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.

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