Drives: you wild...
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: In the happy padded room wearing a jacket that makes me hug myself...
As some of you know I originally wanted a convertible, and I held out and waited and held out and waited some more. Here’s my story:
Upon looking up pictures of the 69 camaro to show a friend in 2007, I happened upon a few pictures of the new (at the time) camaro concept. The pictures were hosted on a well-known website named Camaro5. I joined up and began to converse with the small, tight-knit community here. I knew the camaro was going to be my next car, and started saving that week.
Doug, Chuck, Greg, Mark, Tran, Bumblebee, AlleyKt, BoxMonkey and others were all spread out over what type of car they wanted. Some wanted a Z28 track car, others a Z28 blown car, a third group for just a street-pounding v8, and the last group wanted a convertible cruiser like the concept.
After getting more info from the higher ups in GM, the convertible was scheduled to be released 9 months after the hardtop which was due out in Oct of 2008. I had everything planned out. Buy a beater to replace my Mitsubishi Eclipse and hold me over until my camaro was purchased and then use my camaro as my daily driver.
After the hardtop was announced to begin production in February 2009, I figured I could wait the extra months and still get a convertible around wintertime and thought nothing of it. I loved all the concept pictures that were coming out and even got to see the convertible concept in person at the Chevrolet Rev It Up event in Alameda, CA. I stayed there an extra 4 hours just admiring the beauty of this well-crafted machine. Then came the second pushback.
The hardtop was pushed to March 2009 and the convertible had a new date of Summer 2010. The wait was beginning to take too long and I started considering getting a coupe. My plans were for either a convertible SS, or a supercharged coupe. I justified the extra cost whereas I was going to make the convertible a street cruiser, and would have mostly cosmetic treatments while the coupe was going to be all go with no show mods. Rumors of a Z28 appeared…I started getting my hopes up for this and justified waiting yet again, as the Z was coming out AFTER the vert which was already pushed back. Time for another LONG wait I thought…
Fast forward to a few months ago (November). I got my first chance to meet Scott Settlemire and some of the Central Cali/Sac people at the Sacramento Auto Show, and we had a huge pizza party afterwards. Scott was a hoot and we all enjoyed the knowledge he had to share with us, including physical items he brought to surprise us. I had made up my decision on the spot to buy my camaro from Tom Henry as not only is he Scott’s cousin, but I love how Tag’s camaro ended up. Now just to wait for the convertible or Z28.
A week or two later, pre-production pics of the convertible surfaced on the forums…and I wasn’t impressed. The third brake light was relocated from the window the the top of the trunk right behind the glass, and it seems as though the spoiler, if replaced with a new one, would block it, making the third brake light on the convertible obsolete. Not a very smart design imho, but you make due with what you are given. After another week or so, the Z28 was pronounced as on the back burner and if it came out, it wouldn’t be for quiet some time…Crap.
I pondered this for a few days and decided against the convertible. The cost over the coupe, the weight increase, the road noise, the chance that the top would sag between the supports, and the fact that I’d have to install a 4point or better roll bar/cage if I ever took it to the track were all factors in my decision to just get a hardtop. The money I saved from the convertible and roll cage means I could have some fun with mods.
I started calling and pestering Tom Henry about building a camaro the way I wanted, what mods I could do, what he would suggest, etc. etc. I had quotes sent to me and I’m sure he was sick of my planning and questioning him. I had everything priced out and was filling out the paperwork with my credit union talking financing and then my dream started to come crashing down. The amount of hoops I had to jump through with extra fees felt like quicksand and I was knee deep in it.
In order to get financing through a California establishment, I would have had to take the following steps:
Finance through GMAC at a whopping 8.5%.
Bring the car back to CA, have it smogged while I register it. (bye bye long tube plans)
Wait the 60 days until I would have a CA title in hand.
Take the Title and loan paperwork to my credit union, and negotiate transferring my loan and having them refinance it. This includes a loan transfer fee of anywhere up to 1500 dollars.
Wait for the loan refinancing to be approved.
Overall wait time to get the car financed in CA with an 802 FICO score??? (about 3 months give or take a week or so)
After being discourage for a day or two, I called up my close family friend who owns a convertible car magazine up here in the bay area who knows pretty much all the owners of all the dealerships around. He called up his closest buddy at a local dealership and asked what the best price he could get from his friend of 40+ years. The dealership owner knows both my parents and hasn’t spoken to them in a while, but was always in good terms with each other. The best price he could do was $500 under MSRP, without honoring the preferred credit union discount which I qualify for. Putnam and Boardwalk Chevrolet have their independent histories with members of the forums, so I called up the last “local” dealership to me. I spoke to the guy D1BADZ got his car from, and asked about pricing. He said he would get back to me on pricing, and as discouraged as I had been the past few days, I kept calling around trying to find a decent price on a camaro.
