When JB Coppedge saw the previous Chevy Hardcore article about the Dana-built Camaro being found, he sent us a quick note saying, “I just saw the write up on the 427 SS Camaro that was found in the weeds and thought you might like to do one on my ’68 Z.” I immediately replied with a resounding ‘yes.’
JB says the car sold new in July of ’68. The first owner did not own the car long before he traded it in on a ’69 Nova Super Sport. The second owner bought the car and drove it until 1975. That’s when he parked it because of the gas crunch. The second owner lived on a mountain in Pennsylvania somewhere. At one point, it was in a landslide and the car sat in the same spot until 2018.
“I was told it was put on Craigslist, and that’s when Dave MacConnell found the car and bought it,” says JB. “Dave and his friend, John Fardone, spent a day digging it out. He had the car for a bit over a year and had not done anything with it. He eventually posted the car on Facebook Marketplace. That is where I found it in July. I watched the car for a few weeks, and after talking it over with my dad, Brad Coppedge, he was able to help me get the car. In August of 2019, my father and I went from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania to pick up the car.”
After two long days and nights of driving, the pair was finally able to pull into Dave’s shop at midnight. Unfortunately, this is when the trip took a bad turn — yep, that pun was intended. “Some girl and her friend were driving with no lights on,” explains JB “I went into the left lane so I could turn wide into Dave’s shop. The woman thought she could sneak past me on the right. As soon as I started to go right, she stopped. I took off the frontend of her car and did a small amount of damage to my truck.”
After the Coppedge men were finally able to load the car and get it home, JB spent roughly two months on a hunt for a paper trail about the car. “When I bought the car, the only info I had was that it was verified to be a real Z28 by Jerry MacNeish of Camaro High Performance, and the name of the second owner,” affirms JB. “MacNeish also had in his report that the car had a warranty replacement CE9B (1969) engine in the car.”
JB started his research by reaching out to the NCRS and found out the car was sold new at AW Troutman Chevrolet. JB says he now has a dealer invoice to confirm everything that MacNeish stated. JB was also able to locate the second owner of the car. “He gave me copies of a couple of pictures,” quips JB. “One of them is when the car was new. He also gave me a notarized letter stating why the engine was replaced in 1969.”
JB hasn’t been able to do any work to the car itself — other than clean it out. “For the most part, I am buying parts to eventually restore the car,” he states. “I am trying to buy as many NOS parts for the car that I can. So far, I have driven to Wisconsin to pick up two quarter-panels and a tail panel, St. Louis for a passenger side fender, Kansas for a rotisserie, Dallas for frame parts, Wichita Falls for seats, and I found an NOS grille on eBay.”
JB epitomized the way many car enthusiasts feel. Find the car you want and do what it takes to complete the rebuild. I congratulate JB on his find, and I can’t wait to see this one finished.