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Posted: June 21, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Returned to glory

Local mechanic restores slick ’68 Camaro over course of year

Brittany Thomas/

Looking at Puddy Bullard’s glimmering black ’68 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS, car enthusiasts know he’s put an amazing amount of work into it.

Bullard, co-owner of B&H Wrecker on Washington Street, spent a year and three months restoring the originally maroon Camaro to all its ebony glory. He spent three to four hours every night after work and every weekend banging away in the garage.

"It’s a lot of work," Bullard sighed.

In addition to the paint job and a classy black and houndstooth interior, the ’68 got new everything, including a mean engine — a 383 stroker, tuned port injection. Bullard also put in a few modern features such as a stereo, air-conditioning, power-steering and other handling and safety features such as sway bars and four-wheel disc brakes.

"My wife said she was so proud to see me finish because she could see me some more," Bullard said. "But then I told her I got another one."

The ’68 took Best in Class at World of Wheels in Atlanta this January in the’63-’70 hard-top coupes division. Bullard also received a top 10 honor at a local car show.

Bullard said the car could be insured for up to $100,000, but he didn’t want to pay the premium at that high of a value. He turned down an offer of $60,000 for the Camaro at World of Wheels.

He doesn’t drive it much because he wants his grandchildren to inherit it after he’s gone.

"I ain’t giving it to them until I die," Bullard said, "because I’d die if they wrecked it."

He and the grandchildren are content to go for joy rides. His 7-year-old granddaughter calls it "the little truck," Bullard calls it "mine and her truck."

His 13-year-old granddaughter once asked him if she could use the Camaro when she started dating.

"Sure," Bullard laughed, "as long as you don’t mind Paw-Paw driving you around."

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