Chevrolet Camaro – One of the Most Popular Cars for Modification in the Automotive History

The Chevrolet Camaro was a compact car introduced in North America by the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors at the start of the 1967 model year as competition for the Ford Mustang.

Although it was technically a compact (by the standards of the time), the Camaro, like the entire class of Mustang competitiors, was soon known as a pony car.

Though the car’s name was contrived with no meaning, General Motors researchers found the word in a French dictionary as a slang term for “friend” or “companion.” Ford Motor Company researchers discovered other definitions, including “a shrimp-like creature” and an arcane term for “loose bowels”! In some automotive periodicals before official release, it was code-named “Panther”.

Four distinct generations of the car were produced.

Generation 1

1967

Sharing mechanicals with the upcoming 1968 Chevrolet Nova, the Camaro featured unibody structure. Chevrolet offered the car in only two body styles, a coupe and convertible. Almost 80 factory and 40 dealer options including three main packages were avaible.

* RS Package included many cosmetic changes such as RS badging, hidden headlights, blacked out grill, revised taillights and interior trims.

* SS Package included modified 5.7 L (350 in³) V8 engine (first 350 in³ engine ever offered by Chevrolet), also L35 396 in³ “big block” was avaible. SS featured non-functional air inlets on the hood, special striping and blacked out grill. It was possible to order both – RS and SS packages to receive RS/SS Camaro. In 1967 Camaro RS/SS Convertible Camaro with 396 in³ engine paced the Indianapolis 500 race.

* Z28 option code was introduced in 1966. This option package wasn’t mentioned in any sales literature so was unknown by most of the buyers. The only way to order Z28 package was to order base Camaro with Z28 option, front disc brakes, power steering and Muncie 4-speed transmission.

Z28 package featured unique 302 in³ “small block” engine, designed specifically to compete in the Club of America Trans Am racing series (which required engines smaller than 305 in³ and public availability of the car).

Advertised power of this engine was listed at 290 hp (216 kW) while actual dyno readings rated it at 360 to 400 hp (269 to 298 kW). Z28 also came with upgraded suspension and racing stripes on the hood. It was possible to combine Z28 package with RS package. Only 602 Z28’s were sold.

Generation 2

The larger second-generation Camaro featured an all-new sleek body and improved suspension. The 1970-1/2 Camaro debuted as a 2+2 coupe; no convertible was offered and would not appear again until well into the third generation.

Most of the engine and drivetrain components were carried over from 1969 with the exception of the 230 in³ (3.8 L) six cylinder — the base engine was now the 250 in³ (4.1 L) six rated at 155 hp (116 kW).

The top performing motor was a L-78 396 in³ (6.5 L) V8 rated at 375 hp (280 kW). (Starting in 1970, the 396 in³ big block V8’s actually displaced 402 in³ (6.6 L), yet Chevrolet chose to retain the 396 badging.) Two 454 in³ (7.4 L) engines – the LS-6 and LS-7 – were listed on early specification sheets but never made it into production.

Besides the base model, buyers could select the “Rally Sport” option with a distinctive front nose and bumper, a “Super Sport” package, and the “Z-28 Special Performance Package” featuring a new high-performance 360 hp (268 kW) 350 in³ (5.7 L) cid V8.
1972

The 1972 Camaro suffered two major setbacks. A UAW strike at a GM assembly plant in Ohio disrupted production for 174 days, and 1100 Camaros had to be scrapped because they did not meet 1973 Federal bumper safety standards.

Some at GM seriously considered dropping the Camaro and Firebird altogether, while others were convinced the models remained marketable. The latter group eventually convinced those in favor of dropping the F Cars to reconsider, and Chevrolet would go on to produce 68,656 Camaros in 1972, the lowest production numbers for any model year.

Generation 3

1982

The 1982 model introduced the first Camaros with factory fuel injection, four-speed automatic transmissions (three-speed on the earlier models), five-speed manual transmissions (four-speed manual transmissions in 1982, and some 83-84 models), 15 or 16-inch rims, hatchback body style, and even a four-cylinder engine for a brief period (due to concerns over fuel economy).

The Camaro Z28 was Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year for 1982.

1985

In 1985 Chevrolet introduced a new Camaro model – the famous IROC-Z, called after popular racing series. IROC-Z Camaro featured upgraded suspension, special decal package and Tuned Port Injection system taken from the Chevrolet_Corvette Third generation Camaros also had a suspension system that was more capable in corners than the previous generation.

The Camaro IROC-Z was on Car and Driver magazine’s Ten Best list for 1985.

Engines

* 1978-1981 5.7 L (350 in³) Small-Block V8

* 1982-1985 2.5 L (151 in³) Iron Duke L4

* 1982-1984 2.8 L (173 in³) LC1 V6

* 1985-1989 2.8 L (173 in³) LB8 V6

* 1990-1992 3.1 L (191 in³) 60 Gen II V6

* 1982-1992 5.0 L (305 in³) Small-Block V8

* 1985-1992 5.7 L (350 in³) Small-Block V8

Generation 4

1993

1993 began the fourth and last generation of Camaros, lasting through the 2002 model year. Production of the fourth and final generation was moved from GM’s Van Nuys, California assembly plant to one in Ste. Therese, Quebec in 1993.

