October 21, 2010
If our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS had these, I would've taken them off, stowed them in my garage and told anyone who wanted a roof to drive something less awesome. The first car I ever drove-- not owned, drove-- had T-Tops, I can't help it.
Alas, not only did we not opt for this $6,500 T-Top conversion from Drop Top Customs, but our Camaro's sold.
$6,500 is a little steep for me on a new, $34,000 Camaro SS, but the guy we sold it to paid $28k. Add the roof and we're only up to $34,500.
I'd have a used Camaro with this modification over a brand new one with a solid roof any day.
Mike Magrath, Associate Editor Inside Line
October 18, 2010
After about four weeks of fielding emails, texts and calls, I sold the Camaro to a young guy from the San Diego area for $28,000. Bryan Mathy asked all the right questions including whether there were any major repairs. I told him about the transmission and he began reading the long term blog. I thought I'd lose him at this point but apparently he felt he was getting a good deal and there aren't many one-and-a-half-year-old Camaros on the market. He said he had been looking for over a month and only found one other serious candidate.
Mathy said he located our Camaro by searching Autotrader, which is nice to know because I spent $49 on the ad. I also advertised on Craigslist and this brought the typical rash of scam-sounding emails. One thing that I tried this time which seemed to be successful was to do a video walk-around of the car and post the link on Youtube. The video got 589 views including Mathy who said it helped him make his decision.
Sunday morning Mathy drove up from San Diego with his girlfriend, Jennifer Bateman, and we met in a shopping center parking lot. He looked over the Camaro and seemed to feel it had been accurately represented in the ad and photos. He didn't even drive it. We chatted for a few minutes and I learned that he had read all the reviews and was aware of the blind spots and the sarcophagus-like back seat. What turned him on, he said, was the car's styling and that, to some degree was what limited its practicality. He said he had never even owned a Chevy before. In fact, this was on the second car that he owned.
We bought the Camaro for $37,425 ($2,000 over the sticker price of $35,425) so it cost us $9,425 for 18 months of fun. Over that period of time, the car depreciated 25 percent.
It's a funny feeling to see the car you've been living in for the past month drive away with someone else at the wheel. I phoned home and waited for my ride. It felt strange -- and oddly convenient -- to climb into the backseat of a four-door car.
Philip Reed, Edmunds senior consumer advice editor @ 22,808 miles
October 12, 2010
Oh, you love the new Camaro but don't want to see yourself drive by on every boulevard? Chevrolet and Neiman Marcus have answered your Christmas wishes. We've already reported that Chevy will build only 100 of these special edition SS Convertibles at a price of $75,000. (Yeah, I know, but have you been to Neiman Marcus?)
If that's too much for you, have a look at our 2010 long-term SS that's for sale.
Anyway, the video gives a nice all-around look at the Convertible and even schools you on color Flop. Who knew?
Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ ~22,500 miles
October 08, 2010
As a certified nerd who bought his car almost exclusively for the reason that it was in a James Bond film, I certainly can't fault people wanting a Camaro because it was Bumblebee in Transformers. Having said that, for all you Transformers nerds out there, there's a new cartoon developed by the same writer/producers who did the movie (as well as Alias, Hawaii Five-O, and the JJ Abrams Star Trek). Named Transformers Prime, it's going to be on the new Hub network and will debut mid November.
As the photo after the jump shows, Bumblebee isn't exactly a Camaro (visibility seems to be even worse), but he's definitely more Camaro-like than the original, which was a VW Beetle. I'm not a Transformers nerd, so I'll just leave this as some side information and let you talk amongst yourselves now.
October 06, 2010
I had just washed the Camaro and was wiping it down when a SUV drove by with three young women in it. One yelled out, "Hey! I want my car back!" The other yelled, "That car looks like a shark driving down the road!" The Camaro's design is so extreme it inspires this kind of frenzied response.
I was photographing the Camaro to list it for sale and when I went back over the pictures I was stunned by the beauty of some of the details I captured. But when I look at the big picture -- the car as a whole -- I have mixed feelings. From some angles it's amazing. From other angles, well, the pieces just don't come together.
And that's just the design. Don't get me started about the rest of the car.
Philip Reed, Edmunds Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 22,333 miles
October 04, 2010
Every long term car I sell brings it's own type of buyers. After I listed the Camaro for sale I started getting a lot of text messages (the new thing in car buying). I'm listing it for $31,500 and people will write and ask, "Would you take $25K?" This weekend I had someone text and ask what the invoice price was? I had to explain, via text, that it was a used car and didn't have an invoice. His reponse: "Haaa haaaa."
In the past, I've listed cars and haven't heard a peep for weeks. This time, I'm getting a lot of inquiries but nothing solid yet.
September 30, 2010
What's that? You have yet to liquidate your retirement account to buy that brand new Camaro? (If there's anything left after the market loss of the past few years.)
Well hold up.
GM announced today that the 2011 Camaro Convertible will premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 17.
The Convertible will arrive in showrooms in February 2011 with a starting price of $30,000 including $850 freight.
The Convertible will be available with the same powertrains as the Camaro Coupe. The standard model features a 312-hp Direct Injection V6, and the SS model has the 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 426 hp as on our long-term 2010 SS Coupe. A six-speed manual transmission will be standard, with an optional six-speed automatic.
