Papa John Reunited With His Long Lost Camaro

Who doesn’t remember their first car? For some of us it was the ugliest thing that stunk up the road with black clouds of gas and gave its road audition in triple forte with a busted muffler. Others had a nicer car, perhaps given to them by their parents, or possibly they worked hard counting pennies ’til they could buy that special first car they had their eye on. Regardless of what kind of shape or condition our first cars were, one thing remains true for just about everyone: our first car holds some sort of sentimental value that no car after it can give us.

It’s the first time you get to feel the fresh air coming in through the window in a vehicle that you have complete control over. You and your first vehicle share many things for the first time. First ticket, first time going on a quiet drive to take off the stress, first time you curbcheck a tire or wheel, first roadtrip, first accident, first date, first race… regardless of the circumstance or what happened, hopefully both you and your 1st car got through it alright. Like a friend, we share many experiences with our first car but eventually ywe get tempted to upgrade, and before you know it, your first friend of the road is gone.  There’s gone for good and then there’s good-n-gone.  But gone means gone.

Sentimentally looking back, I remember my first ride. It was an ’88 Cadillac Deville. Towards the time where I got rid of it it had 215,000 miles, made some weird noises and the ceiling cloth was drooping down to always get in my line of vision. Several cars later I would never have thought I would have missed the thing, but I had some great times with it. I would give well above the value of the car to get it back just for the memories. It’s almost like a trophy – you look at it and think “great times … I remember when…”

Some of us will never see our first car again, despite how hard we may try. Fortunately for the vastly popular pizza chain owner, John Schnatter (better known as Papa John), he was re-united with his bumblebee-striped black-and-gold 1971½ Chevy Camaro Z28.

In 1983 Papa sold the Camaro, the only thing that was in his name, after finding out that his father was on the verge of closing down his Tavern due to financial difficulties. He sold the Camaro for $2,800 and saved his family’s tavern to soon after start Papa John’s Pizza. After much success Papa was still missing one thing: his first car. Offering $25,000 initially, then upping the ante to $250,000 to whoever found his car he had every intention of finding the vehicle. He had people search high and low for the vehicle, he even hired an ex FBI agent to look for it but no one came up with anything.

That all changed when one of Jalopnik’s (a famous vehicle website) readers found the vehicle for Mr. Schnatter that was sold to a man in Kentucky. Offering a $25,000 finders fee and $250,000 to the owner of the vehicle, Mr. Schnatter made off with his original, long lost and beloved, car.

Needless to say, Mr. Schnatter was happy. So happy, in fact, that he decided to offer one free pizza to any and all Camaro owners. Which, as of yesterday, reached 35,874 free pizza’s.

Perhaps you could see yourself in a Camaro?

What’s holding you back? Give us a call and we will get you into one asap, maybe Papa will still offer you a free pizza for getting one?

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