Rescued from a cluttered garage, this 1967 Camaro is now a beloved driver


Jim Gelfat never went looking for a Camaro. He was merely tagging along with a friend who had asked for a hand in cleaning out a garage ahead of an estate sale. Rumor had it there was a car buried in there somewhere. Jim was curious.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/09/26/1967-camaro-rescued-from-cluttered-garage


I was on my way to work on the Olympic bus in Los Angeles about 45 years ago. I looked out the window and fell in love, with a 1967 Camaro convertible in the used car lot of Walker Brothers Rambler! I was told by two of my respected friends, one a mechanic at a Chevy dealership I shouldn’t buy the car. I bought the car. I’ve had the engine rebuilt once. I’ve had it painted a couple of times and replaced the top a couple of times. It was stolen and was hell to find the parts it was stripped of. It sat in my garages for fifteen years. But, now that I’ve retired, I’m having it restored (partially) and will drive it again and remember the times I drove down Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu a little too fast, with the wind in my hair. It was live at first sight and I’m still in love with that beautiful all American beauty.


I was originally looking for a 1966 Corvair (my first new car), which I wanted to use as a driver, but after sitting in one, I determined that I wanted a more modern, comfortable car for road trips. I always loved the stying of the mid-1980s Toronados, El Dorados, and Rivieras. So when my brother found a 1984 Toronado Brougham at an auction in Iowa, I told him to buy it. It had been garaged for ten years; the tires had flat spots and the rear brakes needed new calipers. But the engine was sound, except for a faulty air conditioner, so I flew from Maryland to Minneapolis to pick up my jewel in the rough. It needed new bumper fillers, had some rust, but it was drivable, so I embarked on a 1500 mile road trip through Chicago, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Pittsburgh and back home. I now have all of the body work and mechanical work done, and it looks good! These executive coupes are a pleasure to drive and even more of a pleasure to look at – one of the best designs to ever come out of GM.


This story rings a bell. About 15 years ago I accompanied a friend (friend #1) to look at a 1968 Z28 Camaro. It was owned by another friend (friend #2). Friend #1 had owned a '68 Z28 back in the day and never forgot how much he liked it. How he could beat cars with bigger engines and how it loved to rev past 7,000 rpm. Friend #2 bought the car in the late 1980’s and although it was a running and driving car it was in rough shape. It had been seriously drag raced. So he decided to completely restore it. You can guess what happened to those plans. When we looked at this old Z28 10-15 years later it was very much apart. Much of it in boxes and the engine and related parts still hopefully at a machine shop he had left them at. years earlier. My friend #1 passed on buying the car even at a cheap price. But after thinking about it for a few days I decided I wanted it. Even with all the work ahead to restore and reassemble it. It took me several years because I was involved in SCCA racing at the time and because I did everything except engine machine work and paint in my home garage. But it turned out great. It’s a race car that GM built to run the Trans Am series and it could never built again today and be sold out of Chevrolet dealerships and be street licensed…It’s just too Outlaw. It was a lot of work but worth it. I really enjoy it and typically get thumbs up whenever I drive it.


Ride on JIm…Great story on your find…


Camaro with column shifter?


Indeed @pdeckeremail! Chevy didnt lock the shifter in one location, even on the Camaro. Check out a bit of the backstory and some other cool column shift muscle here- https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/08/22/the-5-best-column-shift-muscle-cars


Thanks Aaron and Jim for reminding me of why we love old cars. Not because they are cool or maintenance free(?), but because they get you involved in actually driving. So what if the carb float sticks and you have to stop, get out and go rap on the carb to unstick it-all the while listening to folks driving by hollering, “get a new car!” I drove a 67 Camaro I bought for my daughter for years. At 72 I have a 66 Mustang GT-350H replica waiting for me to finish putting back together. Your story is just what I needed to get off my butt and get it done! Thanks again and be safe out there where the ground moves!


Here’s mine. I’m the only owner of this great 1967 Pacer.



Love it, another saved :slight_smile: here is my barn find, when found in Elbow Lake Minnesota about 3 years ago. I’m almost finished with the rotisserie restoration. 1968 Camaro original color is Sequoia green black houndstooth interior


Beautiful ride! Love the gold with black. Here is my 68 Camaro RS Convertible