by That Car Guy
The local TV ad said, "Come by and drive the New Chevy Camaro!" So today (7/16/09) I was in the area, and they had three brand new 2010 Camaros on the lot... all were already sold. There was a black one, a dark gray, and a yellow SS with black stripes. All were locked, so I could not get a good look inside. Of course, driving one was out of the question. And the real irony? They were going to 16-year-olds.
But I had a chance to look the cars over and talk to a salesman and two service writers. Already the stories were coming in... how they had just replaced a red passenger's side mirror (Another 16-year-old), how they had calls saying that the next Camaros were sold before they were even dropped off of the transport truck, and how people would pay anything just to have one.
I'm ashamed to admit I live in a wealthy county. Some people here have money, others think that because they live here, that they do. We've been here 48 years, and I'm ready to move and let these folks have the place... its real charm was ruined years ago.
This visit to the dealer was actually unplanned, so I didn't have a camera along. The salesman was more than happy to give me a brochure, so I got the images here from that. My favorite feature on the new car is the four optional gauges in the floor console. That makes a total of eight instruments... speedo, tach, fuel, temp, plus oil pressure, oil temp, volts, and tranny temp.
So I walked around the cars to look at how they were put together. Please remember that this is the same dealer that had (And still has) the Cobalt I wrote about a few months ago. All three cars were just about perfect... the body panels fit together nicely, all paint surfaces, including the bumpers, matched, and the paint was very smooth and even. Then I saw a window sticker that had been removed and left on top of the dashboard. The 'bottom line' price was just over $37,000.
That surprised me until I remembered that last summer's new muscle car, the Dodge Challenger, was about $40,000. The Camaros were much better looking and better detailed in their finish. I would have believed that the Challenger had already been repaired. I saw no rough paint or misaligned panels on the Camaros, as I had seen on the Mopar.
The grille still has not won me over. It seems to be a square peg in a round hole design. From the brochure pictures, I think the dash could have been more smooth. The illustration of all the car's deployed airbags looks more like a fine mattress store display that a car interior. Let's hope we never actually get to see them.
The muscle car war has heated up. Whether you like bow ties, ponies, or crosshairs, there may be no losers, just personal preferences. But if you see a new Camaro in Williamson County, Tennessee, please beware... a 16-year-old is probably behind the wheel.
--That Car Guy (Chuck)
The photos here are from the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro brochure.