How to Locate Your Own Muscle–Car in Minutes on

How to Locate Your Own Muscle–Car in Minutes on, a New Google Map + eBay Motors Mashup

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Gulf Shores, Alabama (PRWEB)June 29, 2006 -- Displaying the location of the auto in addition to the eBay information is a major step forward for all eBay Auto buyers and sellers. This help buyers locate autos close to their homes or to calculate the cost of inspecting and delivering distant purchases of rare models. the new eBay Affiliate website is the first consumer site to combine the visual location of a map with the detail auction data of eBay.

The fun begins seeing the location of all the autos of sale on a map! Locate a car just like your very first car you owned and see what it is worth today. Don't you wish you still owned it?

You might even find an undiscovered muscle car hiding in a barn, untouched for years, and see its location on the map!

Here are some of the CNN Motors top ten muscle cars we located in minutes:

1971 Plymouth "Hemi" 'Cuda convertible In Bridgeport CT, $179,000 Buy it now price
1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28/SS coupe - 19 found
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle - 23 found

Have Fun Motor Mapping!

Ted Bailes, President

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Camaro = cool

After test-drive, News panel tells GM to make car a reality
Anita Lienert / The Detroit News

MILFORD -- When Wendy Anderson was in the 10th grade at Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights, she dated a guy for his Camaro.

"It was a '69 model that was jacked up and painted baby blue on the underside," said Anderson, a 53-year-old hair stylist from Southfield. "The guy who owned it was hot, but the car was the real reason I went out with him. I sat in the middle and shifted while he drove."

Memories of the classic Detroit muscle car came pouring out of Anderson and other members of the 2006 Detroit News Automotive Consumer Panel, as they gathered at the General Motors Proving Ground in late June to drive the hot Camaro concept vehicle that caused such a sensation at the 2006 North American International Auto Show. They were the first consumers in the U.S. to get behind the wheel of the hand-built, one-of-a-kind Camaro and they were pumped.

So pumped, in fact, that 32-year-old panelist Amy Bowman, who was supposed to be at home recovering from delivering a baby, showed up for the test session. The Royal Oak teacher wasn't up to driving, but she brought along her husband, Jeff Bowman, 32, a brick mason, to chauffeur her around the course.

So pumped, in fact, that a former panelist who had heard about the event through the grapevine decided to crash it. Paul Tassi, 19, a University of Michigan junior and member of last year's consumer panel, wasn't invited to the Camaro concept drive, but he came anyway. And he had a mission: to convince GM executives to build it.

"It will easily challenge the (Ford) Mustang for the king-of-the-retro-muscle-car title," said Tassi, after making several loops on the track in the $3 million prototype. "And don't change a thing about the new Camaro. It looks like it wants to kill and eat me."

The 10-member panel, which includes a lawyer, an architect, a Ford Rouge Plant pipe fitter and two teachers, delivered its unanimous verdict to the Detroit automaker: Build the Camaro, but keep it affordable.

The panelists also had bad news for Ford. Everyone preferred the Camaro to the redesigned Mustang.

"The Mustang lacks the style and the coolness that Camaro always had," Anderson said.

GM remains coy about whether it will revive the Camaro, even though there has been rampant speculation that it will emerge as a 2009 production model. Before the panelists got behind the wheel, GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson told them the concept is "fairly close to what could be produced."

"We are studying it, but no final decision has been made," he said.

Even though the panelists said they were ready to burn some rubber and get in a few hot laps, the delicate concept wasn't designed for "hard operating conditions." It is somewhat cobbled together, with a floor pan from a Cadillac STS and a rear suspension put together from the Cadillac CTS-V and the Chevrolet Corvette. And it did have a few squeaks and rattles.

The Camaro concept is outfitted with the 400-horsepower 6.0-liter V-8 from the Corvette and has a snarling exhaust note, but the top speed is electronically limited to about 40 miles per hour. Nobody was able to get the concept, which has a six-speed manual transmission, out of third gear on the short course. The seat belts don't work, either.

But none of that seemed to matter.

The panelists gave high marks to the Camaro's muscular looks, lauding its long hood, sunken headlights, massive haunches and oversized 22-inch rear tires, which contribute to its jacked-up look.

"The best thing about it is the aggressive exterior," said Michael Lysaght, 18, a University of Michigan freshman from Northville. "The Camaro makes the Mustang look passive."

GM designers were anxious to hear the panelists describe their impressions of the concept, as well as previous versions of the car. It's clear that there is some concern about Camaro's blue-collar roots.

"Did you guys associate the old Camaro with mullets and heavy-metal rockers?" asked Micah Jones, the 29-year-old Camaro concept interior designer, of Lysaght and Tassi.

"Yeah, and Confederate flags," said Lysaght, somewhat facetiously.

While they argued about the Camaro's image, Andrew Hetletvedt, a 32-year-old Detroit architect who is the most detail-oriented member of the panel, carefully studied the interior.

Its retro cues include a beefy steering wheel with a small hub and a thick rim, a center console that runs the length of the cabin and dives under the instrument panel, and gauges inspired by the 1969 Camaro "Rally" package.

He pronounced the gauges a bit "too fussy," but said he loved the concept's retro shift lever and striking copper metal cabin trim.

"You gotta start it at $20,000," he said to designer Jones, who sat in the front passenger seat while Hetletvedt drove the concept. "They are pushing Mustangs out the door for less than that."

Reginald Dozier, 47, a Detroit attorney who was sitting in the rear seat, added, "And don't go any higher than $55,000."

"I hope they don't price it where the (Dodge) Viper is," said Wendy Anderson of the $80,000 car. "Nobody would buy it."

The GM executives at the Camaro drive would not speculate about pricing, but they hammered home the point that the concept's engine features the company's "active-fuel management" system, which cuts off four cylinders in certain situations to conserve fuel. The concept is estimated to get more than 30 miles per gallon at highway speeds. Few on the panel seemed to care about that, though.

Panelist Shaniya Jarrett, 34, a Detroit insurance executive, said that while the Camaro is "a wonderful car that GM should build," it was not enticing enough to get her to give up her Dodge Durango SUV.

It was clear that the Camaro's magic was not in the fuel economy or even in such critical details as horsepower and bucket seats. It was all about evoking the past, especially one filled with drive-in movies and drag races on Telegraph.

"It takes me right back to my youth, when I had no responsibilities," said Zora Callahan Jones, 48, a Detroit teacher. "I have fond memories of being a student at Cass Tech and riding around in my girlfriend's white Camaro.

"If GM brought it back, it would be easy to sell me on it."


June 25, 2006 -

There's no magic elixir to creating a successful halo. It's usually a concoction of several ingredients:

Heritage. Retro rules. Almost all the recent halo cars have been updated versions of classics. Solstice is an exception.

Almost invariably, designers reach back to the single decade that's a touchstone for today's wealthy boomers -- the 1960s. BMW's Mini, the latest version of Mustang and, if they are built, Camaro and Challenger all fit the mold. "Every good halo car has its roots in the '60s," said Ford Motor's design chief, J Mays. It's not just looks, he said, but rather being born of "rebellious times" with bold styling.

Horsepower. Halos often rack up the ponies. Chrysler considers its SRT line of muscle cars, such as the 425-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT8, as halos. "The car sells itself," said Steve Bartoli, a Chrysler vice president. "When you're at a cocktail party on a Friday night, you start talking about it."

A big engine can't guarantee success, but lack of one can sometimes lead to failure. Gordon Wangers, an auto industry marketing consultant, thinks Chevy's SSR and Ford's T-Bird both suffered from lack of a powerful engine. The SSR later got one, but it was too late.

General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz disagrees. He said the problem with SSR wasn't power but price, close to $40,000. Mays said T-Bird isn't given credit for being one of the biggest-selling two-seaters ever made.


Mustang will get renewed and refreshed every year

Ford is going full steam ahead while GM plays games with the new Camaro, eating up marketshare they have owned since the 2003 model year after Chevrolet dumped the Fbody

T.O. Whenham -

CEO quiz: What would you do if you were head of Ford and you only had one car, the Mustang, that consumers actually care about? The correct answer, apparently, is to ride it for all that it is worth. The financially troubled company has announced that there will be new product content every year for the Mustang and that Carroll Shelby will work on every model year. To keep people interested, the company has hinted that a 600+ horsepower Mustang is very possible. Shelby himself said that it would be "very easy" to drop more than 600 horsepower into the car while still being able to offer the 50,000 mile warranty. Shelby also mentioned that an all-new Mustang will see the light in 2009.

Ford's moves are part of a war with GM, another company struggling mightily but using a muscle car to prove that they still have game. Rumors are that GM may drop a Corvette Z06 engine into a Camaro, which would up the horsepower ante significantly.

Driving the competition: Dodge Challenger Concept

Looks like GM and DCX are busy getting the word out about the new Camaro and the Challenger. DCX has given the press a chance to put the car through the paces, 40 MPH at a time. Below is a recent review from

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Smoke pours from the Dodge Challenger Concept’s rear wheels after dumping the clutch at 5,000 rpm and matting the accelerator to the floor. The tail slews until we speed-shift into second, and another stab at the throttle results in another set of thick, black stripes on the pavement as the Challenger picks up speed and rips past 60 mph before the upshift to third. Now we’re rocketing toward triple digits, the functional butterfly-valve intakes scooping desert air into the humongous Hemi V8, the exhaust roaring beneath us, the landscape blurring, blurring by on either side of the Orange Pearl performance hood’s bulges...


Exposed to daylight: An early taste of the car that might become the next Camaro

By Rex Roy -

And you thought it looked good spinning on a turntable under the electric lights at your local auto show? Well, the 2006 Chevrolet Camaro Concept looks even hotter rolling on asphalt under a bright, open sky. And it drives pretty darned well, too.

