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Chevy Has their Work Cut-Out for the Sixth Generation Camaro

Trying to build on the success of the fifth-generation Camaro, Chevy sets to work carefully on the development of 2015′s sixth-generation

The fifth generation Camaro has been a hit by every definition of the word. At current, Chevrolet holds a 42% share of the rear wheel drive performance coupe market thanks in large part to the Camaro and it’s sales success by comparison to such competition as the Mustang and the Challenger. To follow this car up successfully, Chevrolet will need to put something great on the road, and Al Oppenheiser not only knows this, he seems to be feeling a bit of pressure about it.

The sixth-generation Camaro will be arriving in 2015, and will be built on all new Alpha platform designed specifically for it and the new Cadillac ATS. This new platform is meant to be a lighter, more nimble vehicle platform than its predecessor Zeta 1 that the current generation Camaro utilizes. “This is a very successful car,” Oppenheiser said. “In some ways it is actually going to be tougher” to create the new sixth-generation car. “Do you make it look like a second-gen? … do you make it look like the first gen?” What this means, thankfully, is that Chevrolet is taking this new Camaro design very seriously.

It looks like the primary concern, in terms of technical production, is to lighten the vehicle. Of course, style is the ultimate thing that sells vehicles, but the Camaro crowd is performance minded and knows their stuff so it can’t be the only thing. “We always get hammered for mass, and that’s not going to be getting easier going forward” Oppenheiser said.  He did continue from there though to move on to other performance aspects, and while he hasn’t given away much of anything yet, we do know that he and the rest of the Camaro production team are already hard at work considering such thing as “Displacement, number of cylinders, all of these things you need to think about” and how they’ll be able to fit them in with the growing strictness of CAFE standards. Whatever the result, Chevrolet really impressed with the C5 Camaro and I’m fairly certain they’ll do so with the sixth-generation as well.

 

Product Spotlight: Camaro Painted License Plate Frames

Here’s a great product I came across that’s available at a great price: Painted Aluminum Camaro License Plate Frames. Trying to keep up with a semi-regular product spotlight series, these seemed–based on their quality, great looks, and affordable price–like a logical next product.

The manufacturing for these is really cool, and, SouthernCarParts–who is one of the major retailers for them and a company that I personally enjoy dealing with (I feel like, as far as Camaro products go, they’re like my everyday Cheers-esque bar)–provides a lot of information for how they’re produced. Beginning with a solid brass, heavy cast mold, the base aluminum plate is formed. Each plate is then CNC machine cut for precision, and given a precise, fast machine engraving. The Engravings on these are of the Camaro lettering, with your choice of either RS or SS badging emblem to accompany it. Once engraved, the plates are given a multi-coat paint job using actual GM paints. I questioned this, but, was assured that the paint being used is derived from the GM WPA code, and, I’ll be damned if the one I received didn’t match perfectly. The paint is applied in a multi-coat process, with a final clear coating, for shine and durability and looks just like the stock Camaro paint job.

The last part of the production process is the one that impresses me the most. The Camaro engravings on these plates are actually hand-filled with an acrylic epoxy. Typically, hand-filling means that a product is prohibitively more costly than machine ones, but these are definitely affordable. The quality of the acrylic epoxy is perfect, there are no imperfections, and the plate looks awesome to be finished off with these emblems. These things are absolutely gorgeous.

As with any license plate frame, this is easy to install. The painted screw caps are a nice touch to help keep the whole thing looking uniform, and once installed, the plate really looks like it belongs on the vehicle. All-in-all, I’m really happy with the product, considering that it cost under $115 and adds more Camaro badge-ing with an OEM (or better) quality finish. That can never be a bad thing, can it?

Woodward Dream Cruise

The Woodward Dream Cruise was yesterday, (Saturday the 20th) and seems to have been a big turnout. For those of you who don’t know, the Woodward Dream Cruise is a throwback to the heydays of Motor City Steel and the Drive-In era of the 50′s and 60′s, but started out as a small fundraiser to raise money for a soccer field in Ferndale, Michigan. Here’s a little history about the cruise:

Grass Roots, Revered Pavement, World Stage

In August 1995, Nelson House and a group of volunteers looked to relive and recreate the nostalgic heydays of the 50s and 60s, when youth, music and Motor City steel roamed Woodward Avenue, America’s first highway. That year, 250,000 people participated—nearly ten times the number expected. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, the Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest one-day automotive event, drawing 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe—from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the former Soviet Union. North American cruisers from California, Georgia, Canada and all points in between caravan to Metro Detroit to participate in what has become, for many, an annual rite of summer.

