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Hagerstown father and son restore 1967 Camaro featured in calendar

July 18, 2008|By THAISI H. VELASQUEZ

HAGERSTOWN -- When Ron and Ryan Reid submitted a photograph of their 1967 Chevrolet Camaro RS for the opportunity to be featured in a nationally distributed calendar, they thought their chances of being picked were slim.

It was the first time that the father-and-son duo competed for a spot in a car-themed calendar. And unlike many of the 6,000 submitted entries, their photograph wasn't taken by a professional photographer.

"I took a picture, sent it in and the rest is history," Ron said.

Their marina blue Camaro was one of 12 cars selected to be featured in the 2008 PPG Platinum calendar.

According to Darryl Ramsburg, a PPG Platinum distributor and owner of McHenry Paints in Frederick, Md., 6,000 people submitted photographs for the calendar. The competition was narrowed to 250 vehicles, then to 100.

"We didn't think we had a shot after making 100," Ryan said.

Shortly after, they received news the competition had been narrowed to 25 vehicles.

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"I was thinking, please don't let us know we're this close because we would be upset if we didn't get in," Ryan said.

Ramsburg said it's very tough to be in the top 200, let alone the final 12.

"It was great," Ramsburg said. "I was so glad it was one of our customers."

The opportunity to be in the calendar was open only to those who are in the automotive trade and use PPG products on their vehicles, Ramsburg said. Each year, a group of PPG distributors meets and votes for the best submitted cars.

PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiberglass.

The Camaro that will be in the calendar once was housed in a barn.

"Everyone knows I love Camaros, and my friend came in one day and told me about this car," Ron said. "He said we needed to talk to him and see if he (the then-owner) wanted to get rid of it"

According to Ron and Ryan, the condition of the Camaro was rough.

"It started up and ran, but you couldn't drive it on the streets," Ron said.

"The brakes weren't good, and the engine was real raggedy," Ryan added. "We had to take it all apart and put a lot of new parts on it.

"But you just feel proud after you fix it because you know you did all the work. It's different from actually going out and buying one."

For Ryan, the vehicle restoration became a bonding experience as well as a school project.

In 2005, Ryan, then a student at Mercersburg (Pa.) Academy, was required to complete a senior project to fulfill a graduation requirement. He was allowed to stay home for two weeks while the school project was completed. Ryan decided the 1967 Camaro would become his project.

"He decided he wanted to do a car through the business," said Ron, co-owner of R-N-R Autobody and Painting Specialties in Hagerstown, a business that specializes in vehicle collision repair.

"It's a pretty neat thing when father and son can actually do this type of project together," said Rhonda Reid, Ron's wife, Ryan's mother and co-owner of R-N-R Autobody and Painting Specialties.

Now 45, Ron has been working on Camaros for nearly three decades.

"That's the only car ever made as far as I'm concerned," Ron said. "I've had Camaros since I was 16."

Ron said the man who sold him the Camaro stops by every month trying to buy the car back.

"Actually, I gave him a calendar," Ron said.

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