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Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

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Old 03-19-2017, 11:04 PM   #1
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Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

I picked this car up on March 8th. It was the best $1000 I've ever spent. This car has a special place in my heart it's a 1987 Camaro RS. I was scrolling through Craigslist and saw it posted in my area for $1200. I wasn't even really looking for another car but figured since it was close that while I go on my morning walk I'd go check it out. I'm glad I did! This car was being sold by mechanic for lack of payment after he put a new clutch and rebuilding the transmission. Did I mention that it has been swapped? It has a 5.0 v8 H.O. with a Borg Warner 5 speed trans, and short shifter. I looked at the car and saw the potential, but when I heard it run and bought it. This car has a special place in my heart. (We're the same age.) From matchbox to real life.

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Old 03-20-2017, 12:37 AM   #2
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro RS

I'm a Little confused here. I think its a 1987 LT Sport Coupe......

Its a nice find and welcome to the club......

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Old 03-20-2017, 01:41 AM   #3
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro RS

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Originally Posted by Ron U.S.M.C. View Post
I'm a Little confused here. I think its a 1987 LT Sport Coupe......

Its a nice find and welcome to the club......
I know. Lol I'm​ not sure. I did a vin check and everything before I bought the car. It is a 87 RS v6 auto car. The previous owner kinda just slapped a whole bunch of random stuff on this car. Some I agree with some I don't.

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Old 03-20-2017, 02:03 AM   #4
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro RS

Mine had all kinds of different body parts on it when I bought it.

It takes time but for me the learning process of fixing and replacing just about every aspect of my car has turned me into quite the "shade tree" Mechanic.

Just have fun with it .....

And again, welcome.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:37 AM   #5
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro RS

There's nothing in the VIN that would tell you if a Camaro is an RS. There are only two codes used, Camaro or Berlinetta. Camaro includes Sport Coupes, Z28s, RS, etc.

The 5.0L HO was specific to the Z28. The aircleaner was a popular upgrade, but unless the 8th digit of the VIN shows a G, it's not an L69. H would be the LG4 (standard 4bbl 305). S = 2.8L V6, etc.

Just from looking at the photos, it's an 86 or 87 Sport Coupe. The third brake light on top of the hatch is an 86 and 87 only item, and only in 87 on Camaros without a spoiler. The lack of ground effects all but rules out the possibility of being an RS or a Z28, but it doesn't keep BS online VIN decoders from misleading people.

An 87 RS would look like every other RS before 1991. It'd have ground effects, spoiler, 15" Z28 wheels... Break out the books and study up on the subject if you don't want to take my word for it.

Nothing wrong with a Sport Coupe. They're inherently cleaner, and simpler than most later Camaros. Ground effects are kind of tacky anyway.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:56 AM   #6
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

So after replacing the belts we figured out that the car is a L69 from a 83-86 z28. My mechanic also confirmed this with the engine code. After buying the wrong belts. lol So when ordering engine parts my car is a 83-86 z28. When ordering body parts my car is a 87 LT or RS. My cars just like me....different! Anyways let's see if I can get you all caught up.

3/16/17

Car still in the shop. Here is list of stuff I am replacing. I knew the car needed cylinder head gasket, tires, shocks, and that driver side mirror when purchased .

New Parts List:

List:
New plugs
New wires
New valve cover gaskets
New hoses
New front brakes
Rear brakes resurfaced
New brake lines
New fuel filter
New oil filter
New shocks (KYB shocks)
Cylinder head are being repainted
New battery
New sideview mirror
New power steering pump
New eibach springs....and All fluids are being replaced.

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Size:  229.5 KB This is one of my favorite parts of this car. The 2.8L badge! Makes for the ultimate sleeper. Lmao

Last edited by Nightmare87; 04-01-2017 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:34 PM   #7
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Shop Life:

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Parts:

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Size:  269.8 KBValve Cover: Cleaned, sanded, and base coat sprayed.

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Last edited by Nightmare87; 04-01-2017 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:42 PM   #8
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

3/18/17

So I got word that the car will be done soon. There still some things I have to get sorted out.

1. Seats

So the current seats are shot. Everytime you sit in the car a little piece of the seat leaves with you.

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So while I was car shopping with my fianceč​ I was looking. I found a guy that was selling some z28 seats front and​ rear for $210. I got them for $170.

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The guy ended up being located 2.4 miles from the dealership we were at. (This car good luck!!!)* The rear seats are perfect, the driver seat is a little worn but still in much better shape then what currently in the car. Honestly, I'm probably going recaros in the front later. Until then these will do.

My girl left with a 17 Accord and i left with my seats. It was a good day.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:00 PM   #9
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

3/19/17

2. Tire/Driver Sideview Mirror

So my girl told me we should go look for tires for my car. As I was busy cleaning the seats. We decided to stop by Goodyear. Turns out their sale was supposed to end the day before but they had extended that day. Yes, I got lucky again. Thank you car Gods. I was hoping to spend under $400. I got a deal and left only paying $285 including installation. Now all I need is to get my car back. Good thing the tires aren't in for a couple of days.

