Mark B

My Other High School Sweetheart

May, 1975. I arrived at our local bowling establishment in my company van on a Friday night, last month of high school. Heard brakes squeal and turned to see the coolest car I had ever seen come sliding into the end parking spot. It was a hugger orange 70 Camaro. I told my buddies, I'm gonna go talk to him, since I had never seen the car around town. They told me he's not gonna sell it.

I was scheduled to go on Monday with my dad to buy a 70 Maverick for 1,400.00. As i went up to the owner who was playing pool for money, he asked if I could come back in 30 minutes. I did and then he said "can you come back in 30 minutes?" When I went back, he never looked up, he said 1,700 cash on Monday. He told me his name and where he worked. I told my buddies to get a ride home, I was heading home to wake my dad.

When I woke my dad up, he said "what did you find?" I said it's a Camaro for 1,700.00. I asked if we could get a couple extra hundred at the bank on Monday. He said yes and we closed the deal and I got the keys on Monday.

It was hugger orange, 307 with a Muncie 3 speed on the floor. Slot mags and wider tires on back and the dual exhaust ran under the axle and came out in the middle under the gas tank. No air conditioning and a slide in/out Craig Powerplay 8 track with a cassette adapter.

Well, I have had it ever since and now have well over 488,000 miles on it. It had 51,000 miles on it when I bought it. I drove it that way for 21 years all over Texas to work and back and on road trips with my other high school sweetheart.

I painted it Corvette red in 1978 and kept it that way for a long time. In November 1996 in Austin Texas, my Camaro got hit and run in the middle of the night at our apartment complex. Took out both rear quarter panels, sandwiching me up against a Silverado pick up.

Book value was 1,900.00. Repair costs were estimated at 3,000.00. I kept the car and the original title and had it flatbedded to my father in laws house in Killeen, Tx. We took everything out of it and put a cover on it.

3 1/2 years later in 2000, my first high school sweetheart went to Heaven. She had been wanting me to get the Camaro repaired.

I had a list of repairs on the refrigerator to get my other high school sweetheart back on the road. When I got the life insurance money, I decided to get it done. We built a 360 hp 350, had all the body work and paint done, interior, axles, power brakes and a 3;73 posi unit put in. Since then we beefed up the motor with aluminum heads, added a Tremec TKO600 5 speed, full Hotchkis suspension, Stereo with amp, Hydratech booster for brakes, Detroit Speed quick ratio steering box and Classic Auto Air system with March pulley system.

I have been on 7 Hot Rod Power Tour long hauls, averaging 3,900 miles each and driven to Good Guys events as far away as 700 miles, never been on a trailer.

I agree, my jaw dropped that day at the bowling alley, my heart skipped a beat when I saw it backed out with the new hugger orange paint in 2000.. The love has lasted for 39 plus years and "My life is better in my classic"

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