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Unveiling of Camaro brings back fond memories

If you are reading this column Saturday morning, you still have all day to see the all new Camaro Kirk Stokes is unveiling at Stokes Automotive in Clanton. I’ve seen pictures of the newly redesigned 2010 Camaro and it brings back memories of the “Pony” cars of the mid-1960s.

The Camaro was introduced in September of 1966 for the model year 1967. It continued in production until 2002 when Chevrolet ceased manufacturing the line. It has returned with plenty of fanfare this year. For those of us old enough to remember when the first Camaros hit the road in 1966, bringing the auto back is “way cool.”

The Camaro was General Motors’ answer to the Ford Mustang that popped up on the highways in mid-1964. I drove the 1964.5 Mustang for a couple of years while in high school and was the envy of other students in my high school when I drove the borrowed Mustang by.

A friend purchased a Camaro and I got to spend time in that vehicle as well while I was still a teenager. It was a great time to be a teenager and cruise around town.

If you are lucky enough to own a Camaro you might want to drive it up to Stokes on Highway 31 North today and enter it for a chance to win a prize. The Clanton Advertiser’s production manager, Jimmy Ruff, owns a beautifully restored 1969 Camaro that turns everyone’s head when he occasionally drives it to work. He plans to drive it to Stokes Automotive Saturday and take a long look at the new Camaro as well.

In addition to an opportunity to see the rebirth of a truly classic American car line, those who stop in for a look between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. can enjoy free hotdogs, a moon pie and a Royal Crown Cola.

That’s an offer I don’t want to pass up.

– Mike Kelley is publisher of The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each weekend.