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Old 07-16-2011, 03:35 PM   #1
navyflyer72
 
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Zac Hartwell & Ryan Dunn Tribute/Memorial Project

I have waited about a month to put this idea out in the general public forum, and I am posting it first here on Camaro5.

Let me first say that this project is a direct result of 2 major incidents in my life from the last month. First and most devastating was the loss of my brother Zac Hartwell. Many of you may recognize his name vaguely and are wondering where you have heard it before. Well he was the passenger in Ryan Dunn's (of the movie "Jackass" fame) Porsche GT3 that crashed and killed them both on June 20th.

I was deployed to Afghanistan when I received the news and the Navy got me home in time for Zac's funeral. The Marine Corps got my brother Ted home from Helmand in time also, my other two brothers who are Navy Chiefs with the Navy Special Boat Units made it as did my sister who is a USMC Radio Operator. All of Zac's 7 brothers and sisters made it in time for his funeral in West Chester, PA. Zac too was a veteran with 6 years of honorable service in the Navy as a Gunner's Mate who deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom twice.

While home on emergency leave after the funeral I took several brothers and sisters and nieces to Washington DC to see the museums and monuments. We chose July 3rd to avoid the craziness in DC on the 4th. On our way home from DC we were slammed into by a drunk driver who ran a red light. Thankfully none of the injuries we sustained were life threatening. But both vehicles were totaled.

As a result of these two incidents I have started a project (well redirected one project that has been in works for a decade) in conjunction with my Navy Command, and soon potentially the entire US MIlitary, and I am soliciting sponsors from a number of areas, to assist me in completing 2 Camaro builds. My 1967 RS Pro-touring Camaro and my 2010 SS. To take on a country-wide tour the purpose of which is below.

The mission is to create two mirror image Camaros that will tour the country and visit every major military installation, car show, automotive event, SEMA, Power Tour, etc... In addition I am soliciting a number of high profile celebrities to attend these events. The purpose is threefold:
1. To highlight the dangers of drinking and driving.
2. To pay a fitting tribute to Zac Hartwell and Ryan Dunn, two serious auto enthusiasts, and
3. To raise money for the two charities that their families have asked donations be made in their names:
-Wounded Warrior Project for Zac Hartwell, and
-Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids for Ryan Dunn

I wanted to post this here first as this has been a forum that I have frequently read to see what great ideas there are out there for our Camaro's and I have also found solid support of the military here. Since I am heading back out to complete my deployment in the next few days I will be relying on the internet to make my projects a reality. I will work through the US Navy to get the "traveling drinking and driving roadshow" established, and I will work through a number of personal contacts to get the celebrities onboard for their appearances. I welcome any other assistance that Camaro5 members can provide in the way of sponsorship, or sponsorship development, or magazine interest to help publicize this endeavor. I do not however request any money. If you wish to donate money, please go to the Wounded Warrior Project website and donate in Zac Hartwell's name.

If there are any inspired artists out there who would like an opportunity for nationwide exposure, I am looking for some SERIOUS artwork for these two Camaros. Contact me for more information regarding the design if you are interested.

I look forward to logging in as often as possible downrange and posting as many pictures of these projects as they begin to take form.

Regards,
LCDR George Hartwell, USN
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The Zac Hartwell & Ryan Dunn Tribute Camaro Project and Tour
Benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project & Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids

Last edited by navyflyer72; 09-24-2011 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:23 PM   #2
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During this project I will be posting some of my old pictures of Zac, and I'll also post pictures of the Camaros as they progress through their transformation. Here is Zac from about a decade ago at Christmas when he was still in the Navy, and a shot of my 2010 SS from last year.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:24 PM   #3
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And here is Zac with all of the brothers a few years back, one of the rare occassions when we could get all of the brothers (since we are all in the military) together. And a few of the '67 that will be the second car in this project.
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Benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project & Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids

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Old 07-16-2011, 07:50 PM   #4
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Better pics of my '67
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:16 PM   #5
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wow man, first off sorry for your loss and secondly thank you so much for you service. this is going to be a great project and I look forward to following along.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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sorry for your loss. also thank you for your service.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:07 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, I am hoping that by building these cars as memorials to Zac and Ryan that I might be able to get across the message about the dangers of drinking and driving better. It was such a waste to lose those two so early when they both had so much still to give to us.