Drivin’ from Drive-In to Drive-In

Ted’s, Totem Pole and The Varsity, Hollywood, Wigwam and Suzie Q’s, and, of course, Big Boy. These old-time drive-ins and restaurants that dotted Woodward Avenue were the places to see and be seen during an era remembered perhaps most famously by Hollywood in American Graffiti and Happy Days. These locations were the turnarounds, stopping points and social hangouts for the cruisers of the era.

Ted’s Drive Inn, Michigan’s first near Square Lake Road in Bloomfield Hills, became a hangout and one of the avenue’s most popular destinations. It had begun in 1934 as a lunch wagon/trailer and was known for “the world’s largest hot dog,” priced at 35 cents.

The Totem Pole opened in Royal Oak in 1954 and featured a 16-foot totem pole hand carved by Ojibway chief White Wolf of St. Ignace. The restaurant introduced the “Teletray,” a 2-way speaker through which customers could order the popular Big Chief Burger.

At these locales and others, roller-skating waitresses sporting white bobby socks and serving trays delivered hamburgers and milkshakes to duck tailed greasers in leather and beauty queens sporting class rings and letter jackets. The real attractions, though, were the cars.

Hot rods and muscle cars. Convertibles and hard tops. Oversized tires and custom-painted flames. These marvels of machinery were cool and hot; street machines that cruised Woodward emanating vintage rock and roll from the AM radio coupled with the rumble of a big block V8.

The Motor City—The Automotive Heritage Continues

GM, Ford and Chrysler—The Big Three—all have roots tied to Woodward Avenue. In the cruisin’ era, urban legends grew that the Big Three tested their prototypes on Woodward. Famous nameplates such as Pontiac’s GTO, Chrysler’s Hemi cars, and Ford’s Mustang variants.

Such introductions continue to this day, including the latest iterations of the Mustang GT, Chevy Camaro and Dodge Charger; all have made their presence known at the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Dedicated Volunteers, Supporters

Taking place on the third Saturday in August and now in its 16th year, the Woodward Dream Cruise is run and governed by WDC, Inc., a volunteer committee that comprises a state-registered non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. It consists of a board of directors and officers who represent and coordinate the efforts of the Cruise’s eight host communities.

The Dream Cruise remains a free event due to the support of a range of corporate sponsors.

 Significant Community, Economic Impact

A market research study conducted after the 2007 event found that the Woodward Dream Cruise generates more than $56 million each year for the Metro Detroit economy. The Cruise’s economic impact to the region is more significant than any other major event in Michigan, recurring or otherwise; that includes 2006 Super Bowl XL at Ford Field ($49.3 million), the 2005 MLB All-Star Game at Comerica Park ($42 million) or the 2006 Detroit Tigers post season run ($37.8 million).

Nearly 100 area charities benefit from the sale of official Dream Cruise merchandise and refreshments each year.

 

For a complete map of the Woodward Cruise, and the surrounding parking by vehicle make, and some important tips to “speaking cruiser” click here. And to visit the official website of the Woodward Dream Cruise, please head on over to www.woodwarddreamcruise.com

 

Jay Leno praises the American Car Industry

It comes with no surprise that Jay Leno is an avid car lover with an expanse of knowledge that rivals most museums, and with an expendable income he is obviously able to pick up and preserve a large number of exquisite examples of unique and interesting cars in his garage. The King of Late Night comedy has been around the block in a few of the more exciting cars of the 20th century and has an exhaustive knowledge on the industry’s history and how it came to be. Below is an article from www.jaylenosgarage.com where he offers his view and opinion on where the industry seemed to veer from between the lines, and where it ended up in the ditch, and the metaphorical tow truck bringing it back to the forefront of the world’s automotive economy (for all the right reasons). I enjoyed hearing his opinion, hopefully you will too. It’s nice to see the other side of comedians and other main stream personalities in a different setting/out of character and on intelligent topics instead of slapstick humor. Enjoy.