The bow-tie folks at Chevy invited us out to General Motors' Milford Proving Grounds to test-drive the Camaro concept. Next to the expansive Black Lake skid pad, we had the smooth North Loop all to ourselves. Its gentle curves and moderately long straights gave us ample room to sample the Camaro concept at speed. Not high speed, but moving at least.

Naturally, GM provided a vehicular chaperone to babysit our enthusiasm. Our "overseer" was none other than Tom Peters, director of GM's rear-wheel-drive production studio. For those needing a translation of Peters' title, he's the design boss who directed the Camaro concept's birthing.

On the pavement

We walk around the car before getting in. The shoulders on the top edge of the rear fenders are huge…perfectly huge. The gas cap is beautiful. Peters is particularly fond of the areas featuring the most complex compound curves; where the front fender and hood flow together over the headlights, and where the rear fenders flow into the trunk lid. "It takes a really special person to get surfaces like these just right," Peters announces, obviously grateful and proud of his team's work. He's right. When you look at those two areas up close and personal, there's a lot going on, with multiple lines and panels coming together.

On the inside

Wanting to get in, we look quizzically at the flush-mounted, thin door handle. How do it work? Peters presses the trailing edge of the chrome bar in and the leading edge pops out. The long door opens wide to a beautifully detailed interior. We duck under the low roof line. First impression: The driver seat is way too high off the floor. A show-car compromise, Peters tells us. The only adjustment is fore/aft.

Regardless, we settle in. The beefy steering wheel frames circular gauges recessed within chromed rectangles. The wheel feels good, the pedals are well placed and the huge ball atop the Tremec T56 six-speed manual falls to our grip. So far, so good.

Peters directs us to clutch in and press the red button to the right of the steering column. Brrraaaammmm! The Hounds of Hell sound pretty good. (If only Chevrolet could bottle the sound from those quad pipes….) "We worked a long time getting it to sound like that. Do you think it's too loud?" Peters asks. We shake our heads "no" and just smile.

As we look out over the long hood to see if we're cleared for takeoff by Milford's flight personnel, we notice its careful detailing. The fender lines and cowl-induction rise look even better from the driver seat than they do from the outside. The dash is higher than you'll find in garden-variety cars, and the roof line is low. Peters watches us getting the feel of his creation and asks another question. "Do you think the roof is too low? We're getting some internal people saying they want a higher roof."

Before we answer, we wonder how Harley Earl or Bill Mitchell might respond. Those guys knew design, and they wouldn't let comments from hand-wringing, prune-faced marketing wonks screw up their designs. Thinking that discretion is the better part of diplomacy, we tell him to leave the roof line alone. So you'll have to stop a few feet farther back from a traffic light. That's not a good enough reason to alter a shape that is so obviously spot-on.

On the throttle
Granted clearance by the track monitors, we move out. The clutch's take-up is smooth. The cabin fills with the sound of the tuned exhaust and the familiar Tremec gear noise. Short shifting into 2nd gear, the all-aluminum 400-horsepower LS-2 V8 (lifted from a Corvette) pulls strongly. We had expected the concept to be a veritable rattletrap, being hand-assembled and all. And we love being wrong about things like this. A heavily modified Cadillac STS underpins the Camaro, and bits from many rear-wheel-drive General Motors vehicles were used to make the concept drivable. The result is surprisingly good and delivers a taut, virtually rattle-free ride.

While Chevrolet PR categorically forbade slaloming or full-throttle bursts of acceleration, Peters did let us push the car a bit. Steering response was crisp and cornering was pancake flat. The front struts were firmly calibrated, and the independent rear suspension tracked along as if it were painstakingly developed solely for this application. The huge 21- and 22-inch Goodyears did their jobs without protest. Performing as it always has, the 5.7-liter V8 provided far more power than we ventured to tap, fearing instant ejection from the grounds and permanent blacklisting by GM. Monster 14-inch front rotors easily burned off the modest speeds we achieved.

To that point, none of the gauges in the Camaro concept worked, so we don't know how fast we were driving. The climate control didn't work either. And the exterior and interior mirrors were fixed in spots that look great from the outside, but proved utterly useless for the driver. This is what driving a "concept" is like. The car's purpose is to point to what could be, not to be what could be.

After a good hour behind the wheel, we gave up the reins. Pressing the red button again killed the V8. We climbed out, seeing the threatening storm clouds gathering in the rural Michigan skies. Wanting to take in the shape one more time before it disappeared into its garage out of the rain, we turned its way a final time. With natural light spilling off its surfaces, the look was unmistakably Detroit. No other city could turn out a shape like this and call it their own.

Walking out with Peters, we ask the question he's fielded a thousand times since the Camaro concept's January introduction in Detroit: "So, are you going to build it?" Peters answers in kind, "If you were Bob Lutz or Rick Wagoner, what would you do? I mean, come on. After the reception this car has gotten…you answer that question for yourself."

We answer, "Yes." But that's always been our answer. It's time for the General to step up and make it official.

See the images and a video HERE

Show shifts GM's Camaro to center stage

Thursday, June 22, 2006
BY LI WANG - The Patriot-News

Carlisle, PA - In spite of General Motors' financial woes, fans of the venerable American carmaker's products are expected to show up this weekend in Carlisle to celebrate the "muscle" of the brand.

From the 1967 Camaro Pace Car to the limited production Baldwin-Motion-built Chevrolet specialty cars, the car show, tomorrow through Sunday at the Carlisle Fairgrounds, is all about power.

For the first time, there is a collectors' showcase display with top vehicles from private owners, including rarities such as COPO, Yenko, Cameo, HR/SS and Turbo-8. Nine cars from the heralded McDorman and Sandlin collections are expected.

On display will be six Camaro Pace Cars, the Nomad concept car, a Camaro concept mock-up car and the Avalanche E-85 concept car.

Learn everything you wanted to know about Camaros with expert Scott Settlemire. Retired GM chief designer David North will be running seminars on Oldsmobiles and GTOs.

Back at Carlisle this year is Bruce Larson, a man who holds 16 national event titles. The owner of the USA-1 Camaro Blown/Nitro AA/Funny Car will be signing autographs and talking drag racing.

Those looking to improve their skills will have a chance to test their handling capabilities on a quarter-mile, six-turn course. The Sports Car Club of America will host a combined drivers' school and autocross on Saturday. There is a $25 fee for the techniques session.

Local dealers will be showing off the latest GM cars, giving attendees a chance to evaluate them firsthand.

Car clubbers will have the chance to compete against other clubs. Even if you're not in a club, you can enter your auto in a show-field competition with 134 classes in the all-GM event.

Camaros and full-size Chevys get their own judging criteria. If your Camaro or full-size Chevy is a high-caliber machine, there's also the chance to win at the national level. There are planned contests sanctioned by the American Camaro Association and the Mid-Atlantic Impala Association.

For those who think that showing a car is fine and dandy, but really want to display their skills, there are several competitions including drag racing, horsepower contests, balancing events and burnout challenges.

No matter how you look at it, there are many ways to celebrate the Year of Muscle, as event organizers have dubbed it, this weekend. video - nice details posted another video of the new Camaro Concept. This shows some nice details, click the link below to check it out

Click to see Video

Chris Frezza of test driving the Camaro

Chris Frezza of had an opportunity to drive the new Camaro Concept with the rest of the media at the GM Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan.
This is the first view we've had of the car from the inside. Chris looks pretty tense behind the wheel, who wouldn't be!
Listen to that exhaust note...

Click to see Video

First Customer Phase III Camaro to debut at GM Nationals

The first of 12 limited production 1969 SS-427 &
Phase III Baldwin-Motion Camaros, a
silver-striped Motion Red Phase III model, will
be featured at the GM Nationals, June 23-25, at
the Carlisle (PA) Fairgrounds.

Powered by a Kinsler-injected 565-cubic-inch,
700-hp Motion Big-Block, the Camaro will be
delivered to its owner Dave Flynn, at the event
by Joel "Mr. Motion" Rosen who with Marty Schorr
launched Baldwin-Motion in 1967.
Flynn owns approximately 50 collector cars and
operates Chevrolet and Cadillac dealerships in

Three customer cars are currently under

For more information please visit

Why the New Camaro Will Fail

By Eric Peters - The American Spectator

Watching Ford bathe in the glory of its resurgent, retro-style Mustang has surely been agonizing for General Motors -- as well as deja vu all over again.

Back in 1964, when the first Mustang appeared, GM also had to stand there empty handed, with nothing to offer customers but fumbling excuses -- and promises that something was in the works. Three years later, in 1967, the first Camaro finally appeared. It was a good-looking car and did well. But the Mustang had a critical three-year head start. Camaro was caught playing catch-up. It had some good years -- especially in the mid-late 1970s and through the 1980s, when Tuned Port Injection IROC-Zs were as common as Ocean Pacific shorts and boom boxes as street performers -- but faltered badly in the 1990s after a not-so-hot restyle.

Sales drooped to unsustainable levels within a few years and GM eventually cancelled the Camaro (and its sheetmetal sister, the Pontiac Firebird) after the 2002 model year.

Now GM is frantically rushing an all-new Camaro to market, perhaps as soon as 2007. The news has been accompanied by great fanfare and hagiographical commentary in the motor press -- the same way news that Pontiac would be bringing back the GTO ginned up much tub-thumping and happy scribbling back in 2003. (Much of this rah-rahing issued from the pens and laptops of over-40 guys who could remember the good old days when obstreperous V-8 muscle cars prowled the streets -- and pined for their youthful days-gone-by returning.)

But the revived GTO died quickly and quietly -- despite heroic horsepower numbers and better performance than any classic-era GTO ever delivered. Some of us saw it coming from the get-go.

The new Camaro will probably die on the vine for the same reasons -- and a couple of new ones, too.

And again, it's not all that hard to understand why. Or to see the iceberg dead ahead.