Also, let me say that I am not against going out and having a good time, or even tying one on, I just want people to have a plan (before hand) should that happen. Like a designated driver or a taxi, etc... I mean Zac is probably pissed that they completely demolished a beautiful GT3 (haha) They both LOVED cars.

I hope this "living" memorial will help a few people understand that it is just way too easy to have a plan.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:22 AM   #8
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I'm looking for anyone with paint ideas for the underhood heat shield, trunk lid liner and any ideas for ghosted images into the black Z-28 stripes. The themes that I am looking to capture are Wounded Warrior Project, Patriotic, and the drunk driving theme that we will be taking on a country-wide road show of lectures and presentations.

I can't talk too much about who all is involved, or is thinking about getting involved, but if this turns out the way we are hoping we will have a much larger audience than just the 49 contiguous states.

So if you are an artist (known or unknown) and want to showcase your abilities, please send ideas for the 1967 RS and 2010 SS that will make up this portion of the project to me at my Camaro5 account. PM me for my personal email.

Thanks in advance for any inquiries/ideas you send.

Regards,
George Hartwell
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:57 AM   #9
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Awesome.. Sorry for the loss of your friends and we all thank you for your service..

Great memorial.. Keep us posted.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:09 AM   #10
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As a Navy Vet (Helo crewman, rescue swimmer, deployed on carriers) I offer my condolences and my support.

This is a great thing you are doing. You and your family, Sir, are the true representation of what this country and it's military does when called upon. Look adversity dead in the face and respond to the call.

I'd like to move this thread to a spot that might get you more coverage.

Thank you for letting Camaro5 be in on this project.

If you'd like me to connect you with any of our sponsors or our contacts within GM I'd be glad to.

Say the word.

Respectfully,

Chris
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:56 PM   #11
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Chris,

First off, thanks for your service also, as a former SH-60B (LAMPS) pilot (in Mayport no less, right up the road from you) I know the job you did very well, you rescue swimmers are amazing!

Also thanks for your offer of support, I would gladly accept any support or sponsors you can send our way. The more coverage we get the better I can make the project and in the end it will all benefit two amazing charities (Wounded Warriors Project and Teammates for Kids) and Rachel Hartwell (Zac's widow).

If the mods for Camaro5 know a better location for the posting of this project and our progress, I would welcome moving the post so more folks can see what we are working towards.

Again thanks, and I hope to make this project so much more than just a run of the mill Camaro build, I want people to have a sense of involvement in something much bigger and I want this to have an impact across so many communities of interest, from hot-rodding, resto-modding, military, civilian, auto enthusiasts, veterans, drinking and driving programs, celebrities and sports teams. The more I talk to people the more I find that there are many people who want to support this effort, but I will take all the assistance I can muster through virtually any medium I can use (especially since I am not back down range and will be for the majority of these builds) I am doing this in my very limited off time, since we work an average of 16 hours a day out here in Afghanistan, but it is a project that is worth my time. I want to ensure that it is worth everyone elses too.

Regards,
George Hartwell
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:10 PM   #12
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Sorry for the loss and i think your onto a great idea. I know Ryan Dunn touched a lot of people's hearts and was a great person so im sure your brother did not fall shy of that in any way...

I cannot wait to follow your builds....

Respectfully,

JASON
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:11 PM   #13
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Sounds good to me.

And, thanks for the compliment. But without question It's called a "crew" for a reason. We can't do our job with out the guys up front.

PM On the way.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:52 PM   #14
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PM received and reply sent,

Thx Chris!

Regards, George
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason7 View Post
Sorry for the loss and i think your onto a great idea. I know Ryan Dunn touched a lot of people's hearts and was a great person so im sure your brother did not fall shy of that in any way...

I cannot wait to follow your builds....

Respectfully,

JASON
Thanks Jason, you are correct. While I only met Ryan a few times he was truly an honest, kind and caring individual. He was funny far beyond what the Jackass movies showed, and he had a heart that was huge. He and Zac were VERY similar, which explains why they became such good friends. They were taken from us way too soon as a result of drinking and driving.

