Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The best book I've ever picked up!

I finished reading "Camaro: a legend reborn" by Edsall, a book about the current 5th gen Camaro and how it was conceived. From the 2006 Concept, to the finished product, every detail on how it came to life is detailed. The best part is hearing from the many engineers involved in the project, from the different countries. You get to read and see how the car goes from a drawing on paper, to a clay model, to a concept, to a 65% test car, to a 99% test car, and finally an inside look at the manufacturing process of the 2010 Camaro being built. Like most enthusiasts, I was heart broken when the Camaro was finally given the axe. And the "Fbodfather" himself, Scott Settlemire recalls the feeling he had when he was given the phone call that the last 2002 Camaro rolled off the line. I can recall hating the 2006 concept, and hating the 2010 production version when I first saw it at the local dealer. But over time, the car grew on me, and finally one day as if I was struck with a magic wand, I fell in love. I can recall the exact place I was too. A friend of ours invited my girlfriend and I to her dad's condo on the water. When I got there i parked my car and underneath the condos in a parking space was a new 2010 Camaro SS in PLAIN white. No stripes, no accents, just a plain white Camaro. That very moment was when the car came alive to me. Combine that with all the things you read about in this book and I am a full fledged believer now. As a past Camaro owner, and hopefully future owner, this book is great! Now the SS is great and all, and the ZL1 is truly an engineering masterpiece. But the car I have been waiting on finally showed up, the Z28. The Z28 has been my Camaro of choice because of it's roots and origin. The Z28 was a handling machine that would run as well. The Z28 was a drivers car, and it would only be fitting that I own another. After a few years of being disappointed that the new car lineup would again, not feature a Z28, I started to wonder if GM was listening to us car guys anymore, like they had in mid 2000's for the return of the Camaro. What we thought the Z28 was going to be, ended up being the ZL1 and at that point, for me, I assumed the Z28 wasn't alive anymore. This year, at the NY auto show, I watched the live unveiling of the refreshed 2014 Camaro. To set the scene, I was in a relatively quiet computer lab at school, next to a friend who was doing work in there also. With my headphones on, I watched and listened as the refreshed 2014 Camaro made it's way onto the stage. WOW! It's amazing what a few tweaks can do to a car, it looked spectacular. And then Mark Reuss says, but thats not it...and suddenly all homework came to a halt. After a short chat, the lights went dim, and a short video plays of a Camaros exhaust, wheels, spoiler, all teasers...and out comes a 2014 Camaro Z28!! Unable to control it, I shouted for joy in the middle of that library computer lab. The day had finally come, GM had listened after all, a Z28 was finally going to be made available again. True to its original purpose, the 2014 Z28 is a drivers car, LS7, six-speed manual only, no radio, AC optional, lightweight, big brakes, and better suspension. I am a GM nut, and this new lineup fro Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, and Buick is nothing short of awesome. The new C7 Corvette, all new pickups, new V8/RWD sedan, new CTS, new small cars, new midsize cars, it's all been great. But this new Z28 takes the cake for me. Without a doubt it is the most excited I've been about any new car, ever! And I've been crazy about cars since my first Automobile Magazine subscription when I was around 9 years old.

Two quotes stuck out to me while reading this book;

"If you are a mechanical engineer, and work in the automotive industry, it's like heaven"

A holden engineer talking about getting his mechanical engineering degree to become an engineer for Holden, "My friends would ask, 'what if you don't get a job with Holden?' I would say, I don't know, it's all I've ever wanted to do"

Both quotes speak to what I truly desire in life.

This was easily the best book I've ever picked up and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Camaro, cars in general, or is curious how a car goes from concept to production.

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