Although convertibles aren't for me (I just got my hair did), it looks very nice, don't you think?
And you? Are you a convertible guy/gal?
Albert Austria, Senior Engineer, Edmunds, Inc
September 22, 2010
Sadly, our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, with 22,000 miles, must be nudged out of the long-term fleet so we can add some new vehicles for testing. As a first step, I looked at the Edmunds True Market Value price for the Chevy, which turned out to be $32,442. This seemed like a very high price considering the sticker price was just over $35,425. Still, a quick search through Autotrader showed that there were plenty of Camaros out there at sky-high prices (although with fewer miles).
I decided to test the market by listing the Camaro on Craigslist and in the free classifieds on eBaymotors for $31,900. Four hours later I got a call from a young-sounding guy named Louis who kept demanding, "What's your lowest price?" I told him the ad just went up so I wasn't going to negotiate over the phone. He replied, "That's cool -- but what's your lowest price?"
While I was shooting pictures of the Camaro it occurred to me that I could do a short walk around of the car and post it on Youtube. I showed the video to a colleague and he commented, "That's worth a thousand pictures." Of course, it is a thousand pictures -- but I know what he means. The video now has a number of views so I'm hoping that other potential buyers have watched it. I'll keep you posted on the sales process and the final price we get for the Camaro.
September 17, 2010
Muscle cars look great with stripes. When it comes to our 2010 Camaro SS, I was wondering what color and what kind? The animated GIF above runs through a few colors using double-thick stripes. I think I like the dark red and gray ghost stripes best. Click through to see some thick 'n' thin stripes and my absolute road-inspired version.
September 15, 2010
Our Camaro is boring. Silver on black. Blah. That's almost as bad as a base black on black Mini Cooper. Just look at all the fun stuff you can do to a Camaro. Some of its classy, like the classic orange stripes on white to the horribly naff yellow with black hockey stripes and ground effects kit. Does anyone else kind of dig the base, black steel wheels on the blue one?
Then there's the interior. You can get two-tone beige-black or grey-black, as well as the eye-searing black-orange with the 2SS.
September 13, 2010
The Chevrolet Camaros of Stevenson Motorsports finished first and second in the GT class this past weekend at the Utah 250 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, the final round of the 2010 Rolex Grand-Am Championship.
This is the first GT-class win for the Camaro in Grand-Am road racing and the first victory in professional road racing for the Camaro.
Maybe this is the kind of thing that will give the Camaro lasting credibility on the street. That is, if you believe there's any connection between motorsports and the real world.
I like to think so. Then again, maybe there's not, because the Mazda RX-8 prevailed again in the 2010 Rolex Grand-Am GT championship, and no sports car is more invisible on the street than the RX-8.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com
September 09, 2010
For a car with poor visibility, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS has some unusually small side mirrors. Still, I figured they'd fold/swivel inwards (and outwards). They don't, and it's possible that their small size is part of the reason -- they're not as exposed as normal-sized mirrors.
I left the Camaro parked on this busy street yesterday during commute hours and half-expected a nice surprise when I returned. The combination of non-folding mirrors and wide stance (e aho laula?) had me wondering.
Fortunately the Camaro's mirror didn't suffer the same fate as the one of this longterm car, or this one. Unless there's clever shear-off hardware fastening it down, a drive-by clipping of the Camaro's mirror would likely jack up the sheetmetal of its door as well.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor.
August 24, 2010
I spotted this green beauty over the weekend
What's your favorite Camaro color?
August 18, 2010
Evidently I'm not the only one who manages to miss a milestone or two when driving long-term cars. But I am the one who gets this easy blog post marking the 20,000-click milestone of our Camaro SS.
Get ready, the end is near.
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor
August 12, 2010
So am standing next to the race track the other weekend (something I seem to do a lot) while watching some friends at Robert Davis Racing attempt to turn their carefully prepared automobiles into heaps of randomly disassociated components. And a couple guys sidle up to me and start asking questions, apparently having mistaken me for someone who knows something.
August 11, 2010
As I was leaving this morning, two neighbors and a dog were standing in my driveway admiring the Camaro.
"Isn't that the cutest little thing? I just think that's the cutest little thing. Imagine driving a cute little thing like that."
I can honestly say I've never thought of the Camaro in those words.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
August 03, 2010
I asked my colleague Justin, who knows such matters, if the new Camaro -- like our long-term 2010 SS -- is in police service. I don't think so he replied.
We did some digging on the internets and found a smattering of samples in TX, OK, and Abu Dhabi(?!). But the current Camaro doesn't come close to the Generation 4 (1993~2002) that saw wide Highway Patrol/State Police Interceptor service including California, Nevada, and Florida.
So why no police package on the current car? Is it the poor outward visibility, the small rear seat that's not suitable for perps, or did it lose out to the nearly as fast 4-door Dodge Charger Hemi?
In any event it's a shame, because the new Camaro with its 6.2L V8 would make an awesome Police Interceptor -- a present day Mad Max machine.
I recently had a dream where a group of sophisticated rogue agents planted an idea in Ed Whitacre's own dream to produce the Camaro Police Interceptor, and then he decided...
Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 19,688 miles (Hit the jump to see the 4th Gen CHP Camaro in action.)
