44 Sports Car Market American Profile Details Years produced: 1967 369 Number produced: True figure unknown, 100 3200 approx. SCM Valuation: $250,000 3$400,000 Original list price: $4,800 Tune-up cost: $150 Distributor cap: $12 Chassis #: Plate on driver 9s side door jamb Engine #: Pad on passenger side front of block Clubs: The Yenko Sportscar Club/The Supercar Registry; The Nickey Registry More: www.yenko.net; www.nickeychicago .net; American Muscle Supercars by David Newhardt Alternatives: 1967 369 Yenko Super Camaro; 1967 369 Baldwin-Motion Camaro; 1969 Chevrolet COPO L72 and COPO ZL1 Camaro SCM Investment Grade: A Comps 1968 Chevrolet Yenko Super Camaro 427 Lot# S514, s/n 124878N413680 Condition 2+ Sold at $367,500 Mecum, Belvidere, IL, 5/25/2006 SCM# 41778 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS ZL1 Lot# S99, s/n 134379N641266 Condition 3+ Sold at $800,000 Mecum, Indianapolis, IN, 05/18/2008 SCM# 116954 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko S/C Lot# 54, s/n 124379N615166 Condition 1 Sold at $247,500 Worldwide, Seabrook, TX, 04/30/2005 SCM# 38493 Chassis number: 124377N184950 N ickey Chevrolet of Chicago was one of the largest Chevy dealers in America and had big plans for Chevrolet 9s new pony car in 1967. Working with legendary Chevrolet engine builder Bill Thomas in California, Nickey developed a plan to install ... more. less.
the potent 427-ci Corvette engines into the Camaro in late 1966.<br><br> Bill Thomas Engineering would convert the cars to be sold in the West and famous drag racer Dick Harrell was brought in to kick off the program in Chicago. It 9s widely accepted that Nickey was the 9rst to bring this conversion to reality. The opportunity to purchase a Nickey Camaro comes along perhaps once every decade.<br><br> Considered by many to be the best known 1967 Stage III Nickey Camaro to exist, this car is one of an estimated 14 Nickey 427 Camaros built in 1967, but one of only three to receive the 427-ci, 435-hp, L89 aluminum head, Tri-Power engine. It is the only car built in the color Tahoe Turquoise. This car has been featured in numerous magazines and books, including Chevy SS: 50 Years of Super Sport , Camaro, Forty Years , and the recently released American Muscle Supercars .<br><br> The car was submitted just once for judging at the 1997 Camaro National Show, where it was awarded both Best of Show and Top Gun awards. Finally, the car was selected as the subject of a Lane Collectibles cExact Detail d diecast model. SCM Analysis This Nickey Camaro sold for $446,250, including buyer 9s premium, at the Mecum Fall High Performance auction in St.<br><br> Charles, Illinois, on October 5, 2008. To those not familiar with the documented dealer- converted muscle supercar market, this would appear to be a staggering amount for a lowly Camaro. In reality, however, it is the cost of entry to this exclusive club.<br><br> A cottage industry of dealer-built supercars In 1967, Chevrolet 9s new Camaro spawned an entire cottage industry of dealer-built csupercars. d Back when the world was smaller, supercar buyers usually stayed within their region 4the West Coast had Bill Thomas Race Cars, the East Coast had guys like Yenko and Baldwin, and the Midwest had Nickey (with the backwards cK d) Chevrolet. Outside of ads in Hot Rod and other magazines, word of mouth and street cred sold these expensive cars to well-heeled or very credit-worthy young buyers. The entire supercar era is legendary, even though it occupied a brief moment in time.<br><br> In full swing in 1967 and basi- cally dead by the end of 1970, total supercar production, including every dealership for the entire era, is estimated to be below 1,000 cars. The attrition rate was incredibly high among this group, and few have survived. The Nickey sold at Mecum is one I know quite well, as I used to own it.<br><br> In 1994, this Camaro was for sale in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Painted black, it was a project car with a small-block Chevy underhood. Collector Mike Guarise went to look at the car and was unimpressed.<br><br> The price was $9,000, and after a cursory inspection, Guarise passed. Unfortunately, he had only seen the side of the car where the cNickey d fender emblem was missing, not the one that still had one in place. Shortly thereafter, the car sold to a gentleman who used the original Nickey emblem to reproduce this rare item, examples of which are still being sold today.<br><br> The car was then sold for $17,000 to Joe Lukason of Florida, 1967 Chevrolet Stage III NIC EY Camaro To those not familiar with the documented, dealer-converted supercar market, $446,250 would appear to be a staggering amount for a lowly Camaro by Colin Comer Photos: David Newhardt February 2009 45 who believed the car to be a legitimate Nickey-converted 427 car, even though no documentation to support this ex- isted. Restored as a proper Stage III Lukason had the car restored as a proper 427 Stage III car with an L89 aluminum-head, Tri-Power engine, based on conversations with people who remembered the car as being originally so equipped. Lukason soon advertised the car for sale in Hemmings for around $150,000.<br><br> After nearly two years with no takers, he consigned it to Mecum 9s Fall Premier sale in November 2000. Against a $150,000 reserve (that was obviously lowered on the block), I bought the car for $67,000, deciding to roll the dice and see if I could prove I had a real Nickey-converted 427 car or just a super nice clone worth about $15,000. My Irst step was to obtain a National Insurance Crime Bureau report showing the VIN to see where the car was delivered new.<br><br> The initial report was not good. This Camaro 9s original destination was not Nickey Chevrolet in Chicago. Bummer.<br><br> However, digging deeper, another Ile number was found referenced on the NICB report. This number showed a subsequent shipping record 4perhaps a dealer trade 4to Nickey Chevrolet in Chicago. Bingo!<br><br> The next step was to Ind an ex-Nickey employee with original dealership records or knowledge of the car. I was sent to Don Swiatek, the man in charge of the con- versions at Nickey in 1967. After a thorough examination, he veriIed speciIc modiIcations performed during the conversion that only a Nickey mechanic would even know existed.<br><br> Don signed an afIdavit certifying that the car was a legitimate Nickey-converted supercar. With this veriIcation and the NICB report in hand, I consigned the car to Barrett-Jackson for the January 2001 sale. It was a no-sale at $100,000, short of my $125,000 reserve.<br><br> In March 2001, I traded the Nickey to Mike Guarise for two cars, with an on-paper value of $125,000. Yes, the same Guarise who passed on the Camaro at $9,000 six years prior. The only Tahoe Turquoise car Guarise then had another ex-Nickey employee, Dave Delgado, inspect the car for further veriIcation.<br><br> Delgado remembered the car quite well, veriIed that it was indeed a 427-ci, L89/Tri-Power car, and recalled that it was the only Tahoe Turquoise car con- verted. Guarise owned the car until this sale. While many markets, including collectible cars and especially pedestrian muscle cars, are in a rapid free-fall at the moment, this sale, along with the May 2008 sale of a 1967 Yenko-converted 427 Camaro for $504,000, is proof that the best cars, and ones that have been out of circulation for a while, can Ind willing buyers at record prices.<br><br> This is the highest price for a Nickey supercar to date, and deservedly so. With fewer than Ive documented, original Nickey-converted cars of any kind still in existence, they are among the rarest supercars of all. I have a feeling that my 2001 sale of this car to Guarise will not be the last one in this car 9s history that is looked upon as a very good buy.<br><br> f (Introductory description courtesy of Mecum.)