THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS coupe owned by Najim Jabbar
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
Long Islanders have always loved their Camaros, perhaps no one more than Najim Jabbar, 87, who bought his Chevy brand new 49 years ago and has kept it in original condition with the support of Connie, his wife of 55 years, and children Leila and Ramsey. Parkinson’s disease now prevents him from driving, but “we take him out now and then to clean out the carburetor the way he showed us: by flooring it on the parkway,” says Ramsey.
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
WHERE HE FOUND IT
He bought the Chevy new from a Trenton, New Jersey dealership. “My father,” says Ramsey, “was the gym teacher at Larkfield School in East Northport when he was offered a position at Staten Island Community College. He bought the car to do the commute, logging over 250,000 miles over the next 30 years.”
“Albeit a bit worn, this is the same way it rolled off the line and then out of the Gilbert & Mott Chevrolet parking lot in 1968,” he says. “Since then, almost nothing has changed: same paint, same interior, same windows, AM/FM radio. Even the hub caps are original.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“If you happen to have an original like this, keep it that way,” Ramsey advises.
The Jabbars estimate the Camaro is worth around $25,000.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“The car is part of the family,” says Ramsey. “In addition to commuting, we'd take it on trips, arguing about who would sit on the hump in the back seat. And, of course, any time we were dropped at school, the other kids and their parents would give a good look.” Noting that the family may have to sell the Camaro to help pay for Najim’s medical costs, he adds that “we’re hoping to find someone who will give the car the restoration it deserves and treat the car the way he did for the next 49 years.”