Though the car would no longer be produced in the US, the new design which incorporated lightweight plastic body panels over a steel space frame, and a better suspension, further improved upon the Camaro line.

From 1993 to 1997 the Camaro was available with the LT-1 engine, the same Generation II small block V8 used in the Corvette, although in slightly de-tuned form.

In 1996, the long-discontinued “SS” option was resurrected and in 1998, the all-new LS-1 engine Generation III small block was offered on the SS and Z28 Camaros, marking the end of the Generation I small block V8 that had its roots in Chevrolet’s 265 in³ engine of 1955. Unfortunately, sales were below expectations, and production of the Camaro ceased in 2002.
1998

1998 saw a new head light design for the Camaro. The new design removed the previous recessed-light design present in the 1982-1997 Camaros. The faux air intakes on the hood were also eliminated. In addition the LT1 engine was removed and instead an LS1 in its place.
Engines

* 1993-1995 3.4 L (208 in³) 60 Gen III V6

* 1995-2002 3.8 L (231 in³) 3800 Series II V6

* 1993-1997 5.7 L (350 in³) LT1 V8

* 1998-2002 5.7 L (350 in³) LS1 V8

2002

2002 marked the last year of the Chevrolet Camaro and was also the 35th anniversary for the Camaro. This milestone was celebrated with a special anniversary car modified from the factory by SLP. The anniversary package was only available on the SS (Super Sport).

Engine modifications were available in addition to the 325 hp (242 kW) engine which all Super Sports produce. Silver racing stripes down the hood and trunk lid made the car more noticeable than ever–especially against the Bright Rally Red paint (the only color available with the anniversary package).

The car also had the slogan attached to it “Leave a Lasting ImpreSSion” and had the logo embroidered in the seats. The car was only available as a convertible or with T-Tops. 3,000 Camaros with the anniversary package were produced for the United States and 152 for Canada.

Though production Camaros were never as fast as the flagship Corvette, the car cost less than half as much and was easily modified. If its frequent inclusion in automotive enthusiast magazines is any indication, the Chevy Camaro is one of the most popular cars for modification in the automotive history.

Throughout its history, the Camaro shared its internal body and major components with a sister car – the Pontiac Firebird.

In-Depth Automotive Review – 2008 Honda Accord – It’s Fantastic & Revolutionary

Just when you think the midsize sedan market could not get any more competitive, Honda has released a fantastic new Honda Accord. Honda’s hottest selling car makes large strides to keep it on top of the volume leader boards with head turning style, comfort, and the reliability like nothing else out there. I’m eagerly anticipating the drive, so I take the 4-cyl Accord for a ride and give consumers the 411.

I’ve driven my fair share of the previous models in rental car form, so that would be an outstanding comparison to base off of. The one most striking difference is how well designed the Accord is, in its segment, it was easily a couple years ahead of its time. I personally thought the cutting edge shapes and panels to be true-blue Honda and was a welcome look in comparison to it’s rounder rivals. Fit and finish is what I expected in this car, and there were no surprises. Additionally, the Accord is a little bit bigger car, not exactly a negative, consumers can all use the extra room. Wheels were designed nicely, paint quality outstanding, and feature all of the top of the line safety and security hot spots. A definite winner!

Secondly, the treasure trove of options going into the inside never stops. Great quality in all of the dash panels and seating fabrics, they will most certainly sustain many years of abuse. Buttons and controls were easy to reach, albeit more buttons to get used to than other cars, it was no problem. This just meant there is more to be desired from the new Accord. Safety further enhances with a full assortment of airbags, remote keyless entry for base models, and a factory alarm system. The radio sounded good with no distortion and comes with iPod hookups. The overall interior ambiance was a little monotone, but the quality far exceeded any opinions on color. I felt comfortable in the front buckets and the rear is huge. Passengers can literally do jumping jacks back there, lots and lots of room. Moreover, the ride was quiet and there was very little wind noise. I was impressed further.

Driving dynamics was exactly what I expected with quick witted transmission and fantastic power from the four banger I drove. California freeways were no match for the Honda ingenuity! Again ride was compliant, however, there was a little bit more body roll with the larger size and weight. That’s a fair tradeoff for extra comfort and room. Gas mileage is still among the best, I averaged about 27-28 mpg’s, very efficient. Price of my test model was just over $22k, worth every penny, and market competitive with the rest. Expect about $800-1,800 between invoice and MSRP when you decide to go one on one with the salesman. A true value, best bang for the buck!

And so we close with some endearing news, if consumers thought the sedan is a marvelous car, the 2-door coupe is absolutely stunning. I’ll soon take that bad boy for a spin as well, believe me, I leave no stone unturned. The new 2008 Honda Accord will be a perennial fave with families for generations to come, there’s no stopping the success gauntlet! A truly inspiring stepping stone to further sales success.

