Volume I, Issue 4, Page 37

Imagine if The General were to build a Camaro with the classic lines of the original First-Gens and the modern handling, braking and acceleration, not to mention creature comforts, of a late-model. We’d be first in line.

If you’re a classic or performance enthusiast there’s no denying that we live in the best time in history to fuel our passion. Few remember when most of the classic vehicles we desire today were new, and if those who do remember are totally honest with themselves, they will admit that most of our hero machines were lackluster at best compared with today’s rides, be they new or revitalized 30- and 40-year-old iron. The bottom line: technology is winning on all fronts. That being said, we’re smart to embrace it, but let us not forget where we came from.

Let’s embrace this scenario. Take an original 1st Generation Camaro, mate it to a 4th Generation Camaro and replace the original rusty body with sheet metal and trim from

Goodmark Industries. What do you get? You have a concoction that was worthy of winning the 2006 SEMA General Motors Design Award. What it is could arguably be called the ultimate car. And it’s available from Retro Rides and Goodmark Industries.

The key that makes these cars so special is a patent-pending process of creating a hybrid unibody structure from TWO cars, a first-generation 'host' car, and a fourth-generation 'donor' car. Unlike a restoration, which merely restores the car to its original configuration (with all the handling and braking limitations of the original), Retro Rides restores the car cosmetically using Goodmark sheet metal and trim while incorporating modern amenities, convenience features and modern technology.

Retro Rides and Goodmark Industries earned special recognition at SEMA for their well-conceived hybrid machine.

According to the folks at Goodmark, the big difference between the Goodmark/Retro Rides cars and the other replacement bodies out there is the fact that the first-Gen car used in the build is a real car, with a real title and VIN. While we’ve not substantiated the federal government’s position or that of each and every state’s DMV, it certainly makes sense that if you start with a car that had a legit VIN and registration history, then it stands to reason that you should be able to “customize” it any way you’d like. That being the case, the finished car that results from this hybrid unibody foundation is still titled as a first-Gen, thereby retaining its collectible status. (Sounds like that’s been done before. Remind anyone of all those ’32 street rods out there?)

With the homologation of old and new technologies, it was no surprise when our friends at Goodmark let us in on the firm’s next project car. And guess what, it’s going to be a 1969 Camaro, built by Retro Rides. Stay tuned on that one as I have a feeling that we’ll be getting some early, exclusive insight as that car comes together.

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