THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Wed, Mar 31, 2010
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS brings back memories from 1968 By Roy Nakano Back in 1968, one of the most revered cars at Gardena High School was owned by Keith Obata: It was a brand new Chevrolet Camaro Z28. The car was so cool that few people knew what it was. The Z28 defied conventional musclecar wisdom. Most American manufacturers’ answer to high performance was to stuff the biggest motor it can find into a car. In contrast, the Z28 had a small-displacement engine–302 cubic inches (for Trans Am competition qualifying purposes). While the Z28 was not known for its low-end torque, its motor reached higher revolutions per minute than virtually any American muscle car at the time. And while Keith’s car may not have been the quickest car out of the hole, he was the fastest shifter at the school—never letting his foot off the accelerator between gears. The small-displacement engine also made for a car with more balanced weight distribution, which translated to better handling. If YouTube had existed back then, Keith’s neighborhood cornering exploits would have been posted—right up there with Ken Block’s WRX STi. That was then. Fast forward to today.
I arrive at the press fleet office to pick up Chevrolet’s resurrected Camaro. To my pleasant surprise, it’s painted in identical fashion to the aforementioned 1968 Z28. This car looks as beautiful as the original—only better. The fit and finish are leaps and bounds better, not to mention gas mileage, handling, and acceleration. With a six-speed automatic and paddle shifters (which the manufacturer says is slighty quicker than the manual), this new Camaro will go from zero-to-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.3 seconds. Not only does it smoke that Z28 from 1968, it will smoke all of the factory muscle cars of the 1960s in a street race as well as on the track. The interior of this SS model is positively beguiling. The exterior paint scheme flows around the dashboard and sweeps into the doors. At night, the leading edges of the panels illuminate. The entire car is a work of art. I keep thinking of the classic cars shows that are prominent in Southern California, and how this car seems to fit right in. This car is like destined for collector status. That it can do double duty as a daily driver makes it all that more attractive. It’s no wonder that this car is presently out-selling its competition. If I didn’t have to take into consideration silly little details like four doors and rear passenger room (par for these sporty cars), I’d buy one right now.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT More than just a very good American car, this is a national treasure. For more information about Chevrolet products, go to chevrolet.com
SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS automatic Price: $30,945 (base) $38,515 (as tested, includes GCR Inferno Orange Metallic paint, WRS RS package, 6-speed automatic transmission, W1H Inferno Orange Interior Accent Trim package, and stripe package) EPA rated fuel economy (city/highway miles per gallon) 16/25 Engine: 6.2-liter V8 Horsepower: 400 at 5900 RPM Torque: 410 at 4300 RPM Transmission: Six-speed automatic with sequential manual shifting capability via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters Drive configuration: rear-wheel drive Steering: Power-assisted rack-and-pinion Suspension: Front fully independent multi-link strut with heavy duty shock absorbers and stabilizer bar Rear fully independent 4.5-link with heavy duty coil-over shock absorbers and hollow stabilizer bar StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System, Traction Control System Brakes: Front ventilated discs, with Brembo four-piston calipers, power-assisted Rear inch ventilated discs, with Brembo four-piston calipers, power-assisted Anti-lock braking system (ABS) Wheels and tires: 20x8-inch front and 20x9-inch rear aluminum wheels P245/45ZR20 front and P275/40ZR20 rear summer tires Dimensions Length: 190.4 inches Width: 75.5 inches Height: 54.2 inches Curb weight: 3860 pounds Performance (manufacturer’s results) 0-60 miles per hour: 4.6 seconds Quarter-mile: 13.3 seconds Source: Manufacturer loan