The first-generation Camaro is arguably one of the most famous cars ever built during the 1960s.

Camaro was Chevy’s answer to the legendary Ford Mustang, a sports car steeped in automotive history as the ride behind the pony car label.

The 1967 debut of the Chevy Camaro was a huge domestic moment because GM was able to create a stylish rival to the Mustang and more than hold its own in the Pony Car Wars.

Jim Sutherland

Like the Ford Mustang, the first-generation Camaro was offered in mild versions and advanced all the way up to wild versions that could really gallop upon request. A highly unusual version of the 1967 Camaro offered a combination of less sporty features such as a front bench seat and column-mounted automatic transmission, along with the famous Chevy 327 cubic inch small block.

Twyla McLellan is the proud owner of a 1967 Camaro equipped with these rare factory features and enjoys sharing her unique GM pony car with the public at car shows. Her Camaro is a head-scratcher for most car guys because they find it hard to believe the famous Camaro model car would have a bench seat and column-mounted automatic transmission, along with a lively 327 small block under its hood.

Twyla’s husband Kent was able to fill in the blanks on the car’s history, starting with the fact Twyla bought the ’67 Camaro about 23 years ago because she is a “dyed-in-the-wool car girl”, in Kent’s words, and wanted the car in a big way.

Twyla spotted the Camaro on a buy/sell site and contacted the owner. The man told Twyla the car was already sold, but she wanted to see a factory Camaro with a bench seat and column-mounted automatic transmission because Twyla was also a little skeptical about its existence.

The ’67 Camaro was the real deal and Twyla really wanted it, but the owner said; “I told you it is already sold”. Twyla countered with “I told you I’d buy it”. The other buyer faded from the picture, so the former owner contacted Twyla and sold her the Camaro at a reduced price, a happy outcome for both buyer and seller.

The ’67 Camaro still only has about 61,000 original miles on it and has been a very dependable performer over the past 23 years. Kent told MyStarCollectorCar the car has only needed basic maintenance like oil changes during that time frame, even though he and Twyla choose to drive the Camaro (instead of trailering it) to car shows.

Kent recalled an encounter with a trailer guy car owner at a show who was very surprised to learn he and Twyla drove the car to the event. Ken responded by advising the owner to back his car out of the trailer, take some pictures of it, make posters of it for his living room, and then sell the car to somebody who will drive it. The trailer guy was not amused, according to Kent.

On the other hand, the McLellans will continue to enjoy their unusual and rare 1967 Camaro on road trips whenever the spirit moves them.                                                                                

Jim Sutherland

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.