Attached are pictures of my 1968 427 Dana Camaro SS/RS full restoration, produced by Dana Chevrolet in Southgate, Los Angeles. The car is a very accurate reproduction, and not a documented original. There are only six or so documented ’67 and ‘68 427 Dana Camaros that exist today out of the 50 or so that were built. They sell for up to $500,000 and the Dana cars are the least known out of the various Chevrolet dealers that did engine swaps in ‘67 and ‘68 like Nickey, Baldwin Motion and Yenko.

Q: Greg, I read your article titled “Models and real cars go hand-in-hand” on the Web, and it brought back many memories of building models in the 1960s.


I am now 56 years old, and bought many models with the money I earned from my newspaper route. All my money went to two things at that age - candy and models.


I have been a “car guy” from when I was 9 years old and heavily influenced by my older sister’s boyfriend. He was a hot rodder who owned many cars, and one in particular was a ‘48 Plymouth 2-door. It had a chopped top with a Cadillac engine and 4-speed transmission. I made him take me for a ride each weekend before he took my sister out, and I always asked him to spin the tires. The sound and smell still lingers today, and I am convinced his influence led to my model building and me being a dedicated car guy today. I got back into the “real” car hobby 10 years ago, and am glad I did.


Attached are pictures of my 1968 427 Dana Camaro SS/RS full restoration, produced by Dana Chevrolet in Southgate, Los Angeles. The car is a very accurate reproduction, and not a documented original. There are only six or so documented ’67 and ‘68 427 Dana Camaros that exist today out of the 50 or so that were built. They sell for up to $500,000 and the Dana cars are the least known out of the various Chevrolet dealers that did engine swaps in ‘67 and ‘68 like Nickey, Baldwin Motion and Yenko.


It took a five-year commitment from my friends and me to finish the Dana. I built the hood and Dana letters from scratch.


Your article on model cars brought back a lot of fond memories. Thanks, Gary Keyes, email from Washington.


A: Gary, thanks much. I want my readers to know that the Dana Camaro was truly the first 427 Camaro ever, as Yenko, Baldwin Motion and Nickey soon followed. Unlike Dana, these dealers were “COPO” dealers (Central Office Production Order), which means they were helped along by GM.


Further, Fred Gibb Chevrolet (see www.nickeychicago.net), located in La Harpe, Ill., through 1984, became a big-time COPO dealer with 427 Novas and ZL-1 Camaros. We’ll have more on Gary’s Dana and the COPO dealers in an upcoming column.


Greg Zyla writes weekly for GateHouse Media and welcomes reader questions on collector cars or auto nostalgia at greg@gregzyla.com or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.