Imagine a man, all by himself, working in his garage and……creating a wonderful ’69 Chevy that is worth seeing! This story happens to be true and the man behind the masterpiece is Tony Ramos. He worked day and night, without any additional help and using his own personal skills and knowledge.It took some time to figure everything out, compose the pieces and actually testing the ride, but he did it regardless. His wife Nicole had some part in it, helping him with the heavy lifting and ‘groomed’ the car until it was ready to speak for itself.
In a statement, Tony Ramos said: “I did this car entirely by myself. No car shops were included in the making either. It was executed, painted and composed by me. I have been taking this car to every event possible and I am proud of it.’’Tony worked on the car in order to fulfill his idea of what the car should look like. He made adjustments and used different equipment, and the end result was astonishing.
‘Since I haven’t done restoration before, this was positively challenging for me,’ he said, ‘I took my standard’68 Camaro to a show, when I saw a glorious black Pro Touring ’69, so I figured I wanted one for myself.’ Tony spent about $4,000, and his project was initiated.
Tony always believed in himself and was determined that he could do it. He tore the old car apart and basically taught himself how to move forward and complete the task. He erected mini-tubs and changed the fenders and quarters around them, in order to place the wider wheels he had imagined.
However, getting the mechanics right was way easier for him. Tony secured an LS6 and had it hopped up a little at Rolling Thunderz (Toronto) with a Howards cam, the preferred 243 cylinder heads, and a brace of Stainless Works headers followed by a 2 1/2-inch MagnaFlow stainless steel system. He also added a clutch pedal and a double-overdrive transmission, to enable greater mileage.
He decided to bring suspension to minimum, so that he avoided grazing point-penalty cones.The RideTech TruTurn steering kit (2-inch drop spindles, steering arms, drag link bracket, and tie-rod assemblies) was mixed with Speedtech upper and lower control arms, RideTech air springs, adaptable shock absorbers, and a 1 1/8-inch antisway bar, intended to operate in alignment with a Speedtech torque arm fixture, RideTech coilovers, and a Panhard rod.
Having a setup such as this, the entire body drop is 3 inches. This enables better stance and stability in the vehicle. Furthermore, 275/35 and 335/30 BFG KDW stickies ride on 18×10 and 18×12 Rushforth Fuel light rims were implemented as well.
All Tony needed was the basic interior layout. However, he strayed away from the normal with a fabbed instrument panel and, believe it or not, BMW M3 Vader bucket seats. He placed them inside and decided to do some more customizing to make the interior more comfortable.
“Since I was able to learn to weld, I would know how to paint as well. I watched many tutorials and DIYs and bought everything I needed. First I got a $40 spray gun. Then, I made a spray booth in my garage- I spread sheets of plastic and flooding, to keep the dust off the floor. Actually, in the end it looked great.”
“I drive the car on long routes in Canada and the U.S. The first time I did an autocross was when I attended the Goodguys event three years ago, and I got really addicted to it. I have been to the Motorstate Challenge three times; the Optima Faceoff at Road Atlanta and Daytona; the Commerce, Georgia, Chevy High Performance Nationals; and the Muscle Car Challenge in Aurora, Ohio.”
“The best memory of this car was at the CHP Nationals when Brian Finch hopped into the driver’s seat and we just drove around the autocross a couple of times. Another interesting event was driving the high banks of Daytona directly under the lights!”
“For next time, I would surely try a Detroit Speed subframe, a 315/30 front tire, larger brakes, and Forgeline wheels,” he claimed. “This car was extremely reliable so far. My general dream was to build something from scratch. I am turning my dream into a reality just by taking my car to different events and not worrying that it will break. Ultimately, I’ve done it and if something went wrong I would know how to fix it promptly.”