Chevy Camaro: Build It and We Will Buy It!
by Matthew C. Keegan
Attention, General Motors! The concept Camaro now making the rounds of U.S. auto shows is a real winner. Keep showing the car, but start making plans to get it built...now! Make no changes to the concept; in other words: keep the boardroom geeks away from the project. Yes, GM is looking at bringing back a venerable nameplate - the Chevrolet Camaro. If all goes as planned, a 2009 model Camaro is a strong possibility. Read on for additional interesting tidbits.
Back in the late 1960s, General Motors responded - albeit a little late - to the wildly successful 1964 1/2 launch of the Ford Mustang. A whole new breed of cars were on the market - pony cars - thanks to the Mustang and GM's release of the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird. Indeed, Chrysler and American Motors jumped in too with the Dodge Charger, Plymouth Road Runner, and AMC Javelin competing successfully in a popular automobile segment.
Consumer tastes have changed over the years and the Camaro did not keep up them. Better put, it was GM who did not keep up with the Camaro and it, along with the Firebird, were retired after the 2002 model year. 35 years of Camaro/Firebird history came to a bitter end.
Fortunately for Camaro lovers, it may once again be the hated Mustang that rescues the Camaro. As in the 1960s, GM is witnessing Ford's big success with its retro looking Mustang and GM wants a piece of the action. Unlike GM, Ford never retired the Mustang name and, instead, gave it a complete makeover that has galvanized sales.
The Camaro making the rounds of the U.S. auto shows is a real beauty. Taking its styling cues from the '69 Camaro, the proposed '09 Camaro is expected to feature a 6.0L V8 engine paired with a 6 speed manual transmission. The wheels are 21" at the front and 22" at the back, but smaller wheels are likely to be the production standard. In addition, the Camaro's interior will hearken back to the original model's interior and include its famed twin instrument pod.
With a base V6 available, the standard Camaro may retail for just under $20,000, a highly competitive price for an awesome looking two door coupe. Now, if the powers that be within GM can be persuaded to build the car based on the concept, the Camaro will certainly give the Mustang a run for the money and keep the all new (retro) Dodge Challenger from swiping away Camaro loyalists.
Oh, to dream about big things...the Camaro is one car that enthusiasts want to go from concept to completion and soon! GM, are you hearing us?