Maplewood History: But Parked in a Rickety Old Garage…


…is a brand new shiny red super stock Dodge.  So go the lyrics to The Little Old Lady From Pasadena who had a pretty little flowerbed of white gardenias.  (now insert my leadoff line).

TLOLFP was a hit for Jan and Dean reaching number three on the Billboard chart in 1964. I turned fifteen that year and still remember a lot of the lyrics.  Just four years later, I went to work for the company that had made that Dodge, the Chrysler Corporation.  Although we made some of the famous muscle cars in Fenton, I never helped build any of them.  But I did help to build, drive, test, etc.,  many Dodge Ram trucks. My fifth is currently parked behind my house.

Wikipedia has an interesting article about the folklore behind Jan and Dean’s hit.  It is fiction, of course, but it shares a common fantasy which has long been very popular and still is today.  That fantasy is the idea of finding a rare or exotic vehicle in a broken down old garage.  Barn finds, some are called.  The internet is loaded with examples.

I am a sucker for these.  I’ve watched or read about far too many to ever recall over the years.  There must be a large audience for this sort of thing.  Now videographers on YouTube treat pretty much any rusted out hulk as if it were a Bugatti.

So given that I am a huge fan of the fantasy described above, can you imagine my surprise when one of these “barn finds” turned up just two doors from a house that I have owned for the last 33 years?

Noland and Mary Humphreys and their son Dave were my neighbors and the owners of the garage behind their home in the 3100 block of Edgar.  It is an old garage but not rickety.  Noland could be described as a collector.  I am certain that he had many items of value.  Not the least of which was a vintage Airstream trailer that was parked directly in front of the garage for as long as I knew him.

Noland and, I assume, Mary are both gone now.  Their son, Dave, sold the house, garage and contents.  After they moved the Airstream last year and got into the contents of the garage, they discovered a 1969 Camaro Rally Sport.  I was stunned.  It had been there the whole time.

I don’t know how many miles the Camaro had on it.  The engine size was a 307.  We can tell from the photos.  I don’t have any more information about this find than I have included. I would like to have that information so hopefully this post will find the new owner.

Now I wonder how many more finds like this are out there?  Who knows?

Noland’s 1969 Rally Sport Camaro.

Noland had retired from General Motors.  I don’t know if that had any thing to do with why he had this Camaro?

Nice shot of the interior.

This is nice shot to end with.  The rear end, that is.  Much thanks to neighbor, Paul Griesedieck for these images.

I’ll go out with this image from my Chrysler days which ended after 2001.  These are my good buddies, all second shift plant auditors.  L to R: Duffy, Smitty, Smitty, Andy and Yours truly.

It is summer!  See you at the pool.


Doug Houser       July 9, 2024


  1. When I saw the title of this article, I thought it might be about the old airplane that was parked in a hangar/shed on , I think, Moller St. I saw it when the sons were having a big yard or estate sale. I’m pretty sure they had already sold the plane, but it was pretty cool to see it there in that big ole shed/hangar.

    • Patty, are you kidding? I don’t know anything about this airplane. This sounds like a story that might be connected to the Beletz brothers but they lived on Oxford.

    • Hey Sherman, I won’t try to beat you out of that Nash Metropolitan. That’s the polar opposite of this ’69 Camaro!

        • Ed, from memory, I think you’re probably right about the 8-track. Remember the 4-tracks? I don’t know about the Playmates but the Beep Beep was Mopar…the Roadrunner!

          • Playmates had a song called either Beep Beep or Little Nash Rambler released in 1960. It’s a funny story about a little Nash Rambler beating some pompous guy in his Cadillac. And, yep, I had a 4 track too.


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