Arrest Me Red 1970 Camaro

Bruce Ensworth  Orange Park, FL

By Ray Lee        Photography by Peter Sommers

Keeping his title of “Ultimate Camaro Fan” is no problem for Bruce Ensworth. Perhaps having a “Ford guy” for a father spurs him on. Memories of yearning for a new 1970 Z/28 Camaro that year when he graduated from college and having his father talk him into getting a Ford Mustang were never forgotten. It took almost 36 years, but he finally got his “new” 1970 Camaro in 2006.

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After searching for his lost love for three years, he finally found what he thought was the right car. When Bruce began to restore this Camaro, he was pleased to find he had made the right choice. The original owner had it for 34 years. The second owner had it only two, but was forced to sell it for health reasons. A very solid ’70 Camaro, it had already been about 85% restored by the time Bruce bought it. All the sheet metal is original and it has matching serial numbers.

This Camaro is not a Z/28, but an original Rally Sport model with Z28 stripes and badges added. Choosing this model was deliberate. Bruce notes that when one gets to “my age”, the option of factory air conditioning is more important. With the solid lifter, high rpm engine, GM didn’t offer air conditioning in 1970 Z/28s.

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This is not to imply that this RS in Z/28’s clothing is under-equipped. The original 350 ci, 300 hp engine has been strengthened to 400+ horsepower with Edelbrock Performer RPM heads and intake, a mild cam, Barry Grant Demon carburetor and ceramic-coated long tube headers. The driving experience is further enhanced with a Tremec 5-speed manual transmission. He just ordered the Hotchkis “Total Vehicle System” suspension upgrade kit and Bilstein shocks from Rick’s Camaro to bring the car’s handling capabilities into the 21st century. Wanting the “red-est of red” paint, Bruce selected a shade used on the 1992-95 Cadillac Allante that he prefers to call “arrest me red.” He didn’t mention if any law enforcement officers have taken the challenge or not.

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Though he’s had a SCCA competition license, Bruce keeps his competitions with this Camaro to the car show circuit. He was rewarded for a 1,100 mile round-trip drive to Eckler’s CamaroFest in October 2006 with a Best in Class award for 1970-1981 Camaros. Bruce relishes all the “thumbs-up” shown to him as he drives around in his brilliant red ride. He says this car is “just a blast to drive and was built to my preferences: Go fast and stay cool while doing it.” Congratulations Bruce, for keeping your title intact!

Bruce was previously featured in the June 2004 issue of Camaro World magazine with his 1995 Z/28, which he still owns. He says the 995 out of 1,000 point car is even more improved over its outstanding 2004 condition.

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