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Old 01-18-2019, 06:53 AM   #1
Paul O
 
Drives: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro V6
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 16
Talking Life with Bumblebee in the UK

Greetings from across the pond! I keep a journal of my car ownership on my blog (www.motorcloud.net). I did an initial intro in the newbie lounge last year, but as I'm 18 months in I thought I'd summarise the experience so far here and I'll try and keep it updates as the journey continues!

I purchased the car as I loved the design of it, the first time I saw it was in the 2007 Transformers film and it looked amazing. It is rare that cars are released that actually look like their concepts, but Chevrolet managed it and that was a great thing indeed!

So this is mine. Its the 3.6 V6 variant. Camaros are really rare in the UK, with only a handful available so you can't pick-and-choose too much unless you want to go down the import route, which I didn't. I wanted the colour scheme over an engine choice and happened to see this one for sale, which fitted what I wanted in the price bracket I was willing to pay. It had to be an auto as my first foray into LHD driving, but I've found the engine to be plenty powerful enough for me.

The previous owner turned out to be an old acquaintance from movie conventions of the past so the whole buying experience was pretty painless.



It took a few days learning how to drive a left-hand-drive car and I had my friend as a passenger for the first journey home to help me gauge where I was on the road, but 18 months on and we're all good now. I can hop in to LHD or RHD without any issues.

After getting home I thought I'd try and see if I could squeeze this car into my garage! Garages here in the UK are very small - and being a USA car it didn't have fold in mirrors. This gave me about a 1cm gap to work with on each side. But, good news that it does fit! Just. With the aid of a camera at the back I can actually park this myself in there now without the Mrs watching me in!



Massive gap at the rear too.



Attention!
Crikey, this car gets attention like nothing I've ever driven - and I've driven some pretty nice cars. Like I say, they are rare over here, and it looks like a car from the films - and its bright yellow so hard to miss. That gets you some looks - all of them smiles too. Its a fun car, a bit silly and people like it.

Shows
We've been to a few shows in our 18 months together:

Here it is at a Comic Con:


It was here my little girl discovered an interest in Lego - she played with it for ages. Santa brought her some at Christmas time and has been put to good use!

For another event - in this video, at a Charity supercar show that I organise to raise funds for a Children's hospice (these events have raised more than £50,000 so far - rather proud of that.

https://youtu.be/aQ-9QS6Efzk

We also hired an acrobat who creates his own BumbleBee costumes, and he came along and was really great with the crowds:



I also displayed the car a few months later at an American car event in Wakefield, UK, held to raise money for the Air Ambulance. Lots of people liked the Camaro!



The Camaro quickly developed into a fond addition to our family unit, with my daughter in particular really loving going out in it. It started getting used for weekends out, and was a regular feature at the Equestrian centre where my daughter would go horse riding. Over time it has become a daddy-daughter treat and we go out in the car together if we are heading to the park, or to the amusements.

We went together to a Comic Con, about an hour away from our home in a place called Redcar. This event raises money to keep the museum open (in the rear of the picture):




Elsewhere, here's Bumblebee and the acrobat BumbleBee mascot, celebrating 20 years of Renault Racing! I was hired to bring the car to this event for a few hours, which helps the car pay its way.







Bumblebee Robot had made a friend....





Photoshoot Modelling

More recently I heard about this graffiti wall and thought it would be a great backdrop for my car. So, here is Bumblebee posing in front of Optimus Prime:



And here is a nice shot of the rear wheel



Interior shot:



The lady in the shot is a model and this is her favourite car ever, so was nice to help out. More pics here, but are verging into not-safe-for-work, so I'll put a link instead... http://motorcloud.net/camaro-running...toshoot-model/

Running Costs
Cheap as chips! Compared to my previous cars, this one costs hardly anything to run. Parts and servicing is very cheap, which is nice! It hasn't needed much; an oil change, a droplink straightened out and new tyre pressure monitors but I think that is about all its had.

Depreciation appears to be small, but you only truly know when it comes to sale time. Presently, if I was to put it for sale for what I paid for it, it would still be the cheapest on the market in the UK, and having the Transformers livery I expect it would sell fairly quickly.

