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2007 Detroit Auto Show: Chevy Camaro Convertible Delivers

Sign me up. This vehicle has what it takes to woo more than one customer to the brand. Imagine … a Chevrolet Car (other than the Corvette) that doesn’t require you to create an excuse for your friends and neighbors.


Originally introduced in September 1966 as a competitor to the Ford Mustang, the original Camaro soldiered successfully through four generations before it’s timely demise in 2002. By that time it have evolved into everything that was wrong with General Motors. While some decried its death, pointing to the continuation of the Ford Mustang, the vehicle had become a dinosaur. In retrospect, its complete disappearance may have been necessary to clear the decks for the creation of the modern Camaro.

In August, GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner announced that GM would build the all-new Camaro based on the concept that debuted at the 2006 Detroit auto show. Rear wheel drive, independent rear suspension, a muscular 400 hp LS2 V8, and a six-speed manual transmission gave the concept the most passion at last year’s 2006 Detroit show.
Sales of the Coupe are expected during the first quarter of 2009. The convertible will follow later in the year.
The convertible concept is beautifully executed. Modern, but hanging on to enough cues to remind me of carpooling to high school in the late 70s. Design details include:
LED tail lamps
Rear spoiler with LED-lit CHMSL
Racing-inspired fuel filler door (A bit cliché, but cool)
Front-inlet hood scoop, inspired by the Corvette Z06
Heritage-inspired rear fender “gills”
Anodized aluminum door handles (no plastic, PLEASE)
21-inch (front) and 22-inch (rear) wheels
Let’s hope that these vehicles get here soon.
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Yeah, yeah, yeah, many of us will lust after the next generation Camaro, but it is still old-school with regards to its ragtop. Even Pontiac G6 gets a retractable hardtop. Any production ready convertible introduced after 2006 should have a retractable hardtop.
Raise your hands, who has NOT owned a Pony Car at some point? I can attest to a 1969 Boss 302 Mustang. Also, a 1979 Mustang Indianapolis Pace Car. We presently have a 1999 Firebird Trans Am in the office. Of course, the daily driver is a 2005 Ford Explorer. So Pony Cars are near and dear to our hearts.
The last generation Camaro/Firebird had fallen victim to GM’s packaging gremlins. While the cars were great to look at, you were victim to the very, very fast A-Pillar, sitting on the ground and the cargo area was so shallow that almost nothing could be carried in the load area. At the same time, Mustang remained arguably stodgier, but more useful. Mustang could carry a plant, Camaro/Firebird could not.


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