Triangular Force Continues to Weigh on the Market

Earnings season propelled the stock market in July, 2010 to its best month in a year, with the Dow gaining 7.1% as corporations continually shattered earnings estimates and revenue consensus. Technology (Apple, Intel), financial (Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo), big oil (Exxon, Chevron), automotive (Ford), and most other sector heavyweights were weighing in with stellar quarterly reports. Containment of the Gulf oil spill as well as the passing grade received by 84 of the 91 European banks given the “stress test” also helped make July a winner.

Valuation of the market at large continues to be beneath historical levels. Although corporations are turning large profit and many are flourishing, it remains to see if July was a temporary reprieve of market mediocrity or a springboard to a rally that will bring share prices in line with value. I believe that the triangular depressive forces of unemployment, housing, and debt (both European and domestic), will continue to suppress the market for sometime and keep the market undervalued. This is bad news for those currently invested in the market, however, it provides nice entry points for the long-term value investor who has the opportunity to buy company shares at a discount.

On July 30th, it was announced that the United States gross domestic product grew at 2.4% for the second quarter, a number below first quarter growth as well as analysts’ expectations. On August 6th, the Federal Labor Department will report on the national unemployment rate, currently at 9.5%. Housing reports have continually been uninspiring, and the previously mentioned European stress tests of the 91 banks have been coming under increasing scrutiny that they were lenient and ultimately ineffective gauges. This continually tepid news continues to offset the corporate earnings successes, so the question is, what specific news has to come over the wires to get the market winning again?

Of course, any positive report tends to put the market up for the day, however what would trigger and sustain a rally? I believe that unemployment is the most important of the three depressive factors, and that it currently weighs as the largest bear. Not until unemployment falls under 8% do we have a chance to party like it’s October, 2007. There is just too much money on the sidelines and too much depressive mood when unemployment is this high. It appears that it will take sometime for the unemployment rate to get that low, however a surprisingly good number like 9.2 on August 6th would at least display that the United States is slowly but definitively putting people back to work.

Time will tell if the European banking stress tests had validity. If for example, Moody’s decides to give a downgrade to the financial health of one or more of the European nations, this will reinforce criticism of the test and re-invoke anxiety surrounding the global system. On the other hand, if negative news lays dormant and investors begin to gain some measure of confidence that the continent will not collapse; this will go a long way in reintroducing some panicked money back into the game.

People will be avoiding foreclosure, buying new homes, and increasing the value of their current home through renovative improvement when they are back to work. Home buying tax credits and record low interest rates have been unable to boost the industry because of high unemployment, however, at least a floor seems to have been established and pockets of increasing real estate value are beginning to appear in a small number of markets. In addition, homeowners have been able to refinance their homes at these record interest rates that have saved many a family from falling into foreclosure as well as bankruptcy, two positive points which strengthens that floor. But, not until reports surface that new homes are being built at generational baseline levels and homes are selling again will the market be in a position to reach its potential.

The fundamentals are in place for a bullish run. Hopefully, the preponderance of excellent corporate earnings translates into increased employment the way this correlation existed in the 1990’s. If the triangular forces of high unemployment, debt, and a poor housing market do not show improvement, it appears that we may hover in the 9000-11,000 range indefinitely. I do not subscribe to the bearish claims of Armageddon. Europe is not going to collapse, unemployment rates and housing appear to have bottomed out as they do now and again show flickers of light, and our domestic banking system is in much better condition than it was in the fall of 2008.

Fresh Look For Hyundai Getz

In 2002, under the Geneva International Motor Show, Hyundai Motor Company introduced the small city car class – Hyundai Getz (Hyundai Getz). That same year, Getz went on sale.

Despite its small size, beauty Getz very capacious for passengers. If necessary, seats fold, significantly increasing the amount of luggage. When you create the car manufacturers have sought to make it as safe, that they are quite successful: in addition to belts and airbags in a number of complete sets is the ABS system and EBD. Beside this, Hyundai Getz is equipped with a built-in steel beams, which are relied on to protect from side impact occupant.

More one indisputable advantage is efficient engine! Hyundai Getz submitted complete with engines, 1.1 SOHC, 1.3 SOHC and 1.5 DOHC (2005 1.1, 1.4 and 1.6). You can choose either automatic or manual transmission.

Unlike other cheap cars, Getz has a lot of adjustment. Rudder can raise, lower, at the driver seat height adjustment separate front and rear pads and the back can change the shape of the lumbar buttress.

Interesting Facts:

– In 2004, the Hyundai Getz went crash-test EuroNCAP, and earned it 4 stars. The same assessment of the car and put on the Australian safety tests ANCAP.

– June 23, 2007, Moscow hosted the rally at 9 km, which was attended by 137 owners of cars Hyundai Getz from different regions Russia. After carefully reviewed all the documents committee Guinness World Records in London recorded a record rally – all cars returned to the starting position.

International prizes and awards:

– Best compact car Australia, 2003, 2005.
– Car of the Year in Scotland, “2003.
– Budget Car of the Year “, according to the publication “WhatCar?”, 2003.
– Best budget car, according to the British motor transmission Fifth Gear, 2003. Bestseller on the market in Denmark, 2003.
– Car of the Year in Portugal, 2004, version 1.5 CRDI.
– The winner of the annual national competition “Car of the Year” Russia 2005.