David F

Grandpas '67

When I was very young I remember going to my grandparents house - a lot. parked in the garage was always grandpas car - a silvery bluish something or other. At 5 I didn't know a Chevy from a Rolls. If the weather was nice he would drive it to Church - grandma complained he drove too fast and occasionally the wheels spun on "accident" as he was leaving the stoned parking lot. Mom told me he had a heavy foot - I didn't know what that meant either although later I learned he had a 55 Chevy with a Power Pack 265. I didn't know grandpa well as he passed away when I was still young but I do remember him and the car in the garage. After he passed away my uncle Don bought the car from grandma - they had and enjoyed it for years after that.

My first car was a 56 Chevy - with a 3 speed on the floor and a blown motor. It was a 4 door sedan 150 that had every color of the rainbow of wires spliced together under the dash. I managed to get it one the road and still have it today. About the time I was tinkering with the 56 my cousin was driving grandpas car and I finally knew what I was looking at - an untouched '67 Camaro. It had 327 with a 2 barrel - 210 hp engine with a Powerglide transmission, original paint, rims and hubcaps. They ran it for years and tried to keep it maintained as best they could. I remember the fenders starting to go and seeing the patchwork on it. It was still a nice car and - best of all - grandpas.

I told my cousins should they ever decide to sell it I would buy it. Not long after my uncle passed I received a phone call from my aunt wanting to sell it - I didn't even ask the price. That was about 10 years ago and after 8 years I finally put it back on the road. It needed quite a lot of work - more than I expected. New front fenders, fender extensions, inner fenders, battery box, 80% rear quarters and full rocker panels to start. The interior is completely original and other than the drivers seat having a little wear (but no rips or tears) it is very nice and untouched. The engine as well is untouched other than repainting a few brackets and the air cleaner - it still has the factory cables from the recall Chevy did because of the engine mounts coming apart - yup they're still on it. The white "bumblebee" stripes were carefully measured before we repainted the car and re-applied in the same position. I don't know if grandpa ordered them from Chevy or if he had the dealership paint them on (as my aunt worked there when he purchased it). The original sales receipt may show up down the road confirming one way or the other - but they were on it as far back as my family could remember so they went back on it. Here's the best part - my son helped me work on this car. He learned how to take wheels off and pull apart a front clip. He installed seats and helped tune the engine. When we repainted it I helped him mask off grandpas white stripes. He "cut his teeth on this car - his great grandpas car. It's not a show car - the paint isn't perfect and because much of it is untouched there is visible rust in the engine compartment. Little by little though I'm working on that rust. We've taken it to many shows and cruise nights including the Vintage weekend at Watkins Glen - after all these years it still runs perfect. This past summer the odometer finally flipped past 67,000 miles - not bad for a first year Camaro. Fortunately the radio doesn't work - like I told mom about her fathers car - "if it had a working radio in it you'd hardly ever see me - I'd be driving it all the time". Now my son has something to look forward to - hopefully a long time from now - grandpas Camaro.

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