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Old 05-16-2014, 10:35 PM   #1
Muscle Car Lover

 
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"Christine" Always a Dream

I wanted to be up front here.

You are not going to see dropped spindles, 16 lb blowers, twin Garrett turbos, or most exotic mods. This journal is just about me and buying a new Camaro and how much it has (and will) mean to me.

Simple upgrades like Xpel, rocker guards, maybe if the Z/28 CAI and tri-Y headers come with a tune I will do that. I want to keep my warranty.

That said, read on if you like.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:41 PM   #2
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From March 8th:
Hello All!

I am a 38 year old molecular biology scientist and have been for 18 years. Back when I was younger and first got my license my Dad got me this crappy 1984 Renault Encore with a blown head gasket and told me if I could fix it, it was mine. My love for all things automotive was born.

I came from a broken family that was very poor (I know poor me ) but I really focused in College and became an accomplished professional with some resources at my disposal. I LOVED the late 1990's-early 2000's Pontiac Grand Prix's, so in 2000 I bought the Daytona Pace Car edition. I had it 2 months and the sun gear for the auto tranny blew up, and they took a month to supply a new part. Then the moonroof was leaking and even after 4 trips to the "water doctor" it was never solved. The brake rotors were shot at 25k miles and when the water pump began to leak I had enough of my dream car. In 2004 traded in my 2000 Pontiac GTP Daytona 500 Pace Car and bought an Infiniti G35X. Simply the best car I have ever had or driven. Until I got a new one in 2008. Just a wicked car.

But it's missing something. I can remember reading John Lingenfelter's "On Modifying Chevy Small Block Engines" and it became my bible. I worked on motors at the local track and built 383 strokers, was the time of my life in College.

I was ready to buy the new Infiniti Q50 this spring. Up at the beach last summer I was walking the strip and this hellacious sounding 1955 Chevy passed by and it brought back all the memories of real muscle. American muscle. I caught the bug.

While researching cars and seeing whats out there I saw an 1987 Buick Grand National at RK Motors in Charlotte and it was just bad ass. Looking around YouTube I saw all kinds of cool vids and especially "Tom's Turbo Garage" series on his GN project. Then I screwed up, I bought the film "Black Air" and now I am hooked again on power cars.

As things stand, I thought I could keep my 2008 Infiniti and buy a garage type car. I was so set on a Buick GN in the ~20-25k price range. Long story but it seems my garage situation has been changed (elderly mother in law in In-Law apartment at my home still wants to drive, can't have her out in the driveway especially in winter) so that's for another day. I was crushed really. Thought it was over.

I was ready to just get the new Infiniti Q50, but then I figured, why not look around?

The Camaro has always captivated me. The old real aluminum ZL-1 legend cars, the COPO cars, the first and new Z/28. The Pearl Jam "Wishlist" song even mentions a Camaro. I know the history, all of it.

I am gun shy on another GM car, are they better now? I have my trade in (~13k) and GM Card points (~4k) plus if I can nad a private offer, and I have ~20k to spend. I can get a new C very cheap to me.

Anyways, still lost in indecision. But the YouTube clips I have seen of the new C car gives me goosebumps. I like that. I want one.


From March 12th:
Hey all,

First off, it's my birthday!
38 circuits around our Sun, it's been interesting to say the least.

Second off, after really thinking about what is going to fit both my wants/dreams/desires/realistic needs I am set on a 2014 Camaro! If you have not read my Member Introduction post, I was set on a classic Buick Grand National, but garage situation has changed. I just cannot have a weekend summer warrior. But I will not be denied!

I can garage the car at home, but will have to drive in winter. That's fine with me. I want this 5th gen Camaro. I am steeped in Camaro/small block chevy lore and I love the history and what GM has done with the re-introduction. An Infiniti Q50? I am passing, I want that V-8 rumble.

