The pony car and muscle car are decidedly homegrown, American traditions. Europe may have birthed the sport coupe and hot hatchback, but plopping an oversized engine into a rather pedestrian car is all American.
Maybe Americans take the concept for granted, but others don’t—it’s a relatively unknown practice by many. Gabriel Henaut recognized how special the idea was after spending time with Volkswagen hot hatches in France. His father taught him the basics and helped plant the seed that would help Henaut blossom into a full-blown gearhead years later.
He decided he wanted something different, so he traveled to California in search for an American machine. Along the way, a pitstop in Las Vegas, Nevada, led to his ultimate find after getting lost in the desert. Running on fumes, Henaut arrived at a gas station to fill up in the middle of nowhere—it’s there he saw a Chevrolet Nova for sale.
It wasn’t his first choice, but it intrigued him. A man by the name of Roberto asked if he was interested in buying something. That was, after all, what Henaut was on the west coast of the United States for. Roberto led him to a shed of old, dismantled cars and that’s where it sat: a 1973 Chevrolet Camaro. It was dusty, but it ran and remained in excellent condition. Henaut wired the money and the car emigrated to France shortly thereafter.
Now, the American beast with a French name is unleashed in the countryside where Henaut enjoys it as often as possible. That’s a story we love to hear. Check Henaut’s journey in the video above.