Unlike the Mustang -- which has always managed to appeal to a broad base of buyers ranging from young women to old men and everyone in between -- the Camaro is and always has been a strutting muscle machine. A car for drive-throughs, Friday night cruising, and teenage boys.

That works fine when it's 1969 -- and young, single guys can still afford to buy (and insure) such a car. It doesn't work so well in today's hamstrung, hyper-regulated and cost-inflated world. Part of what killed the latter-day GTO was its $30k price point. The young (under 30) guys who might want such a car couldn't afford it -- and the older guys who could had grown up. They wanted something less goofy. So did their wives. The same problem will surely beset the coming Camaro -- unless GM, by some miracle of Enron-esque accounting, figures out a way to sell the thing for less than $25,000.

And that still leaves the insurance issue. (Will GM offer to cover the nut?) And the reality that the market slice for cars of this type has become narrower than Paris Hilton's waistline. Ford has already vacuumed up a goodly chunk of the prospective buyers. Import sport compacts will prove stiff competition for the remainder. How many new Camaros must GM sell to make the project economically viable? And how hard will that be given the late start, limited buyer pool -- and the very real danger of $3 per gallon (or more) fuel? A 15 mpg V-8 muscle car in a world of $70 fill-ups is apt to be about as popular as Hummers and Navigators and Excursions -- sheetmetal Brontosauri that face extinction (or at least, massive discounting just to get them off dealers' lots).

These are daunting challenges.

But the thing that will drive a stake through the new Camaro's hood, deep into its small-block heart, is the polarizing, hyper-macho cod piece styling. If the production car ends up looking like the show car that's been in every buff magazine and all over the news, it will be the belly flop heard 'round the world.

The enduring genius of Ford's Mustang is that it transcends testosterone -- and the muscle car era. Fitted with a hi-po engine and stripes, it's a car that guys absolutely love. But it doesn't alienate women -- and women are half the market, don't forget (and most guys have a woman in their lives who they'd prefer not to annoy with their choice of car). The previous generation (1994-2002) Camaro was an "in your face" kind of car -- and so is this new one. You either love it -- or you hate it. And the question is, can GM afford such a confrontational machine with inherently limited appeal -- one that's already hobbled by being late to the game, fighting for a relatively small subset of prospective buyers and which will likely arrive just in time for the next ugly uptick in gas prices?

The smart money (or mine, at least) says don't bet the farm on it.

It's 2007 -- not 1967.

Like a botox'd, aerobicized, fish-netted Cher crooning on the mothballed battleship Iowa, you can sing longingly about turning back time all you like. Actually doing it, of course, is a tougher thing to engineer.

Eric Peters is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities: Cars We Love to Hate (MBI).

Automakers hope love for car equals love for brand

By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

...By now, just about every brand has produced a model with the magic touch. The New Beetle revived a fading Volkswagen. Miata sexed up Mazda. Viper ravaged pavement for Dodge.

But the halo is no recent creation. Just ask anyone who bought a Corvette in the '50s or a Mustang in the '60s.

Automakers test out their best halo ideas by introducing candidates as concept cars at auto shows. Jaw-droppers get built. Yawners don't.

Not all halos succeed. Chevrolet never scored with its SSR nostalgia pickup. Ford's Thunderbird redux saw so-so sales. Pontiac's latest GTO became a fallen angel when it failed to quicken younger buyers' pulses.

Yet, there's no stopping the search for the next big halo. Officially, GM is weighing whether to build a splashy new version of the Chevrolet Camaro that was the hit of Detroit's North American International Auto Show in January. The outlook appears bright. Similarly, DaimlerChrysler is deliberating over whether to let loose with Dodge Challenger, another 1960s throwback.

If Camaro and Challenger are put into production, the goal will be to project a golden glow on the whole lineup. Witness Nissan, which plays on the mystique around its Z line of sports cars — the latest incarnation being the 350Z — to hawk everything from Sentra compacts to Quest minivans. "We want people to think there's a little Z in everything," says Vice President Robert Bradshaw.


CHP's speedy Camaro racing into retirement

By STEVE MOORE - The Press-Enterprise

INDIO - The stealthy white Camaro with its low, flat light bar and CHP markings on the doors sneaks up on many speeders zipping through the Coachella Valley.

Motorists hitting 95 to 100 mph often pull up alongside the specially marked patrol car.

They usually own up quickly after Officer Chad Thomas lights them up and flips out his ticket book.

But with nearly 100,000 miles on the odometer, the 2002 Camaro's tour of duty in the Coachella Valley is running out. The CHP routinely retires its patrol vehicles at that mileage.

"It's served us well," said Sgt. Brian Green.

Truckers call the low-slung, hot Camaro "Polar Bear," quickly putting out its location over the CB radio.

A new "black and white" patrol car will replace the Camaro, which now has about 91,000 miles.

But lead-footed drivers shouldn't start kicking it up on Interstate 10 and other roadways patrolled by the Indio CHP.

Plenty of "black and whites" will still be out patrolling. And the station is awaiting a specially marked patrol car that will replace an older white Crown Victoria. The Ford cruiser has also hit CHP's mileage limit.

For now, the CHP isn't testing any new "exotic" patrol cars in Sacramento, said spokesman Tom Marshall. But the agency will have specially marked white Crown Victorias out on patrol.

Over the decades, the CHP has patrolled the state highways and freeways from behind the wheel of many types of vehicles.

The first CHP officers drove 1929 Hudson coupes. In the late 1960s, they used Dodge Polaras powered by Magnum 440-cubic-inch engines. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, some troopers wheeled around in hot "muscle cars," such as Ford Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros.

For a long time, speeders looked instinctively for the CHP's trademark beefy "black and white" Ford Crown Victorias with their looming light bars and sturdy push bumpers.

In 1999, the CHP even tested that symbol of yuppies, the Volvo.

By 2002, the agency had bought 73 new Camaros, aiming at slowing down trucks. They're capable of 160 mph in pursuit situations and, with their suspension, corner flat through twisty curves.

Big-rig drivers quickly invented nicknames for new hard-to-spot vehicles.

White Lightning. Ghost Rider. Speed Racer. Lone Ranger. Even "Polarmaro."

Before starting a shift on Interstate 10 and Highway 62, Thomas gave his cruiser a quick once over. He checked the oil and tire pressure before pulling out of the Indio station. The officer had a '68 Camaro in high school.

"These cars are definitely an asset," he said above the whine of his Doppler radar unit. "They blend in and let people know we're serious about getting them to slow down."

Alfredo Baz, 54, of Los Angeles, quickly found that out after being pulled over for doing 89 mph along eastbound I-10 near an exit for Desert Hot Springs. He waited with the window rolled down as the officer filled out his ticket.

Baz said he spotted the CHP Camaro, insisting that his new Toyota Scion was doing only about 75 mph.

He didn't mind the "stealth" factor that goes with the CHP driving a white "muscle" car.

"It's for our safety," he said. "It's OK."

Thomas got the same reaction after issuing tickets to drivers who had been whipping along in a Mercedes and a GMC sport utility vehicle from Nevada.

"For the most part, it's, 'Wow, that's a neat car. You got me,' " he said.

The officer writes 150 to 200 tickets a month -- sometimes more.

On a recent Sunday shift, Thomas issued 17 tickets to drivers for doing 87 to 100 mph.

With the Polar Bear nearing retirement, Thomas said, "I'm going to miss it. I just love driving it.

"It's the best patrol car I've ever driven."

GM comeback shifting into high gear: Lutz

Executive talks up Camaro revival but won't confirm any role for Oshawa plant
AUTO INDUSTRY REPORTER; With files from Canadian Press

General Motors Corp. has survived the worst and is on an upswing, says company vice-chairman Bob Lutz, who expressed confidence yesterday that the auto maker's board of directors will approve a plan to revive the Camaro muscle car.

"The turnaround of General Motors is in full progress, gaining momentum and the low point has definitely been passed," Mr. Lutz said yesterday from Montreal, where the Camaro and its sister the Pontiac Firebird were built until an assembly plant in the suburb of Ste. Thérèse, Que., was closed in 2002.

The board should approve the plan to bring back the Camaro some time this year, he said in a telephone interview from a Chevrolet dealership, where he was meeting with Canadian automotive writers.

GM showed off a new Camaro at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January and it was a show-stopper.

The Camaro is slated for a leading-edge, flexible assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont., as part of a plan to redevelop two car plants in that city and transform them into one plant that will turn out about 500,000 cars a year by early next decade, sources have said.

Mr. Lutz, who heads global product development for the world's largest auto maker, said there are no plans for new vehicles at Oshawa at this point and the board has not approved the allocation of money necessary to bring Camaro to market.

"They're certainly not admitting anything," said Canadian Auto Workers union president Buzz Hargrove, who noted that union members at the two car plants in Oshawa have agreed to major changes in their contract with GM in order to win the new investment.

"This is big for us," Mr. Hargrove said yesterday.

"We sure want it and we put a lot of effort in."

GM is scheduled to close Oshawa car plant No. 2 in 2008, a move that would eliminate about 2,500 jobs.

Other union officials said they have been told by GM that the $400-million investment to redevelop the plants and turn them into one flexible manufacturing facility is Oshawa's to lose.

GM is confident it can sell 100,000 Camaros a year, Mr. Lutz said, in a market that Ford Motor Co. has virtually to itself now with the Ford Mustang, but which the Chrysler division of DaimlerChrysler AG is also studying with a potential revival of its Challenger muscle car.

Such cars have a value beyond profit or revenue, he pointed out.

"In terms of being highly visible mind changers or opening people's minds who have never been to an American brand dealership, I think that that alone just about legitimizes the investment that you make in this type of vehicle," he said.

"I really believe that these heritage-themed vehicles are a very good way for American producers to go," he said.

