Friday, March 27, 2009

Hidee-Ho Neighbor

Today while out walking the dogs I met the new neighbor. Ok, so maybe the guy lives like 8-10 blocks up, but he's still in the neighborhood. He had a hoody on that read "Camaro" across the front. Almost immediately after introducing myself I inquired "You got a Camaro?" Truth be told, by tomorrow I'll likely have forgot his name, but not the fact that he has a 1990 Iroc Camaro with around $100,000 invested. Sound like a lot? You'd be surprised how quickly it all adds up. By the time my Camaro gets back on the road, since purchase, I'll probably have a good $50,000 invested.

Any way, we talked cars for a bit, and garages soon follow. He intends to build a garage, and I suggested insuring it's high enough to have a car lift. Seems a car lift was already on his mind. Yeah, I think we're gonna get along just fine neighbor!

While out galavanting today, shootin' guns and taking guns to get serviced, I stopped into Les Stanford, the Corvette King. I wasn't interested in a Vette, I wanted to know when the new Camaros will be arriving, and just how much the monthly payments are gonna be. The dealer expects them to arrive in the next week or two. With my other half now leaning towards buying her truck, when her lease is up, perhaps that will allow for a new Camaro sooner than expected. I like a good number of new cars out there, though nothing has ever drawn me to the point that I'd be willing to pony up the cash to buy a new car.

For me, the new Camaro gets my blood a pumpin', raises the hairs on the back of my neck, it captivates me the way a car is suppose to. I know the writing is on the wall, with higher mpg requirements, rising gas prices, and the push to be green, these days of the Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger will likely be short lived. Or perhaps worse yet, the second coming of the 1970's, when horsepower levels drop to down right pathetic, and mpg becomes the most important aspect...with styling even getting tossed out the window. We were so close too! Enjoy these few days while they last, as I feel the industry is once again about to be changed drastically.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

2010 Camaro SS vs 2010 Challenger R/T vs 2010 Mustang GT

A new dawn is on the horizon, though the sun may not shine as long as us enthusiasts would hope. This still is a special time, as the Big 3, even in their crippled up condition, are about to unleash a muscle car war, a trifecta of power, which hasn't been seen since prior to my arrival into this world. Camaro...Challenger...Mustang...SS...R/T...GT...all letters that mean something to those faithful to their brand, perhaps stretching generations of families.

Part of me realizes that truth be told, Challenger will likely not be around any longer than it's 5 year lifespan beginning in the 1970's. The Camaro and Mustang may be the lucky survivors, though I am beginning to accept that they may be outfitted with high power V6's or ever (gasp) 4 bangers. The performance would still be there, perhaps in a much more limited production, but there is just something more American about the V8. It's symoblic, iconic, representative of what a performance car is. With the Camaro just starting down the assembly line, there is no sense in dwelling upon what the future may hold. No, instead, it makes more sense to celebrate what we have, the return of the pony car era!

Motortrend takes all three models for a drive, each showing off their brute strength in different ways. Check it out.

2010 Camaro SS vs 2010 Challenger R/T vs 2010 Mustang GT

Sunday, March 08, 2009

2009 Detroit Autorama Show Coverage

The 2009 Detroit Autorama once again was packed with tons of nice cars, some rarities, and lots of people. In fact, this year is probably the most packed I have seen it. Surprising, considering that this year's North American International Auto Show had the lowest attendance I had ever seen. Perhaps people just aren't as enthused about the new products coming out, or the fuel efficient direction things are headed. Not that a great number out there won't why these next generation of cars, as I believe it's the future of the automobile. I simply am assuming that the passion for the auto just ain't there. The passion that was lost sometime after the 60's, maybe into the 70's even, where a growing number simply saw the automobile as a means of transportation, and no longer a character statement, or even a means of enjoyment.

Let's face it, how many people could even change their oil today? Hell, how many could even find where the dipstick is under the hood? Even stepping it down a notch, how many people even wax their cars these days? The automobile today is seen more as a throw away purchase more so than ever. Drive it for 3 years, turn the lease in. Buy it, and people turn around and sell it shortly after it's paid off. Aside from the few remaining niche cars, like the Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, Vette, and a few others, the attachment is long gone.

So how was this year's show?

I enjoyed it as much as ever! Yet at the same time, nothing much blows me away anymore. I've seen the over the top cars costing hundreds of thousands to build, and I honestly still don't understand the point of a chrome plated brake rotor, never to be used for it's designed purpose. A good number of the cars have evolved into nothing more than artwork, which while not a form of functioning art, I suppose they have their place. At the same time, the polar opposite in Cobo's basement, the whole Rat was a typo, but a Freudian slip for sure. Don't get me wrong, I totally admire the "throw it together with what ya got" mentality, but how many rusted out/rotted out cars can one really stomach? Anymore, it seems it's not about how unique it is, it's "How rotted out/unroadworthy is the car? Oh man, that's cool, a rolling death trap!"

I'm quite surprised what I DIDN'T see this year. It almost seemed as though things took a step back, as I saw very few cars sporting modern powertrains. I saw a few new EFI Hemis in cars, though can't recall but a few LS1's and Ford 4.6's. Everything already seems headed back to carbs. Nothing wrong with that, I just found it surprising considering how praised the new efi engines are out there, and not to mention, how easily they seem to make major horsepower!

My game plan for my Camaro hasn't really changed, and truth be told, it's 9+ year old dated restoration would still stand out amongst the crowd. The color, stance, and small body mods would separate it from the few dozen other 1st Gen Camaros I saw. Don't get me wrong, there are a few extreme exceptions, but the vast majority were.....yawn....simply boring.

So without further delay, here are some of the pictures I took at this year's show.

For more pics, click below.