Custom Cruise Friday
If you have been following the Don Wheaton Blog for the last two months, you know that we have had Camaro on the brain. We have been eagerly awaiting news about the 2016 Chevy Camaro as well as extolling the virtues of our existing inventory of the 2015 Camaro. It’s only fitting that we close out the month of May with a Custom Cruise Friday blog with the story of one of the first Camaros built, a 1967 Camaro Convertible, owned by longtime Edmonton, Alberta resident Diana. Not only is Diana the first female owner we’ve profiled in this series, but she also has one of the more entertaining stories to match.
Diana’s 1967 Chevy Camaro Convertible features a 327 cubic-inch engine with an automatic transmission. The exterior is covered in Maderia Maroon paint with a matching red interior. It is a base model and doesn’t come with a lot of fancy badging or accessories. However, in hearing Diana’s story, we’re not sure she would have liked any of those things anyway.
She received the ’67 Camaro as a 24th birthday present from her husband Robert while the couple was living in Ottawa. Robert presented the car to her by handing over an envelope with a set of keys and a handwritten note that said, “Roses are red/Violets are blue/There’s no money left/To buy a card for you.” Diana then quickly made her way to the garage and laid eyes on her first car as well as the only new car she would ever own.
“It came as a glorious surprise,” Diana said. “I certainly didn’t expect a new car.”
Fast forwarding a few years, Diana moved to Edmonton from Toronto in 1971 and had the car shipped west by rail. She and the Camaro have resided in the same home in Edmonton since and have become a fixture of the neighborhood.
The car has gone through a couple of rounds of repairs and restorations. A major reconstruction job was completed following a fairly severe accident that heavily damaged the front end. Since that restoration, Diana has had the car painted to refresh the exterior and had new upholstery put in the cabin. Among the most recent work has been an engine rebuild to make sure all 327 cubic-inches of engine are working the way Diana expects.
“It’s hugely zippy,” Diana said. “People don’t believe I pass them as quickly as I do.”
It would be fair to say that Diana and her 1967 Camaro draw some attention when she is driving it during the Edmonton summers. And like any true classic car enthusiast, she has to fend off people with offers to buy the car, checkbooks in hand.
“I probably get an offer a day in the summer,” Diana said. “When I tell people I’m the original owner, they are always very surprised. People don’t usually keep a car for this long.”
One of Diana’s three children will receive the car, eventually. Like all of us, Diana is destined to leave this mortal coil, but she might not leave her 1967 Camaro Convertible.
“I should be cremated and sealed in the car’s ash tray,” Diana said.