While I do not in any way condone what they did that night and I am thankful that no one else was hurt. But drinking too much will open the possibility of making horrible, life altering decisions. Thankfully they went very quickly, but those left behind are the ones who feel the pain.

I need to get that message out, to make their deaths mean something.

I hope you enjoy the builds and come see us when we tour near you.

Regards,
George
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:27 PM   #16
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PM received and reply sent,

Thx Chris!

Regards, George
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:48 PM   #17
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So it looks like the Navy is increasingly interested in backing this project. I am running the request up through the chain of command and so far everyone I have discussed it with has fully endorsed it!

This is a great sign, since this sort of thing doesn't happen often, where the military will allow a group of military siblings to put together a project like this and get official backing. While this is far from a done deal, it is moving in that direction. Regardless, if they come back and say that they can't officially support this project I will simply take leave to do the road tour. But I have a distinct feeling that this will get approved and we will be out and about next year.

Crossing my fingers and working the long hours to make this happen. Wish us luck.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:46 AM   #18
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I am sorry to hear about your loss. I really hope your project is a huge success,
good luck!
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navyflyer72 View Post
So it looks like the Navy is increasingly interested in backing this project. I am running the request up through the chain of command and so far everyone I have discussed it with has fully endorsed it!

This is a great sign, since this sort of thing doesn't happen often, where the military will allow a group of military siblings to put together a project like this and get official backing. While this is far from a done deal, it is moving in that direction. Regardless, if they come back and say that they can't officially support this project I will simply take leave to do the road tour. But I have a distinct feeling that this will get approved and we will be out and about next year.

Crossing my fingers and working the long hours to make this happen. Wish us luck.
Great News!
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:10 AM   #20
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Newest update, I have begun work on a website, well, ok, not me, but a friend of mine who builds websites has begun work on the website. But I did start creating a Facebook page also so folks will be able to link to either or both of these to get build and tour updates as they happen. I may even get a Twitter account set up for this... which just means I have to learn what twitter is and how to use it. Haha

Anyway, thanks for all the emails I have been receiving. Your support is one of the things that helps me stay motivated while trying to create two worldclass builds from 8000 miles away, in memory of my brother, this tragic loss will hopefully help teach a lesson and support our hobby, since Zac was such an auto enthusiast. Good can still comme from this.

Thanks again for all the support and standby for the unveiling of the website and what I'm sure everyone wants, more pictures!

-George
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Benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project & Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids

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Old 07-29-2011, 07:51 AM   #21
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Just finished a bunch of work on the timeline for completion and I have reached out to a few media outlets to see if I can get some coverage. I hope to have good news in the near future, now I have to get some rest, tomorrow is going to come very soon.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:59 AM   #22
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Well things are moving along. I have my videographer onboard, the website is under construction and the Facebook page is standing by for the website release. As soon as the bandwidth allows out here I will post some teaser pics of my '67 during the initial build. I also have a few pictures of my 2010 with the ACS T3 ports, and Gary's vented fenders, Street Scenes lower grill and GM Heritage upper Grill. I have lots of pictures to post, but want to save most for the website. Let me wait until the folks on base start to log off for the night and when the bandwith allows I will post some pics.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:28 AM   #23
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Subscribed! George you are one awesome dude. I look forward to watching this progress.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:53 AM   #24
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I just saw this thread.

First off, so sorry for your loss. I hung out with Ryan a few times as I was at West Chester University quite a bit. Very nice and fun loving guy. Drunk driving has hit home for me a few years back when a buddy passed away after a single car accident.

Good luck with this project. I am very excited to see how it turns out.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:03 PM   #25
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Thanks guys, I can't wait to get the website up and running and link it here. I will also have a tab for both Camaro builds and a tab for more information on the tour dates and locations and most importantly a tab for Zac's biography and a tab for Ryan's biography. There will be more, but the site will likely start running with these tabs (and of course a sponsors tab and a links tab)

So if anyone here knows any potential sponsors who would like to be associated with this project and the charities we will be supporting, please feel free to share this link with them. (Those would be the Wounded Warrior Program and Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids)

Thanks.
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