July 28, 2010
That's it, I'm done with big wheels. Every time I roll over the slightest ripple in the pavement, I can feel these monstrous 20-inch wheels with their massive low-profile Pirelli P Zeroes unsettling the chassis. Pretty much what you'd expect, since each wheel and tire weighs, what, 500 pounds? (We'll have to weigh one.)
Designers love the big tire thing. They say a big wheel makes a car look planted on the road. For me, these big wheels make every car a cartoon, a kind of life-size Hot Wheels.
July 16, 2010
Don't laugh. But I'm giving you a girly alert before you read on.
Last night I got handed the keys to the Camaro. I haven't driven it in a while actually, so I was excited to get back to it. But it just happens that yesterday I was wearing ridiculously sparkly total girl shoes. Really not good for driving a car with a manual transmission.
But I am always prepared for such a situation. You see, I carry ballet slippers in my laptop bag. And yes, they are girly, but they don't take up much space in my bag because they are so flat. And they make perfect driving shoes. They have grippy soles and they allow your foot a good feel for the pedals. I highly recommend them. I wouldn't wear them in a racecar because they certainly wouldn't offer any protection. But they work for a daily commute.
But now back to the Camaro. What a fun car. Love the throttle music, love the retro good looks, love the power. But you know, you really can't see a darn thing out those windows.
Donna DeRosa. Managing Editor
July 09, 2010
If there's any feature on our long-term 2010 Chevrolet Camaro that rights all wrongs -- apart from the 426-hp 6.2-liter LS3 V8, of course -- it's these HID headlights that we got with the RS package. These neat-o halos illuminate every time I hit the remote to unlock the car and every time I see them, the Camaro becomes cool and new to me once again.
I could take or leave the rest of the Camaro's exterior design -- not because the car doesn't look good or interesting, but because the styling forces too many functional compromises (visibility, visibility, visibility). But whoever designed the optional headlights really nailed the assignment.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 18,610 miles
July 07, 2010
I think Chevy invented this. The Corvette has been doing it for years and lately more and more manufacturers have picked up on the gimmick. What am I talking about? Watch the video above and you'll see how the gauges of our long-term Camaro do a full sweep before settling in. There is no denying it's all very dramatic, but in my book it's also a little too contrived.
What do you think? Is this cool or contrived?
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 18,578 miles
July 06, 2010
Wherever I go in the Camaro SS, people take notice. They deliver a little critique about the way it looks, ask about its performance, talk a bit about General Motors.
But no one ever mentions that it's a Camaro. No one ever gets what it's about. It's an abstraction, the latest performance thing from Chevrolet. At least when the 2002 Corvette Z06 is right there next to you, people can imagine going places in it (or not, as the case might be).
Ford's J Mays continues to be reviled for popularizing post-modern retro cars at Ford, but you have to say that the Mustang is still getting respect for the way it looks and I'm not sure that the same holds true of the Camaro. Mays believes that every car tells a story, a little cultural nugget about where it's been, where it's going and where you fit in.
I'm not sure the Camaro is telling a story. And once the shock of its newness wears off, I'm a little worried about its future.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 18,775 miles
June 18, 2010
Tusken Raider (Sand People)
Center stack of our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
June 03, 2010
I drove our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS into the office yesterday. And what to my wondering eyes did appear but this guy in his Camaro. Look at that color. Of course I scrambled for the camera. By the time I found it Mister Green was pulling away. I took a second photo for good measure.
May 10, 2010
April 02, 2010
Our Camaro SS' odometer just ticked over the 15,000 mile mark (I was about a mile or so from my exit when it hit 15k exactly). Thus far, as shown on our latest Big List of Fuel Economy, the heavy Chevy is averaging an even 17 mpg against EPA estimated numbers of 16 city, 24 highway and 19 combined. Curiously, it's getting about the same mileage as the other retro-themed, V8-powered boulevard bruiser in our LT fleet, the Dodge Challenger R/T.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 15,003 miles
March 20, 2010
One nice thing about being in Arizona is that it's actually cool to drive a Chevrolet here. Further, people still get excited when they see a Camaro here, and several told me what a beautiful car I had.
While we were dining at Haus Murphy's (order the Paprika Schnitzel with potato pancakes as an appetizer) in Glendale, AZ (convenient if you've just come from a Padres' or Mariners' game in Peoria, AZ), we got the sincerest compliment of all. This blue 2010 Camaro 2LT with the optional RS package and six-speed automatic transmission sidled up to our 2SS long-termer.
You'll notice our Camaro friend pulled up farther than we did in his parking spot. Soon enough, he'll (or she'll) learn (as we have) not to do that.
March 01, 2010
Back in October Oldham was driving our long-term Camaro and wondered why a guy in a '69 Camaro didn't acknowledge his presence via a wave or nod. Well, I've been driving our Camaro for a few weeks now and have encountered the same thing. First it was an older guy driving a blue first-generation Camaro. Since then I've been around a fourth-generation Camaro (admittedtly, a beat-up V6) and two 2010 Camaros (both SS models) and haven't gotten any interaction.
