My dad helped be buy a new gold 1970 Camaro RS with a 350 and a 4-speed. I was attending the Art Center College of Design, and used it for commuting to school and back and forth from Los Angeles to Riverside. Art Center has trimesters, and I went four straight, took two off, and then went back for the remaining four and graduated with a BS degree in Industrial Design, majoring in Transportation Design. During the two trimester break I had a job working as an architectural draftsman at a mobile home manufacturing company. I also modified the Camaro, adding headers, an Edelbrock Tarantula manifold, a 780 Holley, Koni shocks, and big sway bars. I joined a Pontiac car club (because my friend John Ashmore belonged—he had a ’66 LeMans) and did some drag racing at Riverside International Raceway. The best quarter mile time I had was a 14.6, pretty good considering the car was a low compression engine with 3.23 gears.
The Camaro in Michigan a few months before I sold it.
The other modification I made to the car turned out to be historically significant. I ordered from DeAnza Chevrolet a single 4bbl road racing air cleaner. It fit on a Holley and had a large flexible rubber intake duct that ran from the air cleaner to the firewall. I had to cut a hole in the firewall through to the cowl to install the air cleaner. I don’t think I could get myself to do that today, but I did it then to a practically new car. The cowl induction air cleaner was good for 3 tenths of a second. I have never seen another air cleaner like that since, so it must have been a rare part indeed.
Factory Z28 single Holley road racing air cleaner.
After I graduated, General Motors Design Staff offered me a position as an exterior designer, and My dad and I drove the car to Michigan in March, 1973. I sold the car in 1974.
In early 2007, my friend Tom Peloquin, who still works at General Motors Design Center, called me with some very curious information. His son, David, was taking an auto body shop class at Oakland Community College. He was telling his dad about the instructor’s ’70 Camaro that he was restoring. The instructor, Mark Driscoll, told David that he had bought the car in the early ’70s from a GM designer who had recently moved from California. Tom wondered if it might be the car that I owned, and asked me if there were any unusual features about the car that would make it recognizable. “If it was gold and had a rectangular hole in the passenger’s side of the firewall, then that’s it.”
Standing behind the car is Tom Peloquin, David Peloquin, and Mark Driscoll.
It was originally gold, and there was a hole in the firewall covered by a MSD ignition module. So it turned out that it was the same car that Mark bought the car from me in 1974. When we traveled back east to go to my oldest son’s wedding in July 2007, I was able to travel to Michigan to meet Mark again and have a 34 year reunion with my 1970 Camaro. By the way, Mark sold that air cleaner a few years ago for $2,000. It really was a rare part indeed.
The MSD ignition module covered up the hole in the firewall.
David Peloquin, myself, my son Andrew, and Mark Driscoll.
34 year reunion.