Armed with a name and an address, I was able to hire a private investigation company (yet again!) to give me any phone numbers assigned to that address. That process took two more weeks. The phone number that I finally got was not assigned to the owner of the Camaro, but it was the right address.
With sweaty palms and a trembling voice, I dialed that phone number one evening. After verifying that I was talking with the owner of a 1967 Camaro, I gave him a brief history of my search for his car. I explained that his Camaro has a lot of sentimental value to me because it was owned by an acquaintance of mine back in the eighties. Thankfully, he was not offended by my approach. He explained that the car was in pretty rough shape, and he had lost interest in fixing it. I asked him if he would entertain an offer to buy it, and he said yes.
I didn’t waste much time getting some plane tickets. I flew to Los Angeles, got a hotel room, and set up a time to see the car. Once I found my way over to his house, I saw the Camaro in person. It was obviously the “Better Off Dead” Camaro, but it had been neglected. At some point, a spoiler had been crudely added to the trunk. The paint was shot. The roof and the rear quarters were covered in grey primer. The red interior still glowed, but the vinyl was dry and cracked. It looked like the car had been stored outside for all those years after the movie was finished. None of that mattered to me. I was thrilled to find that Camaro in any condition. We negotiated a sale.
Soon after that, the Camaro was transported to my home in Florida. It arrived in April of 2002, about five months after my search began. A prophecy made by one of my friends was fulfilled, “You’ll either get that Camaro or you’ll wind up in jail.” Thanks for following the story of my search. I hope you enjoy this website!