@ CHEVY HARDCORE ONLINE
1967 marked the first year for the Camaro for Chevrolet. In 1970 the Camaro received a total makeover with little resemblance to its predecessors. Sporting a wide mouth grill, no rear side windows, and quad tail lights, they had a timeless look of their own.
The 1970 Camaro was offered in numerous, different models such as base, Rally Sport, Super Sport, or the Z/28. The Rally Sport has become the more popular version from a cosmetic stand point as the split bumper in the front with higher mounted round turn signals and bumper-ettes are visually more appealing.
The other versions had a bumper that went all the way across the front grill like a set of braces on a teenager, turn signals that were mounted under the bumper and were more of a square shape.
With the popularity and rising cost of the first generation Camaros, many people started taking notice of the second gens and building them in recent years.
Ideas Spark Creativity
We asked Hammonds why he is into the classics and he said, “My Dad is a car painter by trade, so I grew up watching him paint countless classics as they rolled in and out of his shop.” Garth also helped his Dad restore a 1974 Plymouth Duster that fueled his desire for a classic of his own to wrench on.
Garth picked up this ’70 at the age of 18, but the car looked nothing like how you see it here. The Camaro needed a full restoration, but Garth didn’t care; he and his buddies piled in and went cruising every weekend.
Shortly after picking up the Camaro, Garth started working for TMI Products, which manufactures interiors for Camaros, Chevelles, Mustangs and Volkswagens. When the 2013 SEMA show started getting close, his boss Larry Ashley asked about bringing his car for TMI Products’ SEMA booth.
“I would love to bring the Camaro to SEMA, but the car needs a lot of work,” Hammonds told Larry. But with his father, Johny Hammonds, being a professional painter, he knew that he could get a top-of-the-line paint job for the car. Working for an interior company, he knew they would supply the thread and stitches.
“I wanted to restore the car back to stock, but everybody kept insisting to go with the Pro-Touring route,” said Hammonds. A plan was laid out to turn his primer ’70 into a show-stopping Pro-Touring ride and Garth proceed to tear into the car, with the quickly approaching SEMA show looming ahead.
The first step was to get the car painted, so Garth and his father decided on a Mini Cooper Thunder Blue color for paint. They started by cleaning up the body, shaving the drip rails, front marker lamps and adding Honda Civic door handles for a smoothed over look.
Countless hours were spent sanding and priming the car so the body would be straight ready for paint. Finally the day came and Johnny shot the Thunder Blue paint.
With the paint finished, the time came to decide on an interior for the car. “I really wanted something that would compliment the paint, and also pop,” said Hammonds. While at work Hammonds looked through the thousands of color swatches that TMI Products has.
Every color and pattern under the sun was considered until his boss, Larry, decided on one crazy color: 1967 Camaro Metallic Yellow. This color was only offered for 1967 Camaros with the deluxe interior package.
The yellow is bright and pops against the Thunder Blue paint, but also pays homage to the Camaro’s first year. Most people had their doubts about the vibrant yellow, but with a bit of hesitation Garth obliged, putting his trust into Larry.
While TMI was stitching up their latest interior to debut at SEMA, Garth had to get the rest of the car looking just as good. Garth complied a parts list a mile long so he called up Ground Up, a restoration parts warehouse for Camaro, Chevelle, Nova, El Camino and G-Bodies.
Boxes upon boxes arrived with brand new parts to help finish off the car. Ground Up had everything needed to make this RS better than new: trim, lenses, dash, bumpers, weatherstripping, and a host of other goodies to finish the fine details on the car.
In order to get the car to stop and turn like a Pro-Touring car should, Garth called up UMI Performance. They sent him their very first set of second generation tubular Camaro arms for the front end. These arms have revised geometry that helps keep the tires planted to the ground in all driving conditions.
A set of Viking Performance dual adjustable coil-overs were added that helped to lower the car and improve the handling. With the twist of the knob, Garth can change the shocks to ride like a Cadillac or stiffen them up for racing. To finish off the front suspension, a complete Pro-Forged steering linkage kit was installed that made the front end tight with no slop whatsoever.
The rearend of the car was treated to a set of Viking Performance dual adjustable shocks and lowering blocks to get the rearend down to get the right stance. To make the car stop on a dime, a four wheel disc brake set up from Stainless Steel Brake Corporation was installed.
The last installation to take place was to ditch the old 15-inch wheels and get a set of shoes that would really compliment the looks of the car. Enlisting the help from Forged Union, he ordered up a set of their Laguna wheels to stuff the wheel wells.
