By on September 17, 2016

N2A Camaro 789 SS

It wasn’t for kit cars, the Pontiac Fiero would have never realized its dream of becoming a Ferrari or Lamborghini, and we’d be just fine with that.

That product, born of the heady 1980s, seems tame compared to N2A Motors’ latest offering. The U.S. coachbuilder has taken three classic American designs and melded them, Island of Dr. Moreau-style, into the 789 SS.

It’s a questionable way of hiding a fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro.

In fairness to N2A, several of its models fall short of ringing the bell on the maybe this was a bad idea meter. The company will drop a 1960s Sting Ray-inspired body onto your C6 Corvette (the Stinger), or turn it into a voluptuous Italian supercar (the Anteros).

N2A Camaro 789 SS

If you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket, the company is only too happy to make you happy. This isn’t the Soviet Union — car buyers can express themselves in any way they want (while following all local, state and federal regulations).

With the Camaro 789 SS, N2A enters the why the hell not category. Instead of emulating another car, this creation covers three. The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air provides the inspiration for the front end, while the 1958 Impala covers the midsection. Out back, the distinctive bat wing taillights and horizontal tailfins of the ’59 Chevy glisten loud — very loud — and proud.

It’s the Human Centipede of cars.

Previous 789s used a donated C5 or C6 Corvette as a canvas, but the Camaro 789 SS uses a less-pricey 2010-2015 Camaro as its starting point. After handing it over to N2A, body panels made of carbon composite and fiberglass transform your drab Camaro into the best Eisenhower-era car never made. Any trim level will be accepted from would-be buyers, but convertibles only, please.

(H/T to Motor Authority)

[Images: N2A Motors]

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77 Comments on “Kit Car Paradise Awaits in this Retro Abomination...”


  • avatar

    Why is this an abomination?

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Clown spokes, flattened roof and “rugs” height setting abominate it for me.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Because it could potentially create a black hole of bad taste, systematically absorbing all matter and energy within the event horizon until the horizon expands to engulf the whole Earth.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Yeah, its just a cool way to set fire to a pile of money. And I’m not trying to be clever, a lot of people have various expressions of what they consider cool. There have been untold thousands spent on custom Japanese imports.

      Yes, a vintage Skyline is great, but I’m not sure spending tens of thousands of dollars on a 1995 Honda Civic DX is a “wise investment”. Not that most hobby cars are, and that’s part of my point-

      If it makes them happy, money well spent. If it makes you happy to drive your wife to Sonic or kids/grandkids ball game and to get ice cream on Sundays in the 789 SS, go for it. Assuming you have the means lol. Besides: Probably still has vastly better crash protection than any of its inspiration.

      I am not of many such means, but I enjoy making my car better in my way, so who am I to judge this “abomination” or the man/family/whoever that enjoys it?

      **edit: look at it this way: a lot (not all) of millenials won’t know it isn’t one factory production car, no clue its a recreation of three based on a fourth. The one I was recently dating included.

    • 0 avatar
      Ostrich67

      There’s an ass for every seat.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    I like it…mostly. It’s interesting and a lot cooler looking than the original donor car. That interior, though…

  • avatar
    shaker

    Just remember John Carpenter’s “The Thing”.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    That looks like great fun to me. I’m not going to spend my money that way, but if someone is into it and has the cash, more power to ’em!

  • avatar
    dal20402

    If you’re going to wreck a perfectly good pony car like this, shouldn’t it be a Challenger, more of a comfy cruiser than a sporty car?

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    To me, the only giveaway that this thing isn’t right is the greenhouse. And that could be explained as custom chopped windshields and side glass.

    Looks as good as most of the baroque and ponderous Big Three offerings of the era. I grew up in the 50s and 60s and saw a lot of the originals. In western New York, along Lake Ontario, the DPWs used so much salt in winter that if you didn’t like the style, wait a bit. Most ungalvanized cars would rust to pieces in short order. Common wisdom was, that if you could afford it, you’d get a new car every 3-5 years if the old one was winter driven.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Even the greenhouse is innocuous enough in this application. The deal-breakers are the clearly-not-period-correct wing mirrors. If they had swapped them for traditional-looking ones, it would be a lot better.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        Yeah, those mirrors are a problem. No easy solution, this kit’s volume makes it impossible to justify tooling up something more period-correct-looking. Perhaps they would look better chromed.

        • 0 avatar
          chuckrs

          Mirrors and wheels. Could take a run at the mirrors with 3D printing. I have no idea of unit cost after the CAD is done, but a mirror housing should be doable with a durable resin in a smaller printer. More work to figure out the look and find an internals assembly you could hook up.
          Does anyone make steelies and hubcaps in that size?

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          There is a super easy solution, pickup some repo 57 Chevy mirrors, you can even get fancy and get the with included LED turn repeaters. https://www.summitracing.com/parts/upd-c555728-led?seid=srese1&cm_mmc=pla-google-_-shopping-_-srese1-_-united-pacific&gclid=CLTewbycmc8CFUZgfgodx7gBSA

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    FIberglass-bodied cars like the Corvette and Fiero are easier to make into kit cars, because the body panels are non-structural and you can pretty much change the whole thing while retaining the original structural space frame beneath.

