It's inconceivable that in 1984 there was any young man in America under 30 that did not love both pizza and the Camaro Z-28. John Schnatter had the Chevy. A '72 Z-28 in gold with black stripes, white-letter BFGs on chrome wheels, a sunroof and chrome-tipped duals. In other words, awesome. John felt a strong pull to try his hand at opening a pizza restaurant. To raise the needed working capital, the beloved Camaro had to go. As much as he loved his car, John loved his pizza plans more.
Twenty-five years later, John Schnatter sits atop his Papa John's empire, 3,400 restaurants strong. John's not the only corporate chief with a hankering for a gold sports car, but going on a quest for your long lost automotive love is certainly a pursuit that speaks to the passion with which the CEO chases his goals. Not satisfied to just hit the road in an assuredly great replica of the car we'll call the "lost Z," CEO Schnatter's off on a road trip, which is being covered comprehensively at the papasroadtrip.com web outpost, and his quarry is the very Z-28 he was forced to liquidate so many years ago. He may be able to get some help from the Lost Car Registry, and the $25,000 reward he's offering for anyone who finds the beloved car is certainly motivational. Along the way on his trip, Papa John will make time to deliver pizzas for local franchises, and his vintage Camaro is way nicer than the clapped out ride you'd normally expect to be wheezing up to the curb carrying your pies.