 

Article by Jay Leno

After decades of dormancy, American automotive engineering, design and technology are back on the bleeding edge. Jay Leno thinks it’s finally time for the resurgence of the Great American Car, not in the form of boring hybrids, but with groundbreaking electrics.

We lost our way with American cars, and I’m not sure where. I do know that the U.S. led the world in automotive technology for many decades. People rave about the French 1937 Citroën Traction Avant. But it was a four-cylinder that could barely do 70 mph. My 1937 Cord 812, with its supercharged V8, cruises at 75. Its preselector gearbox has a fourth-gear overdrive. I drive my 812 just like I drive any modern car.

I would argue that, at one point, the 1949 Cadillac was the most advanced car in the world. At a time when Rolls-Royce had an F-head six-cylinder with a stick shift, the Cadillac had an OHV V8 with a four-speed Hydra-matic, air conditioning and power windows—options people could only dream about on European cars. My ’67 Chrysler Imperial has a 350-hp 440-cid V8, front and rear air conditioners, electric seats and power windows, for less money than a ’67 six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz 250 SE with manual windows and few options.

Looking back, I think that where we really started to lose it was with the Chevrolet Corvair. Introduced in 1959 by Chevy general manager Ed Cole, the rear-engine Corvair was built to mimic the best of Europe: Porsche, VW and Tatra. They even called it the “American Porsche.” It had an air-cooled turbocharged 180-hp flat Six and a four-speed stick. Was it as good as a Porsche? No. But at half the price, it was a real bargain.

When consumer advocate Ralph Nader went after the Corvair with Unsafe at Any Speed, he also went after all American cars. The Corvair was just one chapter. But in a classic case of the denial being worse than the crime, General Motors was so incensed about this upstart young lawyer that they hired investigators to follow him and tried to entrap him with prostitutes. After a Senate subcommittee looked into it, the whole thing blew up. GM chairman James M. Roche had to apologize to Nader, and all that bad publicity caused the Corvair’s demise.

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did a study in 1971, the Corvair was deemed as safe as its contemporaries, particularly 1965 and later models, which had four-link rear suspension instead of spooky swing axles. The damage, however, had been done. From then on, the Big Three played it safe. It was, don’t try to make anything different—put the engine in the front and a live axle at the back. And that’s pretty much where it stayed.

There were a few exceptions, like the ’66 Olds Toronado, the first American full-size front-wheel-drive car since the Cord. It was a 385-hp sport coupe with sensational styling. The drilled wheels of the Toronado mimicked the hubcaps on the Cord. There was nothing like the Toro except for the Cadillac Eldorado, but the innovative versions only lasted a few years, and then Detroit built a lot of boring, safe, unexciting models.

But that’s changing. I’ve driven the new Chevy Volt. It’s different from the Prius in that it’s a fully electric car with an electric generator powered by a 1.4-liter gas engine. But unlike the Nissan Leaf, the Mini E and some of the other electrics, this is a car you could drive from L.A. to San Francisco, with the gas engine kicking in when needed. I think that’s a real breakthrough. And I applaud GM for taking a risk with such new technology.

It’s fun to see engineers running car companies again, rather than accountants. GM has real engineers in place now, like Mark Reuss, its new U.S. president, and Tom Stephens, who’s in charge of GM’s global product operations. These gearheads are now calling the shots. That’ll help the turnaround.

And there are already imitators, like the upscale Fisker, which essentially uses a Volt-style powertrain but in a fancy body style. That sort of technology will be the way to go. In the 1900s, people believed electricity was the best way to power an automobile. It was quiet; there was no pollution compared to horses dumping manure; you could park one indoors without suffocating anybody. You just couldn’t go very far.

The other thing that killed the electric car the first time around—and most people don’t know this—is that women loved them. You could just get in it; there was no hand-cranking.

You simply stepped on the pedal and away you went. Clara Ford, Henry Ford’s wife, wouldn’t drive a Model T. She drove a Baker Electric. So, EVs had fancy interiors with cut-glass flower vases. And, like today, you can’t sell a man a woman’s car.

