• Converted to Phase III ‘ZLX’ specification at Motion Performance
• One of Motion’s last shop conversion cars, built during late 1974
• Extremely low mileage - only 739 miles from new; owned by top collectors
• Includes a 2008-dated confirmation letter from Joel “Mr. Motion” Rosen
• Restored to Motion-converted form by noted collector Mike Guarise
Beginning with an unassuming gas station and then specializing in high-performance tuning by 1963, after the acquisition of a Clayton chassis dynamometer by Joel Rosen, Motion Performance was set up in new premises during 1966 in Baldwin on Long Island, New York. There, Rosen and his crew upgraded, converted, and sold some of the most formidable muscle cars to ever prowl the street and strip. Regularly featured in Martyn Schorr’s Cars magazine in period with advertisements heralding an outrageous 11.5-second/120-mph quarter-mile performance or money-back written guarantee, Motion’s performance-tuned muscle cars – mainly Chevrolets – remain absolute legends with a faithful following today.
This 1969 Camaro began as a Z/28 model that was ordered new on April 29, 1969 by Chuck Hamilton of Millington, Tennessee from Curtis Person Chevrolet. As recorded on the order form, Hamilton specified Hugger Orange paint, black vinyl upholstery, Soft-Ray tinted glass, a center console, Positraction rear axle, power front disc brakes, special instrumentation, AM radio, manual rear antenna, Style Trim group, special interior group, and “special performance equip.” meaning the Z/28 package. Hamilton traded in a 1965 Chevrolet and a 1967 Camaro to purchase his new Z/28 at his local Chevy dealer, the very same, Curtis Person Chevrolet in 1969.
It was drag raced by Mr. Hamilton until 1974, when he shipped the car to Motion Performance in New York for conversion by Rosen with a dual-carbureted, tunnel-rammed 427 big-block engine including special ZLX open-chamber aluminum cylinder heads, a Liberty transmission, and suspension updates to handle the incredible power of the new 427. As completed, the Camaro carried a late-‘60s Pro Stock look and feel. According to a 2008-dated letter, Joel Rosen stated “…it was one of our most expensive and extreme conversions done during that era.” Rosen was not joking, with a copy of his original invoice totaling nearly $12,000, and he further stated, “I personally test drove the car upon completion and it definitely performed up to its build cost.” Of particular significance, this “shop conversion” was completed at Motion Performance during the last quarter of 1974, just before tightening Federal regulations forced Rosen to stop performing this type of work.
Following completion, Hamilton’s reborn Camaro was raced as the “Mr. H.” He retained the car through the late 1980s, eventually selling it to Dan Beal of Woodstock, Georgia, who intended to have the car restored. Beal later sold it untouched to Gary Grimes, with the car passing through several more owners in the vicinities of Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia before dropping from sight for several years until it was purchased by Tim Lopata in 2001 on behalf of noted muscle car collector Mike Guarise, who restored the car to its Motion-converted form. Following completion, the Camaro passed through noted collectors Kevin Suydam in Seattle, Chip Wright of Atlanta, Brian Jewell of San Marcos, Texas, and then the current owner/collector in the San Francisco Bay area. As offered this very special Motion-converted Camaro has covered only an approximate 750 miles from new, literally a quarter-mile at a time. Documents included with the sale of the car include a copy of the original 1969-dated order form to Chuck Hamilton, a detailed letter by Tim Lopata, and the 2008 letter affirming the car by Joel “Mr. Motion” Rosen. As one of the last of these near-mythical beasts ever to come from Motion Performance, this ’69 Phase III ZLX is definitely one of the most fearsome and interesting of them all.
1969 Chevrolet Camaro Baldwin-Motion Phase III Drag Car
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