Help with a `69 Camero full restoration

Hello all,
I just came across this newsgroup today as I start to prepare to do a full restoration to my mom's 1969 Camero (307, small block, hard top) that has
been sitting outside for the last 10 years. She stopped running it in 1995 when it was still runnable, although the engine needed work at that time. Now that I'm out of college, have time, and the ability to do this, my mom has given me that car as long as I won't ever sell it or abuse it. My personal goal is to do a full restoration of this vehicle, and use it somewhat but keep it and really appreciate it for what it is. Currently there have been random people stopping by the house nearly every other week asking to buy it for like $800 or some insanely stupid low amount.
The current condition of the body is as follows:
- The interior is still in great condition. Mold, water, and dampness have been kept out for the most part, but the heat/cold changes from season to season have cracked some of the dash and the part by the rear window. - The exterior is the worst. The fenders and quarterpanels are showing some pretty bad rust, that in a few places has eaten all the way through making it brittle and fragile. The hood, top, and trunk areas show some rust, but nothing that appears to affect the structural integrity of the metal. The front and rear windows still are holding their seals keeping water and moisture out. The doors are mostly rustfree and the windows seem to be fine there too. - The engine was in working order when it was stopped being used. But my mom said even then it was showing signs of age, "leaks, less power, etc".
MY QUESTION...
... is how do I first go about getting this vehicle restored? While I am not an ASE certified mechanic, heck I'm not even a mechanic, but I am very technically knowlegable and minded about things so I can learn easily. Obviously the engine will need to be rebuilt and I have a friend who can help me with that as needed. Secondly the body is the largest concern of mine. I am wondering if the fenders/quarterpanels will need to be entirely replaced or if they are fixable. If they aren't fixable, where can I go to get replacement ones?
I appreciate any an all input into this as I prepare to get this wonderful vehicle back on the road again.
Bradley
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B. Walker wrote:

Go to cruise nights and car shows, get to know your fellow Camaro owners. They will be of great help. What's most important is what's underneath. The stuff you mention is superficial, it's the frame, floors, rockers, and cowl integrity that really matter. Where are you located?
-jim
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Jim,
There aren't any cruise nites in the immediate area, with a few sparse car shows I plan to hit during the fairs and summer months. I live in the Eastern Panhandle of WV or closer to the Northern VA area.

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On Fri, 29 Jul 2005 19:40:47 GMT, "B. Walker"

<snip>
Stop right where you are and go to a Barnes and Noble, or Borders, or what ever is the largest book store you can find. Look around the transportation section for Camaro restoration books and look through them or buy one or two of the more advanced restoration books. The books don't have to necessarily be on Camaros, your looking for more technical knowledge in the print.
Step 2) is start saving up your coinage. A restoration that sounds as advanced as what you describe is going to cost you a few thousand dollars just in tools to do the repairs necessary. Parts aren't none too cheap either.
Step 3) is to make a plan or timetable for what gets done when and when you want the project finished by.
Step 4) Start the resto, being careful to bag and mark everything you take off the car and take lots of pictures for when you start to reassemble. I've been working on mine for years, but I'm not in a rush. Finished installing the quarter panels and rear panel this week. I don't wan't to do that again. It takes a long time to carefully remove just one quarter panel so it can be replaced.
...Ron -- 68' Camaro RS 88' Firebird Formula 00' Mustang GT Vert
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Ron,
Thanks for the tips. I plan to document everything meticulously especially images of parts before bolts come out, after, and so forth. I expect this to cost around $5000 easily, but I'm not to worried. I don't have a home mortgage or major car payments to take care of which gives me some breathing room financially for this. Right now at the house we don't have a garage, just a partially enclosed carport so the first thing I would plan to do is just cover the car good to prevent any exposure, and secondly just get the engine and spend about 2-3 months working on it. Plus I have a friend that works at a high performance motorshop who is able to help as needed. For me this would be more of a 1.5-2 year project as I had time.
Question on body work. Some of the panels are rusted through and I'm wondering if those are repairable or if it's just wise to get fenders/quarterpanels off another camaro somewhere and have them sandblasted and repainted?
wrote:

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B. Walker wrote:

Wiser to get new panels from one of the resto places. I'm having my '68 quarter panels done, and went with NPD (National Parts Depot). Wish I took the body guy's reccomendation for Year One; the ones from NPD don't fit quite right and its hours & $ to make then fit.
Pick up some copies (or a subscription) to Super Chevy & Hot Rod. The articles are sometimes informative, and there's lots of ads for parts companies.
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On Tue, 02 Aug 2005 01:05:41 GMT, "B. Walker"

It all depends on how badly they are rusted through. If the rust runs into and has started working on the outer wheel houses then I myself would replace the outer wheel houses and the quarter panels as well as the tail pan. I had to do all of that to mine because of some minor rust into the outer wheelhouses and because somewhere in the past in California she was hit from in the rear and everything was crinkly underneath. The repairs looked excellent originally, I just couldn't let it stay that way.
Take some pictures to a body shop and get some opinions on what they would do. Most large warehouses that supply parts for Camaros have patch panels as well as full reproduction sheetmetal. As the other Bruce said... Buy the best you can afford, it will save you time and aggravation when you have to make the parts fit.
...Ron -- 68' Camaro RS 88' Firebird Formula 00' Mustang GT Vert
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Thanks for the info. I'm going to try and get some pictures posted on a page here in the next few days for everyone on here to look, as well as for a body shop to look at.
wrote:

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wrote:

Go here http://www.camaros.net/forums/ Here is all the info. you will ever need. By the way I have a 67 conv. Good luck with your project.
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B. Walker wrote:

$5,000 you say? I'm into mine at least $30,000 and that was from acid dipping the frame up. I am fairly close to completion now (Vinyl top, Interior upholstery and wheels) and it has been over 5 years. However I did let someone else do the work (Steve Heino Mechanic McGee's Auto Service DB Custom body and paint)due to my age and work schedule. I would have loved to tear into this myself. I am the second owner. My aunt was the 1st. When she died, I took her Stock 69 350 RS, pea soup green with vinyl (Fawn in color) camaro and made it a thing of beauty. (Daytona Yellow 1 1/2 gal lacquer black stripping) When finished I will start showing it around. Still trying to decide whether to keep the rally rims or go with custom wheels.
Portland Oregon
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