Chevy Cameos are apex vehicles in the world of old iron and the prices reflect that every time one shows up on an auction docket.
Cameos are rare and valuable so the only way to own one is to bring a big check.
Or you can buy one over forty years ago for 1300 dollars.
Matt’s father was on the 40 years ago plan as he explained, “Dad bought it 40 years ago from a woman who used it for work. It sat in the showroom for two years because none of the local farmers wanted it. This is a 6-cylinder 3-on-the-tree truck and she used to deliver eggs in it and she didn’t put a lot of miles on it, only 18,000 and he paid 1300 bucks for it. She thought it was time to sell”.
Matt’s dad was extremely happy with the deal, “He thought he’d died and gone to heaven when he got it. He loved this truck and he really knew all about it because we had a service station back then”.
Despite its immaculate condition, this truck was put to work as Matt explained, “We used it to haul oil drums full of used oil and after a few years we shoved it in the garage”. This is the automotive equivalent of hanging the Mona Lisa in a pool hall.
Matt has a huge connection to the Cameo, “I learned how to drive in it, right after I learned how to run the tractor on the farm. Lots of memories for sure”.
The truck stayed in the family and eventually ended up in a sibling’s hands, “It became my sister’s and she wanted to use it for a college fund so I paid her market value because I really wanted this to stay in the family”.
The years have been very kind to this Cameo as Matt explained, “This car is completely original, paint ,trim and chrome. The interior is mint, even the wood is in great shape”.
This survivor status has left Matt at a crossroads but his answer is quick,“You could spend a ton of money in a restoration but it would never be the same truck and it might even end up worth less”.
Most observers would agree with Matt because this is a classic example of the “it’s only original once” philosophy so the Cameo is exactly like it was over forty years ago when Matt’s father picked it up for a work truck.
This truck is a 1950s icon and Matt is well aware of its value but that doesn’t stop speculators from making offers as Matt admitted, “I had an oil guy offer 50 K right on the spot but it’s not going anywhere. A lot of local guys know this truck and I do get lots of offers for it”.
Matt is determined to preserve the Cameo and that attitude is reflected in how he drives the truck, “I take it to car shows once or twice a year but I don’t put a lot of miles on the truck. If I do go to a show out of town it’s put in a trailer”.
There’s a very good reason why Matt is determined to preserve the originality of this family legacy and it’s found in these final words on the fate of this classic.
“I’ve got a three-year-old grandson”.