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Old 05-31-2011, 04:06 PM   #1
FNG
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Talking My obsession...


Performance Mods:
Cosmetic & Miscellaneous Mods:


Future Mods:
  • Exhaust
  • Long Tube Headers
  • Springs
  • Supercharger


The story of my obsession:

2006:
I believe it was back in 2006 when I saw images of the Camaro concept; needless to say, my jaw hit the floor. I don't recall ever seeing a concept before that I loved; "as is". The Camaro was definitely the first. I was hoping that NOTHING about the body style would change before it was released. Since it was merely a "concept" I didn't really think the final production vehicle would come close to capturing that perfect balance between modern / retro style while maintaining the sophisticated, yet menacing look of the 2006 concept.

2007 - 2008:
In 2007 I saw the "live action" Transformers movie on opening day. (I grew up watching and playing with Transformers, so I was quite a skeptic.) When Bumblebee wasn't the VW from the generation 1 cartoon I was a bit irritated, but that quickly faded... When he altered his form from the classic 1976 Camaro to the new Concept, I literally cheered in the middle of the theater.... The movie could have been a huge steaming pile of dung from that point on, and I wouldn't have cared; I would have watched intently waiting for the next Bumblebee scene. Actually, I'm fairly certain that the first thing I said when asked for my opinion of the movie was.. "I NEED THAT CAR!"

Throughout 2008 I kept an eye out for any magazines, news stories, or online videos about the Camaro concept every now and then... I could tell that the Camaro was quickly becoming quite an obsession of mine.

2009:
In August of 2009, while on Vacation in North Carolina, I spotted a Rally Yellow 2LT Camaro while heading to an early dinner. This was the first time I would be able to see, touch and sit in an actual production / retail version... naturally we had to stop and check it out. (My wife and in-laws knew how badly I wanted to see one in real life, so they were kind enough to humor me and happily accept the brief detour.)


Needless to say, I fell in love with what sat on the small car lot in front of me.. ... Of course, that was until the dealer told me the asking price of the 2LT with rally stripes and no RS package: $39,500!
(Over the next few months I quickly learned that this MSRP + 'early adopter fee' was pretty normal.)

Since I had purchased a Honda Civic back in late 2003, and recently made my final loan payment, I decided to keep it until I was ready to buy a Camaro... I wanted the Camaro, badly, but I didn't need one. After all, I have a wife, son, animals, a mortgage and daily expenses to worry about... I didn't think I'd ever see the day that I'd be able to justify the purchase; especially with the economy and job market taking quite a dip.

2010:
I occasionally stopped at random dealerships around the Clearwater, Tarpon Springs & Tampa Florida area to look at the 2010 models.... each one that I wanted was still too far outside of my price range, but the cars were becoming much easier to find. (This was exciting because I knew that eventually the price would be right for my budget.)

By the end of 2010 the "New Car Itch" was getting to me pretty badly... What made it worse was that I didn't just want 'another new car', I wanted the new Camaro. (It's not practical.. gas prices suck and the gas mileage is 1/2 of what I was getting in the Civic.. the trim and options I like are pricey... to top it off, I'd have to somehow convince my wife that it was a good idea for me to get one!)

2011:
My neighbor down the street from me is a buddy of mine. He introduced me to a good friend of his... His friend was a pretty cool guy, he was into cars and was knowledgeable about high tech "toys" and video games, so we hit it off.... A few weeks after meeting the "friend of a friend", he rolled through my neighborhood with a brand new Synergy Green 2011 Camaro. When I realized who it was, and that he was headed to my neighbors house, I must have looked like a child chasing the ice cream man down the street on a hot summer day... I literally bolted out of the house and down the street to get a better look at his new ride. (Seeing this color in person is completely different than looking at it in a brochure or online... it's hot.)

After learning of my Camaro obsession, my new Synergy green buddy quickly began nudging me to take the leap; he even let me drive his Camaro to prove that I didn't necessarily NEED a manual transmission. (For some reason it's difficult to find a manual transmission here in the Tampa, Florida area.... especially when you only have our eye on 1 or 2 colors and it HAS to be a 2LT/RS.)

A few days later we got together and tore apart the center console of his Camaro, then added the USB port, AUX input and Bluetooth module... I couldn't believe how fast and easy it was. He kept saying to me; "Just get the lower trim level and we'll build it up to what you want... just do it.. just get it" (Peer pressure's a b***h; even as an adult.)

After learning about the upcoming 2012, reading about the changes, and how dealers would start trying to move their 2011 inventory, I started to take a SERIOUS look at my finances.... Somehow, over the course of a few months I managed to warm my wife up to the idea of me trading in my Civic to get something 'fun'... like 2011 the Camaro. When my wife went up to Maryland to visit her family, I took the opportunity to do a little "Camaro recon" with my son. We spent an entire weekend driving from dealership to dealership in search of a manual 2LT/RS in Synergy Green or Rally Yellow. (as I said before; it's not easy to find a manual when you're picky about color and trim.)
Close.. but no cigar.


