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Old 05-07-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
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Camaro "The Rebirth of Slick"

Pretty good article in Men's Journal

The Rebirth of Slick

The Camaro began as a stylish response to the Mustang, then evolved into every redneck’s dream ride. Now GM has wiped off the tobacco juice and turned it into the most sophisticated muscle car ever.

By Ezra Dyer

After a seven-year hiatus, the Chevy Camaro is ready for a triumphant return, eliciting howls of joy from the round-and-round racing strongholds of the South to the deer-jacking enclaves of northern Maine. In the cozy midwestern hamlets where Busch flows like water, across Texan strip-club parking lots, and all the way to the meth labs of California, its rebirth is cause to discharge firearms in the air while cranking Eddie Money. But amongst all the hoopla, it’s worthwhile to pause and ask why, if the Camaro is so beloved, did GM ever have to cancel it in the first place?

I have a theory. The original 1967 Camaro was a hasty response to the successful Ford Mustang, so it looked like a Mustang, with an upright roof line and squat haunches. By 1970, Chevy had put its own stamp on the car, making it rakish and sleek, a poor man’s Corvette. Of course, the ’Vette is a poor man’s Ferrari. For the next 30-plus years, that copy-of-a-copy role persisted. The V-8 models were fast, but the Camaro’s image suffered due to its ancient rear suspension, weak V-6 engines, and embrace of T-tops — the mesh muscle shirt of car design. Not that it stopped me from owning a 1985 IROC-Z28.

It goes without saying that, as a former Camaro owner, I’m excited about the new incarnation. And now that I’ve got my hands on a silver SS, with the 426-hp, 6.2-liter V-8, and six-speed manual (automatic SS models have only 400 horses), I can’t wait to share the love with my fellow Camaro fans. My first visit is to Norman Mayersohn, an automotive editor at the New York Timesand proud owner of a cherry 1967 Camaro SS. Since the 2010 model revisits the aesthetic of that original generation, will the baby boomers take kindly to the reenvisioning?

“The car works on the most important aspect: looks,” he says. “I don’t like every detail. I’m not crazy about the squished taillights, and I’d like to see chrome door handles. But it’s only a little too cartoonish. It’ll grow on me.”
Considering Mayersohn’s editorial tendency toward critical detachment, that’s high praise. Next question: If the 2010 version tries to recapture the original’s style, how will it play with people who loved the pointy-prow fighter-jet look of the more recent models?

I find the answer close to home. A neighbor owns two ’90s Camaros, one a high-performance Z28 clad with stickers in order to resemble Jeff Gordon’s NASCAR ride. Having never made his acquaintance, I slip a note under the Z28’s windshield wiper. An hour later my new friend J.T. and I are cruising south of Boston in my shiny silver SS. He’s already planning to buy a 2010 in Victory Red. Since he’ll use it as a commuter, he wants the automatic V-6, which strikes me as uncharacteristically pragmatic for someone who owns two other Camaros. Clearly he’s not betrayed by the new look.

“It used to be sleek, but now it’s got muscles,” says J.T. “This is a Camaro on ’roids. I kind of wish I didn’t take this for a ride, because I need this now.”

So previous Camaro owners like what they see. But the trouble with cars that trade on nostalgia is that, after the diehards mob the dealership, the vehicle has to be compelling enough to win converts who’ll measure it against the competition.

There are flaws, to be sure. A disconcerting lack of rear visibility. Numb steering. A cup holder whose location makes it perfect for storing my elbow. But the new Camaro doesn’t have any unforgivable faults. In that way, it’s the most dialed-in muscle car available. Maybe ever.

With direct injection, 304 hp, a six-speed transmission, and an independent rear suspension, the base V-6 Camaro ($22,995) has more in common with a BMW 335i than it does with the Mustang. The $30,995 SS that I drove is no longer a dumbed-down Corvette; in the most important ways, it is a Corvette: It looks sexy, it goes fast, and it sounds badass.

I drove this point home in front of a friend’s parents’ house. With his Prius-driving mom and pop looking on, I stomped the gas and painted two 75-foot-long black stripes down their street. As the rear end snaked side to side, smoke curling off the Pirellis, I smiled big. Then my conscience sent me in the direction of the nearest hardware store to find spray paint as close to road gray as possible. I returned to the scene of the crime and laid down a few coats over my rubber graffiti. But the stripes kept bleeding through, a lurid billboard warning passersby that the Camaro is back.

Engine: 6.2-liter, 426-hp V-8 (SS manual)
Price: $30,995 (SS)
0-60: 4.6 seconds
MPG: 16/24 city/hwy
The Lineage:



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Old 05-07-2010, 11:11 PM   #2
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Awesome article!!!

This guy's got the passion!
"Keep the faith." - Fbodfather
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:43 AM   #3

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nice read

Mods: BBK Intake, BBK LT's and High Flow Cats, Corsa Cat-back exhaust, Hurst short throw shifter, SLP skip-shift eliminator.

7/1/09 Placed order for IOM/IO int/ SS/RS 6M
9/26/09 Took delivery!
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:47 AM   #4
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Good read... but in the lineage pictures, I think they miss one version.... the camaro from MY childhood days! (70 1/2 - 81)
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:09 AM   #5
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Thanks, I enjoyed reading that.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:28 AM   #6
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loved the read...thanks !!
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:33 AM   #7
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Great read...well written.

A cup holder whose location makes it perfect for storing my elbow.
I'm not entirely sure why, but this made me laugh out loud.
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:40 AM   #8
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Nice! Good read.
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
Good read... but in the lineage pictures, I think they miss one version.... the camaro from MY childhood days! (70 1/2 - 81)

I was thinking/ feeling the same thing.

Keeping The Spirit Alive!
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:38 AM   #10
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Great article, Thanks! I love seeing things like that. I'll be passing it on to my Chevy guys
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:50 AM   #11
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