Camaro Historian offers a variety of services for the enthusiast. We offer event photography, Camaro purchasing consultation, Camaro classifieds, Camaro centric events, and general historical insight.

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Original 1967 RS/SS 396

Walking around a local cruise in this past weekend baking in the sun, I didn’t see too much that caught my eye. These weekly cruises can eventually become redundant as inevitably the same frequenters show up with the same Camaro I have shot many times over. These types of shows are usually just a way for me to kill some Sunday afternoon while my wife is away at work. Eventually a spotted a 67 Camaro pulling in out of the corner of my eye, and what initially grabbed my attention was that at high noon sun, the paint on the car barely had a glimmer. Right off the bat this told me it was a ‘driver’ car which most know, those are my favorite. The trailer queen rotisserie restored car is great, the hacked up hot rods are fine, but my preference has always been the unrestored, drivers car. These cars show their age, the paint is dull, the chrome has some rust speckled on it, it has a few dings and scratched here and there.

I found where the man had parked, under a tree way near the back mostly out of sight. He was still sitting in the car, so I snapped a few pictures and walked off not wanted to intrude. What I got right away is what caught my eye got better as I got closer. The paint was very faded, the trim was showing 50 years of age. I made my rounds again and finally came back to see him sitting in a lawn chair. I walked up and asked if I could take a few pictures, he said yes, so I got to work. This car was as original as could be, top to bottom. Even better it was an original California car, so no rust! It’s as clean as they come, retained all original components (even the smog pump).

When the owner and I began chatting I realized what a find he really had. The story is as follows: Back in 1967 a young mans parents purchased him the 67 Camaro SS/RS 396 4-speed car for his college ride. The man was a student at USC, and to my surprise the car remained factory. Being a product of Southern California culture, you can picture this car being modified, parts thrown in the dumpster and taken out to be a stop light bruiser on the boulevard. Oddly enough though, the kid was an avid surfer and just used it to get to school and the beach. Imagine, having this kind of pavement pounder for a daily driver. After graduation the kid left the car at his parents’ house and moved away. Years later in 1988 a car collector from Michigan flew out to California to buy a car when he spotted this Camaro sitting in a driveway. He pulled over and as those stories go, made them a deal and off the Camaro went back to Michigan. The car remained in the collectors hands up until a couple of years ago when the man I met this weekend picked it up off of him for a deal because they were old high school buddies. The car only acquired 20k or so miles in California, and only a couple hundred miles after that. The car still retains its 1988 Registration sticker on the window! Also has the University of Southern California sticker on the back window. 

The current owner drives it around, takes it to shows, and enjoys it. Careful to keep the big block in check he did replace the original radiator to keep it cooler. The 67 brake calipers have been swapped for better performing OE 68 Camaro units as well. Otherwise the car remains the way it was factory, just with 51 years of age washed over it. Though I did not ask, he was quick to note that it is not for sale and will be given to his grandchild. Which is fine with me, I want the next generation to enjoy this car as well.

I shot about 40 more photos of the car, marveling, and chatting up the owner who was generously offering up information as well as enjoying talking Camaros in general. I hope to see it out again soon, this car is too awesome to be parked. 

Quick specs: 1967 Camaro RS/SS 396 (late build), 4-speed, in Madera Maroon. All original except radiator swap, and front brake calipers. otherwise retains factory originality, just with 51 years of
Please visit my instagram @CamaroHistorian for a video I have posted of the car, as well as upcoming pictures I will be posting of this beautiful Camaro. 


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