At first, the only 2010 Camaros...
At first, the only 2010 Camaros you'll see at Chevy dealerships will be the 3.6-liter V-6 version (shown). Your best bet for a V-8 Camaro SS is to order one, and wait.
2010 Camaro News & Rumors
As we approach the much anticipated release of the 2010 Camaro, the plot thickens. On a recent trip to Camaros.net, we discovered some interesting tidbits--some rumors, and some verified facts. First fact: It appears that GM is suing one of its suppliers, Cadence Innovation LLC, for holding hostage some parts and tooling required to build the new Camaro. The thread was bolstered by a story from the Detroit News that ran on December 27. In that story, it was reported that back in 2006, Cadence garnered GM's prestigious "Supplier Of The Year" award, but filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last August. Cadence manufactures door panels, airbag covers, and consoles for GM, Ford, and Chrysler.
On a related issue, it was announced by GM that the pro duction start date for the Camaro has been rolled back one month, to March 16--that's a fact, too. The delay is not linked to the Cadence supplier issue, according to Manager of Chevrolet Shows & Exhibits Scott Settlemire, the unofficial GM spokesperson for the 2010 Camaro. In the days before the Detroit Auto Show, Settlemire addressed Camaro customers by posting this: "The one-month delay is to bring you the best possible Camaro ever. Let me assure you that the easy thing to do would be to build the car, get your money, and then have you bring the cars back for little dissatisfiers, which in reality would be upsetting to most people, and we are not willing to do that. Believe me, no one wants to delay a start-up, but we are doing this in your interest as well as ours."
Mopar guys: Your worst nightmare...
Mopar guys: Your worst nightmare has come true, but could get worse. Fiat now has a 35 percent cut of Chryco. The upshot: They paid nothing for it, and they could end up with as much as 55 percent.
So far, the V-8 Camaro SS has outnumbered V-6 variants in prepaid customer orders by a ratio of four to one--also a fact. The entry-level V-8 Camaro SS has an MSRP of $30,995, including a $750 destination charge. Nevertheless, if you've put actual cash down on a special-order V-8 Camaro, maintains Greg Sanders of EVS Chevrolet in Wisconsin, don't count on getting it in a timely fashion, if at all. (Hmmm, may not be a fact, since it comes from a car salesman and not Chevy, but still plausible.) In a Google video clip link at Camaros.net that contained clips of a closed-circuit dealer meeting on the Camaro roll-out, Sanders told potential buyers: "If you have an order number, congratulations, you've participated in a marketing program. They collected marketing information based on what you put into your order."
The reason for the constrained V-8 production wasn't made entirely clear, other than to say that V-8s will make up no more than 50 percent of production (orders are running at 80 percent). To its credit, Chevrolet admitted in the closed-circuit TV dealer meeting that it could be as late as October 2009 before all 10,000 existing pre-sold V-8 Camaro orders are filled. In an unusual move, the Camaro will be a controlled allocation vehicle, whereby dealers are allotted a specific number of cars per month. Traditionally, a pre-paid order goes to the front of the line and is built irrespective of allocation for dealer inventory. Under the Camaro policy, if customers place orders that fit the dealer's available allocation (translation: if the customer wants a V-6), the order will be filled. If, however, they put a deposit on a Camaro that doesn't "fit" the allocation, the order will be built later, or delayed until the next model year. We don't know if our understanding of the order process is correct, except to say that Chevy has made ordering a V-8 Camaro very complicated.
In other Camaro news, the convertible model is now slated for the 2011 model year (fact). Also, the initial Camaro launch will consist of 3.6-liter V-6 models (fact).
Fix It Again, Tony!
Fiat Gets Stake In Chrysler
Forget everything we said earlier about Chrysler merging with GM. That would've been the best-case scenario. Instead, Fiat has gained a 35 percent stake in Chrysler, with an option to increase that stake to 55 percent. To say that Fiat "bought" the stake is a little misleading. Fiat basically paid nothing for its stake, other than to guarantee some of Chrysler's debt (as required by the Fed's requirement for restructuring in exchange for $4 billion in loans). Fiat will also help develop and build more fuel efficient products for the Chrysler portfolio.
