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Chris Canfield thought he was just doing his due diligence in contacting the original owner of a 1967 Camaro SS that he’d found on Craigslist and hoped to buy. But things couldn’t have ended more differently for both Canfield and Robert Jordan, the original owner of the classic pony car.
In going through the paperwork at the seller’s house, Canfield discovered that Jordan was the original owner of the car, and found out that through good fortune, Jordan remained both in good health and in the general vicinity of where the car was sold new and where it remained, near Jackson, Miss.
Intrigued by a message left on his answering machine by Canfield, Jordan returned the call the next night and was happy to learn that his old steed still survived. After all those years it was now white with a red interior instead of the original black and gold. However, the Protect-O-Plate (the General Motors warranty card) and a search through the Mississippi DMV confirmed that it was the very car he’d bought upon his discharge from the Army in February 1967.
Jordan was happy to both see photos of the car as it had been restored and to share old photos with Canfield. In fact, Carol Jordan dug up photos of the Camaro on their wedding day in October 1968. During their exchanges, Canfield remembers Jordan telling him that “he had sold the car to a young kid who had blown the original engine.” Fortunately,” explained Canfield, “the original block was passed on owner to owner and was still being toted around with the car.”
“After seeing the pictures I was pretty set on purchasing the car and called the owner to set a meeting to close the deal." Canfield sais. "Before the scheduled meet I once again spoke to Mr. Jordan to thank him for sending the pictures and to let him know that I was going to purchase the car.” Once again, though, Mr. Jordan expressed his regret for getting rid of the car and this was to have a profound effect on Canfield.
Canfield had grown up loving first-generation Camaros and after graduating high school, he got his first full-time job and had his first brush with the concept of disposable income. His father came across a Hugger Orange 1969 Camaro Convertible and Canfield did the deal. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a love to last a lunchtime rather than a lifetime—the car had to go to help pay for college.
Perhaps realizing how he would feel if the shoe were on the other foot, Canfield called Jordan and offered him the name and phone number of the owner of “his” car. Jordan was at first hesitant to accept Canfield’s gracious offer, but he relented and offered Canfield a finder’s fee, which he declined.
Chris Canfield knows that he could have easily bought the car and flipped it to Jordan, profiting in the process. He also could have accepted the finder’s fee or just bought the car he had located and researched.
So why did Canfield step aside and let go of a car he wanted? He explains, “I love this hobby and helping another car guy was the right thing to do. I am so glad that Mr. and Mrs. Jordan have their car once again, and I hope that they enjoy every moment of ownership.” Truly a case of good car karma.