They first met 11 years ago.
Craig VanPelt knew the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro was a special car.
The 67-year-old York Township resident and owner of VanPelt Automotive in Red Lion has been in the car business for 35 years.
"When I saw the Camaro, I knew it was pristine," VanPelt said.
Before he bought the car from an East Prospect resident in 2003, the Camaro had been completely restored.
"I was afraid to take it out. It's never been in the rain ... it's always been kept in a warm garage," he said.
This weekend it's on display at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, where Mecum Auctions is hosting its first car auction in the state. The event began Thursday and runs through Sunday.
Admission is $20 for adults, and children 12 and younger are free. Bidder registration is $100.
Gates open at 8 a.m., and the auction begins at 10 a.m., Friday through Sunday.
Live broadcast: VanPelt's Camaro will cross the auction block Saturday and can be seen live on NBCSports Network.
He said the car is worth $75,000 and he's ready to sell.
"I have other toys, and it's time to move on from this one," VanPelt said.
Mecum Auctions is the perfect platform to sell his old toy, he said.
Self-proclaimed as the largest collector car auction in the world, Mecum will auction 1,000 collector and muscle cars this weekend and is already breaking attendance records.
Record attendance: About 5,000 people attended the auction on Thursday, according to Mecum CEO Dave Magers.
That's a record for the first day of a first-year Mecum Auction and follows advance ticket sales that exceeded expectations, he said.
VanPelt said many of those guests stopped to check out his Camaro.
"We've had a lot of lookers," he said.
Because many buyers come with a lot of money and from all over the world, VanPelt said he's confident the car will sell.
"The condition is absolutely new. It could be in a showroom. It runs as good as it looks," he said.
A complete list of cars available for auction can be viewed at www.mecum.com.
For more information about being a seller or bidder, visit the website or call Mecum at 262-275-5050.
—Reach Candy Woodall at firstname.lastname@example.org.