Sunday, August 25, 2013

Camaro 1LE owner interview

Thanks, F1O!

1. You have owned an RX-8 and a MazdaSpeed 6. Why a muscle car now?

Buying a muscle car is never a rational decision. But between the things I wanted the new Camaro was the most rational. The Mazdaspeed6 had been paid off and I was looking at buying a second car for weekend fun. But classic car prices are insane these days and add maintenance which is not something I'm able to do myself and the cost would've been a bit too much for me at this point in my life.

So the Camaro had the retro looks, performance and modern conveniences. The one car "to do it all" so to speak.

Plus I've always wanted a powerful V8 car.

2. What other muscle cars were you also considering? Why did you choose the Camaro?

It was between the Camaro and the Mustang. They were the only two I actually test drove.

I chose the Camaro over the Mustang because I didn't like the Mustang's solid rear axle and the clutch and shifter combination of the Camaro was much better.

3. Of all the packages, why the 1LE? What does it offer?

I didn't know about the 1LE package to be honest. I was on Chevy's website building the car to my preferences and I clicked on the 1LE wheels and that's when I figured out it was part of a package, not just a wheel option.

Then I read about 1LE and watched some youtube videos and became informed about how much better it handles over a regular SS and from there it became the only option I would go for.

It comes with the ZL1's wheels (different size tires), specific suspension dampening, larger front and rear roll-bars, ZL1 toe links, strut tower brace, ZL1 rear shocks, high capacity fuel pump and some other things I forget.

4. Was your car hard to find? Was there a dealer mark-up? How was the buying experience?

It was a bit hard to find as I would only have it in black and with the dual-mode exhaust. There were only two in Florida optioned that way.

The first dealer in Miami that had it wanted full MSRP for it so I walked away. The other dealer was an Autonation Chevrolet in Tampa which is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from here.

I went to my local Autonation Chevy dealer and they said they could bring it over on a flatbed the same day. We were able to make the deal for $6k below MSRP after GM incentives and negotiations. They paid me a bit less than I wanted for the trade-in but still more than the other dealer was offering and I got the interest rate I wanted so it was fair deal and I'd buy from them again.

5. What do you like about your car?

The number one thing I absolutely love about it is the exhaust note. It's deep and throaty and pops when you let off. It's simply amazing to hear.

It's also funny when it sets off the neighbor's car alarm in the morning.

6. What don't you like about your car?

I may still be in the honeymoon period so there's not much I don't like about it. There are a couple of things I think it should have as an option. 

It would be nice if the side mirrors pointed downwards for parking to help me keep from scratching the wheels on a curb (still haven't scratched them).

There are rear parking sensors which is great. Front parking sensors would also be a huge help as the front spoiler protrudes a little bit from the front bumper so I tend pull into spots backwards to keep from ripping off the spoiler.

7. Do you plan to make any modifications? Will you be taking it to the track?

No modifications for now. 

The only thing I did was remove the fuse for the dual-mode exhaust... It now keeps all 4 exhaust tips open at all times... More noise!!

I had planned on tracking it but after I saw how much it actually costs (tires, track fees, track insurance, etc.) I've decided to put that off for now as I could literally take a short vacation overseas for the same price and traveling is my other passion.

8. How is it as a commuter car? Is the visibility awful?

With the side and rear-view mirrors properly adjusted I've had no problems whatsoever switching in-and-out-of lanes during rush hour.

The rear parking sensors and backup camera make it a breeze to back-up into parking spots.

Parallel parking is a bit more challenging to keep the wheels from getting scratched because of the high shoulder lines but there're hardly any places here in FL where you have to parallel park.

9. What has been the reaction of your wife, co-workers, friends, and strangers to your car?

My wife loves the car and was pushing me to buy it... We've named her Becky.

Co-workers and friends that I hang out with are car guys so they loved it and it was great fun discussing Camaro vs. Mustang with them in the lead-up to buying the car.

I've had a few strangers talk to me about it at gas stations and they give positive comments.

It's definitely not a sleeper like the Mazdaspeed6 was.

10. Any predictions for the second half of the F1 season? Can anyone beat Vettel in points?

It's going to be Vettel again this year. I'm a bit bored with it to be honest. At this point I'm just hoping for something different next year.


Alan said...

Interesting read. I prefer the Mustang myself but admit F1O's car looks great, and I didn't know about the 1LE package which sounds like it goes a long way towards fixing a lot of what I don't normally like about Camaros.

As far as the sound goes, that's the main reason I'd like a muscle car as well, and I've even tbought about a nice Fox or F body for my next weekend car, but I'm just not sure the sound and engine alone would satisfy me, I love small Japanese sports cars too much. Sounds like F1O's car ticks all the boxes, though, congrats on a sweet car.

I just had the thought of gutting the exhaust on my LS400 to get that muscle sound.

Edvin said...

Very nice ride! I would go through so many sets of rear tires in that thing.

Track driving can be expensive if you get serious about it, but it's just so much fun to use all the potential of the car. You can't really do that on the street. I highly recommend at least giving track driving a try. Just don't blame me if you get addicted... :)