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Old 06-20-2009, 12:21 PM   #1
Nocturnal
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Brit looking to buy Camaro...

Hi everyone, I not only completely understand, but expect some abuse for this... I've always thought the 5th gen Camaro was a fantastic looking car, but after going to see the new Transformers film I think I'm genuinely in love. I went all weak at the knees and started frothing at the crotch when it came on screen, and after adding up how much I can sell a kidney and lung for, I'm genuinely considering buying one.

But, I know VERY little about them. So far, I've managed to glean from the net that Chevrolet offer a V6 and a V8, I've had a look at the poorly described options list on their website (which kept dying on me), and I've noticed that the first UK dealers to import the cars are asking for £28k compared with $22k (~£13k) that guys in the US have to pay. Obviously that's rape of the most violent kind, so I'm looking to import one from the US myself. So, I'll apologise for this now, but I have lots of questions. I have searched this, four other Camaro owners clubs, and I've been on google all morning, but I'm getting lots of varied info, so you'll just have to excuse if they've been answered before.

V6 or V8?

I'm assuming most people will say 'V8' purely because of performance, but that's not really the reason I want one, I have a '91 MX5 (Miata) that I track to rid my urge for speed, so really I'm after info on economy (...well, kind of, it won't influence me in the slightest but it would be nice to have figures), reliability, availability of parts, ease to work on etc. Also, what do they sound like? Primarily I've set my sights on the V8 (SS?), but want to know if it's worth considering the V6.

Quality

Are they built well? What are the interiors like? Obviously for the money I'm not expecting Audi build quality but equally I don't want to be driving down the motorway holding bits of trim plastic in place instead of enjoying the car.

Options list

What's worth having and what isn't? To be honest, though I'm not particularly out to make an exact copy, given that the 'Bumblebee' car has driven my passion to buy one in the first place, is that aero option (the bumper, bonnet/hood etc) available? Is that colour 'inferno orange'?

Ride quality

What do they drive like? Are they fast? What suspension set-up do these cars use, and is it adjustable in any way? It's unlikely this car will see the track, certainly not for a couple of years, but it's likely I'll take it to the Nurburgring at least once a year. Though I'm not expecting to put the car through it's paces at this stage, I am at least hoping for something with good feedback and that will at least hold its own, basically something I can enjoy on the journey there/back, and once I'm there.

Buying

I've noticed that the dealer prices for the V8 start at $30k~ish, is this a set-price or is it worth haggling? Does anyone know if I can order one in the US through a UK dealer? Or is it better to fly over and do it myself? Has anyone exported/imported one yet? What kind of fees would I expect to pay? Most importantly, would they pass an SVA test?

Any help is massively appreciated. I'm set to start my RAF career in a few months, so realistically I'm looking to buy in around 12-18mths, but I thought I'd get my research in early as it's a pretty big financial commitment for me. Due to the trade I'm hoping to work closely with USAF guys and see if I can even maybe pull a few strings and get one flown over...but I'll cross that bridge when it comes. But, I am serious about buying one. At the moment, new car prices here are sky-high, even the new Mugen-tuned FN2 Civic is set to sell at £35k (that's ~$58k!!), and I just can't understand the mark-up GM are trying to make on the UK market given the price they're being sold for in the US. I know when I came close to importing a 180SX a couple of years ago the import process cost around £1100, has the price risen/fallen at all?

Thanks!

Edit - And does anyone know if there are in any in the UK available for test drives yet?
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:24 PM   #2
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Sounds like you probably want to try to score a V6 model unless you have some extra cash. I am buying used myself.

P.S. Grats and best wishes with your RAF experiance.

My grandfather and mothers family lived on a UK RAF base towards the end and a bit after WWII. He was USAF based out of Randolph AFB, where I also worked 3 years.
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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Thanks! Do you know which RAF base it was?

As for the extra cash for the V8, it's not necessarily an issue due to the pound/dollar strength at the moment, so it works out at 'not much' extra in the scheme of things. Plus, dare I say it, I think I'd buy the V8 for the noise alone! I mainly ask just in case the V8 is a bit of a dog and the V6 a stunning engine by comparison.
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:35 PM   #4
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Check out the Wiki on this site, there is a lot of info there. Also there has been a lot of discussion about all of your questions (including user reviews, etc), so search around and you'll be surprised at the extreme wealth of knowledge this site contains.

And, welcome
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:35 PM   #5
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Hello and welcome, from across the pond!
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:40 PM   #6
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Supposedly, according to GM policy, US dealers are only allowed to sell to people with a US address. You may have problems finding a dealer that will do it. Although im sure there is some scum dealer that will.
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:42 PM   #7
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Cheers guys, just read the thread on interior quality so that's that question answered! I'm not after a wealth of gadgets, just something more comfortable than a bucket seat, and something better to look at than a roll-cage and fire extinguisher!
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:13 PM   #8
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Hey, glad to see another Englishman here. Well I'd recommend the V6 as well. As for importing, you can do it yourself which would come in cheaper but would be a lot of hassle as well. I know of two companies that do importing. They also register the car here, change it to UK standarts, they manage everything.
http://www.americancarriage.co.uk/am...FRQSzAodB3MSoA
http://www.americancarimports.com/
You can probably find more by googling "US car import to UK". If you phone them up I'm sure they'll explain everything.
Also check out the camaro builder if you haven't yet.
http://microsite.chevrolet.com/allnewcamaro
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nocturnal View Post
Thanks! Do you know which RAF base it was?
No but probably one of the training bases since that's what part of RAFB does.


Hopefully top gear UK will review both Camaro's. Chevy should send them two.

Send them a RJT SS (they like the color and will get better lux quality review).

Because I know GM is just hell bent to send them Silver.. no offense to silver. Ok so it's just my taste.
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Old 06-20-2009, 02:17 PM   #10
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You may want to consider a Canadian-sourced Camaro...metric gauges (if mandatory for British import) are included. A friend in Switzerland, when buying new, generally sources through Canada...

PM me if you need assistance with Canadian sourcing.
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Old 06-20-2009, 02:20 PM   #11
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I'll answer the quality question. You won't be disappointed. It's about as nice as the chevy interiors get. If you like how the interior looks in person, you'll love it when you are sitting in it because they're built so well. I'd say the only way to tell if you won't like it is to read write-ups and listen to the complaints. V8 is probably the way to go, and good luck!
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:26 PM   #12
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Wait awhile. When the hooplah dies down the prices will normalize.
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:27 PM   #13
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How about Top Gear stops crapping on American cars, then you come back and ask for advice? HAHA, JK. Seriously though, those guys need to chill out.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:01 AM   #14
Nocturnal
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Haha, don't worry, they're only journalists afterall. Hammond himself has an old Charger and an old Mustang I believe.

Hopefully by the time I'm realistically looking to buy one, the buzz will have died down to a degree anyway.

Thanks again guys!
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