Hybrids have a similar image: “You got a speeding ticket in a Prius—what’s funnier than that?” That was the big joke when those cars first came out. But the Tesla Roadster, which can hit 125 mph, helps to dispel that.

The last days of old technology will always beat the first days of new technology. At the Isle of Man TT races, where they’ve raced motorcycles for over 100 years, they now have electric bike races. Instead of doing 128-mph laps, the e-bikes lap at 85 mph. Of course, some of them drain the batteries in one lap, but they’re getting there.

Vintage Hemi ‘Cudas and GTOs that get, like, 9 mpg will become the motorized toys of the new millennium. You’ll have fun with them on weekends. But during the week, you’ll drive your little electric whatever-it-is to and from wherever you work or shop.

In Hollywood, I knew things had changed when I went to the Academy Awards and everybody started pulling up in Toyota Priuses and other hybrids. Nobody wanted to arrive in a big Rolls-Royce or a Maybach anymore.

We’ll always have luxury cars, but that big Lexus LS 600h hybrid seems redundant to me. There’s really no need for that car other than to clear people’s consciences. We Americans want everyone to know about the good work we’re doing anonymously. So you show up in a huge limo, but ohhh, seeeeee, it’s a hybrid. And “hybrid” will come to be like the word “turbo.” You go to Costco, pick up a men’s hair dryer, and it’s a turbo model. Hybrid will become just another word that people use to describe whatever: “Oh, it’s a new TV hybrid.” It lets you combine anything. When I was a kid, a hybrid meant an Iso or a Monteverdi with European styling and suspension and Borrani wire wheels along with a big American V8 powerplant.

With hybrids and other new technology, the automobile has changed more from 1986 until now than it did from 1900 to 1986. It’s funny when kids come over to my garage and I take out a box of Weber carburetor needles and they go, “What’s thaaaat?” Then they take out a laptop and plug it in, and they’re actually tuning the fuel-injection system and ignition.

Then it’s my turn to say, “What the heck is thaaaat?

I guess that’s progress.

Via: Published in the April 2010 issue of Popular Mechanics.

Camaro for $5.28? I’ll take two

Camaro5 had this up on their front page, along with CNN, MSNBC, and everybody else a week or so ago. I figured if you hadn’t seen it by now, I’d post it up for you to check out. The website www.fastpennycars.com is a penny auction site that sells brand new cars. Here’s a story that will blow your mind. This is the story from CNN/WNEM:

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. -

Maybe you’ve seen the ads on the Internet, promising a Macbook $23.50, an iPhone for $5 or a $50 gift card for just pennies.

If it sounds too good to be true, welcome to the world of penny auctions. It isn’t a scam, people actually win, but there are things you should know before you jump in.


Jonathan Mason from Frankenmuth is the proud owner of a brand new $35K Chevrolet Camaro, and you’re not going to believe what he paid for it: $5.28. When he won, Mason says his wife didn’t believe it either. “I said wake the baby up we just won this car, she made me show her on the Internet that it was my screen name that won.”

Mason took advantage of a brand new website called fastpennycars.com. The owners of the website are here in Mid-Michigan, and this Camaro was its first-ever auction.

“We wanted to do something different, and there are no other websites selling new cars,” said website founder Kent Kern.

Kern admits that the website took a huge loss on this first auction, but he’s quick to point out selling the car for $5 earned them a ton of free publicity, which leads to new bidders. “It has helped, when the mustang goes up for sale on the 16th we are hoping it goes for more than the last one,” Kern said.

Most of the well-known penny auction sites like Quibids, Beezid or Skoreit don’t sell cars, they auction off gift cards, computers and other gadgets. On any penny auction site bidders have to sign up and buy bids. Bids generally cost anywhere from a dime to a dollar apiece.

Once they have bids, then the bidder chooses an item to try to win. Items for auction are on a timer, and the clock winds down to zero. Each bid adds time to the clock. In theory, the auction could go on forever, but since bids cost money, bidders drop out of the auction. The bidder who puts the final bid in before the clock hits zero wins the item.

