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Well on Monday at 1:00 PM EST, I will drive 296 for the last time. I received the phone call this week from the staff that manages our QRD Fleet, formerly known as PEP or Product Evaluation Program. The young lady said she wanted to schedule my next vehicle exchange. She was a bit taken back at first when I said 2010. I asked her if her file showed what I was driving now. When she noticed it was a 2010 Camaro, she then understood what I meant.
I am probably not capable of writing how much I have come to love this car, and how sad, even though I knew the time would come, that I have to return this car.
Many of you know my story that started with Number 3, a simple but lovely 1LT with the Connectivity Package and Sunroof. Mrs. Number 3 and I drove that car to California over Christmas to put huge miles on the Captured Test Fleet (CTF) to prepare the cars for ship to commerce (you). I drove that car and loved it and documented it extensively here on Camaro5.
In March, Mrs. Number 3 was assigned 296 as her PEP car. In April, she was let go from GM at about the same time as the wheels were stolen off of Number 3. Long story short, due to the length of time to repair Number 3, the powers that be (and apparently they also like me) 296 was reassigned to my care.
296 is a VR 2SS, LS3 with Sunroof. I have managed to get over 11,000 miles on this car. We just finished a trip to South Carolina in that car, again fully documented here on Camaro5.
This car, along with Number 3, has enabled me to meet many of you on line and in person. Through these cars, I have been able to provide you a taste of what was to come well before the Camaros were available to you. My latest signature is of me taking photos of 296 on a trip to Saugatuk Michigan earlier this year. And I guess I think this is what I tried my best to do, provide photos to satisfy your curiosity and passion before you could actually drive your own new Camaros. I have files full of pictures of floor mats, switches, wiring, glove boxes, reclined seats not to mention hundreds of other pictures of the car. I take a lot of pictures, and I can assure you I have more memory devoted to Camaro photos than all of the other car photos combined. And I have reviewed both cars for you, in detail and as honestly as I could.
So this car has grown on me. I love this car more than any car I have driven. Period. Yes, Corvettes are awesome. Yes the G8 GXP and CTS-Vs are fabulous sedans. But all in, the Camaro just seems to suit me. It fits me just like that favorite pair of jeans. It isn’t a perfect car. Not by a long shot....................but I have found it is perfect for me.
Yes there are faster, lighter and better handling cars. But not many. And not for the price of a Camaro. And none have the balance of style, and looks that can be so beautiful and yet so menacing and purposeful at the same time. You see it and you immediately know what this car is about. In a flash there is history, passion and performance.
So as the CTF runs down, I wish to say farewell to a car that has not just been like a friend, but that has also allowed to make new friends.
Thank you 296. I will miss you very much.