Now, it's not my car, so I don't feel a need to be part of some sort of club or anything. And I will certainly allow that four cars is a small sampling -- perhaps it's just coincidence that these other drivers were all business (or just too cool for school). But I feel a little bit like a researcher of the Camaro culture while driving our long-termer, and my initial hypothesis -- that Camaro owners would want to acknowledge the car's rebirth -- would seem to be wrong.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 12,823 miles
February 25, 2010
The above photo is the normal look for our RS Package-equipped 2010 Camaro SS, with the fog lights being used daytime running lamps.
If you turning the parking lights on, the DRLs turn off and the headlight halo rings illuminate. I've seen a Camaro or two driving around this way, though the halo rings' illumination is subtle.
The final option is with the xenon headlights on. I think our Camaro looks the best here. Would it be even better with some sort of KITT LED scanner fitted to the hood's mail slot? Heh. Michael, I don't think that's a very good idea.
Incidentally, the headlight/foglight setup for the 2010 Camaro varies depending on what model you have. Foglights are standard with the Camaro LT trim level and up, and regular halogen headlights are standard. With the halogens, DRL operation is through the headlights and you can turn the foglights on. But if you order the RS Package that includes the xenon HID headlights (with halo rings), the foglights become the DRLs. This package eliminates foglight functionality; that is, there's no way to turn our car's fog lights on with the headlights.
February 13, 2010
We've noted a few times that the new Camaro doesn't seem Camaro enough. Kurt wrote that it's less than the sum of its parts. Magrath met a service advisor who said it wasn't a real Camaro. Heck, I even wrote that the Camaro was missing personality back in October.
But I parked next to red Camaro a couple days ago and devoted a few moments brain power to some retro thinking. Maybe time has warmed our collective memory of the F-Body, but if you accurately think back to the late 1990s or early 2000s, you will likely remember that, oh hey, these things were pretty terrible.
Live rear axle. Big and bulky on the outside but cramped on the inside. Poor outward visibility. Cheap interior materials. Shoddy build quality. Uncomfortable front seats. Unusable rear seats. OK, sure, with the V8, they were fun to drive in short doses. But would I actually want to own one? Heck no. There's a reason GM stopped making these things after 2002.
The new Camaro is a huge improvement. Of course, with eight more years of automotive advancement, it should be. And yes, one can make a strong case for buying a Mustang or Challenger instead of a Camaro. But rose-tinted Camaro glasses only disguise many of the new car's merits. It still has issues, but this time around I think the Camaro is actually a competitive vehicle for somebody wanting to spend $20,000 to $30,000 on a performance car.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
February 11, 2010
It was a career day at my kid's school, so I volunteered to bore 36 six-year-olds for 20 minutes with my day-to-day antics delivering this inane drivel to you, the oh so valuable Inside Line reader. Then I let them have some fun.
I brought our long-term Chevy Camaro SS and our electric Mini E for them to fingerprint and step on, and the teacher allowed them out into the sunlight to take a look. It was like a prison riot, only without the tattoos and eventual gunfire. For 20 minutes the kids climbed all over the cars, asking questions and fighting for time behind the steering wheels.
I thought the girls would gravitate toward the Mini and the boys would dig the Camaro, but, sexist jerk that I am, I was wrong. They all loved them both, but it was the boys that wanted to know which car was faster and if the Mini E really can go 160 mph like it huge speedometer says it will.
When I told them it might touch 100 mph they were actually bummed out. "That's all?"
Besides the fact that I had to clean footprints from both car's seats and headliners, it was a fun day. And maybe, just maybe, because of that experience, one of those kids will grow up to be the next Editor in Chief of the next great automotive Web site or magazine or whatever we'll be reading in the year 2030.
At the very least, maybe they won't grow up wanting beige Toyota Camrys. And I can say it was all because of me and my dedication to America's youth. Because when you get right down to it, it's all about the kids.
February 09, 2010
Well, the racing season has begun, so I have racing cars on the brain. And when the Camaro comes up, naturally I think about the unveiling of the 2010 Chevy Camaro SS that will pace the 2010 Indianapolis 500 in May. The official unveiling took place in December.
It turns out that the Camaro has paced the Indy 500 a bunch of times: 1967, 1969, 1982 and 1993. What interests me is the comparison with the 1969 Camaro SS, since the look of the '69 model inspired the 2010 model. (Actually GM designer Bob Boniface originally conceived a car based on the 1970 Camaro, but the GM execs decided that the '69 model was the proper starting point, since they were old and the '69 Camaro is the one that all the old guys collect.)
So maybe a simple comparison between the 1969 Camaro SS and the 2010 Camaro SS can give us an idea of what might have been lost (or gained) in translation.
1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS
OHV V8 5733cc/350 cu-in
300 hp @ 4,800 rpm; 380 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm
Length 186.6 inches
Width 72.3 inches
Height 50.9 inches
Weight 3,174 pounds
Top speed 121 mph
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
OHV V8 6162cc/376 cu-in
400 hp @ 5,900 rpm; 420 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
Length 190.4 inches
Width 75.5 inches
Height 54.2 inches
Weight 3,857 pounds
Top speed 155 mph
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 11,455 miles
February 03, 2010
My friend Bill Cooper came into town from Montana this past weekend, so he took a look at our Camaro SS. As the former chief instructor at the Bondurant racing school, he knows a little bit about racing cars, and he raced a Camaro in the Trans-Am during the 1980s.