To that end, two unresolved issues are at hand:
1.) Can we clear up this AFM issue? Some posters here (I spent 2 hours reading threads last night) claim it's silly and ridiculous. Judging by how many have voided their warranty (allegedly) by tuning it out I guess it's that bad. Except other drivers don't seem to care. I am not idling this car or showing it to my Scientist geeky friends with their stupid hybrids to save the environment this car on 4 cylinders. Which is it?

2.) I want the LS3 manual, but I have not driven a manual in about 13 years and the most powerful car I had was not powerful at all. Is this car driveable, manual, in the snow? Not 9 inches etc but just snowy roads? Honest answers and skip the "why drive in snow?" angle. I get it, I have to. If I didn't have to I would be going in another direction for a garage queen (king?).

Thanks again to everyone here, what a great resource and community.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:43 PM   #3
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March 29th, I love this post:
Hey all!

Today was test drive day! I was at MacMulkin early in the day and based upon feedback here I asked for Ron I. He was AWESOME. He knows every thing about the Camaros and he has a bad ass 1LE all tricked out himself.

The only 2SS they had there with a manual luckily had the hurst short throw shifter, which I wanted anyway. It was that red tint coat color, nice, but not my thing.

Looks wise, the car is drop dead sexy. I really have not seen one in real life, all close up. A beauty, new era classic. It does seem so BIG though, was a little intimidated

Inside I was impressed with how far GM has come with interiors since the early 2000's (last time I had one). The stock leather seats were excellent and really fit me well. Which leads me to.....

I was scared after reading reviews and such about the visibility "issues" and how "cramped" the car feels inside. Now maybe because I am only 5'10" or whatever, but I had zero issues feeling comfortable. Adjusted the mirrors and had zero issue seeing. I will agree the rear view is a bit cut off, but it's not a deal breaker. It is hard to really get a feel for the front end, its VERY long! Time and experience will aid that I imagine.

Of course, some guy looking at cars on another lot decided the best place to park his huge pick up truck was right in front of all the 2014 Camaros. The PA system was calling for the guy to move it and nobody knew who's truck it was. After 20 minutes Ron called his son and asked him to bring over his very own Camaro so that I could at least get a test drive in. I mean, what a guy, right? Just amazing service. Luckily the owner was finally found and the truck was moved.

A word now about the dual mode exhaust option. GET IT. It sounds hellacious and nasty. I was very impressed and then it quiets down fast so you don't piss off the neighbors or cop call when not necessary. Awesome option.

I have had half my 8 cars as manual, but it has been over 8 years since I had driven one regularly. I was nervous! No need. The clutch was smooth and it has a real limited movement IMO so its easy to find the catch point. The short throw shifter is wicked pissa, easy shifts. I even had a hill start in the fist 60 seconds of the drive (leaving Marmon Dr) and it was easy to roll it off, though the hill start assist was nice too.

It's a BIG car but it does not drive big, at least to me. Nimble and smooth, was impressed with the ride quality. And those big Brembo's! No issue stopping this car at all. I will say I got on it a bit 2 times, and it's deceptive in how fast it gets going. The smoothness of the power (not peaky like my Infiniti) means the car is getting up and going, but you don't feel like it is. The speedometer tells another story

Brought the car back to the dealership and it was final look over time. Talked to Ron about a few things, man it helps to have a person that knows what he is talking about. Took a 10 minute break to gather my thoughts.....

...and went right upstairs and PLACED MY ORDER!!!!

Went over pricing (very fair) order times (maybe a while he thinks, 9-12 weeks; ok with this as I wanted the car in June anyway), trade in price (very fair) and Xpel application (will pay for this separate and still need to work out what areas etc).

My order:
-2014 Camaro 2SS BLACK with Gray Leather Interior
-RS Package
-Dual Mode Exhaust
-Hurst Short Throw Shifter
-Navigation Package
It will be entered Monday and they have plenty of allocation. Deposit was paid and receipted.

