He stumbled upon what one seller called an "excellent condition" Camaro, but it was less than acceptable to Moretz, who found problem after problem in the presentation.
"I was looking for a Camaro that had been restored or reconditioned with all the critical components rebuilt so that all I had to do with it was finish it to make it my own," said Moretz.
In December 2006, while searching on eBay, Moretz spotted a classic Camaro with enough photographic evidence of completion to pique his interest. The car had just received a brand new 502-cubic-inch engine capable of 502 horsepower. To sweeten the deal, the engine only had 10 miles on it since being installed. Moretz contacted the owner but he was not about to bid on a vehicle he had never seen. So he took a day trip down to Atlanta, where he was able to confirm the condition of the vehicle. The work, said Moretz, spoke for itself. There was no rust and the original underside paint was still there and in great shape, just as advertised. Moretz made arrangements with an auto hauler and had the vehicle shipped back to Maryland in January 2007.
|» Engine: Original 396 replaced with 502-cubic-inch GM crate motor, 502 horsepower, 567 foot-pounds of torque|
|» Performance: Turbo 400 transmission, 3:73 Posi-Traction gear ratio, SSBC master cylinder, drilled and slotted rotors, four-piston SSBC calipers|
|» Wheels: 17-inch Billet Specialties Vintec polished aluminum with Nitto 555 tires|
|» Interior: Polished aluminum engine bay pieces, carbon fiber radiator cover and braces|
One of the first projects on his new vehicle was to change the wheels and tires. It had original 15-inch wheels, which was a factory option for SS models at the time. But Moretz wanted to have an "old school" appearance with a more modern stance so he installed 17-inch Billet Specialties Ventec wheels with Nitto 555 tires, precisely what was needed to develop a lower-profile appearance.
Moretz next moved to the engine compartment, adding polished aluminum accessories, a stainless steel master cylinder, polished intake manifold and an A/C compressor. With two more inches of wheel, Moretz decided to add a performance braking system that includes drilled and slotted rotors and four-piston brake calipers.
The hood hinges were removed and replaced with a polished set. One of the more unique additions was the replacement of the stock inner fenders with carbon fiber fenders. A final touch was a radiator closeout panel, which Moretz said "gives it eye appeal needed for a show car."
What do you drive? A 1971 Chevrolet Camaro SS.
Why do you drive it? It's a fun hobby and way to meet so many wonderful people cruising in a classic. My wife and I also have a '65 Chevy Nova Sport that is all original with only 16,900 actual miles on it.
What makes this car so special? I think with its black with white stripes it's a crowd pleaser at the local cruises and car shows. The cowl tag shows it as a Z27 LS3, which decoded means it has the Super Sport trim package and it is one of 1,533 that were built that year with the big block 396 ci engine. In addition to the big block, it also has A/C, which makes the car one of the rare ones for 1971.
What is your most memorable driving experience? Just riding around on weekends.
What was the first vehicle you owned? A 1963 Ford Galaxie 500.
What kind of music are you listening to in your vehicle? Classic rock.
And your first ticket? What was it for? I've been driving since 1964 and never been ticketed!