Ronnie Buhr's 1969 Camaro SS
(from Volume 19, Issue 231)

Ronnie Buhr has always been an avid auto enthusiast, interested in all forms of cars and racing. He competed in different forms of racing, such as Motor-X and Go-Karts at various levels, ranging from local, state and national competition. Ronnie ventured off into owning a dirt late model for his son and step-son to race, as he supported their dream of racing. He learned very quickly that it takes a lot of work, weekly dedication, and support from friends and family when owning a race car, and can’t thank them enough for their contributions during the racing years.

Ronnie and his wife, Pam, wanted to enjoy some much needed time away from weekly racing to settle down and enjoy meeting new friends, and be involved in the hot rod community. They have always enjoyed looking at older hot rods in hopes of owning one themselves, so they set their sights on a car that would be appealing to both Ronnie and Pam, and decided on a 1969 Camaro. The journey to find one began, and soon they were working out a deal on a car and traveling to Alabama to pick it up. Ronnie has always had an interest in Camaros, which started in his early days at high school, and has lasted throughout his life. But he never thought it would be possible to own his dream car, so he is very appreciative of the purchase.

Ronnie credits the car’s previous owner for the color choice, which not only attracted him to buy this specific Camaro, but also continues to be a real crowd pleaser to this day. The one question asked at every car show or cruise-in is; “What color is that?”. The answer is PPG Lamborghini Orange Pearl, with custom pinstriping to accent the eye-popping color.

Ronnie enjoys turning his ideas and visions into reality, and is not one to leave things alone. So the transformation of the Camaro was soon well on its way. The first order of business was the engine compartment, where it received plenty of upgrades and components. That included a new 400 horsepower small block Chevy 383 stroker motor with Strike Force aluminum heads, a Comp cam and valve train, Edelbrock 650 carburetor, and MSD ignition. It is connected to a 700R4 overdrive automatic transmission, and ends at the 12-bolt Moser rear end using 3.08:1 gears with an Eaton posi. A March Sport Track serpentine system keeps everything turning nicely, while GMPP chrome valve covers and other miscellaneous parts also add plenty of eye appealing parts to look at. The exhaust system consists of Dynatech step down ceramic coated long tube headers that lead into a 2-1/2 inch exhaust with FlowMaster Super 44 series mufflers. An aftermarket AFCO aluminum radiator with an electric fan helps keep it cool under the hood.

Ronnie was not ready to stop there, and recently completed an upgrade to the brakes, suspension and rim/tire package to give it that more modern Pro-Touring look he was after. First up was installing a full Ridetech Level 2 coil-over shock and suspension package. The Ridetech coil-over package included front upper and lower control Strong arms, a rear 4-link system, and single adjustable shocks with Hypercoil springs for every corner. Additional Ridetech products installed included a Muscle front sway bar and Tru-turn system, dropping the car 2-inches form the standard ride height. The brake system was next on the list, and Ronnie decided to go with Wilwood’s Narrow Superlite 6-piston calipers up front, and 4-piston calipers on the rear, clamping onto 13-inch drilled and slotted rotors in the front and back, to make stopping a breeze. To complete the upgrade, Ronnie contacted Jason Rushforth of Rushforth Wheels in Tacoma, Washington to provide technical assistance in purchasing the rim/tire combo that would best complete the look Ronnie was after. With Jason’s extensive knowledge as one of the industry’s leaders in this area, the decision was made to purchase Rushforth Livewires with gun metal grey centers to accent the overall Pro-touring appearance. Up front the rims are 18x9, the rears are 19x10, and they are wrapped in Nitto 555 tires, with 265/35/18 fronts, and 275/35/19 rears.

The interior has remained somewhat stock in appearance, and consists of original ‘69 seats that have been reupholstered, a Detroit Speed dash with Auto Meter Pro Comp II gauges, B&M shifter, and a Vintage Air unit to keep things cool. Ronnie plans on upgrading the interior in the coming months by installing new seats, and other miscellaneous upgraded interior items are on his “to do” list as well. Out back in the trunk area, Ronnie has installed a custom trunk panel kit provided by Dan Costa Designs in Tampa, and credits his hot rod friends for collectively coming up with the idea for the logo design that is unique and definitely a conversation piece at car shows. The addition of Marquez Design billet rear tail lights with DigiTails LED panels will definitely get your attention when stopping or turning is in progress.

Ronnie has been having a ball along his journey of transforming the car into a modern muscle machine, and while showing it off at car shows and cruise-ins it is always a crowd pleaser. He enjoys the camaraderie with friends, hearing other automotive enthusiasts talk about their cars and trucks, and hearing the stories behind them. He would also like to say “Thanks” to all of his old friends, the new friends he has met along the way, and especially his wife Pam, who has made this journey a memorable one....with many more adventures still to come. CN