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1971 Chevrolet Camaro

The mid-size Camaro has been produced by Chevrolet (a division of General Motors) since 1966 when it was first introduced as a competitor to Ford’s popular Mustang ‘pony car’. When the first generation Camaro's were released in 1967 they shared the basic platform and many components with the Firebird which was produced by GM’s Pontiac division. The first major production run of the Camaro ran from 1966 until 2002.

Andrew Vile's stunning Victory Red 1971 Camaro on the track at the Manfeild Motorsport Park in Feilding, New Zealand.  Copyright © Historical Aviation Film Unit

This vehicle is part of Chevrolet's second-generation of Camaro's which were introduced in 1970, and continued to be built until 1981. Outwardly the 1971 year model is only slightly updated from the original released in 1970, but there were significant changes under the hood as there was a new General Motors mandate that all engines be designed to run on lower-octane regular-leaded, low-lead, or unleaded gasoline—this resulted in the reduction of some engine compression ratios and horsepower ratings.


Regarding his particular restoration, Andrew reports:

"I've had my Camaro back for just over three months. It's been a busy time, with the paint shop ready for the car two weeks after it was home. I helped to strip it down and removed the front chassis complete and replaced all of the A arm, steering and ball joints. I then reconditioned the front brakes and fitted a new body mounting kit, new shocks and reassembled everything. The panel work was almost complete when purchased so only needed a sill repair from a couple of minor dents and final tidy up.

The underside was sealed and then the fire wall, door and boot surrounds were painted. The engine and gear box were set up at home and we installed these into the car before the front panels were fitted. This made for a very easy fitting. It reminded me of the Grand Canyon. Then front panels fitted, doors added and gaps set. There were a lot of OEM aftermarket panels fitted originally during the first stage of restoration before I purchased the car, but even so, the gaps were good.

Andrew Vile tells the story so far, of his online auction Camaro purchase.

It rolled into the paint shop for a coat of 2010 Camaro "Victory Red". The car had a 350 Chev motor with 4 barrel carb option from new, so I have kept it to that specification. The only real non original bits are the high rise bonnet, Edelbrock engine kit and the wheels. I have kept the original wheels if I want the standard look. I have the wiring and new interior to complete and rear brakes, then the final tidy up to do. It has been a very enjoyable project so far, although I have just started to fit the door glass and weather strips. That appears to be a different story!"

The 1970 model year Camaros are generally regarded as the most desirable of the early second-generation cars, due to the performance of examples from the following years being reduced by the new automobile emissions control systems, and later the addition of heavy legally required bumpers.   Copyright © Historical Aviation Film Unit

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