I have bought 3 brand new cars before, and never before was my hand shaking while writing a check! I want this car so badly, and have wanted a car like this for so long. It's now in motion.

Sorry to ramble on, but it was a great day!
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:56 PM   #4
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My order ran into the dreaded "allocation" issue and my dealer knew they could get an exception but it took 2 weeks. Was not pleased at all.

But through it all Becky kept my spirits up and and journal posts like @Indydriver and @Camaro_krazee kept me focused on the project.

I wrote this over at Indy's jurnal:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indydriver View Post
Thank you MCL. Time to start your journal so we can learn from your experience! Although I'm experienced about a lot of things, I knew nothing about Camaros five months ago. I will admit to being manic about stuff I get interested in, this certainly being one. But every single tidbit of knowledge and experience documented in this thread came from the generosity of others here. I simply wanted to catalog the accumulation of information that has been put at my disposal as I build my dream car so that others may possibly benefit. My buy and build is actually pretty typical-performance bolt ons and try to get it how you want it to look. The fascinating thing is how people view and interpret the look of this car differently. Each one is like a work of art. I only created one but I enjoy and appreciate every one. It is really a unique experience in my nearly 60 years. I am thrilled with what I've created and what I see others creating for themselves. The process has been exhausting in some ways but extremely rewarding to see it come to fruition. I have one more major step to go-headers and tune-and I'm thinking that's going to really rachet up the excitement one more time. Then I'm done. I will enjoy what I've created (and try to keep it clean). I'm looking forward to completion of my project and reading about yours. Enjoy the ride.
I will start mine when I return from vacation!

I don't really care about bolt ons and such, to me the beauty is the experience and feelings about the car and what it means to each person. If that's crazy mods or just taking delivery, it's the experience that makes it memorable.

You have captured that excitement, the very essence of returning to a little kid waiting until it's ok to get up Christmas morning, the thrill of what (I would hope) keeps us striving and trying. It's very value added (corporate term) and I loved seeing things through your eyes.

I am ridiculously schooled in Camaro history, all of it (this causes problems reading the ZL-1 or Z/28 threads, just another option package to show off? Unreal). Coming from a silly poor family all we had were stories, and dreams. My Dad, RIP, was so enamored with Vette's and Camaro's, he just never had the chance to have one. What I would give to be able to give him one now. Or 10 years ago. Some history on us:
http://economicdisconnect.blogspot.c...-railroad.html

RSQMHJ = Christine and she is on her path.

Look forward to all your posts, a true enthusiast and a real motivator.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:57 PM   #5
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As of now my TPW is for 5/26 and I am so excited.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:17 PM   #6
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Order is now at.........
Status 3400
Order Broadcast to Plant; ready to Produce next week!

It's getting closer and closer
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:21 PM   #7
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Going fishing tomorrow out on Stellwagen Bank for cod and haddock on a private charter with 4 friends. Should be fun! After that......

It's get serious time.

RSQMHJ "Christine" should be built next week, maybe even Monday! Easy Birthday to remember!

To start, I need accessories. Here is what I need to order next week:
-Lloyds Floor Mats/Trunk Mat (or other, open to ideas; Gray with red 'SS')
-Gorilla Wheel Locks (full set)
-Weathertech Floor/Trunk Mats (for the winter)
-Car Cover (may need to park outside of my garage on occasion)
-Catch Can (Leaning towards Elite with matching clean side unit or Apex's awesome unit)
-ZL-1 Rock Guards
-Will be buying another set of wheels with Pirelli Scorpions for the winter, but I will wait until the fall to see if I just buy a winter car. Undecided.

I am not a mod type guy, I like to buy what I want and leave it be. That said, if the GM approved and warranty backed Z/28 CAI and "headers" become allowed equipment and a factory OK tune is approved to match them, you can bet your a$$ I will be 1st in line for that mod.

Anyone think of anything else I should have ready?