"People have a tremendous fondness and nostalgia for those vehicles.

"They're different from Japanese or German vehicles and it's something that frankly, the Japanese can't do their version of."

The next hurdle for GM to pass during its restructuring is settling the Delphi Corp. situation, Mr. Lutz said.

Delphi, which is GM's largest parts supplier and was spun off by the auto maker in 1999, is operating in bankruptcy protection and wants to close 21 of its 29 U.S. parts plants and slash wages to about $16 (U.S.) an hour from more than $27 an hour now.

Those moves have created a firestorm of anger within the United Auto Workers union, although the threat of a strike against Delphi -- which has the potential to cripple GM -- has diminished in recent weeks with buyout deals reached between the union and the two companies.

GM is encouraged, Mr. Lutz said, that the union realizes that it's no longer business as usual.

The restructuring at GM and similar job cut and plant-closing initiatives under way at Ford have been sparked by the deep drop in market share the two companies have experienced since the mid-1990s.

Latest video of the Concept Camaro

This appears to be posted on YourTube by Maybe some footage shot by GM for future use? The backdrop is Dallas, Texas.

Oshawa financing could save thousands of GM jobs

source - Sympatico

General Motors Corp. may soon approve a $400-million investment in its Oshawa, Ont. operations, a move that could save thousands of jobs, according to a report.

The Globe and Mail reported that the financing would help to transform the two Oshawa car operations into one leading-edge plant, which would produce 505,000 cars a year, including the reborn Chevrolet Camaro, plus cars for Cadillac and Buick.

The revamp would be welcome news for workers in Oshawa, where the second plant was scheduled to close in 2008, wiping out 2,500 jobs.

The investment is linked with a new GM program called Zeta, which will allow the company to crank rear-wheel-drive cars in the mid-sized vehicle market, industry sources told the newspaper.

GM needs to introduce this program to stay competitive with its rivals.

Both the Chrysler division of DaimlerChrysler AG and Ford Motor Co. are offering such cars, which are regaining popularity because of their superior performance.

GM would first crank out Chevrolet Impala in June 2009, with expected annual sales of 165,000 cars.

Next would be the Camaro in September 2009 with annual sales projected at 100,000 a year, followed by the Cadillac DTS sedan in June 2010 and the Buick Lucerne in October 2010.

A GM source told the Globe that Zeta, a basic car underbody, will be the base for several vehicles.

One GM source told the Globe that Oshawa's chances of winning the investment look promising.

"I don't think there's any question that Zeta will happen here," said another industry source.

But GM Canada spokesman told the newspaper that it's not company policy to comment on future vehicle programs and said the GM board has not approved a decision to redevelop the Oshawa plants.

GM is under intense pressure to make the investment from the provincial and federal governments after they provided the firm with $435 million in financing last year for the Beacon Project.

The initiative is meant to upgrade assembly operations, implement new automotive research and training initiatives, and upgrade parts operations in St. Catharines, Windsor and its CAMI Automotive joint venture with Suzuki in Ingersoll, Ont.

Foose Resurrects Original Dodge Challenger


DALLAS — Chip Foose, of Overhaulin' TV fame, is joining forces again with Texas-based Unique Performance to update another vintage muscle car: this time the 1970-'71 Dodge Challenger.

Their timing couldn't be better. Dodge unveiled a latter-day Challenger concept at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit that draws heavily on the original 1970 model for styling inspiration. Industry sources say the company has tentative plans to build a production version of the car, using Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300 underpinnings, in 2008

The latest Foose/Unique collaboration follows their popular update of the classic 1969 Chevrolet Camaro (another muscle car soon to be reborn as an official factory re-creation). The Foose Camaro is completely reworked from top to bottom and upfitted with modern components, including 18-inch BFG tires, Tremec five-speed transmission and a choice of engines, ranging up to a 620-hp 9.3-liter big-block V8. Prices start at $124,000.

The partners aim to follow a similar pattern on the Challenger, modernizing a limited number of original cars with a Unique Performance rear suspension, Wilwood disc brakes, Foose wheels, BFG tires and Tremex gearbox. Engine choices include 5.7-liter and 7.0-liter Hemi V8s.

Unique Performance CEO Douglas Hasty opines: "Working with Chip, our team will turn a handful of these vintage muscle cars into pink-slip-winning, Z06-eating supercars."

No word yet on pricing, but Unique expects to begin production in July.

What this means to you: You won't have to wait for Dodge to ramp up production of the neo-Challenger in two years. All you need is an original 1970 Challenger — and lots of money.

Waiting for the Green Light: Camaro Concept is ready to go

posted by

Make it go. It’s easy: Clutch in, slip the stick shift into first gear and push the button. It’s like a rocker switch mounted sideways on the dashboard to the right of the steering column. Just a touch of the fingertip and the Chevrolet Camaro concept’s 6.0-liter 400-hp V8 instantly roars to life and settles into a satisfying small-block burble, a baritone muttering at idle that awaits only the move of your right foot from the brake pedal to the gas to start speaking volumes about Chevrolet’s pony car ambitions.

Those ambitions got a boost from the intense public interest in the car as it toured car shows the past few months, and now we were about to drive it at GM’s Milford (Michigan) Proving Ground. The Camaro concept goes global soon, slated for car shows in places like Shanghai, China, and Sydney, Australia, later this year. For now, it’s all ours for a little less than an hour.

It sounds great, we tell Tom Peters, head of the design studio that created the car. “We put a lot of work into tuning the exhaust,” he replies. “It had to sound as good as it looks.”

It does. What also sounds good is the prospect of having the Camaro back in the showroom.

So when, we asked a host of GM types hanging around at Milford, will you build it?

“Officially? It’s not a ‘go’ program yet,” stated spokesman Tom Wilkinson, in that “official statement” mode. He was smiling, though.

Right. Let’s make it go.

Clutch out, crack the throttle open gently, and the Camaro concept moves away smoothly. Dip the clutch, shift into second and, man, that feels right. The shifter glides through the gate, the clutch takeup is spot-on. You can tell the car lovers at GM have been involved in this program from the outset. We’ve saddled up in a lot of concept cars in the past 20 years, and two things struck us right away: This is the first one in a long time that has a manual transmission and as concepts go, this one goes very well indeed.

Our speed limit is 40 mph—just enough to warrant third gear, which we do mostly to feel that shifter work again. This around-town speed is pretty high for a concept car, and yet the ride motions, steering response and handling suggest it could easily go faster, even on its 21-inch front and 22-inch rear wheels with hand-cut show-car tires.

Where ordinary concept cars moan and groan and clunk, this one drives like a road-ready car. What with the engine note and the view out over that cowl-induction hood, it takes discipline not to aim the Camaro out onto the middle of the black lake of asphalt at the proving grounds and start doing donuts.

Unlike many a cobbled-together design study, the Camaro is built on thoroughly engineered hardware, ready for the real world. The engine and trans are base Corvette of course, with the addition of cylinder-cutout technology that promises to deliver highway fuel economy of 30 mpg. The rest is from the company’s Zeta rear-drive platform, which goes into production this summer in Australia.

This platform, with independent suspension all around (technically, the Camaro’s parts came from a Cadillac CTS) and robust parts for large and high-performance cars, was shelved for a while to save costs as GM struggled to bring its bottom line under control, but it is ready to go now.

With hardware in hand, the next phase of making a real-world Camaro happen has to do with finalizing a production design, developing a specification list that will generate the requisite sales numbers, setting up to stamp out body parts from sheetmetal. Vice chairman Bob Lutz says the magic number is 100,000 units, and others say that means a range of affordable pony cars, with entry-level V6 editions to fill out the bottom end. It might not be as cheap as a base Mustang, with its less expensive live-axle rear suspension, but it has to be within reach. Ford sold more than 160,000 Mustangs last year.

“It has to be affordable,” says Peters, noting GM already has Corvette in its stable occupying the high-performance, higher-cost niche. “This show car is a high-specification version; we haven’t called it SS or Z28, but it would be up at the top end of the range.”

Marketing has already been involved in the Camaro program to the point where lead exterior designer Steve Kim says he had to fend off requests for more rear-seat legroom and cargo capacity. “We wanted to make it as close as we could to a production-ready design,” he says.

The only evident compromise when you drive the car is that the roof is awfully low—it will have to go up a little, Kim acknowledges. “We can get some [of the space needed] with seat design and things like that, though.” Kim is not a short guy, and he fits in the car as it is, but it’s a snug fit. Kim is assigned to designing future Hummers now, but there are people who have his back on the Camaro program.

When you’re talking to these folks about production, there is a little crosstown game of chicken going on. Chrysler has its Dodge Challenger pony car making the rounds, and its business case can be different. The Challenger could be built on the already successful LX platform (Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger) as an exclusive, V8-only model that provides incremental volume. For GM, that is not an option for now. It sounds too much like the Pontiac GTO program to make anyone comfortable.

The Holden-engineered Zeta architecture, less expensive to build than the Opel-based Sigma (CTS) platform, is also expected to spawn the next-generation GTO and other affordable rear-drive cars. Rumors a Firebird will appear at the 2007 Detroit show are unconfirmed, even denied by GM. But how could there not be such rumors, with GM buzzing around trying to make a new pony car go?

“You want people to recognize it right away, but at the same time grab the kids’ attention,” says Kim of his exterior design. Kim is not much beyond a kid himself, having graduated from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies in 1999.

Under Peters’ direction and operating in the literally underground Studio X, Kim’s team came up with the edgy, forward-looking interpretation of the design inspired by the 1969 Camaro. It also drew a lot on the work of Bob Boniface’s team. Boniface heads up the Advanced Design Studio in Warren, Michigan, and gets credit for choosing the 1969 car rather than later variations, as inspiration.

