Don Musica's 1967 Camaro SS
(from Volume 29, Issue 348)

story by owner Don Musica, photos by Michael B. Kelly


Most people know me as DJ Don, the owner of Cruisin Orlando. What some don’t know about me is that I’m also the owner of several classic cars, including a classic car that I bought 26 years ago. The story started in 1985 when I watched the movie “Better Off Dead”. The car in that movie was a black 1967 Camaro RS/SS that stole the show. The dream of owning a 1967 black Camaro came to life in 1997 when I purchased mine in Middleburg, Florida. I’ll never forget the day I brought it home and my mother said, “You paid $5,600 for that?”. Yes, it needed some work and that was a little high for a car in that condition back in 1997, but it was all worth it to me.

I restored the car in a year with new paint, chrome, moldings, wheels, tires and interior. Having moved to the Orlando area only a few years earlier, I quickly made new friends cruising all over the Orlando area. Since that time I have personally restored many classics, including several Camaro’s, Chevelle’s and Nova’s but I have always held on to this special Camaro.

The car was originally from California and spent it’s whole life there until the previous owners moved to the Jacksonville, Florida area. Because of this (no snow, salt, low humidity, etc.), the car has all the original, rust free sheet metal. The years did take it’s toll on the interior, which I re-did myself in 1997. So, this year, I decided to have a professional redo the headliner and seats. A fresh 350 engine with a big roller cam and aluminum heads was also an enhancement installed this year by my girlfriend, Holly, and I. A high performance TH350 transmission with an original GM 12 bolt rear puts the power to the rear wheels. The paint, black with violet pearl, is starting to show its age (25 years) but I kind of like it like that (gives it a little character).

Over the years I have collected a few items from the Better Off Dead movie to add to the nostalgia. I have an original movie set jacket, a picture from the movie signed by Diane Franklin, and a reproduction of the license plate from the movie. Only admirers catch the front license plate and air cleaner top just like in the movie. Plans are to put air conditioning in the car next year so all of my classic cars will have A/C for the hot Florida summer cruises.
Don’t be fooled when you see the good-looking blondes pulling up in the car shows this winter...that’s my girlfriend, Holly and our dog, Hazelnut! Again, just like the movie, the guy gets the car and the girl
. CN