"Quest for the Holy Grail"
For a two year period of time, every six months or so I would get a call through my website www.dennisbuyscars.com from a woman selling a 1970 Camaro. She explained to me that it was her mother's car who bought it brand new in Los Angeles and that it only had 80,00 miles on it. This is the Holy Grail of car buying "back stories" and it had every desireable ingredient; a "little old lady" owner, original engine, low mileage, California car since new verified by it's original license plates and had never been painted.
Regardless of what the purist say, to me this is the most beautiful year for Camaros and I was very interested. She originally wanted a ridiculous amount of money for it and finally, I gradually brought her down to reality during these calls. We now had a reasonable price range established so she gave me the address in West Hollywood and we set up an appointment for the next morning.
Having lived in that area I knew that the address she gave me was a large apartment complex. The curiosity was killing me so I decided to drive over there ahead of time to see if I could have a peek in the garage. Sure enough, way over in the corner, visible through the gate was this unpolished gem of a car. Why were all cars from this era that putrid color green? A tenant was coming home from work at that moment, the automatic door opened, so naturally I slipped in to have a better look.
The car was in amazingly original condition with all it's original hubcaps, the paint was original but very faded from the California sun, the upholstery had a few rips and tears, the tires were great, it sat very well and most importantly it had no rust anywhere that I could see. This car had what we call "great bones" and would be an easy restoration.
But now I had a problem, I couldn't get out. It seems that that automatic door was controlled by a thick, black rubber wire that would be activated by an exiting car. No matter how hard I jumped on it I couldn't get the door to open! There was no pedestrian exit door, no electronic sensor or button and the door to the lobby required a perimeter key. I was trapped. I felt like a cat burglar and had to wait a full 30 minutes until someone came home and I was finally able to get out.
The next morning I met the woman. She was in her fifties, she had very long, curly blonde hair which didn't seem to match her age and was wearing a Little House on the Prairie dress, swear to God. She was a little nervous and very emotional about selling this car. "My mother used to drive me to High School in this car," she said.
We struck a deal but when I produced the cash and the forms to sign she said she wanted to go to her bank, do the transaction at a bank officer's desk and have him confirm that the bills were genuine. This was a first for me and of course I agreed. When we got back to the car I told her I would arrange to have a tow truck come and pick it up later in the day. "No need for that it runs great!" she said.
I jumped in, it fired right up and I drove my new Camaro home.
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