Mixsonian

1968 Camaro

Going to Graduation in my '68 Camaro

In my senior year of High School I finally became old enough to drive. On disadvantage of a December birthday is that I was always younger that everyone else in school and, likewise, everything came later for me. So I did not get my drivers license until the summer of my senior year. I was on split shifts at school which meant that I went to school from around seven AM to noon and thus I was able to have a job in the afternoon and so I was able to "afford" a car. <see jobs> My parents bought my sister a yellow 1977 Camaro which she drove but I had to buy my own car. Soon after I got my license my father looked in the paper and found a 1978 Camaro and I remember how excited I was when we went to look at it, it was better than my sisters car which was an automatic and only a six cylinder. This Camaro was a red 328 V8 with a three speed stick shift. I was in love. We made an offer, I got a loan from the University Credit Union, got the money. We then went to the owner's house, gave him the money and it was mine. Dad asked if I was OK in driving it home and of course I said "No Problem" after all I had driven the English Ford and my friend Bill Ritter's Volkswagen, both which were stick shifts. Well let me tell you a V8 Camaro is a lot different than a English Ford and Volkswagen. I started out OK and left the previous owner's house but on Eight street there was a hill with a stop light a the top. I think I started and stalled though three red lights before I finally just popped the clutch, stomped on the gas had, wow, took off like a bat out of hell. Well needless to say it didn't take me long to learn to drive it.

At the time I was friends with a group of guys from church that were all into cars. There was Bill Lassister, Bobby Brown, Jan, John StJacques, and Bobby Williams. Bill worked at a auto parts store which allowed us to all get parts at a discount. Well we of course had to supe up our cars to the max. I started with changing the exhaust from a single system to a dual exhaust. I remember doing this on the carport of my parents house. In 1971 I decided to move out <see story> and got a place that I shared with Bill Lassister. From this point my car adventures increased. I changed the intake manifold, went thought several carburetors, and different tire configurations. Always tinkering, tuning to make it better. I remember on summer evening Bill in his Mustang and I in my Camaro went on a chase across town, it was crazy, I remember spinning out at one point, doing a 360, only to keep going after him.


'68 Camaro painted green

Sometime around 1972 I was returning home after a summer rain. I was on a dirt road that led to our house that was only a couple of hundred yards long with a 90 degree turn at the end. I was only going around 25, maybe 30 miles an hour when half way down the hill I put on brakes, turned sideways, and slid down the hill to "crash" at the bottom. It really wasn't all that bad but it smashed up the real quarter panel pretty bad so I couldn't drive it. I think I walked home and called dad. The next day or so my uncle Gary recommended a place to get it fixed and he loaned me his MGB. Well that was a learning experience. What was originally supposed to be two weeks turned into four. Then they said they could get it done faster if I would sign the insurance check to them so they could get the parts to fix it. Naïve as I was at the time I did so. Well it was another month before the finally got it fixed. In the end I did get a new paint job out of it and had the whole car painted a dark green.

I had great fun with that 68 Camaro and now sometimes dream of buying another one. I sold it in 1975 to buy an old Ford Econoline van from Bill. 

Larry Mixson, December 30, 2000