way to elementary school I heard the loud rumble of a car with a lopy idle in the distance, as it approached I recognized it with those racing stripes and later found out is was a friends older brothers 67 Z28. 

 If you only focus on one brand or model, why? What drew you to that brand/model? When did you get started? (We all have had both pleasant and unpleasant experiences, especially when we started out).

The Camaro Z28 has always been my favorite, although I enjoy all muscle cars and have owned many other makes and models. There has always been a special connection because the Penske Race shop was located in my home town of NewtownSq. I fondly remember seeing  Mark Donohue driving an orange black stripe and vinyle top 69 Camaro Z28. on the street. One time in particular he power slid as he turned into the Sun Oil R&D facility off of Bishop Hollow Rd. At the time I had no idea it was actually Mark, but early 70's I met a member of the race team and recounted the event I saw at the R&D facility, and Bill Scott stated "that was Mark stopping by to pick up parts I had fabricated. Mark really thrashed on cars whether on the track or around town". 

What was your first musclecar, and how long have you been in the hobby and why?

I have owned Camaro's since the mid 70's, and have been hooked ever since. My first real musclecar was a 1969 RS/Z28 see link for details 69 orange RS/Z28  . The muscle car community has always been supportive, and because we are like- minded we always help others and have fun discussing the latest cars or parts acquisitions. 

  

Are any of your family members involved (i.e. parents, siblings or children)?

Growing up my family and friends were not into cars or interested in mechanical devices, although my father worked as an electrical engineer for Boeing. Cars were strictly for going from point A to B. My mechanical interest helped me build mini bikes, setup a small engine lawnmower repair shop in my parents garage. As I got older I began working on friends cars and eventually owning and maintaining my own cars. 

Do you restore or maintain your cars and how did you acquire the skills?

I have always maintained my cars, although many friends have helped me learn along the way. The challenge of fixing something or making it better has alway interest me. There is great satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment working on cars. Working on cars can be very frustrating as well, but working on them takes me away from the everyday grind.  

Where do your interests lie? Restored, survivor or day two cars?

When I purchased my first Camaro it was heavily modified and I had to put a lot of work and money to make it safe and reliable. My first Camaro I enlisted some friends that were a little older and "experts" to look it over. Well the engine needed to be rebuilt, it wasn't a 302, trans second gear & slider worn out and the rear axle housing was cracked on passenger side leaf perch. I made all the repairs, but also recognized that unmodified cars may be better for me. There was a collector who was really into Corvettes, and he taught me the value of unrestored cars. My first unrestored car was a 67 marina blue roadster Corvette. I guess you could say I've been hooked on unrestored cars ever since.

The Corvette hobby had two organizations NCRS & Bloomington Gold which recognized the need and had programs, however there was a void for other unrestored makes and models at shows. Case in point, in 1996 while at the ICC Nationals I entered my unrestored 19k mile 1967 RS/SS L78 Camaro into the show. Well, just like all other events my unrestored car was judged and classified with the restored class, since no unrestored class existed. Well as luck would have it, Brett Merryman who I had previously corresponded with actually judged my car (he happens to be the original owner of a stunning unrestored 1967 Camaro). Like me he was disappointed in the current judging programs and wanted to develop an unrestored class. Brett set things in motion and I have maintained and refined Vintage Certification program. Now 20 plus years later this program has grown to now embracing virtually all marques and models, with specific teams of judges specializing in each marque and model. 

Did/do you race any cars over the years?

I dabbled in street racing for bragging rights in my youth, but my interest grew  in the stock survivor car segement. I really was interested in assembly methods, finishes and the revisions throughout the year. 

What show(s) do you attend and/or what clubs do you belong to?

 My first car club was Delaware County Corvettes in 1978. Next I joined the International Camaro Club & United States Camaro Club, Long Island Camaro Club and my last club Peconic Bay Region AACA which I was elected as president for 10 years.

The most spectacular show I've had the privilege of attending and being a partner, is the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) and of course Supercar Reunion! 

Best car related story you can share. Worst car related story you can share

Best was purchasing my first Yenko. Here's a link to the article thread. MY RG Yenko

 

My first Camaro was my worst purchase. It was a 69 Z28 burgundy, but unverified it was genuine Z28. This was my first muscle car purchase and in was in northeast Philly suburb. I went with my buddy Roger, Greg and Dave. My trio of friends were a few years older and owned Camaros and Corvettes. The car was loud and had a lopy idle, and was a 4spd what else could a teenager want. The car was given a thumbs up by my "expert" friends and I brought it home that night.

