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Old 04-06-2008, 03:37 PM   #1
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Thumbs up The proving grounds, where dreams are made

Featured on frontpage.

So I get up this Sunday morning.. all apprehensive and nervous.. todays the day. Thanks to Punchy (I can't say this enough) 16 camaro fans got taken on a tour of the desert proving grounds in mesa Arizona.

Arrival -

On arrival (10 minutes early) punchy met us outside the gate and started handing around our id tags (required for entrance). After some introductions and a search for camera's we all loaded into a passenger van to start our tour.

With Punchy driving and narrating we wound through the streets and testing centers of the grounds and got some history, as well as looking for pre-production vehicles. The grounds have been sold and GM is leasing it back until the army installation is ready for them in Yuma. By selling the grounds GM not only gained liquidity in the form of cash but also saved a good 2 million in property taxes. During the tour we drove by the 2.5 mile strait away and someone (I think firstgen4ever) mentioned what are those swamp coolers for? We all looked over and there are about 4-5 swamp coolers beside the track.. Punchy informed us that those hook to vents in the track that they park over to cool the engines and brakes and car in general. We also saw the tow able dyno's (the reason for the hitch and attachments on the back). After passing and gazing at different road surfaces, speed bumps, washboard, grooved roads we ended up in the middle of the circle track (you can see it on the Google maps).

The Ride -

While we waited for the corvettes to show up and give us our anticipated ride, punchy delivered the news that he believed there was NO Camaro's on the property. Sad we were but also unbelieving and we kept our eyes peeled! Also we got the benefit of watching a Nascar run the circle track as we waited (Number 78 if any Nascar fans are out there). finally after some info pumping questions tossed out at punchy who admittedly didn't know A LOT the corvettes showed up. 2 c6's and 1 c5 zo6. The drivers were introduced and my horrible memory can't remember more than Jason(Punchy if you could give names that would be great i left my pen and pad at home). We all gazed and even after all the excitement were a little nervous about going first. They loaded us up and took off. Let me say, these guys can drive! Drifting S curves at over 100MPH and then doing spins at 60+MPH is amazing with a professional driver! My driver Jason and I carried a wonderful conversation all throughout the ride.

The Grande' Finally -

So we all loaded back up into the van and started to head back towards the gate. Then the most beautiful words I have ever heard sounded.. Is that the Camaro!?!?! Sure enough, there being unloaded out of a enclosed semi, were 3 black pre-production Camaro's (2 already unloaded and third on its way out, one covered with a car cover). Punchy pulled around and stopped in front of them as we all gazed in rapture. Punchy opened his door and the first thing heard was... Can we get out and look at them?!?!?! He looked at us and said yes. Instantly the door flew open and you had 16 camaro freaks all over the uncovered car. I wont go into all the details because most of whats been reported was just confirmed (tire size, still sporting the pre-prod headlights, ect) so I will just go into the stuff that hasn't been confirmed.

The drivers window was down I noticed as I walked down the passenger side. My first thought, This car is SMALL. To me its SMALLER than a 4th gen. Its roof height comes up to just over my nipple (roughly 55-56 inches). It was an automatic with 2 tone seats (red inserts and black body), everyone was gazing at the body and interior (which still isn't finished) and from my view through the passenger window I spied.. PADDLE SHIFTERS on the steering wheel. Also there was a center speaker in the top of the dash (No sign of HUD). All the while this is happening the semi driver that was unloading started yelling at punchy and he started rounding us up. Back in the van you could hear a collective sigh, this car has soul and passion without even moving.

Back in the van we headed back out the gate, unloaded and walked back to the gift shop, where we all loaded up on shirts hats and free postcards! All of this was punctuated by talk about the Camaro's. After all the purchasing and winding down we all walked back to the parking lot and went our own ways, another 16 disciples for the new 5th gen.


The shirt design owned and copyrighted by GM

The DPG is all out of the Camaro t-shirts and won't be ordering any more at this time. If things change they will let us know.
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Last edited by Mr. Wyndham; 04-09-2008 at 01:37 PM. Reason: Small figure change..., Another edit on request from GM
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:00 PM   #2
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Thank you very much, sir.

One "small" question...

I am 6'7" tall, do you think I'm going to be comfortable in the new Camaro?

Thanks again!
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:01 PM   #3
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Diarmadhi, covered everything I can remember. Talk about the experience of a lifetime. I can't wait to pick-up my new Camaro from the dealership, they are beautiful in just pre-production trim.

The Corvette drive was incredible, at first I was nervous in the turns, but after he did the 360 spin in 4 gear on the straight away I settled right down. I am still grinning from ear to ear.

I asked for the guys that didn't get to go this time, Punchy said they are having a tour on Friday. Give Punchy a PM and he will see what he can set up. They are also talking about having an open house sometime in November.