1/13/10: I was fed up with getting the run around and not finding anyone who knew what they could and couldn’t do pricewise, and was straight forward about it. Eventually I called Tribone and asked who he bought his car from. He gave me the number of Camino Real Chevy in Monterey Park. I called the dealership and asked for Jay, someone gave me his cell to reach him while out on a call. I was impressed that he would take calls on his cell to help customers. Jay Photoglou said he would order the car that I wanted with no obligation. He said even if I changed my mind, someone would eventually buy the car, and was very friendly overall. His courteousness and charisma was enough to sell me the car. All I did was give him the options and he ordered the car. No deposit down over the phone, no paperwork, etc. Just a workbench order via e-mail. It’s a good thing he did too. Troy with Courtesy Chevrolet called me back about 2 hours later and said that he could give me at the very least MSRP if not better. Since I had a car on order already, I had to politely decline. He seemed very upset that I had chosen to order from another dealer and I felt bad for having to decline his offer.
1/19/2010: Order is accepted, event code is 2500
1/21/10: Order is Accepted 3000, no TPW as of yet
1/27/10: Get the e-mail from camarotracking that I've hit 3300. Notes say TPW is 2/1/10. This means my car might be ready an extra week ahead of time…
2/2/10: hit 3400 at 8am today. Called Dee of Louder Then Life and ordered a package of things including them ordering my Seibon ST "sprunk" (yes I said it Audrey). Also called Sean at RK sport who's hooking me up with a fiberglass hood and delivering it to Dee at LTL sometime in the next week. I'm jittery after I hang up the phone. Off to work so I can hit the credit union before work.
2/3/10: Order was broadcast and produced (3400 and 3800 in one day…I didn't get confirmation until 2/5, but according to camarotracking on 2/8/10, this is when it happened.
2/4/10: Finally got everything settled with the credit card company and Dee charged the down payment on all my aftermarket stuff. Tomorrow I have to go get the funds out from my second credit union to consolidate everything. Still no Vin so the car hasn't been built. I'm hoping it's built by Saturday and shipped ot the lot on the week of the 15th. Here's hoping... Oh, and my loan was approved today.
2/5/10: I GOT MY VIN!!! 89986. Now I can order my dash plaque and get everything squared away. I also am meeting with Chris to listen to his flowmaster axlebacks and cutouts.
2/8/10: Another e-mail from camarotracking telling me that my car is on rail from oshawa. Rail number CNA704311. It's 9:08am and I was woken up by credit union telling me my loan is approved (for the second time as one of the two tellers at my local branch called me a few days ago. I guess now it's official.
2/10/10: Car arrived at Yard Center, Illinois at 1:06am…It's 4:28am PST now so it's time for bed. My car is halfway here!
2/10/10 (later that day): Spoke with Jay about all the information so he can overnight Fedex papers up here and get this show on the road!
2/16/10: Delivered. Jay wasn't there to catch the truck, and I didn't call the dealership to ask someone to take pictures of the delivery for me. =/
2/17/10: Guillermo just got done with the final inspection and it looks like I can allow LTL to pick the car up. I just have to wait on the credit union now. Guillermo also sent me pictures he took of the dirty, but gorgeous IBM car.
2/19/10: Dee picked up the car and called me as he started it for the first time. He notified me of the scuffmarks and a razorblade was left on the seat. Car has 20 miles on it. Also, my mom picked up the puppy she was going to get, so I have to continue to play it off as if I will be going to dinner just to meet everyone. My father is scheduled to have his hip replaced on Tuesday so I can't wait to show him this car. I wish he's healed up enough to go for a ride even though I know it's impossible to heal that quickly.
2/23/10: The surgery was a success for my father, I'm relieved and so is he. He's sleeping about as much as my mom's new puppy is (12+ hours a day). At least he's healing and feels less and less pain as time goes on!
2/26/10: The day of truth, I'm typing this at 4:17am when everything is packed. All that's left is to sleep and then get on the plane to pick up my baby. Thanks Dragon for posting this for me and I will see everyone at Dinner tonight with a big suprise, as well as you guys and gals showing up at BBK for dyno day!
A HUGE thanks to Jessie (LTLaudio on Camaro5), Dee (Owner of LTL) and Sean of RKsport (henri2600) for helping me make my dream come true. I'm more than ecstatic that this is finally a reality. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Also, thank you everyone at Camaro5 for putting up with my nonsense from time to time. I love this community! Pics to come when I get home from the weekend!
Last edited by The Stig; 06-18-2012 at 08:29 PM.