While I originally fell in love with cars while restoring a 1962 Chevrolet Corvette with my dad, it was when I got my very first car at 16 years old that everything really changed for me. When I reached the age where I was finally able to drive, I spent my savings from the few prior summers (along with major help from my father, of course) to get my very first car. The year was 1986, and I was driving my very own 1967 Chevrolet Camaro.
Undoubtedly, my rusted, blue 1967 Camaro was the car that really started it all for me. I started to love cars at a young age thanks to my dad, who had me help him restore a Corvette, but my passion really took off when I turned the key in my very own vehicle for the first time. While we had worked on an older classic car or two when I was younger, when I had my own, I gained a whole new appreciation of it. At the time, in the mid-1980s, to have a car that was just about 20 years old may not have been "cool" to those my age, but it was to me.
I had a lot of adventures with that car and made a lot of memories. It definitely was the car that really ignited my love for older cars, and some of my fondest memories with that 1967 Camaro came in the form of road trips. When I was growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, football was a staple in our household, and my entire family were fans of the Kansas City Chiefs. The team played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, about a three-hour drive from our home. When I was finally 18 years old and out of high school, I made frequent trips with my friends to Kansas City, and all of those trips happened in my Camaro, which I'll never forget. Sure, it didn't always run particularly well, but it was mine, and I had a lot of fun times with it and created a lot of great memories.
The 1967 Chevrolet Camaro isn't just an important car for me on a personal level. It was the very first edition of what remains one of Chevrolet's most popular models even today. Classified as a pony car, the car went on sale on Sept. 29, 1966, and immediately became a serious competitor for the popular Ford Mustang and Pontiac Firebird. Since then, the Camaro has seen six generations of the model, with the first generation running from 1967 to 1969 and the most recent sixth generation hitting the market in 2016. At one point in 2002, Chevrolet actually discontinued the Camaro after the fourth-generation model, but they eventually brought it back years later, when the fifth generation hit the market in 2009.
It was always one of Chevrolet's premier models, so I was glad to see it make a return. I was so glad, in fact, that the main car I drive today is a beautiful red 2016 Camaro. Some things never change!
If you're looking to learn a little bit more, then here are some additional resources on the Chevrolet Camaro: