Beverly's Build

“Truly a Father - Daughter Love Affair with a '68 Camaro”

Story by Beverly Logsdon, Edited by LIA Magazine
Photos by – Julia Aschenberg
Linda Kitchens' 1949 Chevy Pickup

My Dad was a mechanic by trade and loved to race and build race cars on the round tracks.  Dad and I had a special bond, even then.  From the time I could stand, I was always hanging around the garage with my Dad, watching him work on #8 and getting it ready for the next race.  #8 was a 37 Ford, coupe, which was driven by Dad and Tom Webb on the round tracks.  When #8 was ready for a test drive, Dad would slide me through the glassless window, between the roll bars, and I would stand at his shoulder as he took the race car out the road to “blow out the cobwebs”!!   Every time we returned from our fantastic test drives, Dad would always say, “Don’t let your Mom know you were in the race car with me!”  And that was always our secret.

Beverly's shifter inside the Camaro     Beverly Logsdon's 327 V8 small block

As any mechanic and race car builder knows - a basic factory engine usually calls out for some improvements.  So, one day, I noticed the 68 Camaro was uncovered, and engine parts were laying everywhere and my Dad was covered in grease with a smile on his face.  I asked him what he was doing and he said he decided to “tinker” on the Camaro a bit.  He couldn’t wait to change the 3-speed on the column to a 3-speed on the floor with a Hurst shifter.  Dad also added a Corvette Cam, solid lifters, High-electronic Distributor, 4 barrel Carter Carburetor with an Elderbrock intake manifold, racing pistons, a 411 rear end, and it now got about 6 miles per gallon of gas …… I guess he forgot why he didn’t purchase the orange Z28!  I checked on the progress every day, until the day Dad said, “Get in and take us for a spin”.  Wow!  Was I excited to get behind the wheel, but realized I did not know how to shift gears!  After a harrowing ride to downtown Columbus and nearly taking out a concrete culvert divider, killing the engine several times and wanting to get out and walk back home -- my Dad finally said I had the hang of it!  He next guided me to the new I-71 freeway, and told me to put the pedal to the floor and “blow out the cobwebs”, as he had so often done in old #8.  When I couldn’t get the Camaro to go any faster, and I thought I was the next Jeff Gordon, I realized I did not have my permanent driver’s license.  I figured when the highway patrolman arrested me for speed - I would not be allowed to have my permanent license until I was 21!  My Dad said to not worry about it and to just keep on driving!

Beverly's gauges in the dash Beverly's door panel on her 68 Camaro

By the time, we reached our driveway, I was hooked by the sound and the speed and the feel of shifting gears!  I told Dad that I wanted to buy the Camaro and we worked out monthly payments.  Even though I was making the payments, Dad still controlled when and where I drove the Camaro.  He believed in education, so I was allowed to drive to the library every night to study, and I always made one fast trip through Frisch’s at one end of town and the BBF at the other end of town   -  before returning the Camaro safely back into the garage.

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