'Plain Jane' Camaro Inspires A Career Path

Oct 24, 2021 2 min read
'Plain Jane' Camaro Inspires A Career Path

A $2300 Chevy Camaro helped a successful business owner find his way.

Everyone has been at a time in their life when it seemed like all roads seem wide open, and sometimes, things just come together. Such was the case with Mark Schenberg in the summer of 1991. When Mark was in his mid-20s, he was house hunting for the first time in Creve Coeur. At the time, an automotive repair business he ran out of his parents’ garage was really taking off, and he wanted his own shop, and he was also dating the woman he was going to marry.

“I had a lot of expenses on my plate at the time,”said Schenberg. “I wanted to buy an engagement ring, and I was buying a house. And I had the car sitting outside my folk’s house, with no place to put it.”

The car Mark’s referring to is a 1976 Chevy Camaro. He bought the car back in 1981, when he was a junior in high school for $2,300.

“This was not an extremely rare or valuable car, but it was my car,” Schenberg said, adding that his grandpa had accompanied him to buy it. “It was this ugly maroon — rusty and rough — but it’s what I could afford. In high school, if you had a Camaro or Trans Am or Firebird, you had a sports car and that was cool.

“Out of necessity, I learned that if things break on it, if it goes bad, I’d have to figure out how to fix it.”

He learned so much on this car that it inspired him to move on to turn his passion into his profession. Schenberg sold the Camaro, and hadn’t seen it until about a year ago, but a lot of his life still revolved around the lessons he learned working on the Camaro.

After going through a professional training program and really buckling down, Mark used the last 25 years wisely, and is now running a business called Car-Doc with 12 employees and a 12,000 square-foot building.

Backing up a little bit to the Camaro, Mark never forgot about it, and about a decade ago, he decided to find the guy he sold it to. Turns out, it was sold again, but gave Mark the guy’s contact info.

“I called the guy and I think it kind of creeped him out,” said Schenberg about the call. “I explained that I was the guy Dave bought the Camaro from and that if he ever decided to sell it, I would be interested in buying it back.

“He all but hung up on me. In fairness, he didn’t know me. He could have thought it was a scam.”

Then out of the blue, the guy, named James, called Mark to ask about the color he used because the car had been damaged. A few months after that, James called to ask about the engine, he wanted to supercharge it, which Mark wasn’t a fan of, since it’s not a race car and not built that way.

After that, Mark wanted the car back, and wasn’t going to take no for an answer. He bought the Camaro back in July of 2020 and pretty much spent his pandemic downtime restoring it, again.

Source: STL Jewish Light

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