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Crew trying for reality TV show puts muscle back in Weymouth man’s ’68 Camaro


Collins is a member of the 50-year-old Spindles Auto Club, which operates a 28-car garage on East Street in Weymouth. (LISA BUL/The Patriot Ledger)

By JACK ENCARNACAO
The Patriot Ledger

WEYMOUTH - When Randy Collins loads his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro onto a flatbed truck to take it to the World of Wheels car show in Boston, it will be one the few times the car has left his garage.

‘‘I’ve owned the car for over 13 years, and it’s never been driven,’’ said Collins, 33.

That’s not because he has babied the car over the years; it’s because when he got it, it was pretty much useless.

He bought the Camaro not long after he graduated from high school. About 20 minutes after getting it to his Weymouth house, he found out that it wouldn’t get him very far. The car needed extensive repairs and upgrades.

‘‘The car was in worse shape than I thought it was when I bought it,’’ Collins said.

So how did a car with little more than a frame going for it become a set of wheels worthy of display at the 33rd annual World of Wheels show? Through a reality TV show.

A car makeover team from Rhode Island, taping a reality-show pilot for shopping to networks, found out about Collins’ dormant car and gave it the full treatment.

‘‘They basically built a whole car,’ Collins said. ‘‘They took it from a shell to a complete running car in six weeks.’’

And it was all a surprise. He didn’t even know they had his Camaro.

The Camaro, painted metallic black, now has a 355 Chevy engine, a roll cage and ghost-flame graphics. The flames change color - from purple to teal to blue to gold to green - depending on how the sun hits them.

‘‘I’m not sure exactly what the paint job costs; that’s all part of the TV show,’’ Collins said.

The show features footage of the moment when Collins first saw his newly transformed car in a Hanover garage.

Friends led him to a ‘‘car raffle’’ taking place at the garage. Collins filled out a raffle ticket, won and was ushered in to see the Camaro that had sat in his garage for years.

‘‘They had a huge, huge crowd of people,’’ he said. ‘‘This was all videotaped. I had no idea they were doing my car. They had me crying on video and everything.’’

Whether that video will ever see the light of day has yet to be determined, but the car will be on display at the World of Wheels show, which begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday at the Bayside Exposition Center.

Collins will be joined at the show by fellow members of the Spindles Auto Club, a 50-plus-member group of auto enthusiasts who gather at garages in Quincy and Weymouth. The club operates a 28-car garage on East Street in Weymouth.

Collins plans to follow close behind his Camaro in a vehicle more suitable for a parking lot than a car show: his 1997 pickup truck.

Jack Encarnacao may be reached at jencarnacao@ledger.com .

Copyright 2007 The Patriot Ledger
Transmitted Thursday, January 04, 2007

Printed with permission from Jack Encarnacao

 

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