Last night my husband and I had a special delivery to make. It’s a delivery that Walter has been waiting for nearly 35 years. Our delivery was a 1968 Chevy Camaro Z28. Walter bought the Camaro brand new on August 30, 1968. In the mid 70’s Walter was married man with a family to support and sold the Camaro to pay bills. It has been in my husband’s possession ever since. He and his Dad painted the Camaro and it was my husband’s car while he was in high school. He parked it in his Grandma’s old garage when he left for college in 1977. There it has remained except for one brief outing in the 90’s when we took it out to show our kids their Dad’s old car.
Last week my husband made the comment to me that he thought it was time. I said “Time for what?” “Time to talk to Walter to see if he would like to buy his old Camaro back. Neither one of us are getting any younger.” Walter is 61 and my husband is 51. He continued, “I always told him that if I was ever ready to sell the old Camaro that I would give him first chance to buy it back.” Later that evening he called Walter’s wife and asked for Walter’s cell phone number to call him. She gave him the number and he got Walter on the phone. They talked and I listened to one side of the conversation. Walter is an over the road truck driver and said that when he got back in town he would stop by to talk.
Walter and his wife showed up at our shop yesterday afternoon. They had been out to the garage to check the car out. Noted that it had one flat tire, was dirty but in overall good shape. My husband and Walter got down to the business of negotiating a price. I sat down with Walter and his wife to begin the paperwork for the sale while my husband drove out to the garage to retrieve the mileage off the Camaro. It was 92787 actual miles.
It was fun to hear both my husband and Walter reminisce about their time with the Camaro. My husband talked about how the window really shook when they got it up to 140 mph. Walter said he thought the fastest he drove it was 150 mph. They commented on the fact that it more amazing that both of them were still around rather than the Camaro due to their driving habits. Walter talked about picking up his future wife for their first date and how she was wearing white go-go boots when they went out that evening.
Walter talked about stopping by the dealership to see if they had the original invoice from his purchase in 1968. He said the dealership is still in business. He talked about how he would have to call his friend who was with him the day he picked up his Camaro the day he bought it to tell him he had it back again. He told us how they had Nehru jackets to wear while they drove the Camaro. One was green and one was blue. Nehru jackets became popular when the Beatles and the Monkeys wore them during performances.
After we finished up with Walter and his wife we told them we would bring the car out later that evening after we finished up with our other customers for the day. Walter had to hit the road at 10:00am the next morning. It took us longer than planned but finally we headed out to the garage with the air tank, flashlight, and flatbed to retrieve the Camaro and deliver it to Walter.
The anticipation of delivering it was like waiting for someone to open a special Christmas present that you know they will be excited about. We worked together to carefully load the Camaro on the flatbed and drove to our shop to air up one tire that wouldn’t hold air and to give the Camaro a quick bath before we delivered it. It’s last one was in the mid 90’s. It needed it.
We drove slowly the mile or so from the shop to Walter’s home. When we drove into the yard the sound of the diesel truck and headlights brought them out of the house for the unloading. After we unloaded it my husband got in the car to show Walter the old eight track tapes he found inside. There were a couple of Beach Boys and a few others. Then he opened the glove box to see if the owner’s manual was still in the car. It was and a few other items. As he paged through the owner’s manual neatly tucked within its pages was Walter’s original purchase invoice for the Camaro. He wouldn’t need to make a trip back to the dealership after all.
At the end of the day some things just feel right like the Camaro back home with Walter. Sleep tight!
November 2, 2010 at 9:07 am
This was a great post. As was your last. I can’t believe you had the Camaro all this time, not to mention the bill of sale. Interestingly, I was driving to work yesterday and saw a new Camaro. I would buy a ’68 Camaro in a heartbeat (pun intended), but I don’t think I would ever buy a new one…
November 2, 2010 at 9:19 am
Thanks Joe! We’ve talked a lot over the past years about restoring the Camaro but never got too excited about it because we didn’t have the money to do it right. Busy raising a family of our own just like Walter many years ago.