Hammonds had the wheels powder coated with gloss black hoops and flat black spokes to match the trim on the rest of the car. The wheels were wrapped in a set of sticky Continental Tires to finish off the suspension set up.
Not An LS
Under the hood the car still sports a basic 305 cubic inch small-block. “I ran out of time and money before SEMA,” laughed Hammonds.
“The last upgrade for me to do with the car is swap in a modern LS motor,” continued Hammonds. While the 305 hasn’t always been a crowd favorite, Garth added a K&N air filter, D.U.I. Ignition, Taylor plug wires, and a set of Doug Thorley Headers coupled to a complete Flowmaster American Thunder exhaust kit to help the motor squeeze a few more horses out. In order to keep the motor running cool in the Southern California heat and traffic, a Champion radiator was installed along with a set of Perma-Cool fans.
An Optima yellow top battery ensures the motor fires up every time, no matter how hot the car gets. A set of billet aluminum hood hinges from Eddie Motorsports rounds out the engine compartment.
Everything but the hides from TMI had been finished, so the time came to concentrate on the interior. A set of Dakota Digital VHX gauges was added along with an Eddie Motorsports billet steering wheel to finish off the dash.
Trim Parts handled the split loop black carpet and floor mats while Heat Shield Products insulation rests underneath, keeping the cabin cool and quiet. Tunes are handled by a retrofit Custom Autosound stereo with their kick panel speaker set up. All new glass was installed from Classic Industries so Garth can easily see the cones on the course.
The last part of the interior installation was for TMI to install the sunny yellow interior. This interior is their latest Sport XR series, which has the race inspired rivets running down the middle with suede inserts.
The seats themselves are factory Chevrolet frames but feature bolstered foam to hold you in place while pulling G’s in the corners. TMI also installed one of their new full length consoles with matching colors and contrasting french seams.
Lastly, TMI finished off the interior with a suede headliner, to help keep the modern theme of the car.
The Final Details
With the car finished, Garth, Larry, and his friends stepped back and took the whole car in. While the paint was flawless, the rims tucked nicely and the interior shined like the sun, they all decided that something was missing from the car to make a true show stopper.
To start, they bolted on a cowl induction hood from Dynacorn to enhance the race car look of the car, but that wasn’t enough for them. Back at Johnny’s, a large black stripe was laid down the middle of the hood and trunk lid, which gave the Camaro a menacing look.
Larry had a wild hair to in order to put the car over the top; a single yellow racing stripe, with a ghost stripe outline on the hood and trunk lid was painted on the car. With only a few hours left before SEMA, the car was finished and hit the halls of SEMA.
All week long the car drew thousands of people who had to stop, check out the wild paint job, and bright yellow interior.
In summary, Hammonds said that, “My biggest motivation was, and still is, to have a really nice car that I can take out and cruise around while I’m still young.
I don’t want to be one of those guys that has his old car from 20 years ago, sitting in the garage, that never got restored.” We agree that Garth accomplished just that, as he is regularly out cruising this car around to shows all over Southern California.
Owner: Garth Hammonds
Car: 1970 Camaro RS
Paint: Mini Cooper Steel Blue by Johnny’s Auto Color
Body Mods: Shaved drip rails, Honda Civic door handles, Dynacorn cowl induction hood
Interior: TMI Products – Sport XR, Eddie Motorsports’ steering wheel, Heat Shield insulation, Trim Parts carpet, Custom Autosound stereo
Engine and Transmission: 305 small-block, TH350
Underhood Parts: Doug Thorley Headers, K&N Filter, Flowmaster Exhaust, D.U.I. Ignition, Taylor plug wires, Optima yellow top battery, Eddie Motorsports’ hood hinges
Suspension: UMI Performance control arms, Viking Performance coil-overs and shocks, Pro Forged steering components
Brakes: Stainless Steel Brake Corporation four wheel disc brakes
Rims and Tires: Forged Union “Laguna” rims, Continental Tires
Restoration Parts: Ground Up, Classic Industries
Garth wanted to give a big thank you to the following companies for helping him with his build: Johny’s Auto Color, TMI Products, Ground Up, Dynacorn, UMI Performance, Vi-King Performance, Champion Radiators, Custom Autosound, Continental Tires, Doug Thorley Headers, Classic Industries, Dakota Digital, D.U.I. Performance Distributors, Taylor Wires, SSBC Brakes, Optima Batteries, Flowmaster, K&N Filters, Heat Shield, Pro-Forged, Trim Parts, Perma-Cool and Eddie Motorsports.