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Seeing the forest through the Zs: 1970-1/2 Camaro Z28 takes Best of Show at Musclepalooza 25

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Photo by the author.

Extreme attention to detail over a seven-year-long restoration helped propel a Forest Green 1970-1/2 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 to the top of the judging sheets at this past weekend’s Musclepalooza 25.

While owner Frank Arone of Homer City, Pennsylvania, bought the car in 2009 as a 36,000-mile original paint dealer-undercoated, unmolested and unrestored car, Arone – owner of a restoration shop – wasn’t about to leave it as is or buff out the bumpers and call it preserved. Instead, he embarked on a full restoration, stripping down the original paint and documenting every bit of minutiae he came across.

As related in the restoration profile of the car in the upcoming August 2017 issue of Hemmings Muscle Machines, the dealer undercoating preserved a number of unique aspects of the Norwood-built car. In addition, Frank brought plenty of his own experience with factory paint and coating methods to replicate the Camaro’s factory finishes, from the varying amount of gloss applies to suspension components to the areas that should or should not be left in bare metal.

His meticulousness led to a score of 4,988 out of 5,000 points at the Camaro Nationals last year – reportedly the highest ever for a second-generation Camaro. It also earned him first place in the Chevrolet class and the top award – out of more than 700 show cars – at this year’s Memorial Day edition of Musclepalooza, held at Lebanon Valley Dragway in New York.

The full list of award winners includes:

Favorite Modified Muscle
1965 Chevrolet Corvette
Joe Paulka
Flemington, New Jersey

Second place Modified Muscle
1979 Ford Mustang Pace Car
Ron Montgomery
Stoneham, Massachusetts

Favorite Mercury
1968 Cougar XR7
Dan Haneberg
Red Hook, New York

Second place Mercury
1971 Cougar XR7
Vernon and Cathy Groeber
Crown Point, Indiana

Favorite AMC
1969 Javelin
Jeff Holmberg
Wilberham, Massachusetts

Second place AMC
1968 AMX
Ron Rorick
Johnstown, New York

Favorite Dodge
1966 Charger
Dan and Rose Stedman
Charlton, New York

Second place Dodge
1970 Challenger R/T
Todd Schoeller
New Milford, Connecticut

Favorite Plymouth
1970 ‘Cuda 440 Sixpack
John Tambascio
Danbury, Connecticut

Second place Plymouth
1969 Road Runner 383
Ted Briscoe
Wyantskill, New York

Favorite Oldsmobile
1970 442 W30
Jack Ellsworth
Shelton, Connecticut

Second place Oldsmobile
1967 442
Dave Goldfarb
Cornwall, New York

Favorite Buick
1970 GSX
Eric Gardner
Red Hook, New York

Second place Buick
1972 GS
Jeff Heath
Chickopee, Massachusetts

Favorite late model Mopar
2013 Charger SRT-8 Warhawk
James Verkamp
Bargersville, Indiana

Second place late model Mopar
2010 Challenger Saleen 570
Charles Davis
Petersburgh, New York

Favorite Ford
1970 Mustang fastback
Dan Chriss
Sand Lake, New York

Second place Ford
1972 Grand Torino Sport
Glenn Holderbach
New Milford, Connecticut

Favorite late model Ford
2008 Shelby GT/SC
Kevin and Cheryl Goodell
Portland, Connecticut

Second place late model Ford
2001 Saleen S281
Michael St. Martin
Huntington, Massachusetts

Favorite late model GM
2017 Corvette Grand Sport
Karen and Terry Plante
Scotia, New York

Second place late model GM
2013 Corvette 427
John and Linda Mongelli
Yorktown Heights, New York

Best engine bay
1964 Chevrolet Biscayne
Peter Pitoniak
South Hampton, Massachusetts

Favorite Pontiac and Best Paint
1965 GTO
Paul Menin
Ashley Falls, Massachusetts

Second place Pontiac
1965 Grand Prix
Debbie Dean
Stanford, Vermont

Second place Chevrolet
1968 Camaro SS 396
Roger Stolarick
Flemington, New Jersey

Favorite Chevrolet and Best in Show
1970 Camaro Z28
Frank Arone
Homer City, Pennsylvania

Musclepalooza 26 will take place the Sunday of Labor Day weekend at Lebanon Valley Dragway. For more information, visit