Diane England has always loved Camaros. After 20 years of marriage, that love also became her husband Gary's. Back in 1995, with their 20th anniversary coming up, Gary decided the best present he could get for his wife would be an F-body. After some hunting, they found a '67 Camaro that had been stored in a basement for 14 years. After negotiating a deal to purchase it, Gary and Diane hauled it home and quickly set to work getting the car running again. The engine got all new belts and hoses, the fuel system was cleaned out, and all other necessary work done to return the car to roadworthy status.
After five years of enjoyment, Gary and Diane decided to tear the Camaro apart for a ground-up refurbishing. The goal was to keep the original look of the '67 RS-SS, but give the car the ability to still stand apart from its first generation brothers. Most of this was achieved through the car's paint, a Dark Baltic Pearl with Glacier White stripes sprayed by Johnny Cates Rod & Custom, so that in the shade the Camaro looked black, but when the sun shone the car's true purple hue would come to life. Along with that, the decision was made to chrome everything under the hood except for the engine block.
For power, the Camaro's original 350 was treated to a full rebuild with an 0.030-inch overbore and Keith Black pistons. The original iron heads were replaced with a set of Trick Flow aluminums. A polished Weiand intake and a Holley 750 cfm carb feed the hungry small-block the fuel/air nourishment it needs. A Comp Cams bumpstick tells the valvetrain what to do, and a set of Hooker headers spits the spent hydrocarbons through a set of mufflers and out the rear tailpipes.
An M22 four-speed sends power to the Camaro's 12-bolt rear with 4.11 gears, Positraction, and multi-leaf springs. Even though keeping the engine clean with all its polished surfaces can be a chore, Diane and Gary take pride in the fact they built the engine themselves.
On the inside, the car still sports its original interior. As Diane says "We debated about having it customized, but there was nothing wrong with it so we couldn't bring ourselves to tear it out." The only touches done were to paint the metal parts of the dash itself and around the factory gauge cluster so they would match the outside of the car. Speaking of the gauges, they're all original and still in fine working order. Finishing everything off are the Camaro's original Rally wheels with center caps and trim rings.
Some four and a half years into the project, the Camaro was finally ready for the road again in 2005. After a late-night thrash until 2:30 in the morning, Gary and Diane drove the Camaro to the Grand Rod Run in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Then in 2007, while at the Bristol Super Chevy Show, the Camaro was entered into, and won the Super Chevy Magazine Best of the Best '67 Camaro competition celebrating the 40th anniversary of Chevrolet's original pony car. That win entered the '67 in the national competition, and after some fierce voting, Diane and Gary's F-body had taken top honors in the online poll done by Super Chevy's readers.
Through it all, one of the most enjoyable things about the Camaro for Diane and Gary have been all the other enthusiasts and Camaro owners they've met at shows and cruises, and the stories, experiences, and memories shared.