    Of course, a kit-car maker could also use the running gear from the donor vehicle and design an all-new body around a custom tube frame, or—in the case of the new Vaydor—hack up the original monocoque body and Frankenstein it into a new structure for custom bodywork.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    I wish they had picked either the ’57 OR the ’59 theme. This hybrid just looks strange.

    • 0 avatar
      jerseydevil200

      I agree. Im so over ’57’s tho, and i’d much prefer the 1960 to the ’59 .

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “I agree. Im so over ’57’s tho, and i’d much prefer the 1960 to the ’59 .”

        While I accept that there are those who prefer edgy over flowing lines, I’m not one of them. The sweeping wings vs broken wings, wide cat’s eye taillights vs tiny bullet dots, even the shape of the headlight surrounds and grill all make for a wonderfully-flowing design that earned it the name of “the most beautiful car in the world” at the time. Yes, the ’60 model inherited some of the 59’s shapes, but to me the overall package came across as ‘cheap’, as those compound curves were expensive to manufacture.

        I have thought more than once about taking a mid-sized pickup or SUV and having it lowered slightly (NOT a “stance”) and re-shaped into a ’59 clone. The end result would certainly look better than this.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    _THREE_ classic Chevies for the price of one ! .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    RS

    It’s about time the Camaro transformed into something interesting.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    The Anteros and Stinger both look like solid well-built repaneled cars. In fact, I think the Anteros would make a nice GM-alt offering straight off the factory floor, offering it as a direct purchase to the company for people who want something more subtle and swoopey. But the 7-8-9 fails because of the batwing tail. It was put on a car that had a flat trunk and a low shoulderline. With modern cars having a rising one it looks all wrong. Just a year prior they would have been perfect with the ’58 strong triangled out lights.

  • avatar

    I don’t really understand this, but then I don’t understand a lot of the personals ads on Craigslist.

  • avatar
    ericb91

    Probably easier to see out of than a Camaro.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Maybe when the tech allows such toys to be cheaper and custom ordered I could get a ’50 Studebaker Champion Starlight coupe with modern mechanicals!

    Maybe over a Pilot platform? Only an inch diff in their wheelbases.

    I’d just to stay alive and competent till then.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I remember reading that a guy in New Zealand had used a 3D printer to recreate an old Aston Martin. It took him 3 years of nights and weekends. But now that he has the design, I wonder if he could sell a kit that fit over an S2000 or Toyobaru 86. That would be cool.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Yeah.. I remember that. It’ll take modern equivalents to history’s great obsessives like Thomas Edison or Alfred Krupp to do that kind of groundwork and begin the sharing/theft process.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      V6 powered Studie? No thanks!

      Supercharged Coyote V8 please.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Ugh. It is a lot easier, and probably cheaper in the long run, to convert your favorite ride from the past to modern specs. Converting a modern ride to something from yesteryear just ends up looking awful. I will concede the safety aspects are impossible to replicate; airbags and crumple zones etc.

    But, if you can live with out the airbags and crumple zones, you can stuff a modern GM power train into just about anything.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “Converting a modern ride to something from yesteryear just ends up looking awful.”

      Well, you can’t turn Beyoncé’s latest paint-peeler into Schubert’s Ave Maria, no. But beginning with modern quality and adhering to strict aesthetic standards (i.e., just copy the original, no “improving”) could produce retro quality.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Indeed. I’d much rather spend the money taking an original ’65 Impala 2-door, transplanting a LS3 + 6L80 into it, stiffening the frame and body, modernizing the suspension, and adding modern electronics and lighting. I just wouldn’t drive my kid around in the result, except on low-speed local streets.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Stop making me drool.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          There was a period in the early- to mid-’60s where design got so clean and focused on proportions. It brought us (among others) the ’61 Continental, ’63 Riv, and both the ’62 and ’65 generations of Impala. All of them would be near the top of my list for restomodding.

          Of the Impalas I like the ’65 best because of the taillights. The best imaginable thing would be a ’65 with a ’66 front end but I don’t know if they’re easily compatible.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Putting a 66 front end on a 65 or vice versa is a relatively simple procedure that has been done in the past though most of the time it was likely due to the fact that the sheet metal found in the junk yard was the other year. That kind of thing happened frequently with the era of cars where the shell and doors would last 3 years and new fenders, hood, and/or grille would make it “new” for the next season.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I want to build an EFI 460 powered 77 Continental Town Coupe (or Mark V) with functional side pipes and air suspension.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Art Morrison chassis will do all that hard work for you AND ship it to you!

        Just add some seat belts to that 65′ and you are ready to go.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Ok, I absolutely LOVE that ’59 tail. But to plug a ’57 nose onto it? I’d much rather they’d kept the ’59 nose instead.

    I want… but ONLY if they change the nose to a ’59.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Actually I like the 57 Chevy front. The car looks much better than the ecorvorado. I always liked the 57 Chevy more than the 58 or 59.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The 789SS is reminiscent of the late Boyd Coddington’s CHEZOOM, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air custom. Anecdotally it was designed by Chip Foose, at the time a Coddington employee.

    http://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1957-CHEVROLET-BEL-AIR-CHEZOOM-CUSTOM-21317

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    WHY?!