Not every bidder wins a car like Jonathan Mason. In every auction, there is only one winner, and the rest lose their bids. It can be a fun and lucrative hobby, but people can and do lose money.

You can check out the links below for videos from both news sources. CNN goes into a little bit of detail on how penny auctions operate, and how they work for the bidder, and how they work for the company auctioning. I know I learned a little bit!

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/07/12/dnt.camaro.sells.for.five.bucks.wnem?&hpt=hp_c2

http://www.wnem.com/story/15062471/frankenmuth-man-buys-new-camaro-for-528

June Sales Figures Posted by Chevy/GM et al

General Motors posted sales figures for the last month and the year to date, along with the rest of the industry, and is up 11% for the year. Great news for the guys and gals at GM. I figured I’d also post up Fords sales figures as well just to get another company’s look on things. We’ve all heard that the recession is over, and although it doesn’t feel like it, things are starting to turn around. Finally. It will be a slow process for sure, but the figures are proof that more vehicles are being taken and deliveries are up from a year ago. Altogether GM is up 11%, and Ford is up 14%. Also of note, it looks like the Mustang has trumped the Camaro for the first time in months, even after the introduction of the convertible into the Camaro lineup.

Blendmount Radar Detector Mount for 2010 Camaro

We’re all familiar with our cars, and how fast they CAN go. I’m not saying we all drive well above the posted speed limit but when your right foot feels a little heavy some added precaution goes a long way. There’s an old saying in the car world that has sort of a double meaning, “Speed costs money—how fast do you want to go?” This not only applies to the exorbitant amount of money we could spend on our cars to get the results we desire, but it also applies to the risk you run when you drive, shall we say, less than how Johnny Law would like you to in your car. A speeding ticket not only costs you up front, but on the back end as well with higher insurance, etc. So, keeping that risk in mind—you can safely assess that if you speed, chances are you’ll get tagged. So, you bought some peace of mind and snagged a top of the line radar detector.

Good call.

Now you have to mount that sucker so it stays put. Good luck. Many have tried, and many have failed and felt the pangs of frustration with the use of a suction cup mounting system. It never fails, eventually it will fall off. And if you bought a $300-$500 dollar radar detector, then the last thing you want to have happen is for it to come crashing down onto the dash, and then try and fool with getting it to re stick to your windshield while you’re cruising down the road. Not cool. Not surprisingly, more than a few have attempted to come up with a solution. I’ve seen everything from superglueing the visor mount to the windshield, to drilling the detector into the mirror housing and screwing it in place, to duct-taping visors to roofs, and a hundred other terrible ideas. Your car deserves better and so does your radar detector. Blendmount, out of Cotati, California has come up with a great solution. Their mount has taken the multitude of bad ideas and come up with a combination that solves all of the common woes and mounts the detector cleanly and efficiently.

The Blendmount detector mount mounts to the mirror stem itself, and then the detector mounts to the clip stemming from the Blendmount. No wobbling, no falling suction cups, no constant hassle to get it situated just right. Once it’s in, it’s in—but still quick and easy to remove for security reasons or to transfer the detector to a different vehicle. The other great thing about this mount is it’s compatible with an array of different equipment. The mounts are designed for Escort, Valentine One, ScanGauge II, even Bully Dogs for the diesel crowd. The fitment varies from make to make, but these are designed to work with the widest array of vehicle manufacturers possible. Due to the shape of some mirror stems, the Blendmount might not work but most vehicles are covered. For the Camaro however- the team at Blendmount have gone so far as to make sure we V8 loving folk have been well taken care of. The Camaro mirror is shaped slightly differently than a regular rear-view mirror due to the technology (on mirrors equipped with the AutoDim function) inside of the mirror. However, Blendmount has decided that they weren’t going to leave out the Camaro crowd due to its awkward mirror shape. In fact, they designed a mount specifically for the Chevy Camaro.

We installed the Blendmount on our 2010 Camaro SS with a nice new Escort 9500IX detector. We also used an Invisi-Cord that plugged into the back of the mirror and got rid of that unsightly coiled power card. The installation was very simple and the final completed product looks OEM and keeps the detector neatly tucked up under the mirror.

Camaro ZL1 Automatic?

