Member’s Feature
Bert & Denise Caines, Member #252
1969 Camaro SS
Goodwood, Nova Scotia

Story & photos by Gary Porter
About nine years ago, Bert Caines was ready for his first project car and decided it would be a 1969 Camaro. With more than 240,000 Camaros being produced for the 1969 model year, you wouldn’t think finding one would be too difficult. However, finding a decent one at a reasonable price became a three-year search for Bert. This particular Camaro rolled down the assembly line in Norwood, Ohio as an SS350 sporting Glacier Blue paint and a vinyl top. It was then sold new at Richmond Hill Chevrolet in Toronto. After several different owners and several colour changes, the then silver Camaro made its way to Merrimichi, New Brunswick where, thanks to a tip from a friend, it was found and purchased by Bert. After two years of driving the Camaro in as purchased condition, Bert embarked on a two year rebuild.
The car was sent off to Need for Speed in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to put the body back in pristine condition. Allyn Armstrong got the nod to rebuild the 383 small block which now sports AFR aluminum heads, an Edelbrock aluminum intake and a 750 c.f.m. Mighty Demon carburetor. A solid lifter roller cam from Comp Cams controls the valves while an MSD ignition provides the spark. With 9.8:1 compression, this combination is good for 511 horsepower at the crank and 506 foot-pounds of torque. The four speed was ditched in favour of a Tremec TKO 600 five speed. This is connected to a G.M. 12 bolt filled with a 3.90:1 gear set complete with a posi unit.
Painting chores were handled by Richard Studley, finishing it in GM Ricochet Silver with black stripes. His work is well known on the car show circuit, having laid paint on a number of award winning cars. The finish on Bert and Denise’s Camaro is no exception. The stock black vinyl interior is made up of a combination of original and reproduction pieces. The stock dash gauges have been replaced with carbon fibre faced speedometer and tach by Autometer, while matching oil, temperature, gas and voltmeter gauges have been incorporated into the
console and monitor engine functions.
For wheels and tires the Camaro rolls on 18 x 8 Eagle wheels at all four corners wrapped in B.F. Goodrich GForce tires. Rears are 245 45 18's while the fronts are 215 40 18's. Handling has been enhanced with the addition of sub frame connectors and a Hotchkiss 1 & 1/8 inch front anti sway bar. A set of tubular A arms is in the works for installation next winter and this will finish the Camaro.
Bert tells me that this project would not have been completed without the help of Denise, who kept track of all the pieces of the Camaro as it came apart and organized them so that it could be reassembled when
the time came The Camaro has now been on the road for two years and is being enjoyed by Bert and Denise. They attend many of the show and shines around the area as well as the Thursday cruises to the Woodside A&W. At the recent Atlantic Nationals, Bert and Denise’s Camaro received the Miller Tire award. Bert’s next project? There is a 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air bubble top that Bert has his eye on. Could this ‘61 soon find itself parked next to the Camaro? Time will tell.