James B

My Life with My First Car, My Camaro

My story begins a long time ago when I was much young and foolish and with just enough money in the bank to buy my first Camaro. It was August of 1967, and I had just graduated from UC Davis with a BA in History and Political Science. I also earned a Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army having participated in Army ROTC at UC Davis. I was moving away from home and realized that I needed my own car instead of using the family's 1956 Chevrolet. I looked at all the car magazines I could find and was struggling to make a decision as whether to buy a Mustang or a Camaro. The fact that my family had always bought Chevrolets helped make my decison a little easier.

The first Chevrolet Dealer that I went to was Woodland Chevrolet and they had a nice, red 1967 Camaro that they would sell tme for $3,000, but I told them I was just looking and went home thinking about that red Camaro that I let slip away. My folks were trying to influence my decision as they wanted me to buy a used car to save money on depreciation of the car's value. They knew that I only had $3,000 in the bank that I had saved over the years from birthday and Christmas gifts from my grandmother. They wanted me to have money left over for things like gas and insurance.

Well, the day came when my folks were going on vacation, and I had to take them to the Executive Airport on Freeport Blvd in Sacramento for their flight back east. After I dropped them off at the airport, I continued to drive further down Freeport Blvd to Florin Road. I finally arrived at a new Chevrolet Dealership on Florin Road, John Geer Chevrolet. I parked the 1956 Chevrolet Belair and started to look around for Camaros. It was then that I found this beautiful red Camaro with a black vinyl top that was similar to the Camaro that I had seen in Woodland. It was priced at $3,600. So I talked with the salesman and asked if they could sell it to me for $3,000. He came back and said YES. So on Aukgust 8, 1967, I bought my first car, a 1967 bolero red Camaro RS. I told the salesman that I could not take delivery of the car that day, even though I really wanted to. I still had to drive my parents 56 Chevrolet back home. So, I made a deposit and told the salesman that I would be back later in the month with the rest of the money to pay for the Camaro.

Now came the hard part. I had to wait a week before my parents returned home and I could give them the exciting news?!? The week passed slowly and I kept thinking of my car and how I was going to break the news to my parents. Finally, I went back to the Sacramento Airport and picked up my parent. Then I gave them the News that I had bought a car while they were gone. After the initial shock, they showed some understanding and we did discuss how they would cover my insurance for the first year while I was in Graduate School. Then my dad and I drove over to John Geer Chevrolet, and I paid off the balance on the 67 Camaro. I finally was able to drive home my first car, Even then I had a feeling that this would be a car that I would keep for a long time because it was the first year that Camaros had been manufactured. Even today, my first car, my 1967 Camaro RS is still in my garage in 2014. When we arrived home, the whole neighborhood cam out to see my new car. My Camaro has been thru a lot of driving when I was in the US Army and it even survived two teenage drivers.

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