And from our friends to the north in French-speaking Quebec, we have the all-paper Origami V-8 engine, for the bargain "Buy It Now" price of $21 million U.S.. On the eBay auction, the seller describes it: "This V-8 engine has semi-realistic exterior and interior detail. It is made entirely from paper (except a motor, a battery holder, a few plastic tubes, and electrical wires). No paint applied. It looks pure and elegant. Various shadows created by different light sources make it look stunning. Many moveable parts include a compound crankshaft, a rapid cooling fan, eight rods, eight pistons, and a complex compound gearbox, etc. It is handcrafted with ruler, white glue, and X-Acto knife. It took approximately one year to design and construct." Wow, those winters must be long.
Rant Of The Month
We think this month's rant concerns Jon Kaase's winning 400 Ford Engine Masters entry, but for some reason, this guy also had it in for recording artist Seal. The hangover the next day must've been brutal. We begin the fun about two-thirds of the way through the tirade ...
... any contest that makes a turd float so massively to the top HAS GOT TO GO! Something is WRONG with a world where a CRAP album like IN Rainbows (Radiohead) is nominated for a Grammy, when Victoria's Secret's spokeswoman is married to a guy who had his face catch on fire and had it put out with a fire axe, where our government gives 10B$ to a company so they can give their execs 10B$ in bonuses, and ESPECIALLY where a 400M can rule the roost in an Engine Masters Challange. SOMEBODY GIMME A BULLET IN MY HEAD! PLEASE CHANGE THE RULES OR LET ME OFF THIS PLANET! omfG!Samuel Bull
Mount Vernon, WA
Neil Bonnett Mystique
I met Neil Bonnett on several occasions when I worked with IMSA; we had our July Third Midnite Paul Revere race, and NASCAR had the Firecracker 400 the next day. We shared the garage area. Neil always had time to stop and talk and tell stories.
Around '76 or so, CBS had the Wide World of Sports show each weekend, and would have some NASCAR coverage. Their narrator was, of all people, an ex-Formula 1 champ: Jackie Stewart, the short Scottish dude. Now that fits in well with the "good ol' boys" market area. Well, they were doing the finish of a Darlington race--the last lap--and Neil is leading down the back straight, weaving back and forth to prevent anyone from catching his draft. Jackie comments publicly that "this is the most un-gentlemanly act of driving I have ever seen!" Several years later, shortly before his untimely death, I saw Neil at Atlanta Raceway, and during our conversation, I asked him, "How's your old friend Jackie Stewart?" I should have had a recorder, 'cause he had some things to say, and I gathered that there was some sort of confrontation, and Mr. Stewart became quite humble. Keep the Laguna project going. Who knows, a little Neil karma might show up!
Kenny Van Zill
Now that's a cool story! Wanna trade your Olds for a slightly used Laguna?
At least now we know what...
At least now we know what crafts they teach in Canadian prisons. With good behavior, they even give you an X-Acto knife.
I'm having tuning issues with my 496 that is a duplicate of your Street Sweeper Chevelle 496 motor. I can't seem to lean out the Mighty Demon at idle. Did you guys change the power valve in your Demon, or encounter any other carb tweaking to get that motor running good? Barry Grant says set initial timing to at least 18. My builder says 34-36 total timing tops. I've installed the largest bushing in my distributor, which keeps it under 36 total, but it seems like I need more initial to clean it up. Did you guys have problems like this?
Yes. See Hunkins' editorial on page 8.
Pushrods A Waste Of Time
If GM and Chrysler knew what they were doing, they would not be bankrupt, and would not be losing sales to Asian and German cars. One example: GM is still dicking around trying to perfect stiffer pushrods and stronger rocker arms, where other car makers moved on decades ago with modern OHC engines that produce more horsepower and use less fuel doing it.
Up to this point, GM and Chrysler have not declared bankruptcy. The Corvette Z06 can wipe the floor with any BMW or Mercedes costing twice the price, and without either make's gas guzzler tax. As you were saying?