As I drove it home I noticed some of its shortcommings. Shifting the car into second created a grinding noise, and stoplight the car would smoke and when launching it torques to the right. It was a true trainwreck, but from that experienced I learned many lessons. I rebuilt my first small block chevy( learned it was a 327, not original 302. Rebuilt trans by replacing second gear and slider, syncros and bearings.  I removed the rear end housing and attempted to have it welded, but in the end it was replacesd and I assisted in shimming/ setting the gears.

 

 

If you could have ANY car, no matter the cost, what would be your "DREAM"car to own?

 Yes If I do find my "Dream" car, it will be unknown, ultra rare and a survivor! The hunt continues......... 


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March 2, 1976

This was my first muscle car which started it all. I really cut my teeth on this car because shortly after purchasing I needed to; rebuild the engine, transmission and replaced the axle housing. It was a bit of a nightmare, but was never discouraged. Started life as a 327 car.... 

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June 4, 1977

In 1977 I was traveling down Rt 30 in Berwyn, Pa. and spotted this camaro on the rear side of a repair shop. I inquired about the car which was a customers and subsequently a deal was made. The owner had a leather shop that specialized in horse saddles. 

The car did not have an engine when purchased.  Picture 3 was the first engine I installed. It was a stroked LTI, that was stroked and built by Traco. It was a very powerful engine and had all the goodies, angleplug heads and custom groud cam. I street raced it a bit, and being a purist looked and found a real 302 in a repossessed corvette ... go figure. The 302 was rebuilt and installed. 

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March 2, 1978

This was my first unrestored survivor car and Corvette. It had 39k miles in 1978. The previous owner had the engine rebuilt and started adding performance mods; hooker sidepipe, hurst competition shifter, solid lifter cam, edelbrock intake and holley 750. I brought it back to stock, and unfortunately had the car painted.... Lets just say I learned from my mistake!

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September 27, 1978

23456789Seeing the car at Mark Stuteville's home. 26 years had past... what a rush 1011121314In 2013 had engine rebuilt, I refreshed engine compartment & transmission and installed new carpet.15161718 Larry provided these pics which chronical the sale in 19831920212223Paul united and seeing the car for the first time in 34 years in pics 24 & 25. Paul provided pics 26,27 &28 which are circa 1972.2425262728

Each picture describes the chronological journey and history this car has taken. Just click on the large picture and sequence through each picture using the Next Icon upper right side or Previous Icon Upper left side of picture. After reviewing all the pictures or wanting to end select Close Icon at bottom right of any picture.

I had followed Penske race team, especially Trans Am series and was in awe of Mark Donohue. The Penske race facility happen to be located in in Newtown Sq, Pa where I lived. Unfortunately Mark died in 1975 preparing for the Austrian Grand Prix. The loss of Mark had an affect on me, and from that point my goal was to find a car identical to Mark's daily driver an orange- black stripe 1969 Z28. I vividy remember him power sliding into the Sun Oil R&D facility.

The hunt was on and after 3 years I hit a jack pot and found this car. The first picture was taken at Kent Park. I replaced previous owners Cragars with rally wheels and TA radials from K&G. The car at this time was original paint, but the stripes were thin and orange was showing and minor rust was appearing on the pass quarter panel. I started a restoration in 1979-80

Each picture describes the chronological journey and history this car has taken.

Motortrend Article link:Reunited 26 years later

 

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July 20, 1996

This is my 1967 tahoe turquois RS/SS L78 survivor which I located in a local paper classsifieds. It had 19k original miles, but had been sitting in a garage since 1981. I purchased it in Dec of 1995 from a guy who had it a few weeks and turned it for a quck sale. The car did not run, but all the numbers were correct. It had been raced some with typical day 2 mods; cam, headers, traction bars, bigger holley. I did get it running in a day after rebuilding the carb and distributor. The first drive was awesome except the tires were rock hard would likght up with a touch of the throttle. Prior to it's hibernation it run mid 12's with the modification listed above and factory factory 456 gears. Here's a link to the car posted on members rides:  67 Tahoe Turquoise RS/SS L78

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June 19, 1999

During the orange RS/Z's hiatus, I owned several cars a fathom green RS/Z, a garnet red JL8 Z, a dusk blue RS/Z from Dale Chev WI, several pace cars including an L78 and a host of others. Over the years it was frustrating that I couldn't get my My first Z28 back, but I found one that checked all the boxes and has a striking combination of black exterior, with RS & ivory hounds tooth.

