Revival Of The Fittest

"Holding title to an original muscle car is a lot like owning an old painting, except you can't pull the canvas off the wall when you feel like cruising Main Street. And like anything else, its value is directly proportional to its rarity. The law of supply and demand dictates an ever-escalating reverence for anything that should, by all rights, be extinct.

By those standards, Bob Morton's 1967 Camaro is the kind of automobile that requires secure sanctuary. Morton's two-door is a documented 1967 Z/28, one of just 602 built. Beyond that, however, its a car that traded paint with some of the greatest names in roadracing history during the formative years of Trans-Am competition.

Nearly three decades after Ken Deckman drove the car along aside machines throttled by such drivers as Peter Revson, Dick Guldstrand, George Follmer, Jerry Titus, Mark Donahue and Parnelli Jones, it was beginning to show its age. And although it was, indeed, well preserved for an automobile of it's vintage, the unrestored Camaro wears battle scars from it's Trans-Am era like badges of honor. It wasn't until after Ken retired from racing that Morton acquired the car, with the promise that he maintain the car's integrity (i.e. "don't part it out").

As Bob soon realized, it was long past time to give the Camaro a facelift befitting its historical stature-and we were only too happy to tag along and watch. Finding someone capable of performing the resurrection was another matter entirely. Rejuvenating vintage race cars isn't a job normally undertaken by a regular restoration facility; what was needed was a shop familiar with crafting competition cars. After searching for a capable location, Morton found a kindred spirit in Skip Nichols. Not only does Skip's shop (Nichols Industries Racing) specialize in race-car revivals, but he's also a regular on the SCCA Super Production Series and the ICSCC road-racing circuit in the Northwest. Nichols' experience began to pay dividends once it was determined that the car should be returned to original racing trim, circa 1967."

On the list of upgrades were:

A new frame work in the floorpan that Skip Nichols constructed so the seats could funtion on their sliding mechanism since Deckman originally had the drivers seat mounted solid.

A new box frame for the seats, also built at Nichols Racing Industries.

Two new Corbeau bucket seats were installed.

The Camaro also got a new pair of Simpson five way restraint systems to replace the outdated safety equipment.

A spacer was used to pull the new Grant steering wheel away from the dash to accomodate Bob Mortons height.

After extensive reworking at a local body shop the Z/28 was ready for a few finishing touches.

These included a set of 11 inch JL8 front brakes (Chevy High-Performance racing binders that were originally available as an option) to replace the hybrid system Ken Deckman had originally put on the car.

New SoffSeal weather stripping.

Reproduction stainless steel window moldings.

New brightwork on the wheel wells.

A rear chrome bumper.

The final touich was a set of Comp T/A R-1's (a shaved DOT - legal competition radial tire) wrapped around a set of reproduction American Racing Torque Thrust D wheels.

The revived '67 Camaro Z/28 made it's debut at the Sears Point Raceway spring of 1995.