Also shout out to Leo037 for get me J.r.'s number for the driver's side mirror. Not only was I able to get it same day, but instead of paying $50-250 (how much a new one cost from Classic Industries). I got it for $10. I already see how valuable it is to be part of a community. So thanks for all 3rd gen community here and on Facebook for following my build. I will be back with more updates soon.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:37 PM   #10
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Wow, $1k with rebuilt trans and new clutch. You can't beat that. Congratulations!
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:53 PM   #11
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

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Wow, $1k with rebuilt trans and new clutch. You can't beat that. Congratulations!
Thanks. I know, I had two get the car it was just to good of a deal. I learned while driving it to the shop the car also had a short shifter in it.

Last edited by Nightmare87; 04-06-2017 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:16 PM   #12
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro RS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew View Post
There's nothing in the VIN that would tell you if a Camaro is an RS. There are only two codes used, Camaro or Berlinetta. Camaro includes Sport Coupes, Z28s, RS, etc.

The 5.0L HO was specific to the Z28. The aircleaner was a popular upgrade, but unless the 8th digit of the VIN shows a G, it's not an L69. H would be the LG4 (standard 4bbl 305). S = 2.8L V6, etc.

Just from looking at the photos, it's an 86 or 87 Sport Coupe. The third brake light on top of the hatch is an 86 and 87 only item, and only in 87 on Camaros without a spoiler. The lack of ground effects all but rules out the possibility of being an RS or a Z28, but it doesn't keep BS online VIN decoders from misleading people.

An 87 RS would look like every other RS before 1991. It'd have ground effects, spoiler, 15" Z28 wheels... Break out the books and study up on the subject if you don't want to take my word for it.

Nothing wrong with a Sport Coupe. They're inherently cleaner, and simpler than most later Camaros. Ground effects are kind of tacky anyway.
I agree with most of the things Drew said, your car is MOST DEFINITELY not an RS, hence the absence of Ground Effects.

I completely disagree with Drew about ground effects. I love my 91 RS even with its ground effects.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:24 PM   #13
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro RS

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I agree with most of the things Drew said, your car is MOST DEFINITELY not an RS, hence the absence of Ground Effects.

I completely disagree with Drew about ground effects. I love my 91 RS even with its ground effects.
Yeah, after some research I see that my car is a 100% a sport coupe. I didn't know, I was just going by what I had seen. I'm still new to this Camaro life. I like the ground effects too, but we all have different taste.

No complaints here tho, it's a sports coupe with a z28 dash with no cracks, z28 h.o v8, new clutch, rebuilt Borg Warner 5speed trans, t-top, and a clean title. I'm still happy as hell! I love this damn car. Lol

Last edited by Nightmare87; 03-20-2017 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:58 PM   #14
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Some other mish-mash from its history:
Z28 badge on the dash
console has power window switch(es), door has manual crank.

News-to-me: the 86 CHMSL (third brake light) carried over to 87 cars without a spoiler.

Great find! It sounds like you are getting a fun car on the cheap!
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:11 PM   #15
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoJoe View Post
Some other mish-mash from its history:
Z28 badge on the dash
console has power window switch(es), door has manual crank.

News-to-me: the 86 CHMSL (third brake light) carried over to 87 cars without a spoiler.

Great find! It sounds like you are getting a fun car on the cheap!

Thanks brother.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:29 PM   #16
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Looks like your off to a good start.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:54 PM   #17
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

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Looks like your off to a good start.
Thanks brother, hopeful I get the car back tomorrow.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:42 AM   #18
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

If you have issues with water leaks, contact me.

My 88 Sport Coupe leaked every place imaginable, and several places I couldn't imagine.

Interesting your Sport Coupe has T-top.
I was of the belief that all third generation Sport Coupes were plain hardtop.
.
.
.

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Old 03-22-2017, 03:01 AM   #19
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
If you have issues with water leaks, contact me.

My 88 Sport Coupe leaked every place imaginable, and several places I couldn't imagine.

Interesting your Sport Coupe has T-top.
I was of the belief that all third generation Sport Coupes were plain hardtop.
.
.
.
So far so good. Just have to get this smoking sorted out. I need a Carburetor or EGR but I might be replacing both.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:07 PM   #20
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Glad you really like it. The third brake light on the hatch threw me off too, but it makes sense that they carried it over for cars without spoilers I guess. Have fun with it man!
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:03 PM   #21
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

3/21/17

I picked up the car from the shop right before work. I ran down there early in the morning and gave them the mirror and they put it on. A lot more work went into the car, one 3-pages worth. Also got a fix it ticket for the smoke, the cops were cool tho. They ended up checking the car out and telling me they expect to see it when it's done. Lol

3/22/17
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Tires I ordered came in. So to Firestone I went for some new tread. The technicians were tripping when they lifted the car because of all the new parts. One of them told me that it's the ultimate Sleeper Car.

3/23/17

I finally got a day off so I decided to put the seats in after cleaning of course.