The first 4 pictures represent how it was found partially restored. I wish I had taken more, but I seldom take pics. My initial plan was to finish what had been started. As I delved into what had been done, it was decided that this car deserved full concours restoration. 

Pictures 6,7,8 & 9 were taken at Camaro Nationals @ Carlisle 6/19/2004 which was its debut following restoration. Ironically I purchased the car 6/19/1999 exactly 5 years earlier.

Feature 1969 Black RS/Z

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July 15, 1999

I found this car searching on the internet. Great driver with all right options and original drive train. Here's the Members Ride article: 1969 Lemans Blue RS/SS L78 

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July 31, 1999

I affectionately refer to this car a Big Blue. It has a interesting history which I detailed in Members Rides. Click on link below to learn more. It is a 69 RS/SS L34 survivor with 24k miles and Vintage Certified in 2000 and awarded Legend. Lemans blue with blue comfort weave.

69 RS/SS Lemans Blue L34

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August 2, 2001

23Interior45Trunk6Engine Compartment7Documentation89

This is a special car with factory JL8 installed. It had just 50k miles and ran very well. It had been repainted and a Cowl hood was added previously. The dealer installed a luggage rack and a vinyl top. The story goes that another orange JL8 was ordered prior to the garnet red car. The person who ordered the orange car became impatient and was offered the garnet red car which came in earlier. A vinyl top was added to satisfy the customer. Both car came from Casey Cole Chevrolet in Bradford, PA which is the home of Zippo Lighters!, 

Eventually the orange car came in and Eliseo Lucarelli took posession of that car. 

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April 8, 2004

This was one of my biggest thrill car wise on my musclecar journey. 1969 RG Yenko

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June 19, 2004

These pictures are taken at Camaro Nationals @ Carlisle 6/19/2004 which was its debut following restoration. Ironically I purchased the car 6/19/1999 exactly 5 years earlier.

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August 7, 2006

This was a really nice looking restored 396 L35 pace car, but mechanically was a nightmare. I was a little disappointed when it arrived because the battery was dead/old, had to jump it to start, shifter stuck in reverse,  RS covers did not open, very low oil pressure, lifters were noisy and it ran very rough. Let me correct that I was xxxxxxx pissed. All the issues were resolved with some adjustments, a battery, reconnect vacuum lines correctly. The low oil pressure had me worried however the restorer installed a bulb in Low fuel module (which is incorrect). The bulb interfered with the gauge movement. Once the bulb was removed the oil gauge functioned correctly. 1969 Indy Pace Car

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September 7, 2008

Exterior234Engine567

This car has the look and power. It had more road feel even with both power steering and brakes. The Pontiac engineers goal was to increase road feel and they achieved the results.

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May 12, 2009

This is a great car just the way I like them loaded with performance and comfort option and original drivetrains. Members ride link:1969 Frost Green RS/SS L78 Convert

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July 1, 2010

23456789101112Documentation pix 13-16131415161718

This car was ordered On March 20th 1969 Nathan Miller walked into Dick Fencl Chevrolet in Oak Park, IL and ordered this car. The salesman was Jan DiVito and optioned it as follows:

• Super Sport
• Rally Sport
• 350/300hp
• Turbo Hyd 350
• 331 Posi Rear
• Air Conditioning
• Tinted Glass
• Am/Fm
• 8Track Tape
• Console
• Special Instr
• Rally Wheels
• Vinyl Top- Black
• Deluxe Black Comfort Weave
• Power Steering
• Dover White Paint

On 3/24 Nathan provided a $200 deposit and the order was placed. It’s interesting to note that on the sales order Nathan specified No Fencl Sticker. The price of the car totaled $3,979 and Nathan was able to pay the car of in 12 months. This car is a true time capsule which still retains original; belts(2),  hoses, paint, tires, plug wires. In essence only maintenance items such as battery, plugs and oil /filter have been replaced since the mileage is only 15K.

