I have always loved old Chevys, two of my favorites were a ’55 sedan and a ’67 Chevelle I owned when I was younger. I finally got to the point in my life where I felt that for too many years I had been simulating a responsible adult; kids, house payments, dog, and sensible cars. Well about five years ago my wife, Marcia, and I decided that the kids were getting older and the house payment wasn’t as painful as it used to be so maybe it was time for a car that was a little more fun—say a convertible.
We looked around at the current offerings but everything was too much money for too little car. At the time I was doing field service and on the way back from a call I decided to take a short detour and go by a automotive consignment dealer to look at their cars during lunch.
When I drove up, there looking out the window at me was this ’69 Camaro convertible. I took one look and said, “That’s the one.” I arranged for a test drive the following Saturday and all the way home thought up arguments to convince Marcia why we should buy an old car rather than the new one she had been expecting. Resale value, better investment, cheaper registration—all the right points. Imagine my surprise when only two lines into the song and dance she says, “Let’s get it!”
I was still grinning when we arrived for the test drive. We went for a short ride and then told the salesman we wanted it (I’m quite the negotiator). Then came those dreaded words, “There’s a slight problem.” Another party had called and made an offer. They were to be there that afternoon to make a deposit. We left our name and phone number just in case that deal didn’t happen and headed home totally bummed.
About 5:00 p.m. the phone rings and it was the dealer. He told me that the other party never showed. They were getting ready to close and wanted to know if I was still interested. In a flash of what could only be described as carpe diem brilliance I asked if they could hold it with a credit card number. That’s right, I put my new car on my credit card.
Some quick negotiations with the bank and my dream car was mine.
I never did meet the former owner; he was undoubtedly sad to see it go, but I hope to meet him some day as there are so many details about this car that I do not know. I did end up meeting the other interested buyer while showing the Camaro a few years later. I thanked him heartily for not showing up