    Why do people like ridiculously low cars? They’ve always looked sleazy, slovenly and fragile to me, especially when they’re just boulevard cruisers that absolutely nobody would contend will ever need any cornering power.

  • avatar

    Wasn’t it “bat-wing tail fins” and “cat-eye tail lights”?

  • avatar
    spookiness

    As long as there are still living baby boomers, there will be enterprising individuals and firms looking for ways to pick their pockets.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Not Boomers old enough to remember the grace and glory of the original designs.

      To us this mutant sag pants travesty is like having the childhood memories of our mothers turned into a MILFS Crave BBC! video.

  • avatar

    If I had a five car garage, the Trans Am version of this might be #5.

    I like the wings on the back, but not the 57 front end…It was on a much bigger car (kinda like the beak on Acura…good on trucks, silly on small cars)

    I’m all for any car that makes you smile, provided you didn’t butcher a bit of old and rare to get it.

  • avatar
    CowDriver

    It reminds me of the Johnny Cash song, “One Piece at a Time”.
    “Well, it was a ’57, ’58, ’59 Chevy…” :)

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Essay question: Discuss the difference between this car and the VW “New Beetle, other than the fact that the latter was mass-produced for a number of years and that the later reversed the engine and drive wheel placement from that of its ancestor.

    It seems to me that modern cars are very much indistinguishable from each other, especially among the seeming ubiquitous and dreaded “CUVs.” I’d be interested in a “vellum venom” essay on why that is — regulatory requirements, desire to reduce the number of engine/transmission combinations, what?

    As folks in the PC industry have learned, it is very bad to allow your product to become a commodity. Seems like cars are heading in that direction.

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      Indeed. This thing at least looks like *something*. Why the hell not?

      I agree with other posters that it should have been all ’57 or all ’59 – the mashup of both does not look quite right to my eyes. But perhaps putting the ’57’s vertical fins on a car that already has tall sides would have made it look like it had the height of a building.

  • avatar
    Bearadise

    Sigh. Something else today’s kids will not have in the future… nostalgia over iconic cars of their childhood. Don’t think a combo 12-13-14 Altima is going to get anybody excited.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I didn’t mind the Corvette version of the 789 (it looked kinda nice in blue), but I’m not digging the Camaro version.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    A visit to N2A’s website displays a cornucopia of ill-proportioned, misshapen lumps. One even advertises itself as “the first American supercar,” a title I’m certain Ford GT, Hennessey Venom, SSC Aero, and even Vector owners would be surprised to hear.

    It looks like the designer attended the “Close Enough to Avoid Trademark Infringement School of Design” that many Chinese automakers graduated from.

  • avatar
    pb35

    I could totally see Guy Fieri driving one of these on Triple D.

    Full throttle!

  • avatar

    I am not sure why you would do this but there are other examples, such as Karl Kustom Corvettes where a perfectly good C6 Corvette is converted to a unpleasantly-proportioned 1963/67 wannabe for vast money. On the other hand, there are some excellent restomods that have modern running gear (chassis, brakes, engine, transmission) with a reconditioned Stingray body that give you most of what you want (for a price) minus those modern airbags and the weirdness.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    I like it, and I’ve seen one of the previous gen of this car built on a Corvette chassis in person. I think they’ve done a good job combining design elements of the three model years. As with most retro-styled cars though, I’d rather own the “real thing”, which in this case would be a 1957 or ’59 Chevy.

    As someone else said, it needs different mirrors. Chrome covers for those mirrors may be acceptable, but a chrome cover would draw attention to them, and their shape will still be weird. Probably difficult to change the mirrors though. The factory ones are probably power adjust, communicating with the body computer through CANbus.

    It also would look better with a chrome windshield surround and chrome on the rear bumper, at least a wide strip like what’s on the corners of the front bumper.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    This looks like a thoroughly contemporary vehicle to me, designed to fit modern regulations. Nose raised and bulbous, to fit pedestrian impact regs? Check. Tiny greenhouse for (perceived) crash safety? Check. Windshield laid back at an annoying angle to reduce a little drag? Right-o! Add an overstyled rear end carved by a sushi chef and you’re cleared for production!

  • avatar

    Why the modern alloys and not dish wheels (I hope that’s the correct term, correct me if I’m wrong, folks)?

    The main issue with this thing (subjectivity aside) is it is straddling retro and modern at once. Ditch the modern alloys.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      You’re stuck with modern wheel offset and whatever size wheels will clear the brake calipers on the new Camaro. Personally I would go with the smallest diameter wheels possible, to allow tires that show a little more sidewall. The smallest diameter the 2016 Camaro came with is 245/50R18.

  • avatar
    kowalski

    The company was already building this bodystyle for modern Corvettes several years ago.

    If they retooled it for the new Camaro then it implies that they have actually sold a few of these things. Like more than 2 or 3.

    That’s messed up.


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