'67 Camaro | A Rekindled Love Affair
Hear how Jeff Stapp found and purchased his high school car after 30 years. This 1967 Chevrolet Camaro is a restored beauty with a great story. Jeff scoured the internet searching for the car he owned in the 80's and finally found it for sale. He negotiated a deal to buy the car and had it shipped to his home in Arizona.
All of a sudden the cop pulled me over. And we pull over, and the guy comes up to the car and he tells me I'm doing 56 in a 30 zone and that I'm going to lose my license. And he said it would be a shame to see this Camaro sit in your driveway for the next two years because you don't have a driver's license.
Hi folks and welcome to Center Lane, I'm Bruce Hitchen. Today we're in Phoenix Arizona and I'm at the home of Jeff Stapp. Now Jeff owns this incredible 1967 Camaro. He actually bought this car back in high school, owned it for a few years, sold it, and then reacquired it 30 years later. Jeff's going to tell us about that amazing story, before we get going though please remember to like and subscribe to my channel. Now let's talk to Jeff and hear about his crazy story.
Back in 1985 I was 16 years old. I had a job and I had some money and I was looking to buy my first car. My parents and I went out and kind of looked around at some of the used car lots and looked at some of the generic 1980 used cars out there. Those just weren't going to work for me and we came across a lot that had this Camaro sitting on it. When we went looking, they had a 65 Mustang with a 302 in it and an automatic. And my mom begged me to buy that car,she wanted me to have that car but I was dead set on having a stick shift. I'd learned how to drive on a stick shift shift and I really wanted a stick shift and I didn't want a Mustang because of the one my mom was driving currently just made me turn sour on them. So I went ahead and bought the Camaro. On the way home it broke down actually and I heard a lot of I told you so it's from my parents, um but I got it running again and I had a great time with it all through high school. Did burnouts and just loaded my friends up and we take trips and just have a great time in it. It was a cool car, it was a Camaro, I mean it was cool even in the 80s but it it was kind of just a used car back then. I mean, I paid $2,500 for it I remember. I just knew it was a cool car and it was a stick shift, and it did burnouts. That was the most important thing to me at 16 years old so nothing else mattered.
Got a bunch of speeding tickets in it and the last ticket I got was for doing 56 and a 30 and the officer who pulled me over was a big Camaro fan and he told me if I give you this ticket you're going to lose your license for 2 years and it would be a shame to see this car sitting in the driveway for two years. So he drove me home, knocked on the door. My mom answered the door and I remember the look on her face to this day. And he explained to her, you know I was doing 56 and a 30 and rather than give me a ticket for speeding he was going to give me a ticket for a defective vehicle because I told my...I told him my speedometer cable was broken and I didn't have a speedometer. To which he replied, you don't know the difference between 56 and 30 you probably shouldn't be driving anyway. So that was kind of the last straw for my parents. It wasn't too much longer after that that they sold the car. They actually sold it to probably the hottest girl in my high school and I had to watch her driving around for the next year or so, which was really a bummer.
It was a maroon color when I owned it. She painted it white and then later on she put orange stripes on it. She ended up being a Hooters girl later on in life. I don't know if that was a a foretelling sign there or if she did it after she kind of became a Hooters girl, I'm not exactly sure the timing of it but it was significant that it had the orange stripes on it.
30 years went by, I wondered what ever happened to my car. So I called my mom and I said hey, do you know do you have any, maybe an old insurance card or a registration or even a picture. Well my mom had kept a copy, kept the actual original ticket. She kept that in a scrapbook and because of that it had the VIN number on the ticket. So for probably the next year I just went on Google and I would type in the VIN number and just search for it and nothing would come up, nothing would would come up. After about a year, I was just sitting on the couch one night and I thought, oh I haven't checked on the serial number for a couple weeks. I'll see what happens and I typed it in and it popped up on eBay for sale. So I talked to the current owner of the car at the time and she explained to me that the car had come out of Colorado and it was white with orange stripes when they bought it. I didn't want her to know why I wanted the car so bad because I was afraid she'd jack the price up on me because I would have probably paid whatever price she wanted on it. So anyway she sent me the VIN tag and she told me some more about the car and um one of the things she said was when they bought it it had a kill switch under the dash, and I, I put that kill switch in when I was 16. So I really knew this was my car. They had actually restored the car twice. The first time they restored it it was like a dark blue color and then the second time they restored it is in this Sea Frost Green color and it's beautiful. Everything's restored from top to bottom in it. It's really... they did a great job with it. So her and I worked out a deal and I sent her some money and the truck picked it up and brought it to me. And after I paid for the car and it actually got on the truck then I told the previous owner why I wanted the car so bad and they were shocked, completely shocked.
And the interesting thing is, when I got it off the trailer, when it came back here to Arizona, and I pulled it off the trailer to drive it home, it broke down, and the speedometer stopped working. So I know that this is my car it just had its own way of telling me I'm back.
Originally the car came out of the factory with a two-speed power glide transmission in it. It's still got the 327 in it. Now it's got a Muncie M22 Rock Crusher in it. (car starting and revving)
I'm not sure if that's the exact tranny I had back in high school or if it's been replaced since then.
You know it's really got a frame-off restoration. The frame's been repainted, everything underneath is coated and painted. There's no rust on the car whatsoever. They rebuilt the motor on it. It's got a small cam in it, I've done some of the motor work to it too since I've gotten it back. But the interior was restored, the paint is in a beautiful condition, um it's really just like a factory car. It's, they did an excellent job restoring it so I'm really lucky. I'd like to paint it maroon like I had it in high school but the paint is so good on it I'm just going to leave it the way it is.
Owning this car is just, it's like a time capsule. It's just a joy to drive. I mean it takes you back to that time when you were 16 and you were doing burnouts with your buddies.
When you drive this car you really feel everything. I mean anytime you get in an older car uh you just feel the road, you hear it, uh you know the windows are down on it. You know, nowadays with our new cars we're driving with the AC on and the windows, up you don't even hear road noise, you don't hear anything. With this car you're connected to the road. You feel everything. The four-speed transmission is a joy to drive, uh you know it just has plenty of pep. You know, it's probably pushing 350 horsepower right now so it's, it
[Car sound driving past] [Music]
It's just a great experience, it's just something that every time I get in it, it just brings back a flood of memories of all those great times we had in this car. All my friends and just, all the different things we did in this car. All all the times it broke down on me, all the times I spent working on it, all that comes flashing back so. I'm a lucky person, I mean I really am blessed to have this car back. I'm, I can't believe it.