LMC proudly adds to its collection this ultra rare Baldwin Motion LS-7 Camaro
Few muscle cars will provide quite the cache amongst die hard gear heads like a Baldwin Motion creation so often invokes. Baldwin Motion was the successful offspring of a fruitful business partnership between Joel Rosen of Motion Performance and Ed Simonin of Baldwin Auto Company, a family run Chevrolet dealer in Baldwin, NY. Upon entry to their partnership Joel Rosen had no contacts at all with General Motors or any performance subsidiaries having to do with them. Similarly, Baldwin Auto Company had no reputation and previous dealings in the performance car business. Once together, that would all change. In late 1966 Rosen and Simonin formed a partnership that would allow any client to buy "built to order killer street cars limited only by the buyer's imagination and financial resources." With the entry of one Marty Schorrs assistance and marketing know-how, (Marty being the editor of Cars magazine) , Baldwin Motion was soon building made to order Street terror Chevelles, Camaros and Corvettes that could even be financed with GMAC. They even came with a performance guarantee, stating that for certain models a Baldwin Motion approved driver would be able to deliver 120 mph and 11.5 or better in the quarter-mile or the customer got their money back! No cars reportedly ever came back for the refund. Baldwin Motion Camaros have caught the attention of all collectors over the years and hold a special mystique, after all it has been said that "a Baldwin Motion 454 Camaro is all about trolling for trouble."
Invoice # 2783 from Baldwin Auto Company Inc. on June 29 1970 saw a new 1969 Camaro in Daytona Yellow sold to a very lucky Ray Dotterer of Lamar, Pa. Using a factory SS 396 Camaro as the starting point this Camaro was the recipient of many tasty Baldwin Motion upgrade options. This process began with shoehorning a LS-7 454 with correct block casting code of 3963512 under the hood. The LS-7 454 being fitted with desirable Winters Foundry aluminum heads and Winters Foundry dual plane aluminum intake manifold. The Motion performance options ordered from new go on from there including:
-850 CFM carb
-Phase III cam
-4.88 heavy duty rear axle
-Complete Schiefer clutch assembly
-Deep oil pan with baffle and up rated pump
-Traction bars and shocks
-Dual electric fuel pump
-Engine shut off
-Motion phase III CD ignition
AM radio, Style trim group and Rally Wheels round out the options on the copy of the original Baldwin Auto Co. bill of sale. After the $3.00 NY state inspection fee and $10.00 transit fee Mr. Dotterer concluded the deal for this Yellow Motion Camaro with salesman "Mr. Bean" for $6193.00. Of interest is Baldwin Motion's very down to business warranty statement at the bottom of the invoice: "this is a race car - No warranty on powertrain."
Look no further than the subtle "454" badging and that famous ducted hood and what lurks in the engine compartment is pure aggression. Thanks to Motion performance you could gladly view and hear something GM did not want its customers partaking in. Owing to those oh so lovely tubular headers the noise the LS-7 454 distributes will have you constantly blipping the throttle just to get a further taste of the auditory thrashing again and again. The engine bay presents so well thanks to the exacting restoration this 'Motion Camaro has been treated to. Look down and the inner fenders look better than when they were brand new, the bright finned valve covers sparkle and that luminous trademark orange block states its intentions. Gaze lower into the front suspension to see every nut and bolt used looks better than the day it left the factory. Correct hoses, belts and lines with all the markings and codes, all topped by the imposing Holley 850 with its gorgeous mechanical linkage remind you that this engine is special. It's a race motor, legal for the road.
That same painstaking restoration put equal effort into the Chassis and body. The undercarriage of this Camaro is quite simply a time warp to when it was brand new. Even just looking at it from the top side you would cringe at driving this down the road on all but the most perfect pavement. That beautiful code 76 Daytona Yellow is the perfect color for such a wild street terror machine. The depth and shine of this paintwork would be welcomed and fawned over at any show. The bright work, including door handles, mirrors and window surrounds all have a wonderful deep reflection. The black race stripe and correct Goodyear Polyglas tires complete a faithfully original look and rounds out an exterior effort that anybody could recognize as "expensive". Moving inside, the all black Vinyl interior suits the aggressive feel of the car very well and shows fabulously. Sit down, grab that famous Hurst T bar shifter and with its short throw get ready to feel what Baldwin Motion means with its "performance money back guarantee". The mostly standard Camaro Super Sports interior (not overly equipped, in order to keep weight to a minimum) has just a few welcome, from Motion Performance, additions. The Sun Super Tach II as well as mid dash mounted voltmeter, oil pressure and oil temperature gauges were part of the original Baldwin Motion specification. Their presence vital to operating a Camaro that is ultimately a device intended only to go down the road as fast as the driver dares. With this kind of unbridled performance available with the stab of the throttle, the willpower of the driver will often give up far before the car's limit has been tested.
With real Baldwin Motion Camaros being a rarity on the market, ownership change is seldom. They have a storied reputation and a diehard following. Collectors who have them just have to keep them. Motion performance was famous for gaudy hood scoops and chrome side exhaust, but when Ray Dotterer ordered this car in 1970 he wanted the biggest, baddest sleeper. Equipped with the -never available in a production car- LS7 and with more power than the famed ZL1, the ability to hook it up with the help of Rosen's suspension, great paperwork, low mileage, clear owner history since new, and a stunning, correct restoration, this is arguable the most desirable 69 Camaro on the planet.