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Monday, September 14, 2020

1970 Camaro Rally Sport: Son delivers Dad a time machine

1970 Camaro Rally Sport found in a field

Tribute time! No, I don’t mean time to get your garage band to cover a great Zeppelin song. I mean a tribute to family and automotive heritage. The reason that most of us are into cars to begin with. Family.

In this case Hunter Mitchell, a nineteen-year-old gear head who has so many ties to Junkyard Life, that he may as well be a staff member. When he was fifteen, he took us on a trip to Georgia and had us bring a trailer because he had found a 1971 Camaro and had aspirations of bringing it home. That Camaro wasn’t meant to be (true basket case) and he was somewhat disappointed if not heartbroken. Why? You may ask what draws this mainly Mopar guy to the GM camp? You guessed it! His dad had one. I (Ron) can attest to that because Hunter’s father, Lec, and I went to high school together and that 1972 Camaro was one of my favorite cars to ever grace the high school parking lot in the 1980s.

Lec Mitchell in 1986 ready for some prom festivities with his 1972 Camaro.


Keep digging
History was destined to repeat itself. Four years later Hunter hits F-body gold. A real 1970 Rally Sport Camaro.
Hunter was invited to take a look at “that old Camaro in the weeds” and could not believe his eyes when he first spotted the 1970-1973 Camaro clues. Then it just kept getting better as the forgotten Rally Sport got the attention it has not had in years. Hunter could only think of one person as he negotiated the Rally Sport’s new home – his dad.


Hunter Mitchell with his dad Lec.


Look what I found
So what does he have? One of our favorite cars of all time… A 1970 Rally Sport Camaro in paint code 75 Cranberry Red. We know not a few emblems does a Rally Sport make, but it also has the indigenous Rally Sport front nose piece, the split bumper with the parking lights ABOVE the bumperettes. It also has the way cool RS steering wheel. We have no reason to believe that this is not a real Rally Sport. We are inclined to believe that it is real. It has the original back seat (see Fun Facts below) and the things it does not have are not going to be hard to obtain.
Not having the original engine can be both a curse and a blessing, depending on how you look at that. To Hunter, it is a blessing. Some 1970’s street machine parts and some factory equipment will work beautifully together for this family. 


Cockpit of a 1970 Camaro RS.


How much love does it need?
  Of course it needs a lot. That seems to cancel itself out when you consider all it has going for it. The doors open and close better than we have ever seen. The rust in this car seemed to have crept in from the top downwards instead of the usual start at the bottom and eat the car upwards. It just makes us all happy to say “70 model Cranberry Red Rally Sport.” The Mitchell party is destined to continue. Why break tradition?

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life


Some rust and a later model rear spoiler found their way onto the 1970 Camaro.



Lec and Hunter’s 1970 Camaro Fun Facts:

  • 1970 was the first year for the second generation Camaro, therefore, some things are very 1970 specific. 
  • When removing the correct 1970 rear seat to look for a build sheet (which we didn’t find), we did find things we have never found in back seat ribbing before. Things such as spark plugs, a valve cover gasket, a comb and a cool compass thermometer combo. How did all that stuff get to where your back would be? Under the seat? Sure. Up there? How?
  • Lec bought his 1972 Camaro in 1986. It was silver with a black vinyl top. We loved that car.
  • Hunter began the search for this car in 2016. History does repeat itself.
  • Rally Red has a 10 bolt open end differential. Hunter has already located a 10 bolt positive traction rear end with disc brakes. Everybody check your 1979-81 Trans Ams. Especially if Hunter has been around. He didn’t say where he found it!
  • Lec’s high school Camaro came sans rear spoiler. Rally Red has a spoiler from another second generation Camaro, which it will likely lose during the paint and body work. They prefer the clean sweeping lines of the spoiler-free Camaros. 
  • 1970 was not the first 350 to be put into a Camaro, but it was the first year a 350 was offered in the Z28. “Offered” may not be the right way to say it. The 1970 Z28 LT1 was a 360 hp tire smoking crazy powerful car. 
  • Since the 1970 Z28 was already decided for you, if you wanted a 396, you had to turn to the Super Sport or the Rally Sport. You could even combine the two with what became known as the RS/SS. 
  • The 1970 Rally Sport had a luxury appointed feel. They really made one for every buyer. The economy minded had a 250 c.i.d. 6 cylinder and the need for speed could be met with a 375 hp  396-V8. Most cars were equipped somewhere in the middle with a 307 or a variety of 350 engines available. Lec and Hunter’s Rally Sport came with a V8 according to the VIN, but we just don’t know which one.
  • The 1970 Camaro was not released until February. That is why some collectors insist on calling them 70 and ½ models.


Core support still intact! Bring on the big radiators - maybe an aluminum 4 row?



Doors open and ready to fly in a1970 Camaro RS.



Behind the wheel of a 1970 Camaro RS.



Camaro name on the glovebox.



Rear seats are looking good.



Interior of 1970 Camaro RS.



Lec Mitchell's 1972 Camaro that lives in his memories and a few snapshots.



Lec and Ron reliving 1987 - watch out, ladies!




Split bumper? Yes! On the Rally Sport.



Hunter Mitchell and Ron Kidd celebrate the ’70 RS with a high-five.




Hunter Mitchell with his latest find – for his dad.



Ron Kidd and Hunter taking the 1970 Camaro RS on a fantasy spin.




Hunter and Ron discover a 1970s-era GPS in the Camaro.



Dad, I got you a time machine.


You never know what you'll find behind and under the seats of vintage iron.



Rear bucket seat looks great for its age and considering the years of neglect on the body.



Many argue that the split bumper Camaro is the best design of any generation.






Detail of the 1970s-era GPS. We are only halfway joking.



Know a junkyard that we need to visit? Got a car story?  
Send emails to junkyardbull@gmail.com or Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on finding this car Hunter. I know your dad would be very happy and proud of you. Something tells me that your car will end up being a total success. Have fun in the build of this great machine and I know one day your day will be riding right beside you as you drive down memory lane. Was a wonderful pleasure to meet you, your uncle and friend the other day. Keep me posted on how things are going, who knows one day we may be able to cross our paths again... except we will both be driving '70s model Camaro's.

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