This was one event I will never forget, thank you so much Punchy.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:57 PM   #4
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thanks again to Punchy. you rock. that was amazing experience. the vette ride was great.
diarmadhi you did forget one thing. when we were all in the van going back to the gate. did you not see the light shine down from heaven and hear the angles start singing?? i don't ever think i have seen some many people drooling at one time. this was the first 5th gen i have seen in person and i will never forget it. kind of like the first girl you kissed, or the first.... well you know what i mean. the camaro is even better looking in person. i can't wait till i can get one of my own.
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:15 PM   #5
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I'm glad you guys enjoyed yourselves.
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:17 PM   #6
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This is my first post to this board, although I've been following this and other forums since the reveal of the Camaro Concept, and I want to use this opportunity to thank Punchy and our Corvette drivers for being the sort of people all Auto Enthusiasts should be. This was an opporunity of a lifetime for us and we are all greatful for their generosity.

diarmadhi recalled everything with great detail. What started as a "there are no camaros on the grounds" ended spectacularly. Only after we all left did it hit me that the Camaros we saw might very well be the ones Corey photographed in Florida!
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:51 PM   #7
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Sounds like it was quite an amazing experience. Everything from the thrill ride to the suprise at the end. I would love to be a part of that. Punchy you will have a pm shortly.

To all the guys that were able to attend this past weekend, I'm VERY jealous. =P
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Old 04-06-2008, 06:54 PM   #8
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Great info! lucky turds >_<
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:29 PM   #9
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wow good story, it sounded like a excellent experience. must be a unexplainable feeling seeing the prepo for the first time.

keep us updated with all this stuff happening in arizona cause it looks like thats were all the main testing is being done, and most of the sitings
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:24 PM   #10
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I couldn't have done a better writeup myself! It looks like you covered everything. I never realized how in depth they go in recreating road surfaces for testing. I believe I even saw one section marked Mexican Cobblestone, which I have never heard of. Thanks to Punchy for setting up that tour, it was a blast and the corvette ride was incredible! I think it may have been Punchy who called in the favor to have the Camaros delivered just for us. That car looks mean even sitting in a dusty old lot, I have never seen one in person before and I am amazed at how well the car looks. I don't think anybody will be dissapointed with it.
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:28 PM   #11
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Lucky bast*rds!

one word.. SUPERCHARGER!!
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:35 PM   #12
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You guys are so ridiculously lucky it's not even funny! *jealous*

Seriously though, that's awesome.

Dumb question though, if they sold the desert proving grounds, where are they going to do future North American testing?
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Justin View Post
You guys are so ridiculously lucky it's not even funny! *jealous*

Seriously though, that's awesome.
Agreed, lucky bunch of Camaro5 members. Thanks to Punchy
Great writeup, thanks for sharing that. Hope to hear from the others that went also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin
Dumb question though, if they sold the desert proving grounds, where are they going to do future North American testing?
New GM testing facility will be in Yuma, AZ
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:55 PM   #14
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Thumbs up Awesome

Quote:
Originally Posted by diarmadhi View Post
Featured on frontpage.

So I get up this Sunday morning.. all apprehensive and nervous.. todays the day. Thanks to Punchy (I can't say this enough) 16 camaro fans got taken on a tour of the desert proving grounds in mesa Arizona.

Arrival -

On arrival (10 minutes early) punchy met us outside the gate and started handing around our id tags (required for entrance). After some introductions and a search for camera's we all loaded into a passenger van to start our tour.

With Punchy driving and narrating we wound through the streets and testing centers of the grounds and got some history, as well as looking for pre-production vehicles. The grounds have been sold and GM is leasing it back until the army installation is ready for them in Yuma. By selling the grounds GM not only gained liquidity in the form of cash but also saved a good 2 million in property taxes. During the tour we drove by the 2.5 mile strait away and someone (I think firstgen4ever) mentioned what are those swamp coolers for? We all looked over and there are about 4-5 swamp coolers beside the track.. Punchy informed us that those hook to vents in the track that they park over to cool the engines and brakes and car in general. We also saw the tow able dyno's (the reason for the hitch and attachments on the back). After passing and gazing at different road surfaces, speed bumps, washboard, grooved roads we ended up in the middle of the circle track (you can see it on the Google maps).

The Ride -

While we waited for the corvettes to show up and give us our anticipated ride, punchy delivered the news that he believed there was NO Camaro's on the property. Sad we were but also unbelieving and we kept our eyes peeled! Also we got the benefit of watching a Nascar run the circle track as we waited (Number 78 if any Nascar fans are out there). finally after some info pumping questions tossed out at punchy who admittedly didn't know A LOT the corvettes showed up. 2 c6's and 1 c5 zo6. The drivers were introduced and my horrible memory can't remember more than Jason(Punchy if you could give names that would be great i left my pen and pad at home). We all gazed and even after all the excitement were a little nervous about going first. They loaded us up and took off. Let me say, these guys can drive! Drifting S curves at over 100MPH and then doing spins at 60+MPH is amazing with a professional driver! My driver Jason and I carried a wonderful conversation all throughout the ride.

The Grande' Finally -

So we all loaded back up into the van and started to head back towards the gate. Then the most beautiful words I have ever heard sounded.. Is that the Camaro!?!?! Sure enough, there being unloaded out of a enclosed semi, were 3 black pre-production Camaro's (2 already unloaded and third on its way out, one covered with a car cover). Punchy pulled around and stopped in front of them as we all gazed in rapture. Punchy opened his door and the first thing heard was... Can we get out and look at them?!?!?! He looked at us and said yes. Instantly the door flew open and you had 16 camaro freaks all over the uncovered car. I wont go into all the details because most of whats been reported was just confirmed (tire size, still sporting the pre-prod headlights, ect) so I will just go into the stuff that hasn't been confirmed.

