Here at TheCarConnection.com, we read a lot of automaker press releases. A week ago today, a pretty unusual one landed on our desks: GM was touting the text of a letter from a "disgruntled owner" of its new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.
Surprise, surprise, the owner wasn't actually unhappy. Instead, it was a mock complaint citing all the wonderful aspects of the 2010 Camaro in the guise of problems.
For instance, "it's too sexy." And, "they gave me the wrong motor" because "this thing is way too fast for a V6. It practically LEAPS when I step on the gas." And so forth.
It was so in line with GM's talking points that we figured it had been written by the eager beavers in GM Marketing. And we weren't alone; it prompted skepticism on the web and on Twitter.
2010 Chevrolet Camaro LT in Victory Red, owned by Roger Behymer, Morgan Mills, Texas
But in fact the writer, Roger Behymer of Morgan Mill, Texas, is a real, live, genuine Camaro owner. He wrote the note unprompted, and had no intention of GM seeing it. That came courtesy of Bruner Motors of Stephenville, Texas, his local dealer, who forwarded it to Chevrolet marketing (with his permission).
The backstory: As a 16-year-old boy, Behymer begged his dad to buy him a friend's used 1968 Camaro. His dad didn't, and there the matter ended until the now-46-year-old Behymer saw the new 2010 Camaro online this summer.
Needing a new car, and with one daughter married and the second away in college, his Camaro memories rekindled. He ordered a bright red 2010 Camaro LT, with the 300-horsepower, 3.6-liter direct-injected V6, and is happy as a clam.
"It's the nicest car I've ever owned," he says proudly, "and $25,000 wasn't much more than I'd have paid for some boring little minivan."
His "complaint letter" originated as a blog post on a Camaro forum, pivoting off occasional cracks by Mustang owners about the new Camaro's perceived deficiciencies. GM did a bit of editing, removing his grumble that, "There's too many dials, switches, knobs, displays, read-outs, etc."
Meanwhile, the joke's on those original Mustang owners whose snarky comments prompted Roger to write. The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro has now outsold the 2010 Ford Mustang for four consecutive months, which hasn't since happened since way back in 1985.