Cooper even went to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1981 to drive the wild, winged Camaro entered by Billy Hagan, only to have NASCAR champ Cale Yarborough stick the 210-mph car under a guardrail just 52 minutes into the race, an event described in a very funny story in Sports Illustrated.
January 28, 2010
So I was getting out of our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro after having just parked it in the very touristy Hollywood & Highland shopping center when a GMC Yukon packed with 20-something dudes pulled up to the too-small parking spot next to me. I took my time leaving the Camaro to make sure they didn't hit it while they tried to park.
Once I saw everything was OK, I started to walk away when their driver-side and backseat windows came down and all eager faces were looking at me. "Nice car!" said the driver. "How do you like it?" asked one of three backseat passengers. The usual questions followed. Finally I let it be known that this wasn't actually my car but rather a company car. Thinking that would be the end of the conversation, I started to back away again, but turns out that saying a Camaro is a company car opened up a whole new can of worms. "What?!" "What company?!" "Sweet!" "Wow!" "That's your company car?!"
"I work for Edmunds.com." "What's that?" And so on. Anyway, a bunch of cute 20-something dudes gushing over the car I was driving was a fun way to be reminded that I do have a pretty sweet gig. Last time that happened it was with the R8.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 11,084 miles
January 13, 2010
Speaking of valets giving special treatment to certain cars... At the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel last night, even though my friend and I turned in our valet tickets at the same time, my ride, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, arrived first. His Acura TSX? Two cars after mine.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 10,600 miles
January 12, 2010
What do you want to know about the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS?
Have you driven one, been a passenger in one? Write your review in the comments section.
If there are any details you want us to take photos of or video? Let us know.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
January 11, 2010
I imagine it went down a little like this:
Designer A, "I dig those tail lights."
Designer B, "Thanks, man. Kinda Old. Kinda new. Everything's been integrated."
Designer A, "Yeah, they look good."
Designer C, "Where are the back-up lights?"
Designer B, "Oh s#!%."
Designer A, "Dude, Welburn's gonna kill you."
Desinger C, "No worries. We'll just punch some holes in the bumper. It'll be cool."
Hit the jump to see how it SHOULD have been done.
January 10, 2010
I see them all over the road now: in Inferno Orange (that's my favorite), in Cyber Gray (cool name), in basic Black (looks bitchin'). Haven't seen one in Aqua Blue or Rally Yellow yet.
Have you seen many on the road? What's your favorite Camaro paint color?
Let's have fun with our Silver Ice Camaro as car of the week.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
December 28, 2009
This new Camaro is less than the sum of its parts.
Or to be more accurate, it's less than the sum of its numbers. 6.2 liters + 426 hp + over 108 mph trap speeds + 112 ft braking = zzzzzzzzzzzz.
I thought Camaros were supposed to be good, clean, stupid fun? This thing has zero personality. Oh sure, it pulls like a train but it just feels like it was built to look good on paper.
Until the General is able to put a little fourth-gen (lively handling and the ability to perform instant, low speed pants-filling powerslides for a start) into this new Camaro, you can have it. I'll pass.
Is it wrong to say I'd rather have a Mustang?
Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 9,118 miles
December 10, 2009
It's obvious which is larger. And it's obvious which will out perform the other. But which is cooler?
On the left is our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS. On the right is my father's stone stock 350 cubic-inch 1969 Chevy Camaro RS convertible (with air conditioning and power windows) that he has owned and meticulously cared for since 1980. In fact, it was my high school ride back when it wasn't really worth much and it wore Cortez Silver paint just like our new Camaro.
Personally I dig the old school. 1969 Camaros will always peg my coolometer.
How about you?
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief
November 25, 2009
I sat in pre-Holiday traffic for two hours yesterday on my way home. I had nothing but time and a digital camera on my hands so I thought I'd share with you a number of vanity plates I managed to capture. The one above has been sitting on my computer for some time waiting for just the right moment. More after the jump.
November 23, 2009
Hanging with some old friends at Donut Derelicts car show, Huntington Beach, California.
November 13, 2009
Just for fun, let's imagine that Pontiac hasn't joined Oldsmobile and Geo in the great GM brand graveyard (located amongst a block of abandoned buildings in Detroit).
With that assumption, which would you buy: the 2010 Pontiac G8 GT or the 2010 Chevy Camaro SS? Both are from the same platform from Down Under, both have V8s, both are rear drive, both are General Motors products, both have switchblade flip keys, both are built in former British colonies not of the Original 13 variety. Am I missing anything?
If this were a Face-Off, which car would you pick? Click through to see what my selection would be.
For me, I'd pick the G8 GT. I can see out of the thing and place the front end better, I can put people in the giant back seat and it still looks pretty damn cool. I love the ride and handling balance, power delivery is excellent and the entire car just feels "right" to drive. Oh yeah, the steering wheel fits human hands and I don't look like a pratt driving it. On the downside, I'm not a fan of the interior controls, which were designed by some dude in the Outback after a few too many Foster's.
And sure, the G8 GXP makes power more on-par with the Camaro, but it's only 0.2 seconds quicker from zero to 60 than the GT. Also, it may have a manual, but I could live with the auto in a car like this.
