Papa John Schnattner started the Papa John’s Pizza empire in 1984 when he sold his beloved 1972 Camaro Z-28 for $2800 to open his first pizza joint in Indiana. Now 25 years later he wants that Camaro back – badly. $250,000 badly.
Not a car that would normally bring that kind of money, this Z-28 has great sentimental value for obvious reasons to Papa John. The effort began with a $25,000 reward, but that quickly was increased by 10 times when all the interest and leads started coming in. Not only is Schnattner putting up significant cash to find the car, he has developed an entire marketing program around it!
Schnattner, 47, is currently traveling the country promoting his ‘Papa John’s Camaro Chase Contest’. It began on May 27th and will end on August 31st. This contest is complete with it’s own website at www.papasroadtrip.com where you can keep up with Papa John as he travels the country looking for his prized Camaro that he originally bought for $1,600 when he was a 16 year old dishwasher. The Camaro got him through high school and college and when sold that cash was used to launch a pizza empire that is now 3,400 restaurants strong.
Should you find this special Camaro and wish to cash in, there are several important steps you must take. You must show proof that it is the official vehicle with the title proof and the list of all the names of past owners, including John Schnatter and a photo of the Camaro as outlined on the website.
As Schnatter travels the country, he brings along a replica of the ’72 Camaro. He states “It’s not a car that someone would easily turn over to the scrap heap. The real point is, while this car may not be a true classic, it’s near and dear to my heart. It would mean so much if I had any part of that car back. Once people hear the story of why I sold the car, it resonates with them. They understand that sometimes, pursuing your dream requires a heart-wrenching sacrifice…not to mention a lot of hard work and perseverance.”
Also in support of the Road Trip, Papa John’s developed an “augmented reality” icon of Schnatter’s Camaro on the bottom of more than 30 million pizza boxes across the country. ‘Augmented Reality’ is a new marketing frontier that features an online application that allows the user to interact in real-time with computer generated imagery. Available for review at www.papasroadtrip.com , when the icon is recognized by a webcam, customers may virtually take part in Papa’s Road Trip by driving Schnatter’s Camaro and along the way be granted exclusive discounts on future Papa John’s purchases, displayed on billboards along the virtual road.
Keep your eyes open for a ’72 Camaro and here are the original specs of Papa John’s Z-28 Camaro
Gold with black racing stripes
License plate: 10z 54
Original speedometer read 10 MPH too fast
Velvet interior, not vinyl
BF Goodrich Tires
No air conditioning