Tue | Jul 17, 2018

1967 Camaro added to historic vehicle register

Published:Sunday | August 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Contributed Corey Lawson and his son's 1967 pre-production pilot prototype Chevrolet Camaro.
AP Corey Lawson poses with his son's 1967 pre-production pilot prototype Chevrolet Camaro last Monday.
AP Corey Lawson behind the wheel of his son's 1967 pre-production pilot prototype Chevrolet Camaro.


A 1967 Chevrolet Camaro is being added to the National Historic Vehicle Register.

During a news conference in Birmingham last Wednesday, Historic Vehicle Association president Mark Gessler told The Detroit News that it will become the 15th car on the list.

"It's a very big honour," said Corey Lawson, who bought the car in 2009 after seeing it for sale on online auctioneer site eBay. "It's reserved for the most historic of the historic vehicles."

Lawson and his son, Logan, restored it, using original parts.

Author Philip Borris later uncovered the original factory paperwork, which verified the car was the first Camaro made with a vehicle identification number, or VIN, of N100001. Gessler said the association worked with the Lawsons for more than a year to confirm and verify their materials and conduct independent research.

The association found that the car was owned by a Chevy dealer and passed through a handful of owners before being drag-raced in the 1980s. "It's one of the greatest stories that's never been told," Corey Lawson said.

Gessler said its materials will be archived with the Library of Congress.

"It was definitely crazy how it blew up and how we just stumbled on something amazing and the memories that we're able to have, working with everyone to kind of unearth history that had been lost," Logan Lawson said. "It was a great experience to be a part of."

The Lawsons have found 10 of the 49 hand-built Camaros made at GM's Norwood, Ohio, plant. The family owns five of them.

The addition to the register came ahead of yesterday's Woodward Dream Cruise, an annual Detroit-area celebration of classic car culture. It draws tens of thousands of classic and vintage cars and hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts to Woodward Avenue, between Detroit and Pontiac.

Chevrolet is celebrating its 50th anniversary at this year's event.