The second-generation design introduced in 1970 had its advocates, but that was the first step in a different direction. By the early 1980s Boniface notes, that shape had evolved “toward the spaceship sort of thing—the seating position was compromised, the packaging was compromised,” the car’s daily utility was compromised for the sake of its styling. And it started losing out in the sales race to the more upright Mustang.

“I don’t think that going for the rocket ship, one more turn of that crank, is the right way to go,” Boniface told Detroit’s Automotive Press Association in April. “We figured we would go back to the icon, assume the [1969-style] Camaro had never gone out of production. What would that car look like today?”

A more literal interpretation of that mission was on the boards when Peters and Kim stepped in and started drawing inspiration from other sources, including Peters’ own C6 Corvette and the YF22 Raptor jet fighter plane. The proportions, a lot of the design decisions made by Boniface’s team, survive in the final design. When you see the car in motion outdoors, though, a lot of what catches the eye are the details that came from Studio X.

“The surfacing was informed by Corvette,” says Kim. “If you go back, you see the 1967 Impala was informed by the Corvette, everything in that era drew on Corvettes of that time,” including that 1969 Camaro. That was the heyday of the pony car, which, despite all the ’Cudas and Challengers and even Javelins in the game, was largely an expression of Detroit’s long-standing Ford-Chevy rivalry.

Having surrendered the segment to Ford when the F-body Camaro/Firebird was canceled after 2002 clearly grates on the competitive nature of the enthusiasts within the company, who had to watch the Mustang collecting accolades even as Chevy—for the first time in ages—finally outsold the Ford division again in 2005.

“Rick Wagoner will tell you we’d have to be dumber than a box of rocks not to do it,” GM manufacturing vice president Joe Spielman told us later that week (we snuck up on him—we were both judges at a car show at Kettering University, during a reunion at which Spielman was also being honored as this year’s distinguished alumnus).

Wagoner has said he wants the Camaro to be produced. Lutz wants it to happen. Design chief Ed Welburn has been telling everyone he wants it to happen. And just about everybody who saw the concept at the Detroit show in January wants it.

“It’s what the people want,” says Spielman, whose job, after all, is to see that GM builds cars. Spielman is a member of the Corvette Hall of Fame, largely because he was one of the leading internal champions for the car’s continuation—the development of the C5—when there were powers working to kill it. He is a force to be reckoned with in other words, and seems to be operating under the assumption that he will be manufacturing Camaros, not in some far-off dreamy way, but in a “this is on my plate now” manner. Two top build sites under consideration: Oshawa, Ontario, and Wilmington, Delaware. The former builds Impala, LaCrosse and Grand Prix, the latter assembles Solstice, Sky and Opel GT.

What with the need to order tooling and so forth, making Camaro happen won’t happen overnight, but it could happen fairly quickly. There is more hardware ready to go than GM had on hand when it gave the go-ahead on Solstice. All it needs is that final green light from the top that says GM can spend what it takes.

So make it go, already.

The Genuine Camaro White Book

Looking for the best resource out there for Camaro data?

Knowledge is power, and the Camaro White Book puts tremendous power in your pocket. It does so by presenting useful and interesting data in a readily accessible format. It starts with production and price trend charts, followed by a Camaro market overview called Perspective. The heart of the book, the section you'll use most, is the year-by-year summary of each model. That's followed by Addenda, a "catch-all" where additional detail breakdowns for especially desirable models produced during the Camaro's last half-dozen years are presented.

The author, Mike Antonick, has done the research for us. With pictures and details of each year of production, I don't know of a better resource out there.

This book is a must have for any Camaro enthusiast.
Also checkout the same type of resource for the 1953-2006 Chevrolet Corvette - the Corvette Black Book


Carbon Fiber Toilet Seat

Looking for a gift for the gearhead that already has everyting?

Truck Techniques LLC carries this 100% Carbon Fiber Toilet Seat, available with flames (as shown) or crossflags. Includes everything to install for only $175.00 plus shipping!

Checkout their website for details and take a look at the other items available --

The new Camaro at Oshawa?

GM hints to building the new Camaro at Oshawa

GM plant wins laurels, no promises
GREG KEENAN - Globe and mail

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A General Motors Corp. factory that is scheduled to close in 2008 is turning out the highest-quality vehicles in North America -- the second strong showing for the Oshawa, Ont.-based plant in less than a week as the auto maker contemplates a major investment at its complex in the city.

GM's Oshawa No. 2 plant topped the rankings and won the gold award in the closely watched annual survey of quality by J.D. Power and Associates, less than a week after finishing second among all North American plants in a productivity study.

The results arrive as GM considers whether to turn its two Oshawa car plants into one leading-edge flexible assembly complex that will crank out the reborn Chevrolet Camaro and other cars.


Camaro in limbo

GM board must decide whether to build car

By JOSEPH SZCZESNY - The Oakland Press
Press Automotive Editor

The General Motors Corp. Board of Directors will make the final decision on whether to build a new Chevrolet Camaro.

But, the board hasn't decided yet, Robert Lutz, GM vice chairman for product development, said Wednesday. The product development staff must prepare a wide-ranging business case for review by the board, which then must decide whether to move ahead with the investment required for production of the vehicle.

GM Chairman Richard Wagoner, however, has approved the spending required to continue work on the Camaro project, Lutz told reporters after a speech in Detroit.

"This company is headed in the right direction, and it's headed in the right direction under the right leader," Lutz said.


Camaro Videos on the net

With the recent exposure of the Silver Camaro Concept on the Hot Rod Power Tour, some fans have posted videos on the internet. Here are a few that we have found.

Click HERE to see the video hosted by

Click HERE to see the video hosted by

Pontiac Denies All-RWD Future

from Wards Auto

A spokesman downplays a recent media report suggesting Pontiac is mulling a plan to sell rear-wheel-drive vehicles exclusively. While Pontiac will look to add some RWD vehicles to help bolster its lineup, the division has no plans to abandon front-wheel drive, he says.


Camaro wins 'best concept car'

from the Detroit Free Press

The 65-m.p.g. Ford Reflex's win as 'most-significant concept' was unexpected. Most observers thought the Chevrolet Camaro would take the top award.

"We would like to see something like" the Reflex "go into production someday," said Ford designer Pat Schiavone. The 400-horsepower Camaro won the category for best concept car.

"Our goal was to capture the history and essence of the Camaro," GM designer Jeff Perkins said of the futuristic car. "We wanted to make sure true Camaro buyers loved the car, but more importantly to capture new buyers." The sport coupe is widely expected to hit the road in two or three years


2008 Chevrolet HHR SS

as posted on the Winding Road

Chevrolet looks to be prepping a turbo-powered HHR crossover with an “SS” badge, sourcing the Pontiac Soltice GXP’s turbocharged, direct-injection in-line four, which was rated at 260 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque (in the Solstice, at least). These shots of the HHR SS mule indicate the bowtie brand engineers are attempting to conceal the intercooler (look at the front bumper). Whether or not the turbo powerplant will make it into this HHR body style or a forthcoming, freshened version remains unclear at this point.

Although nearly all powertrains cross multiple platforms in today’s GM, Chevy has a special history with turbocharging. The 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder is generally believed to be the second widely-produced automobile with a turbocharger (the first being the the ‘62 Olds Cutlass Jetfire).

Corvette Blue Devil project reportedly now called Sting Ray

Posted by

Maybe this is why the folks at General Motors can slyly smile and plausibly deny a super-powered Corvette Blue Devil is in the works. We hear Blue Devil (allegedly chosen to get the attention of GM CEO and Duke grad Rick Wagoner) is no longer the working name of the car but has been replaced by the more Corvette-centric Sting Ray moniker. Production of the $100,000 Blue, er, Sting Ray, with a supercharged 7.0-liter 600-hp V8 under its carbon fiber hood, could come as early as 2007.

Greg Biffle would like to see the Camaro in NASCAR

Catching up with ... Biffle Greg

from the Hardin County News

A victory at Darlington (left) helped Greg Biffle in his four-race climb from 23rd to 12th in the standings.

After a horrible start to the 2006 season, Greg Biffle is once again a solid contender for one of the 10 berths in the season-ending, championship-deciding Chase for the Nextel Cup, which begins after the Sept. 9 race at Richmond International Raceway.

In the past four races, Biffle has had finishes of fourth, first, seventh and eighth, respectively. During that span, he has climbed from 23rd in points to 12th, and he's 85 points out of 10th place. The veteran Roush Racing driver spoke with reporters last week on NASCAR's weekly teleconference.

Q. Should the rules be changed so injured drivers don't have to start races to earn points?

A. "Yeah, because of our sport, the way it's designed, it could help us... There has been discussion about the points as well; like if you fall out of a race, instead of getting 43rd-place points, have there be a cutoff. Let's say everybody from 30th back gets the same amount of points. ... It could be a topic of discussion in the future, [but] I don't really know how that will actually work."

Q. Should NASCAR run smaller cars, like the Ford Mustang, in the Busch Series?

A. "I think bringing the Mustang and the [Chevrolet] Camaro, those type of cars into that division, would be a great idea, great idea for the marketing, sports and the series."

Q. How did your team members keep up their spirits as the team struggled early in the season?

A. "We simply had to put the last race totally behind us like, OK, we went to Phoenix, we ran well, whatever happened, happened. This week we're concentrating on winning."

Q. How do you feel about the strong performance of Roush Racing teammate Mark Martin in his final year of full-time Nextel Cup competition?

A. "It doesn't really surprise me. Mark Martin has a ton of talent. He's extremely passionate about driving these race cars.We've got, as a company, really good race cars. If we have good equipment and good cars, Mark is always going to be one of our guys running up front."

Hot Rod Power Tour stops in Perry

By Jenny Gordon

as posted on

PERRY - It was truly hot rod heaven for hundreds of car enthusiasts as the 12th annual Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour made a pit stop Monday at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry.

