Design Changes Delay Camaro's Return to the Muscle-Car Race?

Source: LA Times -- Saturday, March 29th, 2008
By Martin Zimmerman

The new Chevy Camaro would seem to have everything going for it; a genuinely storied tradition, a built-in fan base, even a staring role in a blockbuster movie.

But as they say at the local comedy club, timing is everything. And in that regard, at least, the Camaro can't seem to get its act together.

General Motors Corp. expects to have the new Camaro in dealer showrooms during the first quarter of 2009. That would be three years after the Camaro concept car was unveiled as GM's entry in the current muscle-car revival and well behind such retro rivals as the Ford Mustang and Chrysler's Dodge Challenger.

"I honestly don't understand what they're wating for," said Dick Guldstrand of Burbank, Calif.-based Guldstrand Motor Sports.

Certainly, fans of the original Camaro are eager to get a look at the new version. The last Camaro rolled off the assembly line in 2002, and the versions seen since have all been concepts, including the yellow and black copy that starred as Bumble-bee in last summer's popcorn hit Transformers.

GM knows that more than a few of its customers are toe-tapping with impatience. Designing the car around a new rear-wheel drive platform, rather than using existing automotive architecture as did Ford and Chrysler, is the main reason for the delay, GM spokeswoman Wendy Clark said.

"Maybe we showed the concept a little early," she said. "I know it feels like a long time. But it will be worth the wait."

Or will GM miss the "sweet spot" of the muscle-car rebirth? the trend began a few years back, when Ford fielded a redesigned Mustang that mimicked the lines of the iconic late '60's fire-breather but came with such modern amenities as fuel injection, air bags and four-wheel disc brakes.

The vintage look proved to be a big hit with baby boomer's who recalled the muscle cars of the late '60's and early '70's, including the Challenger, the Pontiac GTO, the Plymouth Barracuda and the Camaro Z28. Those cars, fabled as much for their dreadful handling and braking as for their straight-line speed, are the new stars of the collectible-car circuit, with rare and well-preserved models selling for millions of dollars.

The Camaro concepts seen so far have strong echoes of the 1969 model, considered by many to be the ultimate expression of the car, itself one of the gems of the muscle car era.

"If you're not into it, it's hard to explain," said Los Angeles attorney Barry Freeman, 69, who owns two vintage Camaros.

"It's a seduction that people of my generation have never escaped from, nor do I want to."

The first muscle cars were killed off by high gasoline prices, a weakening economy, new federal regulations, and rising insurance rates. Those same factors are threatening to choke off the cars' comeback before the new Camaro even reaches dealers.

"It's a tough time to be introducing cars like the Challenger and the Camaro," said Karl Brauer, editor and chief of online auto site, noting that the Mustang sales already began to slide last year.

"The number of muscle cars in the market is a good barometer of how well things are going in the economy, and these cars are late getting to the party."

It doesn't help that the new fuel-economy standards congress passed in December will make it tougher for automakers to justify selling big-engined cars.

GM points out that the new Camaro will be available in a more fuel-efficient six-cylinder version, as well as a V-8

Camaro Hugger

While the term Camaro Hugger meant something entirely different in 1969, we saw GM's Ed Welburn hug a camo covered white Camaro a few months back. Now we see CariDee English, "America's Next Top Model" winner, hugging the red Camaro show vehicle at the GM Design Center in Warren, Michigan.

We like this shot just a little better, sorry Ed.

Kris Horton is back with another Camaro!

We all remember the original Kris Horton Camaro designs that have been posted in the internet more than Bikini shots of Jessica Alba. Kris recently introduced two images of his version of the new Chevrolet Camaro.

Feel free to visit his site to see more of his work -

click the images below for hi-res versions

Camaro under cover?

Speculation is there is a new Camaro with a big ole' wing under a cover in this GM Accessories video

Sounds like they plan to have a full line of accessories for the Camaro similar to the Cobalt and other current models. Personally I'm not a fan of 'ground effect's or body kits on any model. We'll have to wait and see how the finished product looks.

Video Link:

Return of the four cylinder Camaro?

