|Classic Used Oil Generators: 1967 Camaro RS|
By Vern Parker
Shortly before Brandon Velek was born Chevrolet gave birth in 1967 to the Camaro line of cars. A total of 220,917 Camaros were manufactured during that model year.
When young Velek was 14 years old he purchased, for $800, a very used 1973 Camaro. That was the car on which he learned all about Camaros. “I poured all my extra time and money to get the car ready for my 16th birthday,” he recalls.
When it was done in 1985 he thoroughly enjoyed driving his Camaro for two years until it was sold in 1987 when Velek went off to college.
Velek admits that he has long nurtured a love affair with American muscle cars, especially first generation (1967-1969) Camaros. “The bug never went away,” he says. Years after college he began looking for the “right” car. In October 2005, he says, “I ran across an advertisement for a 1967 Camaro RS with a 275-horsepower V-8.” The Butternut Yellow car was in Dallas. I live a half hour from Houston, Velek says, so I flew to Dallas where my brother-in-law, Kelly Privett, met me at the airport. The two men then went to check out the 15-foot, 4.7-inch-long Camaro.
A thorough inspection revealed a well appointed car with many options including:
The odometer on the rust-free Camaro showed 93,000 miles when Velek purchased it and headed back home to Houston, a 280-mile trip in the dead of night in a 38 year old car. He soon discovered the brakes were going to top the list of items needing his attention.Early the following day Velek proudly showed his acquisition to his wife, Kathleen. “This is a nice car,” she observed. “Please don't take it apart.”
He did not exactly follow her advice. Soon he had his car stripped down to the frame, methodically bagging and labeling every part prior to sending it off to the body shop for fresh paint as well as powder coating for the frame. “I thought about changing the color but this time I listened to my wife's suggestion to keep it original,” Velek says.
The Camaro with the $105 Rally Sport optional package includes a black nose stripe, front valance-mounted parking lights, headlight doors, black tail light bezels as well as rear valance-mounted backup lights. For safety Velek added four wheel disc brakes and three-point safety belts.
“The proposed six-month paint job turned into a year and a half,” Velek says, “but when I got the car back it was flawless.” The extra time was spent ordering engine parts and rebuilding the V-8.
The Camaro project took five years to complete and once again hit the road in 2011.
It had very few bugs to work out and it drove perfectly,”Velek says of his car that now has an odometer reading 98,000 miles.
He does report that the restoration cost, as expected, far exceeded the original cost in 1967 of $2,572.
While Velek thinks his restored Camaro is neat he says, “My 10-year-old daughter thinks the manual window crank is the neatest thing about the car.”