We just got back from a trip to Rockport, TX. This is an annual thing for our family. Everyone loves to go fishing down there. I love relaxing, so I get to relax plenty while everyone is fishing. I brought my laptop, but barely used it. My wife needed to get online for something so we did a little war driving to find a WiFi connection. I did a quick download of my e-mail for reading offline, and downloaded a file attachment for my brother-in-law from his e-mail for the same purpose.
I did my best to take a vacation from technology. I did do a lot of catch up reading of car magazines. My typical packing includes all the issues of Car and Driver for the current year. This is for my brother-in-law and father-in-law. I just leave them around the condo for them to read. I already read them. Typically I will read C&D within about 3 or 4 days of its arrival.
My other two car magazine subscriptions are currently Car Craft and Hot Rod. Car Craft usually gets read within 2 or 3 weeks of its arrival. CC tends to cover more topics for the budget minded auto enthusiast. Hot Rod tends to cover the higher end topics, so I tend to put off reading it until the others are read. I tend to flip through all the magazines the day they arrive and will read an article or two at that point. I have been way behind on Hot Rod. So much so that I have refused to read anything in the magazine for the last three months until I finished the old magazines. While at the coast I finished off all the magazines from April 2006 through May 2007. This was kind of fun. I was able to read articles and shortly after read the comments that came in from those articles.
As it stands, I have just three fully unread issues left now that I am home. I read a couple of stories on the upcoming all new Camaro. Hot Rod had a survey about the new car and asked what people would want. I was able to read the questionnaire and then read the responses a few hours later. Unfortunately I did not get to take part in it. They were hoping people would respond wanting a stripped down performance car. No A/C, no power windows, reduced sound deadening, no GPS, radio delete, etc. They didn’t get the response they were looking for.
And I can tell them partly why. I live in south Texas and I am not going to buy a car without A/C. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Power windows is so common it has become a necessity in many people’s mind, but I could live without it. As for GPS, traction control, stereos, etc. I could see getting a car without those and even missing a radio as long as it had a standard DIN hole in the dash to add one later. In fact, they should put a DIN sized radio that can easily be replaced no matter what.
The bigger problem is that most of the people that are reminiscing about getting a Camaro, and are reading and responding to articles on it, have a little more money than the average buyer. This means they would rather pay for the creature comforts.
Personally I would be willing to get a stripped down, performance oriented Camaro. But with a twist. First of all I need A/C so this must remain as standard or optional equipment on any Camaro. Next, this hypothetical stripped down Camaro should be like the LX 5.0 Mustang of the late 80′s to early 90′s. It was not a GT, but had the GT engine and it was lighter and faster. It was also plainer. Put this way I should be able to buy a Camaro that is lighter than a loaded Z28, but have the same engine. Making the car a little faster because it doesn’t have all the fluff. They should build a SS 350 model with 350 hp that is faster than a Mustang Shelby GT with its 319 hp and leave all the techno-crap out of it and sell it in the $25-28K range.
Now… all of this is meaningless. The Mustang is popular and has always been popular not for its high performance versions, but for the base model… currently running a V-6. It is a chick car. Sorry to those of the gender that don’t like the term, but it is true. More girls buy Mustangs than guys, and they mostly prefer the less aggressive models.
Chevrolet needs to concentrate on pleasing the female buying public with the Camaro or it will fizzle out after two full years of production. You read it hear first… sales will drop after two years. The new Challenger doesn’t have this problem because it is being built from an existing platform. It is basically a special version of the Charger with two doors. They can sell far fewer of them, and the fewer the better when all you really care about is just targeting the power hungry male population.
O.K. I have gone on too long. This is really a topic for an article on my web site.
Well, I am back from vacation.