Finally, the G8 is cheaper when similarly equipped to the Camaro. You get a few additional niceties, but I don't think they are worth the extra cost. Besides, I certainly don't find the Camaro more fun to drive and I can live with a car that is only 0.4 seconds slower from 0-60. The Camaro seems more like a fashion accessory. The G8 is actually useful and ultimately far cooler by being subtle.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor
(Look for the return of Face-Off in the coming weeks)
November 11, 2009
The New GM has a new key design -- it's about freakin' time. That old separate key and fob set-up was so very 1996, while the writing on those gray rubber buttons would wear off substantially faster than other key fobs. Our long-term's Silverado's unlock button was barely visible after a year. Most of the GM fleet continues to use the old keys, but the latest models (Camaro, Equinox and LaCrosse) utilize a switchblade design almost identical in concept to the one Volkswagen came up with back in the late 1990s.
I say better late than ever because the new key is a quality item. The switchblade snaps up and down with a solid, mechanical action. The button icons are raised so that you can identify them by touch alone. The key ring connection at the bottom seems very robust. In total, it seems to me like the highest quality switchblade key currently around.
There are other GM key designs. One is used for models with keyless ignition/entry, like the CTS and Corvette, just to name two. The Aussie G8 also had a switchblade, but it wasn't as nice as this one.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 6,700 miles
November 05, 2009
The parking lot of my daughter's preschool/daycare is full of family-friendly vehicles at pickup and drop-off times -- you know, minivans, crossovers and such. So it was amusing to watch another dad's reaction yesterday as I pulled up for kid-pickup duty in the Camaro. He was walking across the lot when he spied me. The result was a double-take and then an envious stare as I drove by with the Camaro's V8 burbling away.
There's something to be said for school runs in a hot car.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
November 02, 2009
For Halloween night, I was interested to see what kind of reaction the Camaro would get from trick-or-treaters, so I parked it on my driveway. Little kids were pretty much oblivious (though, disappointingly, this included one dressed up as Bumblebee from Transformers 2). One
memorized mesmerized teenager in a group of boys gushed "Your car is beautiful!" as soon as I opened the door and then said it again as I was passing out candy. I don't think he even remembered to say "trick or treat."
Then there was this encounter: Doorbell rings. A little princess with her parents behind her. Usual candy procedure commences. Twenty seconds later, the doorbell rings again. This time it's the dad of the princess. "So what do you think of the Camaro?" He was really into the car and had come back to ask questions. His wife was mortified that he had done this. But I grabbed the key and showed him around. He liked the nighttime illumination and was blown away when I told him it makes 426 horsepower and not the "280" that he guessed.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 6,225 miles
October 30, 2009
More Halloween fun: this has been circulating recently. It's neato!
Albert Austria, Senior Engineer, Halloween, Inc
October 26, 2009
I got up early Saturday morning. Very early. Alarm went off at 5 AM. I didn't even know there was a 5 AM. But the gang from www.camaro5.com were heading down to Cars and Coffee in Irvine (about 60 miles south of my house) and I had agreed to come along in our long-term SS.
"We'll be getting there at 5:30," they told me. "You know, so we can all park together before it gets crowded."
"Well, save me a spot," I replied.
And it's a good thing they did. I rolled in about 6:30 to find about 25 Camaros waiting for me, along with nearly 400 other cars, ranging from a street driven 1970 Porsche 917 to the most beautiful Datsun 1600 Roadster I've ever seen. I arrived just as the sun came up and what a sight it was, all those new Camaros in the same place at the same time.
Many of them with modifications as you can see in the photos below. And while I can live without the scissor doors, the blacked out treatement and creative use of badging I saw on more than one example does appeals to me. As does a big roots-type supercharger.
It reminded me that owning a car like a Camaro is more than about the vehicle. You basically become part of a family. And that's a big part of the fun. Saturday morning was a blast.
For more on the big Camaro gathering click here.
October 23, 2009
I'm really enjoying our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS. I like it so much, I've been driving it for two weeks straight. Well, almost, I drove a Taurus SHO home Monday night, but on Tuesday I was right back in the Camaro and its key is still in my pocket.
However, that doesn't mean I think it is perfect. In fact, it's shift knob is the pits. I like the shifter's action, but the Camaro's bloated knob stinks.
Should we stick with it or turn to the aftermarket for solutions? In the above video KILLER74Z28 (mike), a forum moderator at www.camaro5.com, domonstrates the Hurst Billet/Plus shifter he put in his Camaro SS. And I love the way the units chrome stick and white ball look in the Camaro's interior.
Trouble is, we used that shifter in our Project Mustang GT (Part 1 and Part 2) a couple of years ago and hated its action. It felt right in our hands, but just didn't work the way we wanted and was hard to shift quickly.
So what do you think? Should we modify our Camaro or leave it stock?
I'm thinking we should do a roots type supercharger, shifter, lower suspension and deep dish wheels with a flat black finish. Exhaust too. However, anybody that has ever modified a car knows that with every gain there is pain. And all of those mods would also deminish some of the Camaro's good points, whether it's the car's ride comfort or its fuel economy, etc. And as I said before, I really like the Camaro SS as it is.