While I thought I was doing my wife a favor by saving her from an entire day of looking at the "same cars" over and over, she saw it a bit differently. My wife was convinced that I was trying to sneak around or cut her out of the buying process... honestly this wasn't the case; at least not consciously. (She was still supportive of my efforts to NOT be impulsive with my purchase.)


On May 28th, 2011 I decided to make some appointments with various dealers to get more information / pricing on 2011 models... and possibly begin "negotiations"

When I pulled up to one of the dealerships, I saw this sitting on the lot:


So I parked my 2003 Civic next to this gorgeous piece of American muscle and headed inside...


Then I hopped in and went for a test drive...




Objects in mirror have been traded in....


Now this 2011 Rally Yellow 2LT/RS lives in my garage.


It's been many years since I've had a car payment, so I'm a little nervous... but I can't stop smiling... I've never owned a vehicle with over 127 HP, nor have I ever owned a rear wheel drive vehicle.. so far.. I'm absolutely amazed.

Oh yeah, the "accent lighting" was a complete surprise after I purchased the vehicle... I just ran to the store the other night and I felt like I was in the movie TRON... I love it. I'm not sure what my plans are yet, but I'm thinking that I'd eventually like to do something to make it look a little more unique and possible add cold air intake, or a new exhaust.. I have no idea where to start... but I SURE AM LOVING LIFE RIGHT NOW!

05-30-2011
I drove the car to to work today and my boss, the owner of the company I work for, saw it parked in my assigned spot. When he ran into me in the office he asked me if it was mine. After telling him that it was indeed mine, he immediately began to scold me and escorted me down to the parking garage.... After stepping off of the elevator and walking around the corner he pointed at my Camaro, then to his vehicle that was parked several "reserved" spots away... "Notice anything?" he said... "My car is newer?" I replied... "NO! You're parked all wrong! You see those two empty spots on either side of your new car? Those are OUR spots and I want you to use them!! Don't let ANYONE park next to you in this garage; I don't want you up there worrying about door dings, so go figure out how to make your new toy fit in all three of those spots." I didn't know what to say except for "Yes, sir."



Now that I'm a Camaro owner, updates and improvements will be posted below....

JOURNAL CONTINUED - UPDATES / MODS / IMPROVEMENTS:

06-12-2011 - Added GM Autobot center caps, vinyl Radio Face Cover & Headlight Protectors.



(Headlight pics coming soon) I'll be adding protectors for the fog lights next.
... Ordered the parts to continue the Ambient Lighting from my doors through the dashboard. (can't wait)

06-25-2011 - Added "Quarter Panel Gill Scoop Inserts" (Item #: CAMT65) from rpidesigns.com

(I wrote up an installation guide for anyone who purchases these vinyl inserts.)




06-25-2011 - Windows tinted, fixed drivers side gill accents.
Precision Auto Films did an excellent job on my tint; thanks Chris!






09-01-2011 - Dashboard ambient lighting (ABL) installed




12-25-2011 - Cold Air Intake by CAI & P13W Plasma DRL's by ORACLE installed




1-10-2012 - ORACLE SMD Sidemarker Kit from AACStyle.com installed



1-11-2012 - ORACLE foot well lighting from AACStyle.com installed
(no pic yet)


2-9-2012 - Painted Engine Cover installed


4-2-2012 - HURST Comp Stick Kit & Comp Plate Installed



4-3-2012 - HURST Paddle Shifters Installed


4-21-2012 - SRP Black Anodized Pedals Installed:


4-24-2012 - 12" JL Audio Sub / Alpine Amplifier installed (more pics):


8-16-2012 - 3/8" Iceolator, Plenum Iceolator & Rx Catch Can installed:


11-11-2012 - Transformers Edition Fascia Blackout installed:


11-27-2012 - Transformers Edition door sills installed:



12-3-2012 - Door Sill LED Illumination Installed:



12-25-2012 - JDP Color Changing Halo Kit Installed:



12-26-2012 - Transformers Edition Center Console Lid:
(pics coming soon)

01-06-2013 - Eibach Sway bars


07-07-2013 - Ported Throttle Body
(Thanks Florida Speed & Power!)

08-02-2013 - Heritage Grille Installed - (Thanks for the great deal & excellent service, MaureenM@RodgersChevrolet)


01-25-2014 - ZL1 Rocker panels installed.

