When Dave Pestotnik tells his wife he’s going out for a cruise with “Old Elizabeth,” she knows she doesn’t need to worry — and she might as well come along.
“Old Elizabeth” is Pestotnik’s gleaming black 1980 Camaro Z28. But with looks like this, he might better have named her “Farrah,” to borrow a well-known name from roughly the same era.
For Pestotnik, hitting the road with this classic Camaro is just about as good as it gets.
“I put some Beach Boys or Buddy Holly music on, take off, and I’m 16 again,” he says.
Back in those days, it was nothing for Pestotnik to hit the pavement for a long summer road trip with friends. In the summers of 1965 and 1966, he made two cross-country trips to California, all to help out a friend.
“One year we took a guy out to the Army and dropped him off at Fort Ord,” Pestotnik recalls.
Another year they flew out to California and drove a Volkswagen packed with four guys in it all the way back to Boone for a friend.
“We drove from California, through Mexico and Tijuana… no air conditioning, and we didn’t think anything of it,” he notes. “We came across the desert to Las Vegas and then back to Boone, and we did that two different years.”
These days the road trips tend to be shorter, but no less sweet. He’s owned the Camaro for eight years and has put fewer than 4,000 miles on it. The Camaro still only has 51,000 miles on it, even after 32 years on the road.
Pestotnik had always wanted a Camaro, but really wasn’t looking when he found it.
“I went over to visit a friend, he lives only about six blocks away, and there it was sitting in his garage,” he recalls. “He’d had it for six years, and I never knew it.”
The friend, who was working on another car at the time, needed more room in his garage, and Pestotnik didn’t take long to ask if he wanted to sell.
The two made a deal the next day, and Pestotnik finally had his Camaro.
“Old Elizabeth” is a pretty sweet ride and even a bit of a friend for a guy who knows a good-looking car when he sees it.Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”