Not so long ago, I was flying to Taiwan to have a first-hand look at the new Dynacorn Camaro-styled replacement bodies and began to wistfully reflect on my first car.  I was 15 1/2 and had my heart set on getting a 1969 Camaro Z/28.  In 1977 these cars were still plentiful and unbelievably affordable compared to the prices they command today.  With so many examples to choose from, the only real decision you had to make back then was what color you wanted! 

Sal Perez is one of the fastest up-and-coming stars in our aftermarket industry. Having specialized in Chevy-built classics for most of the last decade, Sal has brought his company, American Muscle Cars, to the forefront of the technological revolution that we are amidst. As one of only two shops in the country that has been granted the right to assemble the highly anticipated '69 Camaro replacement body from Dynacorn, Sal's shop is a hotbed of activity that includes building turn-key cars for the likes of Classic Industries and reality television shows like Overhaulin' and Chop Cut and Rebuild. Sal's expertise is well respected and his vision of what an American Muscle Car will be in the future is spot on.

Since I was still too young to have a driver’s license, it took a great deal of persuasion to convince my dad to allow me to purchase that Rally Green RS Z/28 when I found it.

I purchased the car with money I had saved from my paper route that I had worked since I was 11, and I remember watching my dad drive it home early one Saturday morning all those many years ago.  As he pulled the object of my adolescent lust into the garage, he had a huge grin on his face, and I will never forget as he climbed out and looked at me and said, "This car is going to get you in trouble!"...he had no idea how right he was!

I sat in that car every day and turned that cam over just to listen to the roar of the 302.  I would pull her in and out of the garage, and could not wait until that magical day I would receive that little piece of paper that would allow me to row through the gears and feel first hand what she could do.  Like any first love, the memories of that car remained with me through the years, and would shape my life in ways I could never have imagined...

...Fast forward to now, as my reverie in the past was interrupted by a stewardess asking me what I wanted to drink.  As I drank down my soda, I fell back into thinking how much the aftermarket auto industry has changed in the last 29 years since I bought what was then merely a used car and is now considered a collector’s item.  Twenty-nine years since the only way to freshen up one of these cars was with original NOS parts or used parts from the junkyard, to today when you can, for all practical purposes, build a complete car from the ground up starting with nothing. 

For years now, the only way to own one of these cars was to find an original, the quality of which has been decreasing steadily as cars were raced, wrecked and junked.  Now there’s a company reproducing the Camaro bodies and my business, American Muscle Cars Inc., is assembling/welding the sub components into the first all-new 1969 Camaro-styled cars in 37 years.  With this new F-body being produced, the Camaro craze is if it had ever died!

The return of the First-Generation Camaro by Dynacorn International Inc., has led automotive aftermarket industry giants to begin developing more and better products to equip these cars.  What was once a market dominated by aftermarket restoration parts and limited by demand due to a finite number of original cars still in existence has, in one fell swoop, become a potentially limitless market allowing for infinite upgrade possibilities; the long-time reluctance to irreversibly modify an original car is no longer a barrier. 

Already there are better chassis being fabricated for these machines, complete rear suspension solutions are being designed and produced by several different companies, and the list of high-tech parts and modifications born of innovative minds continues to grow.  With the possibility of additional body styles coming to the market in the future, the sky isn’t even the limit anymore.

Despite all that is positive about the introduction of the new Dynacorn Camaro, there are many naysayers who bemoan its existence for a number of reasons.  The prevailing opinion of these groups (comprised mostly of owners of original cars) seems to be that their original cars will somehow be de-valued by a market flooded by the reproductions. 

In my opinion, quite the opposite will occur; imagine the prestige value of being the owner of an "original" GM-built Camaro as opposed to a reproduction?  If anything, potential buyers of original cars will be open to spending top dollar to ensure that they are getting the real McCoy instead of an aftermarket "wannabe."

The other major concern is the perceived increased potential for unscrupulous sellers to try to pass their reproduction cars off as "originals."  Again, I think the prophets of doom are making a mountain out of a molehill; despite the fact that the vast majority of people in the classic car community are honest, there are undoubtedly less-than-legitimate con artists out there looking to take advantage of an unaware victim.  However, these people are in a very small minority. 

Just as one must be on the lookout for clones today, the same principal will apply: let the buyer beware.  Remember, these cars are will be even more difficult to pass them off as rare originals than it is to pass off a re-badged car...the knowledge-base of telltale signs for spotting a fake is just too great.

Honestly, I truly wish that this exciting new product had been available a generation ago.  Since I began restoring Camaros out of a storage unit 11 years ago, I have seen enough butchered original Z/28s and L-78 SS 396 cars that were almost beyond saving to break a man down into tears.  Imagine how many of these cars could have been spared the scrap heap if there had been an aftermarket canvas to hack away at? 

No, I think this product is a boon to the industry by opening the doors to even greater imagination for these cars, and allowing people without the money for an original rarity to have the car that they want, while at the same time continuing to allow those with originals to gloat over the fact that they are one of the lucky few who are fortunate enough to own the real thing. 

The future of the aftermarket automotive industry has just been expanded, and this can only benefit all of us who revere those four-wheeled metal sculptures from our past.  

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