Comfort
In the last 12 months I've had some really bad back problems and unfortunately the Camaro seems to aggrivate the situation terribly. I'm 6'4" and the low roofline makes for a seating position that my body is no longer happy with, and so I can only use it now for short journeys.

Its not terribly comfortable for me, but I still enjoy driving it. Last week my daughter wanted to sit in the front, so my wife was relegated to the back, where we discovered that fully grown humans don't fit in the rear of a Camaro if they actually have a head!

My daughter (7 years old), really loves the bumblewasp - and despite me having to now limit its use, so do I.

And so, despite the fact the Camaro is too big for my garage, too small to carry passengers, gives me chronic backache, is LHD and isn't terribly practical, for the foreseeable future I can't see it being sold!! Crazy eh!

To-do
The only things I particularly want to do is to get more of the Transformers bits - that being the centre armrest and the kick plates for the doors. I'm considering a new exhaust as well, but I don't really use it enough to justify it to be honest - but never say never! I'd also like to refurbish the silver around the centre of the steering wheel, but I'm told that would need a full new unit. Maybe a brand new steering wheel would be a worthy investment as at 68,000 miles it is showing signs of wear now. We'll see! I like the look of leather, but I prefer the comfort of cloth, so I'll be keeping the seat covers as they are. All of my past cars (and my daily) in the last ten years or so have been leather, so this is a really nice change.

Full running report if you want to read in detail:
http://motorcloud.net/category/camaro-ownership-report/

I'll keep you up to date on its adventures!

Paul.

Last edited by Paul O; 01-18-2019 at 07:04 AM. Reason: Coherence
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:13 AM   #2
Taylortoons
 
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Great that you’re representing the Gen 5 in Albion! I travel to London several times per year (5 visits in 2018). I see Mustangs driving around Hyde Park and Kensington, but have never seen a Gen 5 Camaro.

Cheers!
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:48 PM   #3
Paul O
 
Drives: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro V6
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Yorkshire, UK
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Hi Taylortoons,

The mustang is available over here to buy (and in RHD form now too), so there are a lot more of them about. I don't think the Camaro was ever officially available in the UK and so they are import only, therefore very rare to see them.

I do love my Camaro - I just wish I had a bigger garage!

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Old 03-11-2019, 02:06 PM   #4
str8wick3d
 
Drives: 2011 Camaro SS
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how do you even get in and out the car?
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:41 AM   #5
waylander
 
Drives: 2013 SS, SLK55, Mercedes GLC, Clio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul O View Post
The mustang is available over here to buy (and in RHD form now too), so there are a lot more of them about. I don't think the Camaro was ever officially available in the UK and so they are import only, therefore very rare to see them.


saw your thread on Pistonheads so good to see it on here too

You're nearly right about the Camaro over here - there is ONE official Camaro/Corvette dealer in the UK and they're based in Virginia Water in Surrey. As I understand it their sales target for the UK is............. 8 units a year

The biggest issue that the Camaro has over the Mustang is the whole LHD thing as the bulk of people who may be interested will be put off by the lack of RHD. The fact that the Camaro is also a rather large car is also an issue for some - the wife's car is a 2017 GLC which I thought was quite a large car.... turns out the Camaro is 7" longer and 1" wider (still prefer the 'maro though!!)
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:24 PM   #6
DrkPhx

 
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Love the model and how in the world do you get in and out of the car in that tiny garage?
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:51 AM   #7
waylander
 
Drives: 2013 SS, SLK55, Mercedes GLC, Clio
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Originally Posted by DrkPhx View Post
Love the model and how in the world do you get in and out of the car in that tiny garage?

he's obviously eaten a lot fewer donuts than me
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:15 PM   #8
BLU DUCE


 
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Well 4 people asked him how he gets in and out of the car in that small garage. It's either a great secret or he don't know himself.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:55 PM   #9
hammdo
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Pushes it in and out just enough to open/close the door ;o)

-Don
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:54 PM   #10
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great pics glad to see a camaro in england
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