I bought the Camaro in the spring of 2005. I had been on the lookout for a new daily driver
as the Thunderbird was getting old. It was tired and the auto was slipping all over the
place. I needed a new car, and I went looking for a '94-'98 six cylinder Mustang. I couldn't
find the one I wanted, and I happened to find a pretty good deal on this 1995 Camaro for
sale in Melissa, Texas. It was the spring of 2005, and as the resident F-body expert in my
life, I took Cody with me and we made the road trip past Gainesville to go pick this one
up. On our way back just past Heritage Trace on a then unpopulated area of I-35, we were
witness to the aftermath one of the worst highway accidents I've seen, and the diesel boys
that caused it got boxed in by me in Cody's truck with others that witnessed the accident in
their cars while Cody talked to the cops. It's an odd footnote to the first night of owning
The car was a simple 3.4 liter six cylinder hardtop that had cloth interior and some neat
options like full power everything, keyless entry, and the factory Bose system (that still
sounds better than my 350Z.) It also had four mismatched tires on it when I got it and
didn't drive real smooth as a result. I used my work hook-up on tires and got a nice set that
carried me a long way on the 16 inch 5-spokes. Tires aren't such a big deal, but considering
it was the first full set of tires I'd bought and not pieced together on any vehicle I'd owned
up to that point, it was a big deal. It ended up being the first of many, many exterior
modifications I did to this little driver.
In that spring of '05, I met my wife and we went out for our first date in this car. The roof
was a little faded, so before our third date I had it painted black so it would look good at the
first ballgame we went to. After that, in November of 2005, I acquired a hood from D&D
Motorsports that was damaged in shipping and was free if I wanted it. Working at a body
shop has privileges, and it was an easy fiberglass repair. After the hood went on, I found a
set of SS 10-spoke wheels and upgraded the footprint of the six-cylinder, again with new
tires. I added a factory SS spoiler from a totaled SS and came across a smoking deal on
leather seats for the front and back. I raided the parts section of LS2.com and was given clear
corners and a $40 SS dual tipped muffler, and now in just less than a year's time, the little six
cylinder was a completed SS clone.
After all the exterior work had been complete in January of 2006, I began the most ambitious
project I had undertaken on the little car. I had read on the internet (dangerous, I know) that
it was possible to convert your hardtop F-body in to a t-top car. I studied plenty of pictures
folks had posted and gathered a list of all the parts I would need. - weatherstrips, brackets for
the t-tops and weatherstrips, t-tops holders for the rear, and of course, a headliner. I figured
this car was just a six cylinder and it was the small six anyways, there wouldn't be any harm
in doing the conversion. It turns out that GM manufactured the holes for the center bar the
in the 't' the tops fit into every F-body built, regardless of whether or not it was equipped
with the removable roof.. The pillars contained the holes that held the bracket for the tops to
lock down. The fiberglass roof already had the line one needed to cut to peel back the roof.
From there, the structure that would be in the way of the t-top had to be ground out and
removed. The pictures show how it was done, and the finished product was just amazing.
So we had the car like that for another year and a half, enjoying plenty of days with the tops
off, zipping around with all the efficiency of a 3.4 Liter, none of the brute force of the LT1 it
aped. Eventually, after turning over 210,000 miles on the car, I traded it for the 350Z along
with the 300ZX. I really enjoyed owning the car, it cost me next to nothing to do some
pretty awesome exterior work, and I learned alot about t-tops.
This F-Body grew on us in ways we didn't expect, and we had it until we got married. When
the SS Camaro became available to us in 2010, we bought it because of the great experiences
we had in this one.