Florida Pickers: The Palomino Camaro
Last updated 12/26/2019 at 6:55am
On the heels of a sale yesterday of a 1971 VW kit car featured in a previous Florida Pickers column in addition to the sale last week of a rare 1936 Buick Roadmaster I immediately began searching for new listings of old classic cars to fill the void and generate future sales and stories.
Then I found this 1968 Chevy Camaro survivor, blast from the past online.
I called and made an appointment with owner Tim to scope out his original Camaro convertible in showroom condition. A purchase he made sight unseen just a few months ago. (Tim now wants a late model Corvette so the Camaro is on the auction block.)
Fast forward to now, just 15 hours after making the unusual discovery, and I have had four prospects contact me requesting information on Tim's showcar.
You see, I'm competing with Tim. There's a race here and that applies to every vehicle I advertise. The clock starts ticking once I secure the listing.
If the seller finds a buyer before I do, then the time and effort is for naught.
That's part of the challenge: To win the race and the reward that comes from consummating a sale.
The other benefit, perhaps more importantly, is not only making something happen the way I envision it, but also being able to relate the story as it unfolds.
Like a good novel suspense often builds to a crescendo and leads to hopefully a happy ending.
For example, the last caller was Peter in Kentucky who wants me to post his 1942 Chevy truck. He contacted me for a friend in the market for this vintage of the ubiquitous, but quickly disappearing, Camaro muscle car.
Most have been messed with so that is what makes Tim's copy so desirable.
Selling may be the ultimate objective, but as I often emphasize, it's the WHO not the WHAT that gives FP meaning and relevance.
I may be mistaken, but I truly believe people are interested in old cars, and that's why I keep going back to them.
From the onset I form a short summary in my mind and then select what makes this car stand out from the rest of the herd and slowly build value by gathering information.
For the Palomino Camino it's the combination of having a documented history in the form of preserved window sticker, original handbook, service contract, even the small cardboard envelope the keys came in, and the color: Palamino Ivory, a Chevy shade of white only offered in 1968.
Because this Camaro convertible is being sold locally my instinct was to post it across country, in the Detroit zip code.
The auto heralded from Illinois so if Detroit doesn't work I will move it (the post) to Chicago.
It's like I have a virtual car lot, a showroom wherever I want to build one for a day, week or month. Car transporters are everywhere too.
That business has changed over the years especially when the cost of gas and diesel became a matter of dollars rather than cents.
Computers, GPS and networking allowed a carrier with room to haul for a remote dispatcher who sets up a delivery on contract with an independent driver instead of buying or leasing expensive trucks and hiring their own drivers.
Economies of scale and increased competition brought prices down to between $500 and $1,500 on average for a car or truck to be delivered anywhere in the US.
If success and happiness are a result of passion then Florida Pickers is a shoo-in for "Most Fun Line of Work" ever.
Count on me to write and tell more stories in 2020 in more locales and settings offering you a virtual parade of rides with over 100 years and countless makes and models.
As time steals these relics from our midst the pool grows smaller and the prices go higher.
Using a quote from an old cigar label collector friend Tom Vance: "Show me one better."
For $ale: 1968 Chevrolet Camaro V6 Convertible
List price: $33,333
Description: Car with pedigree including original window sticker.
Automatic with original numbers matching 250 6-cylinder motor.