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ChrisL 05-17-2008 06:10 PM

Milford Proving Grounds meeting / 5thgen thoughts.....
 
1 Attachment(s)
Posted for Fbodfather---- he wrote while we were in the meeting........

Our Camaro Disciples are at the General Motors Milford Proving Grounds this morning – and I’ll try to give you a ‘taste’ of their first few moments…….

After an evening spent with GM Design and Engineering personnel – over food and drink, everyone retired for the evening -- I think it fair to say that no one wanted to sleep – and could hardly wait for the 8am bus ride thru the hills outside of Milford, Mich. They had the opportunity to talk to people like Tom Peters – from GM Design – Brett Vivian, who is the Camaro Vehicle Line Director….and Al Oppenheiser who is Camaro North American Chief Engineer. Of course, Cheryl Pilcher is there – wearing, of all things, a Houndstooth blazer in Black and white. John Fitzpatrick is there to act as master of ceremonies.

An exciting evening that holds great promise.

The shuttle leaves the hotel – and the skies are clearing – blue with broken white clouds…….temperatures in the high 50s………..

The shuttle makes its way along interstate 96 and exits at the Milford Road exit. A few miles later, it turns onto “General Motors Road” – and the main gate is just ahead.


Upon entering the main gate – a bus transfer takes place at “Lundstrom House” – and the incredible ride starts – past building after building – past a guard that checks packages and people. Funny thing is that no one remembers the buildings – simply because of the staggering number of cars and trucks surrounding the buildings – many with cammo. – and that’s because many of them are from the 2010-2011 model years.

The bus takes our disciples over many hills and valleys – all cris-crossed with various road surfaces. Your first reaction to the Milford Proving Ground is: “Wow – the landscape……” The proving grounds has woods and forest – lakes and streams – dirt lanes – superhighways – rough pavement – and lots of wildflowers. You’d expect lots of macadam – but you’re struck by the beauty of nature.

A Corvette passes the bus going the other way – followed by several Chevrolet Traverses – which are going thru final validation tests prior to production late this summer. Soon we see what appears to be a very low-slung sedan – covered with front and rear bras and lots of cammo paint……. – when suddenly someone shouts “LOOK!!! HERE COMES ONE!” – and behind the bus – like a couple of wild cheetahs – two black and white IVER Camaros come up at a high rate of speed – turn signals come on --- and they howl past the bus – and our disciples gasp.

This is gonna be a GREAT day…………….

The bus pulls up to Building 106 – which overlooks ‘black lake.’ Black lake was given this name by airline pilots who would fly over the Milford grounds – because it’s a rectangle that measures just under 70 acres of asphalt – and this rectangle looks like a lake from 20,000 feet……..

As our disciples exit onto the tarmac, they hear the unmistakable ‘howl’ of tires in the distance. “Oh my GOD – HERE THEY COME AGAIN!!” – and in the distance the cheetahs reappear –

They keep gaining speed – and as they blow by the group, the unmistakable growl of a small-block V8 – and then they’re gone behind a wooded island at the end of black lake…………………..


No question about it – this is gonna be a GREAT day………..




PART 2…………


The Disciples come into building 106 -- located on the ‘shore’ of black lake – there is a large screen set up – and a U-shaped table with refreshments – and a black fabric backwall. Everyone gets a beverage and sits in their assigned seats – a few ‘goodies’ are there for them to take home………

John reviews the agenda – and notes that there are some very special Corvettes outside – such as a
“Cor price” – a 1989 ZR1 (no, that’s not a mistype) an Active handling 1990 ZR1 – the first C5 Hardtop built – and a ‘Beta’ C5. We invite them to come outside and look at them – but we bring them thru the black backwall –

…………..and sitting there are FOUR production intent Camaros – (OK – I’ll share that one was Black and one was Red -- ) -- and capturing the Disciples’ facial expressions on tape is a video crew.

No one says a word – lots of gasps -- and their eyes bug out. – and suddenly there are tears – both from the Disciples and from those of us on the Team. One disciple says to me “oh …..oh……..it’s been such a long wait – they’re --- they’re – they’re – ohmygod………..I love them!”

it’s not unlike a Christmas morning – but much better!

The disciples went from car to car – climbed in and out of them – opened trunks – opened hoods -- and asked a million questions.

It was a chore to get them out of the cars and back to the meeting room so that we could have Brett and Al speak to them about Camaro Development.

It really IS a GREAT day………….



Part 3……….

Time to drive a couple of cars!

The black and white IVER Camaros return to Black Lake – and each Disciple takes them for a drive with one of the Camaro Team members riding shotgun. They have V8 engines and automatic transmissions. The interiors are quite primitive as they’ve been thru tests for several months.

The video team captures reactions from each Disciple. We also have ‘stills’ taken.

Suddenly – a fighter jet swoops down – completely unannounced – and buzzes Black Lake – everyone jumps and gasps – and watches as the jet does a barrel roll – steeply banks – and buzzes us once again. Wouldn’t you know – Maximum Bob! – he comes back once again – gives us a ‘bow’ with his wings - -and takes off on a final barrel roll…………

Incredible. Can this day get any better?

We allow the disciples to drive a V6 with the manual transmission – and I’m sure they’ll have something to say about this -- this may be the real surprise!

One of our durability drivers then takes one of the V8 Black and Whites out onto black lake – and does some high speed maneuvers -- the tires howling the entire time – and after this performance he receives a standing ovation from the crowd.

