The year 1995 was a busy one for Southern California resident Hector Ruiz. It was the year his son Hector Jr. was born and when he picked up a junker 1968 Chevy Camaro for 500 bucks. "The car was a pile, no glass, no fenders, no interior, and the gauges, along with the dash were stuffed in the trunk. I immediately got to work on the Camaro I dubbed 'Medusa'. First up was installing the dash, gauges, and glass along with a new interior. In six months she was drivable, but still looked like a junker. Even my friends poked fun at the car. Primer was her color for another few months, until my pocket book allowed for a decent paintjob," remarks Hector.
Eventually, Hector saved up enough cash to send the F-body off to paint jail. During that time Hector was helping his mom clean up her yard. Now this part is a bit hard to believe, but Hector swears on a stack of NOS body panels that it's true. As Hector tells us, "I found a four-bolt 350 small-block my dad had in his backyard, but my mom was using it as a planter. After rescuing the block I had it machined, bored 30 over, installed a 327 steel crank, and got it running. After the paint was done, I installed the new engine and a TH350 trans I had rebuilt myself." With the '68 running sweet, his friends who used to crack wise on the Camaro wanted a ride, but Hector told them, "Sorry buddies!" At least for a while.
That planter-turned-engine served him well until more recently when his now 14-year-old son gave it a rebuild using some higher-end speed parts. Hector's son also helped rewire the car and slam in a killer audio system.
Recently, Hector lent the '68 to the guys over at Spectre Performance for some R&D work on a new line of sheetmetal spoilers and air intakes. Hector says, "They put a post up on www.Pro-Touring.com and I jumped at the chance to be involved with the project. The car is at Fast Eddie's Racecar Fabrication in Orange, California, and I can't wait to get it back! Amir and Dave at Spectre are such great guys, and it's cool to be part of their product development."
Once Fast Eddies is done, Hector and his son plan on tackling a four-link install. After all, really fun cars are never actually finished.