Doug's dream Camaro drive is just for him

06:40, Jul 03 2014
1968 chevrolet camaro
The 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS belongs to proud Timaru owner Doug James.
1968 chevrolet camaro
The 1968 Chevrolet Camaro engine.
1968 chevrolet camaro
The inside matches the out, with a red and chrome steering wheel, red seats and red dash.
1968 chevrolet camaro
The old tyres and rims on the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro were changed.
1968 chevrolet camaro
The Camaro turns heads and has plenty of admirers.
1968 chevrolet camaro
The red and chrome steering wheel matches the rest of the interior.
1968 chevrolet camaro
The back view of the 1968 Camaro is just as impressive as its front.

For as long as he can remember, Doug James has been on the hunt for his dream car. That dream finally became a reality 12 months ago.

A project engineer at the Pareora Freezing Works, James travelled to Auckland to take possession of a RS/SS Chevrolet Camaro 1968.

"I bought it from a guy in Auckland [off Trade Me] but the car is originally from California," he said.

The 34-year-old said he had been looking for one for the past two years.

The red exterior and interior two-door prized asset is a four-speed manual with M22 close-ratio gearbox.

"It's pretty fast. It has a high performance high spec 396 engine."

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Not that anyone else will have the pleasure of driving the American restored muscle car as James is adamant he will be the only one getting behind the wheel.

"No one is allowed to drive it but me."

For James, the Camaro is purely a weekend car. He is a member of the South Canterbury Classic Car Club and has recently applied to become a member of the Waimate Car Club.

James said he has always wanted a Camaro since he was a teenager.

"My sister's boyfriend had one and that planted the seed. I had always liked the shape of them."

Making it slightly different from other standard models, the RS/SS has hidden headlights, revised tail lights with back-up lights under the rear bumper, RS badging, and a chassis upgrade for better handling - and to deal with the additional power.

It also has a longer diff.

So far James has only had to replace the tyres, trims and rims on it (18 inch on the front and 20 inch on the back). He does, however, have other modifications he would like to make to the engine and body.

Driving the car is pure pleasure for James, who said he doesn't mind filling it up to take it for a cruise.

"It turns a lot of heads. Sometimes people will yell out 'nice car' when I am sitting at the lights. For me it's not about that or what people think ... it's just the kind of car I've always wanted to own and love driving."

The Timaru Herald