I first saw this car in 2004 at the GM nationals where in achieved Legend status with a score of 2548.77 out of a possible 2655.55 or 96 percent original in the Vintage Certification program. The last year this car was registered was in 1975, however it has been maintained and absolutely run like a new car with no leaks and even functional A/C. There are very few Benchmark cars.

Link to Members Rides feature:1969 RS/SS Time Capsule

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January 1, 2016

The Trifecta collection was not my initial intent. I had owned my black RS/Z28 since 1999 and wasn't looking for another black car, however I was very interested in purchasing unrestores special high performance cars. I owned a 69 Lemans blue RS/SS L34 Camaro since July of 1999. A friend of mine Tony L. had been pestering me about selling him my RS/SS L34 car. I received a call while on a stop -over on my way home from the MCACN Nov 2014. The call went like this; I'll trade you my COPO and for your blue survivor Camaro and $, lets make a deal and call me back". The COPO I thought he was trading me was a unrestored lemans blue Chevelle. When I called him back he said no I'm talking about my black RS/COPO. I said ok I'll think about it and call you back. We agreed and I traded for the RS/Copo. I called the two black cars the dynamic Duo, and then a thought occurred, how about aquiring the black RS/SS L78 convertible previously owned and restored by George Oleskiewiczs. I tracked the car down and was lucky enough to purchase that car. Here are links that tell the whole story on the cars.:

RS/Z28

RS/COPO- Members Rides

RS/SS L78 Convertible- Members Rides

Muscle Car Review- Trifecta Article

 

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February 4, 2022

23 Exterior & Interior4567Engine89 Documentation101112131415

Purchased this 1969 L46 Corvette with the intention of using for a cruise nights in FL . It is well optioned and documented. Unfortunately this car was not comfortable for my wife so it was sold. 

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June 14, 2023

234567Documentation891011

This car was a surprise acquisition. I was notified by my friend Howard that a client of his had a 69 RS/Z28 he was selling and wanted to know if it was a legitimate car. I requested he send me specific pics and I could let him know if it was a real Z28. Six weeks past and no information had been forwarded and kind of forgot about it. I happen to be traveling inspect low mileage 69 Z28 and since it was a long ride and bored decided to call Howard. He called the owner and mentioned I might be able to stop by for a look. I looked at the car Saturday afternoon and initially was not overly interested. By Sunday I became more excited about the car and by Tuesday purchased the car. 

The car is now registered and I'm in the process of making some improvements/ corrections. The car drives fantastic and winding it through the gears and listening to that sweet tone of the chambered exhaust brings a smile.

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December 15, 2023

engine23

This an example dated event . I chose this 72 Z28 pic which was Vintage Certified 2009. The first pic is of the exterior. I will add additional. I will illustrate the process next.  Note the post button below. I will click on Post icon to add the dated event. Lynn's Garage linked

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August 4, 1977

This was my first man cave circa 1976-77. One car garage with no heat, but had water and I ran a 220v 60amp line for power.  The garage was my happy place that provided me with a learning experience and a place were my passion for musclecars started. Yes it was disorganized but as I progressed thing became more organized. I first cut my teeth on rebuilding lawnmower engine, mini bikes, motorcycles and musclecars in that tiny garage.

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August 5, 2015

When my collection of cars grew, I rented various buildings over the years. This building was used from 2012-2018.

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August 9, 2023

23Engine4567

This was my RS COPO at previous owners garage. The damage shown was the result of brake failure and sustained front end damage which was easily repaired.

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December 31, 1969

This is a snap shot of a few pieces of my collection. 

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August 26, 2023

Considering this  structure, for Memorabilia section database.

 

Memorabilia Tab

Signage     Gas Pumps           Misc             Misc                    Misc                Misc

 

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Will be adding more pics of items shortly. v77

August 4, 2023

2Engine pics34

Test Purposes only         I have always loved the C1 Corvette, especially 57-62. This project car fits the bill!

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August 5, 2023

Test Purposes Only    This is a test with posting of random project cars.

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August 27, 2023

Considering this structure for Projects database.

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My next restoration project will be my orange 69 RS/Z28 which is profiled under My Journey Nonember 7 2009. v10

January 1, 1970

Distributor machine23

This is for Test Purposes Only!  I've always wanted and needed a distributor machine over the years. As our cars becaome older there are less service providers to perform distributor setup and curving for optimim performance. I couldn't resist buying this distributor machine!

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August 27, 2023

Considering this structure for Tools database

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This is my mancave! v9

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