If you're not ready for a long read, I advise you not look at this thread.
Current Status of the "Black Widow"
Favorite pic to date:
To begin, I'll give a little background on myself. I'm a college student from Madison, GA. I've been driving my dad's old truck (2005 Chevy Avalanche) since I got it when I turned 16 (with 130,000 miles on it). The first indications of needing to get rid of my truck were the violent vibrations felt at speeds exceeding 70mph on rough interstates. After a look from the shop, we were talking $2,000 or so for new shocks and tires. While it might surprise you, I was not the highschool kid with a 6in lift and 33inch mud tires. I left my truck stock, and put nothing but my own effort into maintaining it. No mods, just changing the oil and filter and keeping it up. So when the clock hit 175k, and the car asked for money, it was decided by my old man that the vehicle should go.
It's an exciting and nervous time when looking at a new vehicle. Thinking I was getting a used car, I wanted to spend my money wisely. As far as a budget goes, I was under the impression that I was going to sell my truck on the market and use the money to get myself a car I wanted. I started looking at mustangs in the late 90s and early 2000s. "Wait, did this kid just say mustang?!" Don't bring out the pitchforks yet; let me explain. I'm in the process of restoring a 1968 mustang coupe. I love classic cars. And let me tell you, I would have LOVED for my first restoration to have been a '68 camaro. But some of you out there might know that a good condition '68 camaro roller body is pretty hard to find for $1,500. Especially here in GA. So that's why I went with a mustang for my first restoration project. Cheap, easy, plenty of parts available. Also on the list was the fact that a 1994-2004 mustang fit with my budget (selling price of my truck). So it was natural for me to look at mustangs at first.
Then I told my old man I wanted a mustang. And let me tell you, that didn't fly to well with him. His first car was a brand new Pontiac GTO back in 1968. 400ci V8 with a 4 on the floor. He's bought GM cars since then. So the idea of a Ford shot right down the drain. In a text I mentioned to him the new mustang 5.0. His response was "If you want a Ford, I'll leave that up to you when you're own your own. If Papa Joe
(his father) found out I was buying you a Ford, he'd roll over in his grave.
So the mustang was out, and I was just as lost as before. I turned to the 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO. I felt a bit of nostalgia thinking of a GTO being my first "muscle car" just as my dad had gotten when he was a teenager. But my dad still seemed reluctant. And I wondered all the time, what does he want me to get?
A week later or so he gives me a call. "What do you think of the new Camaros?
" The question caught me off guard. I remembered seeing the concept camaros back before production started. My dad had taken me to new car shows where concepts and new production vehicles were introduced. I remember seeing the camaro at a show in Atlanta. It was an unmistakable vehicle. The years passed and I always did love the look of the 5th Generation Camaro. But there I was with the question ringing in my ears "What do you think of the new Camaros?" "Well dad, I didn't expect that, but I absolutely love them."
Was there really a chance of me getting a 2010 camaro? I didn't bother getting my hopes up. It seemed far fetched to me. But my dad revealed to me his plan. I have 3 older sisters, and each one of them received a car in highschool when they turned 16 (just as I did), and upon graduation they received a new or lightly used vehicle to take them further in life. Lets not say they had the same taste in vehicles as their choices were: 2002 Civic (new), 2004 Volvo (lightly used), and 2008 Honda Fit (new). But my dad knew I would appreciate a true driver's car. In his 60's, he's loved to see me spend his summers working late nights for his General Contracting company and seeing me come home and spend much of my free time restoring my '68 mustang. He decided to make me a deal.
My old man decided that I could have a new model camaro if I understood the fact that I wouldn't
get another car when I graduated. I considered this, figuring if I got a low mileage used 2010 SS that I would enjoy it and keep it long after college. I agreed to the idea but then my old man broke out the requirements:
1. I maintain a 3.6 or higher GPA.
--Ok so I'm not the smartest of the bunch but my parents always assure me that if I actually put in the effort, I can succeed past my expectations. That advice and support has brought me far, and if it helped bring me to my new car, I was all in for it.
2. I work for my dad for the next 3 summers until college graduation.
--9:00-5:00 job right? Wrong. Since I was 15 I've worked as a General Contractor for my dad in Atlanta. Wake up at 5:30 AM, travel 70 miles west to ATL with my dad. Start work at 7:00AM. Finish at 6:00PM. Drive home and arrive at 7:30PM or later, depending on traffic. I bet this is similar to some of your jobs. But being a teenager, I was bound to complain. However, as the years pass I've grown accustomed to it and accepted it for what it is; a job. It's taught me real world experience and in this economy it seems like any job is a good one. So I'm willing to take on this part of the deal.
