If you've ever been on the hunt for a clean, never-been-crashed, all-original '69 Camaro, then you know they pretty much only exist in some sort of muscle car fantasy world. Now, to make the odds of finding said treasure even more challenging, give good ol' eBay a shot. Personal experience and numerous horror stories from others tell tales of sellers who tend to "slightly" oversell the quality of their "minty condition" muscle car only to deliver a "no-rust" car injected with more filler than Joan Rivers' upper lip has Botox. To those who have ever purchased a vintage anything off the "Interwebs," you know the drill, and to those of you still willing to take the gamble, good luck to you!
Well, good luck is just what Skip Walls ran into when he placed a bid on this '69 convertible on eBay while searching for just the right muscle car to play host to his company's current lineup of unique automotive parts. Skip and his wife, Debbie, own Lokar Performance Products—an automotive aftermarket company founded over two decades back. "Besides being a big fan of Camaros, and muscle cars in general, we needed a car we could use to develop and show off our latest products," informed Skip. "This '69 convertible was the absolute perfect candidate."
Being as the car was located in Tucson, Arizona, Skip was very optimistic that the car was as described in the listing: all original with no rust. But to be sure, he had his good friend Sean Bowman, a Tucson local, check the car out in person. Sean gave his approval that the car was an incredible example showing no indication of it being involved in an accident. That's all Skip needed to hear in order to place an attractive bid on the 'vert.
No doubt every Lokar employee is relieved, as they no longer have to listen to Skip's tales of the 'one that got away' ever again.
The week of the auction's closing he and Debbie were about to set sail on a weeklong cruise for a long-overdue vacation where thoughts of business and eBay were to be left on the mainland. But just to be sure he was still in the running, Skip anxiously checked the auction one last time before leaving their hotel to ensure he was still high bidder. To his surprise, more like major disappointment, the car was gone. He couldn't believe it. Just a few hours earlier he was riding high and confident the car would be his.
Unbeknownst to Skip, Debbie had Skip's son Kevin buy the car outright and have the listing taken down as they worked out a plan to surprise Skip with the Camaro later down the road.
To say the vacation was less than stellar was an understatement, as Skip couldn't let go of the fact that he lost "the cleanest Camaro in the U.S." because he had to go on vacation.
As Debbie remembers, "I had to listen to Skip talk about losing that car throughout our whole trip." Well, the cruise may have hit rough waters, but Debbie knew it would be worth it in the end. Once Skip returned to the office, the Lokar crew got a kick out of hearing him continually carry on about losing the Camaro.
Months after the "memorable" vacation and Skip still in the dark on the Camaro shenanigans, Debbie and Skip were heading home from a company party when she said she needed to pick up something from the office. With the Camaro discretely delivered to Lokar, Skip got the surprise of his life when they pulled in the driveway and he saw the '69 sitting in his usual parking spot.
So, with Skip finally in the loop, he had the Camaro stripped to bare metal then carted it over to Goolsby Customs in Bessemer, Alabama, where Jonathan Goolsby and Josh Henning could get cracking on a totally custom build full force while following the rendering created by artist Ben Hermance. Goolsby Customs is a shop known for performing top-quality, award-winning muscle car and hot rod builds. Not only would the Goolsby crew perform their sheetmetal magic, but they would also incorporate a good number of Lokar's aftermarket goodies into the build.