The drivers window was down I noticed as I walked down the passenger side. My first thought, This car is SMALL. To me its SMALLER than a 4th gen. Its roof height comes up to just over my nipple (roughly 55-56 inches). It was an automatic with 2 tone seats (red inserts and black body), everyone was gazing at the body and interior (which still isn't finished) and from my view through the passenger window I spied.. PADDLE SHIFTERS on the steering wheel. Also there was a center speaker in the top of the dash (No sign of HUD). All the while this is happening the semi driver that was unloading started yelling at punchy and he started rounding us up. Back in the van you could hear a collective sigh, this car has soul and passion without even moving.

Back in the van we headed back out the gate, unloaded and walked back to the gift shop, where we all loaded up on shirts hats and free postcards! All of this was punctuated by talk about the Camaro's. After all the purchasing and winding down we all walked back to the parking lot and went our own ways, another 16 disciples for the new 5th gen.


The shirt design owned and copyrighted by GM
Thanks for shearing your, one of your best day's of your life with us here

Can you tell me were I could buy one of those awesome t-shirts at
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:02 PM   #15
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Thank you very much, sir.

One "small" question...

I am 6'7" tall, do you think I'm going to be comfortable in the new Camaro?

Thanks again!
great post and i was wondering the same thing, im 6'5" and its a tad tight in my thrid gen now, but its ok, so as long as there is equal amount of room as in the last few gens...we should be fine...?
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Camaro68 View Post
Thanks for shearing your, one of your best day's of your life with us here

Can you tell me were I could buy one of those awesome t-shirts at
You can only get them at the proving ground gift shop, and of course they are sold out now (I think)
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:31 PM   #17
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great post and i was wondering the same thing, im 6'5" and its a tad tight in my thrid gen now, but its ok, so as long as there is equal amount of room as in the last few gens...we should be fine...?
Due to the multiple demands on height issues.. heres what i posted over on camaroz28.com in response to how roomy the car is..

Quote:
To me it looked roomier than a mustang, but I think that was mostly because the center console was lower. In a mustang the console is basically at elbow height when sitting in it, in the camaro it looked like the console only just came above the seat bolster.

The gift shop lady said some of the taller men complained about hitting their head on the a pillar when entering/exiting but I don't really sea that happening unless your almost 7ft tall. Come to think of it.. I didn't see any "oh $hit" handles on the pillars, so at this point I would say egress and entrance should be about the same as the mustang.

Another point of note, I remember one of the other saying "oh look bluetooth" and pointing at the buttons on the steering wheel. So add that to the confirmed list. Also the rear deck had what looked to be like 2 6X9 speakers in it. And the rear seats where not in any of the ones we saw so its hard to judge back seat room.

Still getting over not only seeing but touching the pre-prod... Ask away for questions and I will rack my brain for what I saw.
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:31 PM   #18
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Newbie here. Thanks to Bouncertime for inviting me to go with him today. I had a blast and the new Camaro is awesome. The Vette ride was incredibly fun.

As for the person above that asked about the T-shirt. They have them in the gift shop at the facility. Ask Punchy for details on how to get one, or maybe call the Proving Grounds and ask for the gift shop.
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:14 AM   #19
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Great info!

Quote:
Any idea on engines? - Nothing solid, one variant does have a supercharger.
Was the Mustang used as a comparison? - The GT500 was used as a benchmark.
This kinda talk leads me to think that we might be seeing a monster engine in the top end V8. CTS-V engine anyone???
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:30 AM   #20
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sooooo . . . did anyone 'forget' to leave their camera behind? Nobody? Hmm. Thats fine, its nice to know that everyone plays by the rules and such.

(PM me the pictures . . . I won't tell anyone!)
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:39 AM   #21
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I didn't see any cameras. I'm quite certain everyone did play by the rules, as much as it hurt to do so. I always have a camera, except today, and I sure missed my camera.
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:43 AM   #22
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Crap another thing... Ill edit my main post.

The engineer guy responded to a question about the IRS, that it was not the same one the GTO had..

and like KG said.. I saw no cameras, the only pics i have are in my head...
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:48 AM   #23
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You guys are killing me here. I keep waiting to come in here and see a pic.

I believe I had a great group of people though and from what I was seeing, everyone played by the rules.
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:50 AM   #24
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You guys are killing me here. I keep waiting to come in here and see a pic.

I believe I had a great group of people though and from what I was seeing, everyone played by the rules.
Punchy, we were sooooo worried that you were gonna lose your job over just letting us look at and paw them.. nobodies job is worth some pictures of a car that will be out soon enough.

You deserve a lot more respect than that.
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:50 AM   #25
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Awesome post. All I can say is paddle shifters, S/C, and the GT500 was the benchmark. This new Camaro is going to be amazing, and I cant wait to get my hands on one.
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