I'm getting together with other Camaro owners at the Cars and Coffee early tomorrow morning in Irvine, California, and in two weeks or so I'll be attending the SEMA show were there will be dozens of modified Camaros. I think I'll check out what other guys are doing to their cars before we decide how to proceed, but I'd still like to know what you think we should do.
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief
October 20, 2009
So I'm driving our silver long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS the other day westbound on the 105 freeway when I see this silver 1969 Camaro with black Z28 stripes coming up on me in the left lane. As he pulled alongside I looked over ready to exchange nods or waves or thumbs ups or toothy grins or whatever it is guys do these days when they want to acknowledge each other vehicle to vehicle.
It didn't seem unreasonable. After all, we were both in silver Camaros.
But he was having none of it. In fact, he completely ignored me. Jerk never even looked over. I was shocked, angry and yes, a bit hurt.
Other guys in new Camaros have waved at me, maybe it's just a new Camaro thing? Maybe guys in old Camaros only wave to guys in old Camaros.
Come to think of it, guys in fourth-gen Camaros haven't been waving. I guess they just wave to guys in other fourth-gen Camaros.
This sucks. I think guys in Camaros of all ages (the cars, not the men) should reunite. Come on, where's the love?
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief
October 20, 2009
Sorry about the music.
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief
October 19, 2009
Despite the fact that my first car was a Cortez Silver 1969 Camaro RS convertible, and I rallied for our long-termers Silver finish for sentimental reasons, I sometimes wish we had gotten our 2010 Camaro SS in black.
Why? Well, there are three reasons.
1) Every single car ever made looks best in black. Of course keeping it clean is a killer, but there's no denying the appeal.
2) The CAMARO badging on the car's front fenders are chrome and have thin letters so they get a bit lost when the car is silver.
3) The shark fin antenna on the Camaro's roof is black and not bodycolor and it just looks like Chevy forgot something, or worse like they installed the wrong one on my car at the factory. Personally I find this to be troubling on a car this expensive.
Meanwhile, despite my whining the thing stops traffic.
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief
October 15, 2009
After two days of rain, today the sun came out. Seizing the moment, I rolled down the Camaro's very short side glass to enjoy the great outdoors and began my drive to work.
After only a few miles, however, I found myself wanting more. More sun. More wind. More sky. Despite the sunny day and open windows the Camaro's interior still had that dank dungeon feeling thanks to the car's chopped-top-style bodywork and black interior. Remember our car does not have the optional sunroof.
Obviously there's a convertible version of the Camaro coming, but that doesn't really interest me. What I want is a set of T-Tops. I'm with The Mechanic on this one.
Why? I'm not really sure. Maybe it's because I'm from New Jersey. Or maybe it's because I got my driver's license in the 1980's. Or maybe it's because T-Tops rule.
What do you think? Are The Mechanic and I alone on this one?
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief @ 5,421 miles
October 13, 2009
Like Caroline, I don't care for the color of our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS. I've seen it in red, yellow, and black, and although I'm not completely sold on the styling, at least it looks exciting in those colors.
But silver? No. That's more suitable for your papa's Accord. Or your girlfriend's Jetta.
October 02, 2009
Sadlier: Quite the Camaro post by Mr. Jordan, eh? Stirred the pot.
Magrath: Sums up my feelings on the car pretty well, i.e., it's not a Camaro.
Magrath: Our service advisor yesterday at Chevy: "Like your Camaro?"
Magrath: Me: "Eh, it's okay."
Magrath: Him: "No f---ing kidding" (he swore a lot). "If it was a real f---ing Camaro I'd have bought one. It's not a real Camaro. No guts."
Magrath: Me: "Yep."
Sadlier: No guts = wrong gearing. Give it a performance rear axle like the Mustang's 3.73 and you'd be happy.
Magrath: No, then I wouldn't be bored. Well, as bored.
Sadlier: Need I remind you, you couldn't outrun me on straights in the GT-R on Angeles Crest, never mind what gear I was in. Dead even at speed with a Camaro SS! How embarrassing for the Japanese "supercar."
Magrath: It's true, but I was pulling on you through the corners with one hand out the window. If we were really going for it, you wouldn't have seen me at the end of the corner to catch up on the straights.
October 02, 2009
Our long-term Chevy Camaro SS hit 5,000 miles this morning. Thus far, it's been trouble free other than an intermittant airbag service light. We've added oil and there's been a service bulletin involving a loose spoiler, freezing HVAC system and the engine harness rubbing against the heater hose clamps. These aren't recalls but we'll have them looked at when the Camaro eventually goes into service.
We also curbed the right front wheel when driving it home from the dealership, which is mostly to blame on the driver, but the Camaro's visibility certainly didn't help matters.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 5,003 miles
September 29, 2009
What do you want to know about the 2010 Chevy Camaro SS?
Have you driven one? Seen one on the road? Write your review in the comments section.
Any details you want us to take pictures of? Now is the time to ask.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
September 27, 2009
It's got a 6.2-liter V8 capable of 426 horsepower @ 5,900 rpm.
It's got 420 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm.
It's got a six-speed manual transmission.
It's the car that got Shia LaBeouf Megan Fox. (The picture is for the obsessed boys.)
