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1971 Camaro – an American classic

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Local father-son project spans 40 years

by Aaron Storms

When Mark Friesen bought his lightly used 71 Chevy Camaro back in high school, it was love at first sight. Though not originally a high-performance Z28 model, it was still sleek and fast and kept Mark in plenty of trouble. The car was in pretty good shape overall, but the sun had baked the rear deck and the front seats had seen better days. Mark went to a local automotive upholstery shop and they were able to match the hounds tooth seats and even added some accents to the door panels. Adding a front spoiler and Z28 badging gave the Camaro a sinister look. Fast-forward 40 years after life’s fun of raising two sons, Gus and Abe, they decided to restore the car. Their Cole family friends in Nederland did a great job on the show-quality body and paint, and Mark even had the 8-track tape player refurbished. Gus and Mark have spent the past few years installing a 383 stroker motor and 5-speed transmission, and air conditioning with new wiring. Though the car now lives in another state, Gus brought it back this week for his brother’s wedding, so wave if you see them cruising the mountain canyon roads. It’s ready for another generation!

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