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1967 Camaro
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My dad passed away the day after Christmas in 2020, and it really hit me hard even though I had kind of mentally prepared for it. When I was 15...back in mid-1989...he bought me a 1967 Camaro, and that was our little project we worked on together. Back then we did a lot of street racing, because it was pretty hot around here in Central Texas at the time. We started off with a 350, bored .30 over, decent set of heads and cam. I drove that car EVERYWHERE. And in the early 90's, there wasn't much that could touch it. I would drive to the track and run 11.80's and then may go on a 2 hour drive down to Houston to see my mom after. And low 12's to high 11's was flying back in those days. Then we bumped it up to a 427 with a small 144 blower, and it ran high 10's. Knowing what I know now...it was stupid haha. But man...that was our thing. As we got more involved with cars and they kept going faster, we eventually got off the street and into full blown drag racing on the track. My 67 pretty much took a backseat and was left to storage for years and years.

Fast forward to 2012, I sold it to a friend of mine with the request that if he ever went to sell it again, I'd get first dibs. As soon as he drove off with it, I immediately regretted it. I mean, deep down regret. But I let myself forget about it and moved on.

When my dad passed away I thought more and more about that car. We had done a lot of stuff together centered around drag racing, and that Camaro only occupied a very small amount of the overall time we spent together racing. But there was something about it that just haunted me.

I asked my buddy if he would sell it back, and each time it was pretty much an emphatic "no". And I couldn't blame him. Even though he hadn't done anything with it at all, he had plans for his grandson to eventually get it.

Well recently, I found this pic of my dad standing next to it as we pulled it from his garage just before I sold it. When I saw it, I just completely broke down. And I mean for days, I was a wreck. I had dealt with my dad passing, but I don't think I did it very well. And this pic hit me like a train.
Car Wheel Tire Vehicle Sky


My wife, who is the most amazing human being I have ever known, realized quick how much all this impacted me. Behind the scenes she got the ball rolling to buy this car back from my buddy. It took a lot of convincing...and I don't fault him at all for not wanting to sell it. These cars are extremely hard to find in decent condition now, and this car is solid. I think in the end he knew how much sentimental value it held for me. This car is not worth money to me...it is priceless in every sense of the word. When he said he'd sell it back at such a fair price, I nearly fainted. All these years of feeling guilty about ever getting rid of it, coupled with all the emotion of losing my dad...I cannot ever put into words how grateful I am for not only my wife getting this process in motion...but also to my buddy for making the sacrifice of letting it go.

So in the next few weeks, the first step of the process will begin, which is just cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and seeing where we stand with it. Then making a list of everything that might be needed to bring this thing back to life. I feel like I'm living in some kind of dream right now. It's like some huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. A part of me feels stupid to have such emotion tied to a chunk of metal...but there is so much more to it than that. Just thought I'd share.

Greg
 

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Welcome to Team Camaro. Sorry to hear about your dad. It's great to see you are getting the Camaro back.
 

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Thank you for sharing.

My dad (I lost him 6yrs ago) helped with my Camaro. The story is similar to yours but not nearly as much drag racing (but some :cool: ). I am glad you got it back!
 

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Welcome to the site. Hopefully you will sense your dads presence as you move forward with your project. Help keep the memories flowing. Good luck.
 

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1968 Camaro LS3 TH400
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633 Posts
A paraphrase definition of the made up word“Camaro”
French slang for Friend.
I’ve had a Camaro since 1978 and it embodies, in as much as a machine can, that definition…..so Yes I can relate to that attachment to yours.
 

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Welcome to the club. Looks like you have a solid base to start with.
Temple to Houston in two hours is pretty much Hammer Down.
 

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Great story Greg. I'm so sorry for your loss, but it's great to hear that this important part of you and your father's lives is still with you.
 

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Welcome to TC and great friend letting you get it back...maybe help him find another to fill the Grandkids dream of a Camaro that they can work on like you did with your dad...sorry for your loss.
 

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I have my Dad's old 1968 Camaro and I understand how you feel about the car being priceless. I've had and neglected the car for 36 years, however since my Dad passed away last year, I have felt the need to get back to work and get it running again. I want to write a simple memorial tribute to my father on the inside of the glove box door. Good luck.
 
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