Going to be sad to send my Infiniti G35X to someone else though, what a great car. I even strapped my kayak to it a few times! (NEVER with the Camaro!). A good friend has sent me some special beer for when she arrives as well.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muscle Car Lover View Post
Going fishing tomorrow out on Stellwagen Bank for cod and haddock on a private charter with 4 friends. Should be fun! After that......

It's get serious time.

RSQMHJ "Christine" should be built next week, maybe even Monday! Easy Birthday to remember!

To start, I need accessories. Here is what I need to order next week:
-Lloyds Floor Mats/Trunk Mat (or other, open to ideas; Gray with red 'SS')
-Gorilla Wheel Locks (full set)
-Weathertech Floor/Trunk Mats (for the winter)
-Car Cover (may need to park outside of my garage on occasion)
-Catch Can (Leaning towards Elite with matching clean side unit or Apex's awesome unit)
-ZL-1 Rock Guards
-Will be buying another set of wheels with Pirelli Scorpions for the winter, but I will wait until the fall to see if I just buy a winter car. Undecided.

I am not a mod type guy, I like to buy what I want and leave it be. That said, if the GM approved and warranty backed Z/28 CAI and "headers" become allowed equipment and a factory OK tune is approved to match them, you can bet your a$$ I will be 1st in line for that mod.

Anyone think of anything else I should have ready?

Going to be sad to send my Infiniti G35X to someone else though, what a great car. I even strapped my kayak to it a few times! (NEVER with the Camaro!). A good friend has sent me some special beer for when she arrives as well.

Im with you MCL- I already got the Lloyd's mats: ebony with "camaro ss" in red. I was going to go with yellow to match exterior but wondered about them looking dirty. I read about 60 posts on catch can. Going with the Apex, it has "submarine seal technology" and it mounts a little higher than the elite to the front radiator plate which apparently is a good thing. Exhaust....... Still up in the air until I meet up with the guys. Do you think the GM promos/ rebates are going to be extended past 6/2?
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:55 PM   #9
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MCL, let me know if you find a good car cover. I'm going online tonight to check out. I have a 2 car garage, but my kids love to ride bikes and do gymnastics in it, so my bumblebee is getting driveway privileges
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:04 PM   #10
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MCL, let me know if you find a good car cover. I'm going online tonight to check out. I have a 2 car garage, but my kids love to ride bikes and do gymnastics in it, so my bumblebee is getting driveway privileges
I have a few bookmarked (car covers), I will narrow it down next week and let you know what I am leaning towards.

The Apex unit is awesome, but I figure why not add the matching clean side unit and Elite offers that. To be honest, not really sure it's needed (I have read a LOT on this) but why not.

The dual mode npp exhaust is bad ass as is, but yours is an auto. I really prefer the Borla S-type over the ATAK. Has a more commanding "basso profundo" sound than the raspy, peaky ATAK but if you like loud the ATAK is the way to go.

We are almost at the finish line man!
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:11 PM   #11
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TPW 5/26 is HERE!!!!
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:33 PM   #12
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Hope you get VIN tomorrow! Remember, they update the computers at midnight, so Tuesday morning will be the BIG day!
Good luck and Congrats!
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camaro_krazee View Post
Hope you get VIN tomorrow! Remember, they update the computers at midnight, so Tuesday morning will be the BIG day!
Good luck and Congrats!
Thanks!!! Will be checking all week, can't believe it's really time!
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:20 PM   #14
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To start, I need accessories. Here is what I need to order next week:

-Lloyds Floor Mats/Trunk Mat (or other, open to ideas; Gray with red 'SS')
---- Bought from Apex; gray set. Red "SS" logo on fronts and trunk mat. Rear seat mats as well, no logo

-Gorilla Wheel Locks (full set)
----Bought 4 of the 'spinning outside shell' type. That should be ok for my needs. Again from Apex

-Weathertech Floor/Trunk Mats (for the winter)
---- Not needed yet


-Car Cover (may need to park outside of my garage on occasion)
---- Need to find the right one, open to ideas

