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2003 Chevrolet Camaro Photo
Quick Take
The sky is a menacing slate gray, but so far, the rain has held off.  I’ve seldom been so... Read more »
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The sky is a menacing slate gray, but so far, the rain has held off.  I’ve seldom been so interested in the weather, but this morning, even the slightest sprinkle will abort the opportunity that led me to buck morning rush hour to get to the General Motors Proving Ground at this ungodly early hour.

 

Clearing security, we roll up to Black Lake, the seemingly endless expanse of asphalt that is normally used for advanced vehicle testing. This morning, however, it provides backdrop for the first test drive in the Chevrolet Camaro concept car. Yep, that Camaro—the one that single-handedly stole the 2006 Detroit Auto Show, the show car that has captivated automotive aficionados around the world, and led to endless speculation about whether it might make the leap from prototype to production.

 

Sitting out on the tarmac, it’s easy to understand why there was so much demand for the first spy shots that TheCarConnection’s Web servers nearly shut down. The Camaro concept is absolutely stunning.

 

“I wanted the guys to design the meanest street-fighting dog you can get,” recalls Tom Peters, who oversaw the design project. The Camaro’s sharp creases and flared wheel wells hint of raw power, yet the brute elements of the concept pony car are softened by its sensuous curves.

 

The prototype that was unveiled to so much ballyhoo last January almost didn’t happen. The original idea, as outlined by GM’s Bob Lutz, was to do an absolutely retro remake of the classic ’69 Camaro, easily the most popular year in its long and celebrated history. The project was handed to designer Bob Boniface, who went to work out of Studio North, at the GM Technical Center in Warren, Mich.

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