“Life is too short to wait for the things that you enjoy”. These are deep words from Raymond Lobegeier whose ‘live every moment’ belief has led him to become the proud owner of a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS. It wasn’t an impulsive buy as he invested 6 months looking for the one. That day came when Raymond finally locked eyes on the sassy convertible through an online ad. It wasn’t in the best of shape, but he saw past that. Little did Raymond know it would take another 2 years before he could finally bring home his pride and joy – so what came in between?
As part of Chevrolet’s centennial celebrations, Chevy fans were asked to vote for the best Chevrolet of all time. Their choice? The 1969 Camaro. An undeniable hit with the masses, the Camaro was born in 1967 as a compact car specifically to compete with the widely popular Ford Mustang. The 1969 model had the Camaro looking substantially sportier. Redesigned with a heavy ‘V’ cant, deeply inset headlights, new door skins, and rear quarter panels gave the Camaro a lower and more aggressive character.
The SS model – more popularly known as “The One with a Name like the Hiss of a Snake” – offered big power, sport striping and a heavy insulated hood. This specialized performance package consisted of a 350 or 396 cu in V8 engine as well as chassis upgrades to accommodate better handling of the additional power of the engine. Instead of the standard 3-speed transmission, Raymond’s SS was upgraded to a 4-speed manual. The master cylinder was replaced with one from a 1975 Camaro; but that wasn’t the only modification made.
If we’re going to talk about a complete body rebuild, Raymond’s Camaro – affectionately called Lobie – could be just the right mascot. 9 months into the purchase, he and his wife, Belinda, decided to do a complete rebuild on the body.
This would involve totally stripping and repainting the ins and outs of every panel. Other restoration works included the undercarriage, engine, gear box, brakes, and suspension. A pretty big but necessary revamp to bring the Camaro back to its former glory. It took 2 whole years of labour and hard work before Raymond could finally celebrate by driving Lobie home.
A classic car enthusiast himself, Raymond has had 12 cars with one being a red 1970 2-door Mustang V6. He has always made it a point to pursue his love for cars especially after witnessing his father work all his life with little time to enjoy the things that made him happy. He endeavours to purchase his dream car, the 1959 Corvette Convertible, and add it to his garage one day. But in the meantime, Raymond’s proud of his classic Camaro and why shouldn’t he be?
After 2 years of undergoing the knife, Lobie was unveiled looking fresh in a bright red and white racer fashion. Lobie goes on to win several prizes with people constantly showing interests and asking questions about it. One of his favourite pastimes would be taking a late afternoon cruise with the missus while listening to the sound of that big block hard at work. We’d say it was all worth it!