Yep. The latest fad in high performance factory cars is to include the automatic in the equation. That way, everyone can enjoy it. While the diehards are surely upset about the “slushbox” addition to the family of the unreleased power monger, the real change in GM’s logic was customer demand. So, if you don’t like it—don’t blame GM. The customer base that was partly responsible for the public opinion poll was the forum www.camaro5.com. The poll showed, out of 1,967 people polled 1,303 were in favor of an automatic transmission, and 664 people were not in favor. There you have it. More than 50% more people that wanted only a manual wanted an automatic transmission option. So, in other words, out of everyone polled, only a third of those polled wanted a manual (DIY) transmission. This comes as a surprise to most folks, considering the diehard community that comprises the Camaro scene, most figured a manual-only option was the diehards’ only response. This however would be wrong.

Chevy has been holding Q&A sessions over at camaro5 which have been an awesome move from their marketing department/PR. Oh how technology moves. The sessions have been mostly a reiteration of information already divulged, but in terms of driving interest, I believe it has worked wonders for the ZL1. The final announcement for the decision on the transmission came last week at the Oshawa homecoming for the ZL1, where one lucky member of the forum was awarded with the chance to cruise around the parking lot in the ZL1 (What? You didn’t think they were going to let him romp on it did you? Come on…). The decision was announced by Al Oppenheiser, GM’s Chief Engineer for the Camaro on June 11th. Along with the automatic option, Oppenheiser alluded that the ZL1 will have a slightly higher final output than that of its cousin, the CTS-V from which its 6.2L supercharged LSA is sourced from. Also of note, but of no surprise, is the availability of the same Performance Traction Management on the ZL1 that is found on the Corvette ZR1. In the Corvette, PTM incorporates launch control, as well as the normal traction control, active handling and selective ride control systems.

So, over 550 horses, ZR1 PTM, with the option of an automatic, and the excitement of a 12 year old girl at a Bieber concert.

Now all we need is to see it in action. And maybe get those top secret ‘ring times.

Just a little something to keep your appetite whet:

Camaro Still on top for Sales

The Camaro has been steadily upsetting the Mustang and Challenger in sales and deliveries taken since its debut. How big is the gap, you ask? Not small, and seems to be constantly maintaining a healthy distance from its competition over the last couple of months. It seems that the Camaro can’t be stopped when it comes to the actual showdown. The Camaro has consistently topped Ford’s beloved Mustang’s sales for the 7th consecutive month. The delivery figures for the trio of American muscle rank the Camaro at the top by a margin of 22,342 cars as of May 2011 since April 2009. The year to date difference is 10,069 more Camaros have been sold than Mustangs, and 23,498 more Camaros than Challengers. The year to date number of Camaros taken for delivery is 40,275. So, in essence, almost 25% of what the Camaro has delivered is the lead on the Mustang. Not a bad sign for Chevy. Also considering the fact that the convertible has just been released in Camaro form, which should spark some more interest for a different demographic, not to mention the impending release of the monstrous ZL1 in the upcoming model year—Chevy should be proud of all it has accomplished thus far.

With a lot of Chevy’s proverbial eggs in the same basket in their big push with the Volt, it’s a great thing to see the Camaro still being a steady performer in a battered and rocky market. The upcoming release of the ZL1 should prove to be (hopefully) very successful, with the amount of hype it has received over the past year and a half. The supercharged LSA that Chevy has kept so tightly under wraps has proven to drive interest continually skyward. We couldn’t be any more excited, and I’m sure the rest of the market that has so patiently waited for its release, poised and ready to drop the hammer, is ready to keep Chevy on top. Much awaits a very anxious market in the upcoming year, good on ya Chevy.

Camaro Taking Charge in the Drifting Scene

The Camaro, an unlikely candidate among the high revving, turbocharged import scene that makes up the drifting world, has made some big waves in the recent Formula Drift competition rounds. The big beast, with its roaring LS7, is far from the favorite competitor. The Formula Drift events take place over the course of the season which runs from early April until the first weekend in October. The events are a series of 7 rounds that follow a go, no-go head to head elimination format. The driver pool is narrowed down to the top 32 after 2 initial (non-consecutive) qualifying laps and then work their way down to the final two, to battle it out for the number one spot. Drivers are judged according to speed, line, angle, and whether or not they have the ability to hit their “clipping points”- basically the apexes and other racing lines on the track. The overall impression from a run also plays a major part in the decision- whether or not the run seemed sloppy, or rushed or panicked can affect the driver negatively if the opposing driver completes the track slower but has a more collected or calm feel to it. The judging is conducted by three judges that remain in the series for the duration of the season, promoting consistency of judging throughout the season.