With temperatures hovering in the mid-80s on Monday, a nice breeze provided some relief for onlookers who came to check out the car tour, which each year travels through different parts of the country.

An estimated 2,000 long-haul cars, those traveling the entire length of the seven-city tour, stopped in Perry showing off every American-made vehicle possible.

There was plenty to see for even the most astute and well-versed car aficionado. Take your pick from a buffet line of Mustangs, El Caminos, Cadillacs, Chargers, Roadsters, Novas, Camaros, Impalas, Corvettes, and the list goes on.

Hot Rod Magazine spokesman Chad Reynolds has been traveling with the tour since 2000. His 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air station wagon, which he described as "fun, weird and incredibly popular," has made the trip with him twice, last year traveling 13,000 miles.

Getting the chance to see other cars, hang out with friends and meet new people, are the reasons Reynolds makes the annual journey.

"It is the ultimate gearhead road trip," explained Reynolds, who lives in Allen, Texas. "It's the world's largest traveling car show. You can see every kind of car imaginable here."

Helping a car enthusiast out of the driver seat of his custom-made 1962 Corvette 'look-alike,' Jim Bryant drew a crowd all afternoon around his lifelong hobby.

"It's just fun. It's just people doing their own thing basically," said Bryant, who lives in Sweetwater, Tenn. "I enjoy driving the cars and getting out."

Bryant spent an estimated $100,000 over two years building his car, which included a 572-cubic-inch engine and five-speed Lenco transmission.

For only $65, car lovers could join the tour which began last Saturday in Orlando, Fla., traveling through Gainesville, Perry, Columbia, S.C., Roanoke, Va., Harrisburg, Pa., and ending in Englishtown, N.J. The tour also welcomed visitors who could show off their cars for the day at each location. This was the tour's first visit to Perry.

The tour included some high-end vehicles, including a 1932 Ford Deuce convertible owned by Jay Leno of "The Tonight Show, a restored 1969 Dodge Charger owned by guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepard, and a one-of-a-kind 2009 Chevrolet Camaro concept car, which was making its first public appearance on the tour.
Sitting with his 1931 Ford Model A, Perry resident Ray Shipes had prime viewing for cars arriving from the South Georgia Motorsports Park in Cook County. Drivers had stopped earlier in the day at the Cook County park for lunch and a few drag races.

"I like seeing all the cars drive by," said Shipes, who kept an eye out for cars dating earlier than 1970.

On the other end of the fairgrounds was Keith Woodall, who had already driven 1,000 miles on his 1966 Ford Mustang to Perry from Florida. This was his second year participating.

"It's really a lot of fun," Woodall said. "It's never the same thing. You see something new just about every day." He said he would making the trip home to Smiths Station, Ala., following the stop in Perry.

The tour is presented by GM Performance Division and co-sponsored by Flowmaster. To learn how to participate in next year's tour and to check out daily coverage, visit Hot Rod Magazine at

Jenny Gordon is a community news writer for The Houston Peach. If you have an event, fund-raiser or interesting person you'd like to share, please call 923-3109 ext. 240, or email

Comparison Test Review: 2006 Chevrolet Corvette vs. 2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Heavy Pedal: With 500 horsepower, a dynamo Shelby Mustang goes after a very big fish.
July 2006
as posted on

A lot of people think the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro duel has been the most exciting rivalry in the history of cars. Others think of it as the automotive equivalent of a People magazine cover story on Jessica Simpson — it’s a worn-out story, but you give it a look anyway.

By now you know that GM no longer makes Camaros, so our ritual is in limbo. (The Camaro’s obvious stand-in, the Aussie-born Pontiac GTO, is about to join the Oldsmobile lineup on the discontinued heap.) But Ford has not called it quits in the muscle-car department and has in fact produced the 2007 Shelby GT500, which is not only the most powerful Mustang ever made — 500 horsepower — but also the most expensive at $41,950, including destination. So without a Camaro, the Corvette, which lists at $44,490 and comes packed with 400 horsepower, becomes the obvious crosstown challenger.

Actually, the Mustang Cobra R was the most expensive at $54,995 - Joe

A major difference between this Ford and Chevy is that the Mustang has a pair of back seats and the Corvette doesn’t. The similarities are many and important: Both have front-mounted V-8s, rear-wheel drive, and Motown reputations a quarter-mile long. Plus, their base prices are close.

For this comparison, we wrangled an early-build GT500 from Ford. We’re guessing that options such as satellite radio, an in-dash CD changer, and a 10-speaker sound system will add about three grand to that base price.

On the other hand, the Corvette is a known quantity: It’s a great sports car at a great price. A two-time 10Best winner since the C6 version was introduced in 2004, the Vette is a fantastic performer that can outrun cars that cost tens of thousands more dollars.

We requested a no-options test vehicle but nonetheless wound up with a loaded $56,070 Corvette — it came with a navigation system, polished aluminum wheels, heated seats, satellite radio, a $750 transparent roof, and the $1695 Z51 Performance package. Only the Z51 package alters the Vette’s performance, with its stiffer suspension, larger brakes, and revised gear ratios. So a Vette with the Z51 package that performs like the one we’ve tested here can be had for $46,185.

In addition to the GT500’s as-tested price advantage — it’s more than 10 grand less than the Vette, so in the price category it was awarded 20 points to the Corvette’s 15 — the Ford also prevailed in the back-seat category, earning five points to the Vette’s goose egg. So before a wheel was turned, the Vette was burdened by a 10-point disadvantage.

As always we put both cars through our battery of performance tests. We also spent a day lapping the 2.0-mile Grattan Raceway, a hilly road course that’s about 120 miles northwest of our Ann Arbor headquarters. So can the GT500 really hang with the Corvette?

2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Second Place: Heavy Pedal

The GT500 is at its best on the boulevard, where its decent ride and comfortable interior make it a great place to hang out in between heavy dips into its swollen torque curve.

Rated at a full 500 ponies, the supercharged 5.4-liter DOHC V-8 under its striped hood responds immediately and strongly at any rpm. It feels more responsive at lower revs than the Corvette’s 6.0-liter V-8, which is itself hardly a slouch in the torque department. And if you like supercharger whine, you’ll love the GT500’s soundtrack, but you’d better love it because you can almost always hear the blower.

However, when it comes to pure performance, the GT500 has trouble hanging with the Vette. It prevailed in only two tests, beating the Vette in the lane change by 1.3 mph and outgunning the Chevy in the 50-to-70-mph top-gear acceleration run — 8.8 seconds versus 9.1.

The major reason is the GT500’s weight and how it is distributed. The hardware needed to turn the 5.4-liter DOHC V-8 into a 500-hp monster makes for a long and massive list. There’s the supercharger with its drive pulleys, the intercooler with its pump and water lines. Even the 5.4-liter heavy-duty block weighs more than the 4.6-liter assembly in the Mustang GT. All told, these parts add about 150 pounds to the car — most of it up in the nose. Combine those extra pounds with the GT500’s large brakes, 19-inch wheels and tires, and six-speed transmission, and the result is a porky 3896-pound Mustang.

That adds up to 321 more pounds than the last Mustang GT we tested and a more forward weight bias, degrading from 52.5/47.5 percent to 57.7/42.3 percent.

The Vette is not only 616 pounds lighter but also splits its weight 51.9/48.1 percent front to rear. That more even distribution means more traction off the line, stronger braking, and better handling balance.

At the test track, physics would not be denied. Despite being on tires similar to the Corvette’s in size and specification, the GT500 achieved only 0.90 g on the skidpad, whereas the Vette pulled 0.95 g.

During our brake tests, the GT500 nose-dived dramatically but stopped only a little worse than the Corvette. In our usual 70-mph stop, it needed 172 feet. In a much more punishing 120-mph stop, the GT500 came to a halt in 485 feet. The Vette edged it at 161 and 462 feet, respectively.

What surprised us, however, was the GT500’s loss in the acceleration runs. Its 100-hp advantage should have been enough to leave the Vette in a cloud of rubber dust. The GT500 also has a useful launch-control system that’s part of the standard traction control. To get a nearly perfect hole shot, all you have to do is rev the engine to 3200 rpm, dump the clutch, and floor it. The system automatically modulates engine power to make the driver look like Kenny Bernstein. With it, we hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds

But we were able to go even quicker without it, thanks to the terrifically tractable engine that makes it easy to keep the tires hooked up. Moreover, the Shelby has a programmable shift light and audible chirp to free your eyes from monitoring the 6000-rpm redline on the tach.

Under full human control, we shaved 0.1 second from the 60-mph sprint, lowering it to 4.5 seconds. The quarter-mile required only 12.9 seconds at 112 mph, 150 mph came in 30.3 seconds, and an electronic tether limited top speed to 155 mph.

Although those are terrific numbers, they don’t seem quick enough for a 500-hp car. Sure it weighs a lot, but the last SVT Mustang Cobra we tested [“Rotary Revival,” C/D, April 2003] posted the same quarter-mile time and speed despite a 20-percent-worse power-to-weight ratio (110 fewer horses, 216 fewer pounds). And the BMW M6 tested in this issue [see page 68], which is also rated at 500 horsepower and weighs 12 more pounds than the GT500, ran the quarter in 12.4 seconds at 121 mph. Ford says that its own quarter-mile tests are 0.1 or 0.2 second quicker with 115-mph trap speeds. The 500-hp figure was obtained using the latest SAE-certified test protocol, so it’s unlikely that the GT500 isn’t delivering the promised ponies. Maybe we were off that day.

In any case, the fiberglass wonder from Chevy ripped to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and through the quarter in 12.8 seconds at 113 mph. It was also 3.5 seconds quicker to 150, which is hardly surprising given the Corvette’s sleeker shape and smaller frontal area.