It's not Bumble Bee yellow but our 2010 Chevy Camaro SS is Car of the Week.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
September 17, 2009
When I heard we were adding a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro to our long-term fleet, I was so excited! Until I saw that ours was silver. Ugh. Bo-ring! Turns out Oldham asked the folks in charge of buying the Camaro to get any color except yellow because of the whole Bumblebee stigma.
OK, I realize color preference is all subjective and has nothing to do with the performance of a car blah blah blah but shouldn't a car like the Camaro be dressed in something a little snazzier or bad-ass? You know, to make everyone lust after it? As it is, ours seems almost invisible. So I went on Chevrolet's Camaro site and built my own. I like both five-oh magnetic reds -- Red Jewel and Victory Red -- and the black. Now that's better.
September 15, 2009
This morning I stepped on this 1968 Camaro Hot Wheels on the way to the coffee maker. It hurt, but now I have a few ideas on how to improve our 2010 Camaro SS. What do you think? Blower? Zoomies? Green metal flake? I think we'll pass on the black stripe.
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief
September 14, 2009
Here's my problem with the current Camaro (Challenger too). Granted, I've had some fun at the expense of Camaro owners in the past. - You know the stereotypes, they're all tweakers or jerks or pot heads but here's the thing about that last generation Camaro - love it or hate it the look was original. It wasn't derived from some other car from back in the day. Not that I don't love old Chevys, I do. By making the Camaro draw so heavily upon it's past, the car seems destined to appeal only to old guys - double true for the Dodge.
Brian Moody, Automotive Editor.
PS - Even ten thousand replies of "I'm only 20 and I think the Camaro looks tough" won't convince me otherwise.
September 14, 2009
So my architect friend from 5+Design is looking at the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS and saying that the Nissan GT-R is a more successful example of an American-style look.
The Nissan is oversize and a little bit of a mess, just like a big American coupe of the 1970s, as if it had been assembled from a lot of disparate pieces. The result is kind of utilitarian yet appealing, kind of like a Harley Davidson. Even the GT-R's oversize badges are sort of clumsy and overstated, like something provided from a third-rate casting company in Gary, Indiana. And yet the GT-R's design really works for him, he says.
In comparison, he says the Camaro looks so integrated and finished, it might as well be Japanese. It's not the retro thing, but instead the way it looks more like a transformer robot than a car. It's brutal and dramatic, but it's been processed by a sensibility that's more into animation than cars.
Even the glowing angel-eye headlights remind him of something from a Japanese manga, the graphic novels that Japanese subway commuters are so addicted to.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 3735 miles
September 11, 2009
I've driven a lot of Camaros and Firebirds over the years.
The first-generation Firebird 400 that Skip Robidart's father had. The small-block Firebird that belonged to the current boyfriend of Lissa, my old high-school girlfriend. The second-gen, black-and-gold, screaming-chicken-rampant Firebird 400 with the Detroit locker and a CB radio antenna on the roof that I drove cross-country from New York City to San Francisco the week that Smokey and the Bandit was released into theaters (couldn't figure out why all the trucks kept waving to me and blowing air horns until I saw the movie some weeks later). GM engineer Fred Schaafsma's third-generation Camaro. The tastefully styled third-generation Firedbird of John Schinella (the guy who ironically designed the screaming chicken graphic, something completely out of character for him). The revised fourth-generation Camaro with structurally adhesive in every crevice that eventually was restyled to look like a butter dish. The Pontiac GTO from Down Under (a great car to drive) that was a Camaro/Firebird in all but name.
The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS isn't like any of these cars.
Instead what we have here is a Chevrolet Silverado HD dually. It looks like it and it drives like it.
The American GT car is my favorite ride, a perfect mix of power, weight and handling. But the guys who put the new Camaro together seem never to have driven any kind of car at all, much less any Camaro or Firebird. This car is a kind of stunt, a strange kind of genetic experiment gone horribly wrong. The right guys had this project to start with, but it seems to have fallen into the wrong hands somewhere along the line.
Saw a guy driving a Hummer H3 while driving the Camaro for the first time and envied him. An H3 is the soul of honesty and genuine utility compared to this car
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 3,645 miles.
September 11, 2009
Remember a few weeks ago when Papa John found his beloved Camaro and to celebrate offered a free pizza to any Camaro owner in the country? Well, I heard about that and thought aloud, "Hey, I wonder if anyone on staff owns a Camaro?"
September 10, 2009
Those of you who don't live in front-plate-states, consider yourself lucky. Living in the Republic of California, we're stuck with 'em. But hey, State's in a budget crisis and no-front-plate tickets are easy money-- and money we don't want to spend. Our plates arrived yesterday and I went down to the garage to install them.
Step 1: Get screwdriver. Step 2: Find front plate bracket (Hooray, it's in the car. I hate when dealers forget to include this.) Step 3: Find mounting hardware for front plate bracket. Damn. Not taped to the bracket. Not in the glove box. Not in the trunk. Step 4: Check front bumper for guide holes. Nothing. Not even dimples. I don't want to G8 this and have it all crooked. Step 5: Go to Santa Monica Chevy.
While I was waiting on the techs to get back from lunch, I figured I was bright and mechanically inclined enough to mount the rear plate all by myself. Screwdriver (the + kind) in hand I removed the dealer plate, which oddly enough was only attached at the bottom, and found this.