-Catch Can (Leaning towards Elite with matching clean side unit or Apex's awesome unit)
---- Bought the Apex unit, bought the Elite clean side unit

-ZL-1 Rock Guards
-----Bought from Apex

-Will be buying another set of wheels with Pirelli Scorpions for the winter, but I will wait until the fall to see if I just buy a winter car. Undecided.
---- Will revisit in September

Busy night! Money gets spent FAST!!!
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:31 PM   #15
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Lloyd's mats are the best! I got the RS ones for Wild Thing[my 2012 2LT RS]
and part of the Spring Edition package was custom mats. They are nice, but to tell the truth, IMO, the Lloyd's are better by far.

What color is your new ride going to be?

Hope ya get that VIN in the AM!!
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camaro_krazee View Post
Lloyd's mats are the best! I got the RS ones for Wild Thing[my 2012 2LT RS]
and part of the Spring Edition package was custom mats. They are nice, but to tell the truth, IMO, the Lloyd's are better by far.

What color is your new ride going to be?

Hope ya get that VIN in the AM!!
-Black with gray interior (just like the old time Buick Grand Nationals)
-YES!!!! Hoping or a VIN tomorrow but anytime this week is fine!
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:15 PM   #17
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"Christine" was born Monday at some point!!!!!

Becky says status is actually ALREADY SHIPPED!!! I have the VIN# and she is on her way!
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:38 PM   #18
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Bought CoverCraft's "Noah" car cover tonight from Autoanything. I think I have everything I need now. Just waiting on that train to roll on in.......
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:49 PM   #19
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Congrats! SOOOOO Happy for you!!! Won't be long now!
Now go out and practice your PERM-A-GRIN
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:01 PM   #20
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Haha, just found this thread. First time I've read your early posts. Congrats, man. I am so happy for you. You will cherish this car and make it yours. I'm excited all over again. My daughter came home from school then took off on a month long trip to Italy before joining the real world so my Vert has been playing garage queen on rainy days while I've reconnected with my old 2004 Dodge Intrepid (ES of course), a remarkable example of ChryCo's "cab forward" packaging. I wonder if they regret discontinuing this car? I don't see how the current 300 is an improvement. 232 HP V6, I can fit in the back seat and get four sets of clubs in the trunk. Still haven't figured out where to put the clubs in a Camaro vert!
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:01 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Congrats! SOOOOO Happy for you!!! Won't be long now!
Now go out and practice your PERM-A-GRIN
I got mega butterflies in my stomach! This always seemed SO FAR away and now it's on a train coming home???!!!! I was not even ready with the stuff I wanted to buy and went nuts last night spending $$$$.

Thanks for checking in and commenting, appreciate that.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:03 PM   #22
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Haha, just found this thread. First time I've read your early posts. Congrats, man. I am so happy for you. You will cherish this car and make it yours. I'm excited all over again. My daughter came home from school then took off on a month long trip to Italy before joining the real world so my Vert has been playing garage queen on rainy days while I've reconnected with my old 2004 Dodge Intrepid (ES of course), a remarkable example of ChryCo's "cab forward" packaging. I wonder if they regret discontinuing this car? I don't see how the current 300 is an improvement.
Haha, was wondering how you missed mine

I am overwhelmed a bit tonight, but a few Michelob Ultra's and getting a plan of action in place is making it easier.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:21 PM   #23
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Congrats buddy!!!!! I'm super excited for you!!! Just saw all the posts. You think you'll get her by 6/2?
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:27 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by No Regrets 2014 View Post
Congrats buddy!!!!! I'm super excited for you!!! Just saw all the posts. You think you'll get her by 6/2?
I would doubt it by 6/2. Best case is she arrives late next week and then the dealer can have the Xpel team apply the film, then I can maybe pick it up the following Monday/Tuesday? Hard to say, never know with rail transit.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:07 PM   #25
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What areas are you getting the Xpel applied to?
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