The Camaro’s are driven by none other than veteran Formula D drivers Conrad Grunewald who moved from his trusted platform of his C5 Z06 Corvette and Ryan Tuerck who migrated chassis’s from the Gardella Racing Pontiac Solstice. What this means is there are two solid performers tearing up the asphalt with two very well built Camaro’s.

The Gardella Racing Camaro Tuerck is driving, is decked to the hills with suspension components from Eibach and powered by a reworked LS7. Engine management is provided by AEM, and traction provided by Nitto NT05 tires wrapped around Enkei RPF-01′s. Braking duties are dictated by Wilwood, while combustion and ignition duties are given to NGK, Brian Crower, and Ignite Racing Fuels. An ACT clutch helps put the power to the ground, while the exhaust scavenging duties are provided by Kooks. Altogether not a bad set up- especially considering the car is fully race prepped being stripped, caged and lightened and more than likely seam welded throughout the body. Most of us will never know what a dream that car probably is to drive.

However, Grunewald’s car is a different beast altogether. He opted for an LSA crate motor transplant from the CTS-V (can you say ZL1…?) modified and putting somewhere near 600 stamping American horses to the Hankook tire shredding rear end. The suspension department is covered by Eibach and Pfadt- two names born and bred for the race track. Luke Lonberger and BR Racing took charge of the build and tuning the car to Conrad’s standards. Conrad left his previous car and sponsors after a disagreement and inability to reach a middle ground with more team management in Grunewald’s hands, so after much deliberation he decided to move forward on his own. Conrad Grunewald Racing was born and GM and Hankook agreed to lend a helping hand. The press release from Hankook went like this:

LOS GATOS, CA – BR Racing by Luke Lonberger in partnership with Conrad Grunewald Racing reveal they are in the process of building a 2010 Camaro SS in preparation for the 2010 Formula DRIFT Championship competition.

“I am very excited to be able to drive such an iconic American muscle car in the Formula DRIFT Championship,” said Conrad Grunewald, driver and owner of Conrad Grunewald Racing. “Our main goal is to have the Camaro ready for the 2009 SEMA show but our preseason testing should start immediately after the show. I have a great amount of confidence that BR Racing and Luke Lonberger can build this Camaro into a highly competitive car and I look forward to getting back out on the track.”

Hankook Tire Corporation will provide tire sponsorship for the 2010 Formula DRIFT season. Grunewald announced the Camaro will use Hankook Ventus R-S3 tires on custom Forgeline aluminum 3-piece wheels. The car is to be controlled by Eibach’s Multi-Pro-R2 two-way adjustable dampers and coilovers. A GM Performance LS-A supercharged 6.2 liter V8 controlled by the AEM Universal EMS and expected to make over 600 RWHP will power the Camaro. All body work will be constructed with carbon fiber from Seibon Carbon.

The pair of Camaro’s placed… wait for it… wait for it… 1st and 2nd at Round 2: Road to the Championship, at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA on May 6th and 7th. This is of course after Grunewald’s 1st place at Long Beach in Round 1. Grunewald is the only the second driver to achieve two consecutive 1st place finishes back to back (The first being Samuel Hubinette in 2007 in his Dodge Charger.) To see the two newest and most heavily watched (scrutinized for the car choice?) candidates soar to the top brandishing American muscle where Japanese power reigns supreme is a huge step for both of these companies and drivers and their respective teams. Both teams worked incredibly hard to get to this point, and although the season is still young, we can reasonably expect to see these two machines piloted by very capable drivers continue to place well over the coming months.

For more information on Formula Drift, visit www.formulad.com

For more information on each driver and/or his team visit:

http://www.gardellaracing.com/com/drift_about

http://conradgrunewald.com/.

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