There are so many of us who could only dream about surprising someone special in our lives with their dream car. For brothers Mitch and Mike Rodrigues, this dream became a reality. Mitch is a huge Mustang fan and has a 1966 Mustang Coupe and Mike has always been a huge fan of the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro.
Whilst searching Gumtree one day, Mitch came across a 1968 Chevy Camaro that was for sale. The car was matt dark blue and was in good running condition. Mitch made contact with the owner Albert and they struck a deal. He asked his brother Mike to fetch the car for him. Mike explains “I was pretty envious due to the fact that my brother had purchased my dream car for himself and had the cheek to ask me to go and pick it up for him”.
The car was not in bad condition, the motor was running. The interior was still perfect however the paint and body needed serious attention. The car stayed at Mitch’s house for all of two weeks before it was shipped off to Dino’s Classic for a full restoration.
Once Dino’s started working on the car they soon realized that the body was much worse than they originally thought it was. The rust was very bad, especially on the rear fenders. It required extensive metal fabrication. The bodywork took almost 6 months to complete. When it came to choosing a paint colour, Mitch wanted blue. He picked a blue for the body and silver for the stripe from Dino’s extensive colour samples range. The result was just amazing. The blue really works well to compliment the lines and body shape of the Camaro.
The exterior chrome beads and rubbers all needed to be replaced. All parts which made a big difference to the end result of the build. There is nothing worse than having to re-use/refit old beads, rubbers, and chrome bits on a car that has a brand new paint job. Mitch made a call to US Connection and started ordering new shiny parts. All the exterior chrome trim, door handles and badges had to be replaced as well as the front grille.
The motor was in good running order, however, Mitch still got Gavin from GWR Racing to give it a good service. There were also a few electrical issues with the car that had to be tackled. Wiring on the lights had to be redone and another big challenge was getting the front headlight covers working. Dino also had to install a new motor and make a few modifications to get the covers opening and closing properly. Due to the interior being in good condition, most of it was just refitted.
When Mitch bought the car it already had a set of 17-inch American Racing Torque Thrust II on it however, they had seen better days. The mags were sent to Hi-Tech Mag Repairs to be polished up and boy did they do a great job. They came back looking great and really suiting the car.
The final result was jaw-dropping – the unique blue and silver really stood out. Mitch told Mike to go and collect his car from Dino’s Classic Restorations, which left him puzzled as he did not have any cars there at the time. Mitch then told him the Camaro was his………SURPRISE!
Mitch says “I honestly cannot put into words the emotions I was feeling at the time….it was unreal! We had always spoken about Sunday drives in our dream old-school Muscle Cars and my brother has made that dream a reality”.
For the guys from Dino’s Classic, building this car was a dream come true. It is one of their favourite Muscle Cars and definitely one of the best cars to come out of their shop.
Mike says “A big thanks go out to Mitch and his lady Chantel for the time and effort they put into this build…….from the paint to the smallest detail, I could not have asked for more!!! Thank you”.
From Dino’s Classic Restorations:
The client Mitch Rodrigues is the perfect type of client whose only request was to get the car looking perfect. No shortcuts to be accepted. As a restorer, this is exactly what we strive for. The client sourced all the new parts that were needed which made the car come out the perfect way it did. This is the second car we have done for him and we cannot wait for the next project.