Time to go back inside and hear some REALLY secret stuff…………..and at the end of the day – a debrief and then dinner.

WOW………what a day.


Attachment 4880

Supermans 05-17-2008 06:41 PM

Sounds very interesting. :)

I think I can guess what they driver of the V6 with the stick is going to say.. ;) That he/she thought it felt as powerful as the last gen V8 or something close to it.. I would also want to know how the power on the V8 automatic's felt as well.. As for how the car looked on the outside and if it surpassed the look of the concept, I would be very interested to know.. Can't wait till Christmas morning :) (So no stick shift V8 was driven or present?) How about the SS/Z28 super Camaro? Or is that still far away from becoming production?

ToneyTone 05-17-2008 06:45 PM

When I was thinking of not going to indy. WOW, what a right up. I think it will be well worth it to see these cars in person. I can't wait till more info can be said about the other cars that were on the proving ground.

CatiaJockey 05-17-2008 07:14 PM

Got to be a great weekend for the disciples. I can't wait to hear what they all have to say. Appreciate the post ChrisL!

fastball 05-17-2008 07:15 PM

You know how you never wanted to go to sleep on Christmas eve, well, it's still 5 months away from official release and I don't think I'll be able to sleep for the next 5 months! :happyanim:

NOODLESgoneWILD 05-17-2008 07:31 PM

I DON'T SAY THIS LIGHTLY, BUT I THINK THIS CAR IS GOING TO KNOCK OUR SOCKS, AND THE REST OF THE AUTOMOTIVE WORLDs SOCKs OFF!!!!

TheMadHatter99 05-17-2008 07:45 PM

Awesome post.

I can't tell if this is just extreme jealousy speaking, but is anyone else slightly perturbed that we won't be told what all is being shown until after Indy (or wherever the reveal is)?

I dunno, I guess I'm just a curious person by nature and hate being told "You can't be told secrets, but these people can!"

I'm just petty I suppose.

DGthe3 05-17-2008 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Supermans (Post 70271)
Sounds very interesting. :)

I think I can guess what they driver of the V6 with the stick is going to say.. ;) That he/she thought it felt as powerful as the last gen V8 or something close to it.. I would also want to know how the power on the V8 automatic's felt as well.. As for how the car looked on the outside and if it surpassed the look of the concept, I would be very interested to know.. Can't wait till Christmas morning :) (So no stick shift V8 was driven or present?) How about the SS/Z28 super Camaro? Or is that still far away from becoming production?

an SS will exist, that was leaked in a video of Ed Welburn a while ago. We don't know what the SS will be like though, it may or may not be the super Camaro. But I'm sure that they have everything done on it by now. I imagine that the design and engineering are 100% complete on every version of hte Camaro, V6, base V8, top dog, verts, etc.

ToneyTone 05-17-2008 07:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheMadHatter99 (Post 70283)
Awesome post.

I can't tell if this is just extreme jealousy speaking, but is anyone else slightly perturbed that we won't be told what all is being shown until after Indy (or wherever the reveal is)?

I dunno, I guess I'm just a curious person by nature and hate being told "You can't be told secrets, but these people can!"

I'm just petty I suppose.

I feel your pain

AFSNightrod 05-17-2008 09:03 PM

Since I can't yet anyways I'm not asking for more than the deciples can give. What I am asking for though(other than what specific information you guys can tell us), is if they do now know the specifics such as engines, transmissions, options, how close the production lights and grille are to the concept etc.

AirGoya 05-17-2008 10:16 PM

What a day indeed. Sounded like a lot of fun.
I know that Bob Lutz was a U.S. Marine but does he really fly fighter jets? Only GM would have someone as Bada$$ as Mr. Lutz. :bow:

TheMadHatter99 05-17-2008 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AirGoya (Post 70302)
What a day indeed. Sounded like a lot of fun.
I know that Bob Lutz was a U.S. Marine but does he really fly fighter jets? Only GM would have someone as Bada$$ as Mr. Lutz. :bow:

And to add on to that, where exactly did he acquire said fighter jet? You can't exactly purchase an F/A-18 from a dealer downtown... Anyone know what sort of jet it was?

AirGoya 05-17-2008 10:38 PM

Actually the jet was megatron, good thing the camaros were there to scare him away.

Kyle2k 05-17-2008 10:52 PM

uhm..jealousy...

17ac 05-17-2008 11:20 PM

hahaha megatron

tell us about the engines and headlights

DGthe3 05-17-2008 11:47 PM

Its great to hear that GM has put on a bit of a show for those guys. And I really want to see some of that video footage that's been taken. I'm sure that these people know pretty much everything about the Camaro now. 15 extra people who have signed their life away (I assume) aren't that many more considering how many GM engineers, designers, and everyone else involved with the Camaro who know all the details, and have known them for awhile. And the disciples only have to keep quiet for a few months.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheMadHatter99 (Post 70306)
And to add on to that, where exactly did he acquire said fighter jet? You can't exactly purchase an F/A-18 from a dealer downtown

Go to Russia. For a price they let almost anyone fly a MiG. For a enough cash I bet they would let you take it home.

TheMadHatter99 05-17-2008 11:52 PM

No thanks...fratting w/ the Russians would probably be a poor career decision for me.

Although it'd be pretty sweet for Lutz to own a MiG.


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