I remember working in the Chevy dealership in 1983. Lifting the hood on the new 1983 Camaro to see the 4 banger iron duke under the hood. There was almost room to fit two full grown mechanics under there while it was running!

GMs Bob Lutz has discussed the idea of using the Pontiac Solstice GXP 2.0l Ecotec 260 Horsepower turbo-charged motor in the new Camaro.

What are your thoughts on the return of the four banger in the Camaro?

The Camaro made from Lego

While most of us are content to wait for the latest spy photos of Chevrolet’s upcoming Camaro, the Lego-handy among us seem bound to action.

This pair of 1/8 scale pony cars was built by Crowkillers-incorporated, and are remarkably complete in their Lego execution. Who wouldn't love to have these in their display case!

Checkout the thread for more pictures

Meet GM Design Chief Ed Welburn

Harvey Earl's corner office in the General Motors Design Center fits Ed Welburn like a driving glove. He is impeccably dressed, not in the avant-garde black of his younger designers, but in a gray-flannel suit with a pocket square, GM pin, blue French-cuffed shirt, and black satin tie. Architect Eero Saarinen, who drew the sprawling Design Center as part of the GM Technical Center in the late 1940s, also did Earl's office and its furniture.

Earl certainly felt at home in it. His equally flamboyant successor Bill Mitchell fit in, but this mid-century design just looked dated during the years of the three chief designers between Mitchell and Welburn. With GM design making a comeback largely by paying homage to those exuberant Earl and Mitchell years, the office clearly has the right occupant.


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From sketch to the street posted a great story this week about the creation of the new Chevrolet Camaro from sketch to test cars rolling the streets of the USA, Australia and other countries.

The image gallery includes some great images from inside GM during interior evaluation studies as well as other areas of design.

Click HERE for the story

Yellow Camaro

Nice to see something other than white and black captured by alert photographers!

Apparently this car is at the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan.
I would much rather see a nice shine to a yellow Camaro over the dull finish on this car. We will have to wait and see what ends up on showrooms this winter.

Camaro SS spotted in Mesa Arizona!!

A member of caught this white Camaro driving around Mesa, Arizona last week. Using his camera phone this car has a few black decals on the hood and side, closely resembling the Baldwin Motion cars of days gone by. His account describes an un-mistakable whine coming from under the hood, possible a power adder from GM?

GM is loving the internet attention, as we are, something the car needs to keep the interest alive since the introduction at the 2006 NAIAS in Detroit, Michigan.

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2010 Camaro video from Florida

So a member of & contacted his buddy in Tampa Florida as he heard GM was testing cars there.

His buddy locates the Hotel the GM team is staying at, stakes the place out and follows a black Camaro around for two hours taking video.... on his motorcycle.

Is that dedication or what? LOL

Feel free to login to our fourms and discuss the video or the other Camro sightings happening this month -- HERE

Muscle CAFE: The End of Modern Muscle?

Source: - Frank Markus

With 35-mpg average economy mandated for 2020, is it "last-call" for today's overcaffeinated muscle machines?

We are witnessing the end of an era. Even as the new Challenger and Camaro prepare for launch, they'll take flight like the last of the dodos. These large, heavy, big-cube, high-horse musclecars as we know and lust after them are unlikely to be replaced by similar vehicles. That's because the life cycle of their replacements will extend to or beyond 2020, the year by which the Energy Bill of 2007 mandates that the overall fleet average fuel economy for cars and light trucks must tally 35 mpg. Tens of thousands of 15-mpg playthings just won't be part of that plan. Already we've seen GM cancel its replacement for the Northstar V-8 and Ford de-emphasizing V-8s in all its future product discussions. But will the party be over? Let's have a hard look at the legislation and its likely impact on one of our favorite market segments.

Click HERE for the entire article

Black Camaro spotted in Florida!

These recent images of a black Camaro surfaced this week from Florida. We shot an email to Corey Roginski to see if he has any additional information or pictures - stay tuned!

Click HERE to see more of the images

Ed Welburn mentions a Camaro SS?

This interview with GMs Ed Welburn comes from the 2008 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

Video - part 1

Video - part 2