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I still have to put the driver's seat in, I'll wait till after the car gets out of the shop this next time. I don't want them messing up a some what worn but freshly cleaned seat.

Next on the interior list. New carpet, and a new headliner.
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Old 03-30-2017, 01:07 PM   #22
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

3/30/17

Update:

Today I dropped the car off at the shop. It's time for the carb rebuild, E-brake fix, A/C recharge, and headlight check. He also will be putting together a quote for all new front suspension links to get all that rusty stuff out of there. This is starting to be a restomod project. If it doesn't look new chances are I'm replacing it.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:36 AM   #23
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

4/4/17

Got the car back, drove it to work for the first time. This was the first real driving ive done in the car. The rest was me babying it in the shop or home .5 miles-1.5 miles max. Speedometer went out so I've still been driving slow. Better safe, then sorry.


New parts:

Carburetor:

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Steering Linkage:

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Headlights:

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4/5/17

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Took the to get the alarm installed. Very nice system, I had sitting around and decided I put it to use. Thanks 19 year old me for looking out. I really appreciate it.

On another note I drove the car on the highway for the first time, I noticed my oil temp creeping up along with the coolant temp. So I slowed to about 10mph under the speed limit got it to work and noticed the engine coolant reservoir was boiling. I took the streets home doing about 30mph all the way. I also cut it off at lights when I had the chance got home (5.6 miles) and as soon as I cut the car off I could hear the coolant bubbling in the reservoir again. Pop the hood and yep same thing.


4/6/17


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I dropped the car back off this morning for a overheating issue. As I was writing this got a call from my shop and the 3 things I thought I might need, it needs all 3. Of course because my car is spoiled. Lmao

New parts:

Radiator
Lower Radiator Hose
Thermostat

Last edited by Nightmare87; 07-28-2017 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:58 PM   #24
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Your overheating issue is caused by a missing air dam that should be mounted on the lower radoator support. It's purpose is to force air into the radiator. Our cars are bottom feeders meaning they get their fresh air from down low via this air dam.

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Old 04-11-2017, 09:17 AM   #25
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonsal View Post
Your overheating issue is caused by a missing air dam that should be mounted on the lower radoator support. It's purpose is to force air into the radiator. Our cars are bottom feeders meaning they get their fresh air from down low via this air dam.

Lon
My RS didn't have the air dam and I didn't have over heating issues, I think its only on the RS/Z28 front bumpers
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Old 04-23-2017, 04:57 AM   #26
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

It's a head gasket issue. Heads leaking building to much compression causing the car to over heat. I found a good deal on a motor. So I should have it next week.. Fingers crossed
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:50 PM   #27
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

7/27/17

Update:

It has been a little over 3-months since my last post. A lot has been going on, not with the car but more with me. I had to take a break from the car due to being on crutches not being able to work, walk, or drive. I'm currently on disability and have another 4-6month recovery time. Also major change, due to my grandfather getting sick I'm actually moving back to my home town of Richmond, VA. The car has already been shipped out there and has made it there safe and sound. I will be relocating out there in a little under 3-weeks to help with my grandparents and enjoy my family.

The good news is when I resume my project, Virginia laws are the ****. I don't even have to get my car inspected since it's over 25 years old I can just register it as a classic and do with it as I please. Unlike all these dumb-*** California laws that I've had to deal with. I'm not going to lie I loved the weather but Cali is killing the car culture. For that I send you this big F YOU! Anyways, I will be back very soon with updates and more pics as soon the car and I our in the same place. I hope everyone is doing good. Blessings
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Old 07-28-2017, 05:22 PM   #28
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Sorry to hear about the injury, but congrats on the move back home!
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:33 PM   #29
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

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Sorry to hear about the injury, but congrats on the move back home!
Thanks brother, yeah I can't wait to get back started on this car. Once I get these head gaskets put in its on to body work.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:58 PM   #30
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Nice

If I were to buy another 3rd gen Camaro (I have had a few), it would be just like yours, an SC with No Rear Spoiler, T-tops and a 5 Speed.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:27 AM   #31
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

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7/27/17
I'm not going to lie I loved the weather but Cali is killing the car culture. For that I send you this big F YOU! Anyways, I will be back very soon with updates and more pics as soon the car and I our in the same place. I hope everyone is doing good. Blessings
I have yet to register my car as a classic. The thought of NO more inspection gives me a *****. But on the flip side, sometimes they catch things.

I love old cars in general. Nothing pisses me off more than a good car going to the scrapper because it doesn't meet their new emission requirements.
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Old 08-08-2017, 03:14 PM   #32
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Random picture I found in my phone. I figured I'd share. 6 more days till I'm back with all my cars. Some I've missed for weeks some I've missed for years. I can't wait till this project resumes. I miss my sports coupe.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:17 PM   #33
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

Looking at the speedometer, is your car a Canadian model?
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:14 PM   #34
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Re: Project Nightmare...1987 Chevy Camaro T-Top

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Looking at the speedometer, is your car a Canadian model?
I honestly don't know, I wouldn't be surprised if it was. I find out something new about this damn car all the time.
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