02-19-2014 - OEM Front Lip Spoiler painted & installed:

Last edited by FNG; 05-17-2014 at 10:06 PM. Reason: .. updated, again.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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That's a great story
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:57 PM   #3
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Almost sounds like me. Always loved transformers and the first time i laid eyes on the new camaro, my heart pumped so fast and my jaw dropped to the ground. Like you, it was the first car that i can say that i wanted sooooo bad. I did so much research after the movie, that i ordered as soon as i heard they were releasing to make sure i got everything i wanted. Still almost 2 years now, i still cant believe i own the car of my dreams. I always have to stare at it for 30 minutes just to grasp the beauty and i hope this feeling never stops <3<3<3
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:15 PM   #4
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Great story! Congrats!
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Dude, you go through cars faster than I go through underware!!
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1100 Order accepted at dealer: 9/15/2009 - NPGV41.
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3000 Accepted By Production Control: 9/30/2009 - TPW 10/26/09
3100 Sequenced:10/12/09
3300 Scheduled For Production:10/13/09
3400 Broadcast:10/22/09
3800 Produced:10/27/09
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:21 AM   #5
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Nice!! Btw bumblebee was a 76 camaro not a 69.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:04 AM   #6
FNG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73camarolt View Post
Nice!! Btw bumblebee was a 76 camaro not a 69.
Thanks... I had '69 stuck in my head because my dad was just talking about his old Camaro... I'm fairly certain it was a '69

Last edited by FNG; 06-27-2011 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:16 AM   #7
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah View Post
Almost sounds like me. Always loved transformers and the first time i laid eyes on the new camaro, my heart pumped so fast and my jaw dropped to the ground. Like you, it was the first car that i can say that i wanted sooooo bad. I did so much research after the movie, that i ordered as soon as i heard they were releasing to make sure i got everything i wanted. Still almost 2 years now, i still cant believe i own the car of my dreams. I always have to stare at it for 30 minutes just to grasp the beauty and i hope this feeling never stops <3<3<3
I"m happy to hear that the feeling is still strong after 2 years... I sat in the car for 2 hours last night just getting myself familiar with every button, dial and setting.

By the way, your Aqua Blue Metallic Camaro is NICE! I've only seen 1 of those rolling around in my area... As a matter of fact, I saw that color Camaro in person for the very first time last week.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:28 AM   #8
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Great story! Loved the "objects in the mirror" line. My husband knows that when I have to have something, I have to have it. Fortunately it doesn't happen real often, but when I saw that concept car in 2006 I told him I had to have it. Two days after ordering began in 2008, having never seen the car in "real life", my order was placed. (at list price thank you H&H Chevy) Beautiful car, welcome to the family!
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:35 AM   #9
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Here comes the hard part...which mod do you do first. Funny you said that about the TRON line. My buddy said that my car looks like its from TRON.. he said it looks computer generated and looks not real driving down the road. Thats the goal, make it unique and have fun in the process.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:46 AM   #10
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-updated-

Over the weekend I added:
GM Autobot Center Caps
Radio Face Cover
Headlight Protector

Light tube and LED's were ordered for Ambient Lighting in the dash; to match the ABL in the doors... can't wait!
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:00 PM   #11
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Great story! Congrats on YOUR Camaro!
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:41 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone... I've updated the "journal" with a pic of the new "Quarter Panel Gill Scoop Inserts"... I have the light pipe from Ofer, but I'm still waiting on LED's to arrive so I can start the ABL in the dash.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:35 PM   #13
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Great Story .. Love the Yellow with the Black Strips .. How's is the Radio face cover? .. Never knew that they made this ...
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:55 PM   #14
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This is one awesome story/build. I hope you can make it to Pony Wars.
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
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This is one awesome story/build. I hope you can make it to Pony Wars.
I got the "ok" from the Mrs. and I THINK I've convinced my buddy with the Synergy Green Camaro to join us as well. I guess I should book a hotel room then... do I register at the event, or is there a pre-registration/payment method I'm unaware of?
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Great Story .. Love the Yellow with the Black Strips .. How's is the Radio face cover? .. Never knew that they made this ...
I keep forgetting to post pics of it, but I like it. After the initial installation it bubbled and looked strange because of the heat, but I used a little squeegee and go it back in place; no issues what so ever after that. The best part is that nobody has a clue that it's there.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:03 PM   #17
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I'm thinking about doing cold air intake soon... does anyone have any recommendations?

Last edited by FNG; 12-26-2011 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:39 AM   #18
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Cool story and journal. Sounded very familiar. Hope to see you around some time. Where in Palm Harbor are you? I'm off of Curlew and Belcher.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:21 PM   #19
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Cool story and journal. Sounded very familiar. Hope to see you around some time. Where in Palm Harbor are you? I'm off of Curlew and Belcher.
Thanks.. I'm sure I've seen you around & just didn't know it. I'm just north east of you; off Tampa Rd. & Lake St. George.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:58 PM   #20
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Such a great story and congrats on the purchase!
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:12 AM   #21
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Got the wiring harness from Ofer (2SSRS) over the weekend and the LED's arrived yesterday; looks like the ABL mod goes in this weekend.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:33 AM   #22
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Great thread!
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:58 AM   #23
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Ambient lighting installation is now complete.... I just need to tweak things a bit to even up the brightness.


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Old 12-26-2011, 01:32 AM   #24
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Cold air intake installed:


Got the Oracle P13W plasma daytime running lights for Christmas; I'll install them soon.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:40 AM   #25
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Installed... easiest mod yet. Only took 12 minutes to install.
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