For those that lent advice and were interested in my ongoing tale...
Up to now: My '67 Camaro is missing both the title and the VIN, and I am trying to get both taken care of...
Former owner located a box of parts with the correct cowl tag, so that's good news.
I have been on the phone with countless state agency people in Texas trying to get the title issue resolved. I researched everything I would have to do to get a "bonded" title, have the state issue a new VIN, etc. So I had a cop friend of mine run the VIN against their databases, and the car came back clean with the VIN I suspected it was, so I tried the state, and they claim there are no records in their current database, but that they could be held on microfiche in Beaumont. I call Beaumont, get the runaround about being authorized to obtain said information without filling out all the required forms. Download forms, start to fill them all out, when I figure that I should call Beaumont DOT back to see if there are any records on fiche at all before I go requesting them.
I get a very nice lady on the phone who verifies that the VIN is indeed correct (124 versus 123) and gives me the information of the last registered owner. Hot damn.
I finally track down the last registered owner of the car, and get her on the phone. Yes, she owned a Camaro, yes, this color combination, options, etc. She gave the car to her ex-husband (now dead), who traded it to the guy I bought it from. I tell her that she can save me a world of hassle if she would request a new title and sign it over to me; I'll get the previous owner to verify my story, show her the BOS, etc. etc. - I'll even pay the fee.
She says, "I don't know if I want to get involved."
Argh. I leave her my phone number, she says she'll discuss with her current husband and call me back. So far, nothing. So I figure I'll give it one more shot. She seemed like a nice lady, so I won't bother her by phone - I am thinking of sending her pictures of the car, the day we brought it home, my family, me, the progress we've made on it (new side cowl, lower cowl, upper dash panel), fill out all the required forms for her, enclose a SASE for me, and throw in $10 to cover the fees. Maybe she'll change her mind and help me out.