This truly unique and one of a kind 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, known as the “Cherokee,” was pulled off of the assembly line in Norwood, OH and sent to the esteemed GM Design Center as a styling exercise for GM Design Chief, Bill Mitchell. The “Cherokee” convertible began its transformation with subtle exterior modifications which transformed the automobile into a fashion icon.
The 1967 Camaro “Cherokee” was featured as a “Camaro for the Street” in a 1967 issue of Hot Rod magazine. It was through these pages that a wide audience was able to see the Cherokee’s integrated ducktail spoiler into the rear end, and Corvette style split bumpers that were fitted to the front and back. Sheet metal modifications were finished in the car’s original Aztec Gold Metallic, which served as a base for a gorgeous Candy Apple Metalflake Red trimmed with Gold pinstripes.
As stunning as the Cherokee already was, distinguishing it from counterparts was its most distinct characteristic and remains to be this day – a hand crafted fiberglass hood scoop, the upper element of which is formed from Plexiglas to reveal eight polished ram tubes that feed a set of four 48mm Weber downdraft carbs atop an aluminum Moon Can-Am intake.
The noteworthy Mark IV big block is an “unstamped” pre-production L78 unit rated at 375 horsepower, which is the official factory figure before the addition of the Weber/Moon induction system. Soon after the Cherokee’s appearance in Hot Rod magazine, it underwent one final transformation. The original red interior was replaced with a custom black interior that still adorns the car today. The original custom console and a tilting Corvette steering wheel remain as well as serve as a nice compliment to the custom black interior.
This ’67 Cherokee’s value is due to its absolute uniqueness, fine condition, originality, and that fact that it remains in existence at all. Doomed to the scrap heap even before its completion, it was fate that saved the Cherokee during its Pace Car duties at the Road America Can-Am, with Sir Stirling Moss behind the wheel. Cherokee caught the eye of Mitchell’s friend, Augie Pabst, who expressed interest in the car and owned it for several years before trading it to Vilter Chevrolet –Buick in Oconomowoc, WI. The Cherokee then transferred hands to Dan Frank of the Custom Top Show until 1987, and was later sold to Brooksfield’s Edward Maurer, where it drew the attention of the collector and current owner.
As reported in Muscle Car Review magazine, “The Cherokee could be one of the rarest Gen-1 Camaros in existence. It’s truly one of a kind”. Join Russo and Steele this January 18th-22nd, 2012 in Scottsdale, AZ as this one of a kind “Cherokee” Camaro makes its debut on the Russo and Steele auction block.