Despite the Ford’s disappointing straight-line acceleration, the GT500 happily bounded around Grattan for several laps. Thanks to its reassuring understeer, the GT500 was rock solid at high speed, confidently carving through the faster white-knuckle parts of the track, with the back end always staying in line. The brakes were also strong, showing hardly any fade, even when slowing from about 130 mph into Turn One. In the slower corners, however, the nose tended to plow too much, making it difficult to apply the power early for a strong exit.

Our best time was 1:33.30, about three seconds slower than the Vette, and it’s hard to forget the GT500’s extra poundage. One tester commented, “I’m always aware of the high center of gravity compared with the Vette’s, and the GT500 really bounds and bobs. But I could spend a day lapping this car and never get bored.”

Astute readers might remember that we lapped Grattan in a Dodge Charger SRT8 in 1:32.65 [“Bahn Burners, Episode 39,” January 2006]. But it had rained hard the night before we ran the GT500 and Corvette, and we’d be willing to bet our own dough that the GT500 would be faster than the Charger if we tested both on the same day.

On the road, the GT500 settles nicely into a relaxed cruise. At posted speeds, its behavior is not at all hot roddish, and the ride is quite subtle for a car festooned with racing stripes. Like the original GT500, the ’07 car feels more like a competent all-arounder than an all-out speed machine. It’s refined and fairly quiet, and the steering has a natural weight to it. The seats are too flat for track use but are fine for long trips. If the clutch effort weren’t so pronounced, the GT500 could be a daily driver.

And it’s always ready for those unexpected stoplight duels with its reliable launch control and light, positive, and accurate shifter.

In the end, we wish this GT500 had more horses to go with its lofty price. The last SVT Cobra only cost $35,000 and was just as quick. We also couldn’t stop thinking about a one-off project Mustang we tested in February 2000, the Ford-built, 3587-pound FR500. With a naturally aspirated 415-hp V-8, it was as fast as this GT500, it felt a whole lot less ponderous, and we loved it. We expected the GT500 to mirror it. It’s close, but it’s still a few hundred pounds away. As four-seaters go, the GT500 is the best bang for your buck around, but for pure performance at the price, there’s a better alternative.

2006 Chevrolet Corvette
First Place: Heavy Pedal

That other choice is, of course, the Corvette. Since the C6 version appeared in 2004, we’ve heaped volumes of praise on it, and we’re running out of ways to say that it is arguably the best sports car for the money, period.

As quick as this Vette was (0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds and the quarter in 12.8 at 113 mph), we’ve tested other examples that have gone faster. The Vette we featured in December 2004 got to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and turned the quarter in 12.6 at 114 mph. The one on these pages, though, was practically brand-new and had only 700 miles on the odo.

Although the engine was a little green, the chassis felt terrific. At Grattan, the same track where a ferocious Z06 Vette scared us silly, the standard model was “composed, forgiving, and easy to place,” according to one driver.

The Corvette is not afflicted with the prominent understeer of the GT500, and you can do things with the Vette that few street cars can equal. For example, in the slow-speed corners where you need to rotate the car and then get back on the gas hard, the Corvette will easily pirouette around its nose with a touch of trail braking. This maneuver is quite easy to perform, and it got the car through those slow corners much sooner than the GT500.

That willingness to rotate means the driver has to be on his or her toes in the high-speed corners, where sloppy throttle work can send the tail sliding out. We got overly aggressive with the throttle twice in a 90-mph right-hander, and the tail broke rank. Usually, that’s a guaranteed moment of panic, but the Vette is so tolerant that we simply countersteered a little and sailed right on through.

Although we also thought that the fade-free brakes were easy to modulate and above reproach, we did find a few other things to complain about. One is the transmission, which required a patient hand to accurately perform the second-to-third-gear upshift. The test drivers missed it repeatedly, and the stubby gearshift rod went into some nether land in the shift pattern that felt as if it were in gear but was actually in neutral. Both cars use the Tremec T56 design, but the GT500’s shorter, more direct shift linkage works a lot better.

And the Corvette seats, in a word, stink. They offer zero lateral support, so even though the driver can lock into place with the seatbelt, he or she winds up bracing a leg against the door and tranny tunnel. The seats feel flimsy, too, and the leather is so slippery the driver is constantly sliding into an inadvertent slouch.

While we’re in bitch mode, the variable-assist steering system could also use some work. On the track, the effort is fine, but on the road it feels artificially heavy and won’t win any prizes for being communicative. It’s not awful, but the GT500’s is better.

Otherwise, the Vette flows down public roads with a grace you wouldn’t expect after experiencing its abilities around the Grattan track. The clutch effort is light, the gauges are easy to read, and the interior is relatively quiet.

And although the Corvette doesn’t have back seats and is 13.0 inches shorter than the Mustang, it does have the largest and most practical luggage compartment of any two-seater on the planet. Fuel economy is clearly not a priority with these cars, but the Corvette does well on that score as well, when driven with some restraint.

In other words, we wouldn’t hesitate to drive this car daily, and it won this duel handily, topping the GT500’s score by 20 points.

Click here for images and a slide show of both cars used in the story.

GM Insiders Tell Us How A Long-Awaited Dream - The Next Camaro - Made The Treacherous Journey To Production - Ready Concept Car

as posted on
By Ro McGonegal

When the Camaro Concept (codename CZ6) was introduced on January 9 at the Detroit auto show, the joint went nuts. Master and Commander Bob Lutz did the honors, stressing that his Chevy had something that the re-born Mustang and the Dodge Challenger do not. Simply, it distances itself from the others with a lot more than a retro theme.

Lutz: "While the current Mustang and concept Challenger are very nice cars, I honestly think this goes beyond that. I like both of those cars, but they don't really break any new ground aesthetically. They are very close to the original car. Maybe that is a good thing, but we elected not to do that. We elected to do a thoroughly new car with totally new surfaces that doesn't just make the same statement of the old car again, but in fact, makes a new statement while capturing all of the spirit and essence of the original cars."

We asked artist John McBride to sketch for us what a 2009 Camaro Indy Pace Car would look like. We think it's more than just coincidence that the new Camaro will debut on the 40th anniversary of the most famous Indy Pace Car ever (the '69). Look for at least a 400hp LS2 in this high-end convertible.

Now that the bluster of reports and prognostication from the daily cyberspace and weekly print journals is over and the swell words from the manufacturers' pitch men have been pitched, we are here to see what's what. Yeah, the big question: how close is it to being a real car? Please keep reading. Lutz: "We have no production plans to announce. But this concept car was designed over a production architecture, using production mechanical units, and if and when there should be a production car, it would be as close to this as the production Solstice was to the concept. It took us about six months on the Solstice to get all the numbers together, see whether we could afford it, to see if we could fit in the engineering workload. It would probably be the same here.

"If we were to put this car into production, it would be priced with the Mustang ... you would have a popular-priced six-cylinder version, then you step up to an eight, then step up to the next eight, all the way up to 500 hp ... but you always would like to keep the Corvette with a few horsepower more than the Camaro." Let's step away from the superheated air, look at the Camaro proposal from an enthusiast's perspective, and leave Chevrolet out of it for the moment. Quite literally, it is an answer to several million prayers, silent or otherwise. It could easily put Chevy fans back in the performance picture in the same arena as the Mustang and the new Challenger. It's aimed at the younger as well as the older buying segment, the latter who remember the original Camaro when it appeared in the fall of 1966.

The base V-8 model, most likely a Z/28, would look like the concept car, while the top-dog SS/RS model (shown here) would have the upgraded 505hp LS7, larger 19-inch wheels and tires, the hockey stick stripe, and hide-away headlights.

Though the younger buyer probably has no idea of what the original F-bodies were like and could care less if the new version is retro, or even that it is true to the original lines, their interest lies in what's under the hood and how the power output is managed by the engine electronics, the suspension, and the drivetrain ... and how cool they'll look wheeling this icon in the immediate future. "And don't think twice about it," says Tom Peters, design director of rearwheel performance cars. "They want that V-8!"

So will they build it? We say emphatically "yes!" The telltale sign? If a concept car is posed with a production platform and ancillaries rather than parts from the unobtainium bin, it's a pretty sure thing that the Camaro will be a production item. [Ed note: A prime example of how not to do it would be the (2003) SS four-door concept--a red LS1-powered, six-speed, four-door sedan that couldn't be built in the real world because the underpinnings were lifted from a Corvette.] Two weeks after the concept Camaro's debut, the official PR charge was that the car was still undergoing the fiscal scrutiny to see if the proposal makes business sense (a euphemism for there will be a waiting period, but it'll happen). And the waiting period won't be long. An educated guesstimate would be early '09. And you must realize that by GM standards, this car came together at the speed of light (less than 12 months). It surely won't be like the SSR, an on-again, off-again teaser that took an insane three years after the prototypes were unleashed to introduce for retail consumption.

The SS convertible will be a big hit in the sunbelt states. Check out the hood stripes, rear decklid spoiler and upgraded wheel/tire package. A 400hp LS2 is under the hood.

Global Design for GM, VP Ed Welburn, had a hankering to do a Camaro concept. That yellow and black '69 SS marvel master in his garage was more than an impetus. It whispered to him daily, poked him daily: the icon was still the icon and that it should not be left to wither. The clamor from the public sector (read a zillion e-mails) for Chevrolet to reinstate their favorite car was not lost on him (or Lutz), either. In early '05, two key things came together to forge his decision: there was a desire to build a knockout concept for the '06 Detroit auto show that would build on the momentum of the Corvette C6 (2004) and the ZO6 (2005). Second, the work on the global rear-wheel-drive Zeta rchitecture had progressed to where it could be used in a rear-drive coupe with the Camaro concept's proportions. The idea was to incorporate a fresh expression of the car's heritage; the caution was not to get trapped by history (e.g., a purely retro derivation), and to produce a quality that evoked the emotion of those years but without "copying" it line for line. But will this deviance from the original theme come back to bite ... like buyer resistance to the GTO, which was considered anything but retro?