3. Be responsible with the car.
"F*ck up and these keys are mine." Don't worry, that's not what my old man said.... exactly. But it is what he said, just in a nicer way. If I remember correctly, the camaro SS has a top speed of 171.5mph, but is limited to 155mph. I will never in my life approach either of those speeds unless I am on a designated track. And no street racing for me. I don't need to drive around town revving it up like some douchebag who wants to race everyone he finds. This part of the deal I was ok with before it was even asked of me.
So the ground rules were set, and now we get to the part you've all been waiting for... What car did I end up going with? Well, from the start let me repeat myself in that a 2010 camaro SS was far fetched in my expectations. From the moment my father mentioned it, I couldn't help but ponder the feeling of a 2010 SS. I told my old man outright that I wouldn't drive an automatic. And that I'd be willing to pay the difference of an LT vs an SS. I could tell over the phone he liked my outlook. He asked me other questions like what interior? Leather or cloth? My truck was leather, so I couldn't go cloth. And color he asked? Well as you all know, a camaro looks good in any color. I preferred black, white, grey and IOM, but I told him whatever he got the best deal on. A few days later he called again, mentioning the 2SS vs SS packages. It seemed too good to be true; a 2010 2SS?! I told my father that I would be enthralled with either choice, and that it was honestly up to him.
About this time I joined the Camaro5 forum.
I wanted to get a head start if I could, and began to scrounge the forums for information. What I found was a plethora of it, and I was wrapped up in the feeling of a good group of owners that I might one day be a part of.
Now comes the moment of truth. This past week on friday 11/11/11, I called my parents to tell them I was coming home. Since my truck was at home (being sold), I rode home with my roommate, a buddy of mine from highschool. I arrived back at my roommate's house where my parents picked me up. I was surprised to see them both picking me up as usually one or the other would pick me up and take me back to our house 15 minutes out of town. When we arrived home, my father asked me to go down to the barn (a 1/4 mile from our house) and let my dog out of his kennel. I stepped out of the car and was yet again surprised when my mother said "I'll walk with you". Figuring my mother was simply praising having her only son back for the weekend, I thought nothing of it. As we walked towards the barn, the light out front came on. I stopped in my tracks and my jaw dropped. In the dim light I could see a 5th Generation Camaro. My mother smiled as I began to say "you've gotta be kidding me".
From the distance of probably 150 feet, I could tell this camaro was exactly what I dreamed I would never
have. I noticed a distinctive stripe on the hood. The stripe changed color halfway up the hood, and I could see the shape of a 45 on it. I couldn't believe my eyes as I stared at the beautiful piece of art. Even at a distance I could see the "45th" emblems on the side, and the red "SS" emblem in the grill. I walked closer and it hit me that I was actually going to be driving a 2012 45th Anniversary Edition 2SS Chevrolet Camaro. What a mouthful that was, such that I couldn't say it out loud without trembling. I couldn't keep the giant grin off my face as I gazed at the Camaro and a warm fuzzy feeling crawled all over me. I turned back to see my father, one who isn't very good at surprises, standing up at the house watching me. My mother took my arm and brought me closer to see the car. It was after I had spent 5 minutes meticulously scanning the incredible machine's exterior, and pointing out every feature to my mother, that my father finally came down to meet us. I could see his eyes were red but no tears. I've only see him cry once, and that was at his father's funeral. He handed me the keys and said "These are yours son. We love you.
So I'll leave it with that. I have no doubt in my mind that I'm one of the happiest people on earth. I couldn't appreciate more what my father and mother have done for me. They've taught me well and have assured me that they will always support me. I would be nothing without them.
Okay, I've dragged it out enough. I appreciate those who have listened/read my personal story. I apologize for the length. I don't have many pictures as I was only able to snap a few before I left back for school with my roommate Sunday morning. The Camaro needs a license plate and a certification sticker from my college's Housing Administration before I can park it here at school without getting a ticket. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I will be reunited with my beautiful Camaro when I return home this friday for Thanksgiving (and boy do I have a lot to be thankful for!). I'll be taking dozens of pictures with my father's Nikon D60 and I will upload them all as soon as possible.
For now, here are some iphone photos:
First time the lights ever lit up:
And after I moved it into the garage I got a better shot of the Halos, it was the first time I had seen them light up at night:
The beautiful stripe I noticed from a distance away. I love the design:
And the emblems on the side:
Pics of it outside after I drove my dad to Atlanta to get his truck from his office:
Also, my dad has had the Camaro since Monday. Lets just say he had a little fun with it. As evident by the mileage.
And I'm totally fine with that.
And I hold these with great pride and appreciation:
Again, I apologize for the shortage of photos and their not too stellar quality. I will have many more up this coming weekend.
I encourage everyone to take from this thread what they choose. I'm not trying to show off or gloat, just telling my personal story as it stands. I look forward to spending time here on this forum and getting to know a few folks. I'm a proud Camaro owner and feel very fortunate to be one!!!