in 1997 When my son was about to turn 16, I decided to help find him a vehicle to drive to school. Not wanting a crappy '80's junker, I decided to look for something he would really appreciate, be proud to drive, learn to maintain himself and have it appreciate in value. I chose to rely on my own youth experiences and seek out a '60's muscle car. I found a few local worthy candidates but they were priced a little higher than I wanted to spend. Then I found an add for a 1969 Camaro at reasonable price. I made the long trek to the coastal town and with the owner gone I waited outside for his wife to open the garage door from the inside. When the garage door tipped opened it revealed the most beautiful, pristine, glistening red 1969 Camaro I had ever seen and I just about choked on my stomach. The wife enjoyed letting me drool for a few minutes before announcing "That's not the one" and pointed to a covered vehicle parked right next to it. Off came the cover and I was disappointed to see a non-running, partially disassembled 69 Camaro in the early stages of a restoration. I thoroughly checked it out, found all the parts that had been removed and even though it seemed very complete, clean and reasonable priced, it wasn't what I was looking for so passed on the car and drove off.
However the long drive home gave me ample opportunity to reflect on the many cars of my youth and how much I enjoyed working on them and hot rodding. Memories I hadn't had in years. One particular memory was that of a 70's Hot Rod magazine article of a teenager performing a complete restoration of his 69 Camaro that I had dreamed of replicating someday. The further I drove, the more I convinced myself to get this car because it was fate, it was . . . the one. One major obstacle though was convincing my wife. But after a thoroughly rehearsed speech, she told me "If this is what you really want, then go get it". Green Light, It was a go! I called up, made the deal and towed it back home the next weekend with the whole family by my side. 4 years and house move to a bigger garage later and with all the boys chipping in, we started in on the Camaro. One thing led to another and five years later, I ended up building the car of my dreams, a 1969 Camaro, Big Block, Muncie 4-spd, along with all the interior and exterior goodies I longed for. We have driven it to many shows and won many awards. The experience of building this car myself with my boys is priceless and I have no plans on giving it up. Now my wife has a project of her own, a 57 Bel Air 2-dr hardtop waiting for the same buildup.
And as for the car I started out looking for my son? I did some creative financing and found a gorgeous black '89 Z28 that made my boy the envy of his school, what I was hoping to accomplish from the beginning. Smiles all around.