This early sketch takes virtually all its cues from the '69 RS/SS. Later designs would see influence from the Second-Gen Camaro and concurrent C6 Corvette styling.

At first, the assignment was that of the Warren Advanced Studio team headed by Bob Boniface (whose first car was a Second-Gen Camaro). He and his team worked on the themes that would capture the heritage of the Camaro. For inspiration they used the First- ('67-69) and Second-Generation cars ('70-81). Welburn dug the First-Gen car, but others pushed for the European lines and flavor of the Second-Gen cars. Regardless of silhouette, Boniface's team created clay models of both renditions with the requisite long hood, short deck, wide track and large wheels.

On April 15, 2005, Lutz, Welburn, and the others reviewed these themes. Lutz wasn't completely satisfied with either rendition, though he did have lust in his heart for the First-Gen design. But how do you express the elements of the '69 in a modern way? What did the car mean then and what would it mean today? Because of the kinship they saw with the Corvette, they wanted to include some of the elements germane to the C6, especially in the form of the fenders and shape of the hood. Boniface: "The right thing to do is multiple themes. Both cars get better. As good as one might be, you can always make it better." Welburn is a big believer in competition, so at this point the Rear-Wheel Production Studio heavies were invited to the party. This cabal was piloted by Tom Peters (Design Director Rear-Wheel Drive Performance Cars, who did the C6 and the ZO6 and who shoes a ZL1-powered, six-speed '69 Camaro): "... Ed invited me to put a team together and develop an alternative. He wanted to kick it up a notch. And I was anxious to do that because I felt the car needed to have a very strong expression, much in the way that it was for the C6. But for me, it is not a matter of translating a car, to redo it. You want to analyze those designs and pull out those intrinsic, those timeless design elements, those cues if you will, and reinterpret those in a fresh way."

These early styling exercises have a heavy Second-Generation Camaro influence, as seen by the long hood and short deck. At this point in the process, there's little to be seen in the way of practicality from a production or end-user standpoint.

To add drama to the intramural competition, Peters' team would ply its earthly miracle in a secret room in the cellar of the design center called Studio X (after GM designer Bill Mitchell's secret laboratory). To the teams, the Camaro concept program was a microcosm of how product development should work. Once the advanced studio and engineers have the package and the proportions right, the production studio people can go faster and with more confidence. The two groups trekked across the Warren campus at regular intervals to view each other's work. Boniface: "This is the way things should work in a car company."
And there's nothing better than a heap of tension to make this little world, this microcosm, spin all the faster. The plan was to introduce the wraith Camaro at the Detroit show, about six months hence, as a running, barking, and very close-to-production-ready concept. Within weeks of accepting the assignment, Peters' crew had a full-size clay ready for inspection. Then Lutz and Welburn feasted their eyes, and liked what they saw. Peters: "It wasn't just a show car. We didn't want to just tease people. It had to be producible."

Finally, it all came together with this rendering from the design studio. Once the decision was made to proceed with a scale model concept, some of the cartoonish proportions began to give way to more practical concerns like wheel size, passenger comfort, and driver safety.

Come summer, it was show-and-tell time on the "secure patio" at the Design Center. As a foil, Welburn had put his '69 SS between the two clay Jakes. Stuff looks a lot different in artificial light than it does in the resonance of natural light--especially cars. Viewing them in the daylight was the real-world acid test. Lutz couldn't decide. Welburn did. Peters' production studio rendition got the nod, but obviously both teams borrowed from each other and contributed to the whole. Boniface: "The passion won out. The car people won. The guys in design and engineering demanded that this car would happen..." Performance was the early Camaro's middle name, so how could this one disappoint? The engine in the CZ6 is a 400hp, 400 lb-ft 6.0L equipped with Active Fuel Management (shuts off four cylinders while the engine is in light-throttle cruise mode). As in the iteration of the 5.3L V-8 that we've driven in the '06 Impala SS, the transition to full-throttle and vice-versa is seamless. Working with the deep overdrive ratios in the T56, the concept, or a similar production car, is expected to return at least 30 mpg on the highway cycle. In the production world, we envision a variation of the current 3.9L V-6 in the base car, an all-aluminum 300hp 5.3L V-8 with AFM, the 400hp 6.0L, and yes, even the killer 505hp 427.

"I want you to sketch the meanest street-fighting dog you can sketch."--Tom Peters, Design Director Rear-Wheel Drive Performance Cars

Throughout the exercise, thoughts clustered on functionality. In the '60s, most of the mechanical development was on the powertrain. Cars ran like hell but didn't stop or handle worth a damn ... and no one cared, but 35 years later, those qualities have become just as important as the output of the engine. The concept's four-wheel independent suspension system will remain in the production cars. We remember driving an early '90s F-body whose rear suspension had been converted to IRS. The difference in ride and handling between it and the straight-axle car was something we remember vividly 15 years after the fact. You'd better believe that the difference (ride, handling, and braking) between the proposed Camaro and '02 Camaro would be like night and day. Regardless, the size of the concept's wheel/tire package will shrink to something on the order of 18- or 20-inch wheels and include 13-inch disc brakes rather than CTS-V 14-inch Brembos posed on the concept.

Here the crew at the concept studio thrashes to get the Camaro concept ready for the Detroit show this past January. Note how the crew working on the minivan has lost interest in their project to gape at the Camaro.

The mission within the mission was to nail the spirit of the car but in a fresh, new approach. Peters: "To me it's the proportions of the car. The short front overhang, the longer rear overhang, the powerful fender shapes that say 'this is a front-engine, V-8, rear-drive performance vehicle.' I think this has to come across immediately. It has to be obvious. It has to be an American expression. "When you look at the theme, one of the things we wanted capture that was very powerful in this vehicle was the strong center port opening (grille) and enclosing the lamps inside it as a unit. To me, that says Camaro. This is very basic, straightforward. This also fits into the Chevrolet philosophy of functionally driven design. There is not a lot of excessive style. Because it is a powerful V-8, you denote that by a powerful hood bulge ... not a lot of fuss or detail to it.

This early one-third scale model was rejected as being too rakish. We found the background more interesting: The board at left shows the Camaro's competitors as being the new Mustang, but surprisingly also the Infiniti G35 and BMW 330. Could this be a sign of future pricing? We hope not!

"As you walk around to the side, what can you do that's a fresh expression of the Camaro's past? The brake vent (in front of the rear wheel), we want to make that functional. We want a functional brake port for cooling, much like that of the ZO6. If it's on there, it's got to be functional. Simple taillight functions, not a lot of tricky shapes, very straightforward, functional. Fenders that sweep back and tie into a central fuselage or nacelle. On the rear, we wanted to do something that was fresh, but again, we wanted to take some strength derived from the (C6) Corvette There are elements and influences of the strong Corvette fenders because the Corvette is a front-engine vehicle with rear-wheel-drive performance, so we wanted to develop a theme that hinted at cues developed from Corvette but still were uniquely Camaro, and not only uniquely Camaro, but uniquely fresh and modern. We used very simple structures in terms of the diffusers, and how they tie into the exhaust. Again, V-8-powered, dual exhausts. Also, the exhaust pipes kind of telegraph the power, the soul of the vehicle.

"Doing it in the timeframe we had, it was undoubtedly one of the tightest squeezes of my life. There was no time to look back. No second chances. We just went ahead and did it." --Tom Peters

"But the fact that this functional design is all part of the aesthetic, it in fact then does become part of the style, like the YF22 Raptor, which we used as a theme for the Corvette, as kind of an image vision. All those aircraft are designed from a functional standpoint, but that function becomes part of the aesthetic ... not something that's covered up with a styling shape or something that's just there for the looks. It's driven by something that's really needed for that vehicle to perform to its optimum level. From my standpoint, that's how I like to approach vehicles as well. That's the difference between styling and design for me.
"The same thing with a car. No excess anything that you don't need. If you look at the concept closely, it's just the right balance of line and form. So you have this kind of structure or backbone, from a form standpoint, and then it's sheathed in a very tight skin. That's where you get some of the more muscular aspects of the package.

Structure and tension. Tension is a key word. You can have very angular elements in a car, you can have very round, voluptuous shapes in a car, but they must have that forward visual tension. You like to use aircraft as a kind of visual, as kind of a metaphor, they are very forward thrusting, very directional. The lines go with the flow of the vehicle. They track around the vehicle. This beltline goes right into it, and gives you completeness, oneness of design. It's cohesive. It's one shape. Like you would say a human form might be."

"We didn't want to just tease people with a show car. It had to be producible."--Tom Peters

The simple but classic five-spoke wheel design suggests a feeling of strength, light weight, and displays the big rotors and finished brake calipers which become functional elements that add to the visual aesthetic. Peters: "As I mentioned before, we wanted to draw from the vehicle's strong heritage. General Motors has some cars that are just incredible in the way that they were very strong and exciting when they were first done, and they are still very powerful. The Sting Ray comes to mind, certainly the first Camaros. I would bet you any amount of money that 50 years from now, they will be every bit as exciting and hold as much interest and raise levels of excitement just because of the passion they express. They are timeless."

Tom Peters has been in the GM system for a while. He did the '85 IROC Z under Jerry Palmer and he put time in at Pontiac, so it's not like he just fell off the turnip truck. In his experience he's never had a reaction to a concept's first reveal like he did with the Camaro. Chevy had invited Camaro clubs and dotcoms from across the country to mingle with the company throng for the pre-Detroit show unveiling. He drove the Camaro through a kind of gauntlet, people crowding the line on either side of the car, and they were cheering and clapping and popping their thumbs up. "I wasn't ready for the reaction to this car. Not even the C6 got such a reception. That told me that there's a lot of emotion, energy, and passion for it. It made me think that this car must be pretty significant."