In America, certain European cars ostensibly set their drivers apart as willfully unique characters. Cars like the Volvo C30, or just about any Saab indicate that the driver’s desire to be seen as quirky iconoclasts outweighs any of the more rational metrics that might guide the car-buying process. And while in the US, compact size and European pedigree are the keys to stepping out of the automotive mainstream, making an automotive statement in Europe requires the opposite approach. Pickup trucks, muscle cars and American SUVs are the signifiers of choice for the Europeans who find themselves marching out of step with their efficient hatchback-driving fellow citizens. As a result, European advertisements for motorized guilty pleasures, like the one above, play on the perception that big V8s are downright antisocial. By refined European standards, no one should drive a brutish Camaro… but what’s more fun than blowing a supercharged raspberry at social niceties? And though the marketing for American muscle cars in Europe practically writes itself, global brands like Chevrolet don’t necessarily want the Ameri-barbarian associations… which might explain why Chevrolet has canceled plans to build a right hand drive Camaro.
One of the few things TTAC has in common with the Weblogs Inc/AOL juggernaut Autoblog is a weird fascination with landau roofs, opera tops, and all manner of roof-paddery. But what was developing into a friendly rivalry to see who could come up with the ugliest aftermarket roof treatment has run out of control: there’s no way we will ever be able to top this padded-roofed Camaro for sheer unnecessary tastelessness. Congratulations, guys.
Is there a clinical definition for the compulsion to fit every possible exterior accessory to one’s car? J C Whitney Syndrome?
After being trapped six weeks in a 1971 time warp, I had the controls of the Curbside Classics time machine all set for the mid-eighties. But once again, fate interceded. Running some errands, I had my first encounter with no less than two 2010 Camaros. Then, on the way home, something called out to me as I tooled down Franklin Boulevard. I found it parked behind the old boarded-up Chevy dealer, and it had an important message for you and me: “beauty is not in the eye of the beholder; it’s in the object itself.” (Read More…)
Today’s the day that the embargo on Camaro reviews ends. First, as a taxpayer, a big thank you to all the automotive publications and websites that abided by the terms of GM’s proscription. You’ve helped my corporate beneficiary concentrate its marketing firepower for maximum effect. Second, I want to re-iterate my suspicion—based on historical precedent—that all Camaros tested were “ringers” (specially built and prepared versions). And third, I’d like to point out that Detroit News carmudgeon Scott Burgess and I share something: we both hate people. OK, I hate the lies that people tell and Scott hates anyone who hates Detroit. I’ve said time and again that the number of people who actually care enough to hate Detroit is statistically irrelevant. But Scott’s world is constantly under imaginary assault from people who vilify the cars he loves. Which, needless to say, includes the new Camaro. Althoughly, strangely, Scott doesn’t bless with his 100 percent seal of approval. In fact, reading between the lines, the new Camaro’s not even a 90 percent car. First the ho-sannahs . . .