Monday, March 23, 2015
By now we should all know that the unveiling of the 2016 Camaro will come in the month of April at Belle Isle, but will the Camaro see a little more action than what Chevrolet is leading on to. Chevrolet's Camaro has never been a stranger to being a pace car at the Indianapolis 500 and this year probably won't be no different.
The Camaro started as a pace car in 1967 and than added to their resume in 1969 with a Camaro SS; 1982 Indy used the Z/28 as a pace car and also in 1993. Camaro continued the tradition in 2009 and 2010 with a Camaro SS, and than followed up in 2011 and 2014 with some more Camaro Z/28 action.
With all of this media hype that is surrounding the new Camaro, I don't see why they would stop the trend now. This would be a perfect way to keep the Camaro topic hot in May after their unveiling in April. Lots of speculation has been talked about in the last few weeks, some of it is just -- would, coulds and maybes, but one thing is for sure the Camaro will come with a powerful enough V-8 to be respected as an Indianapolis 500 Pace Car.
So where is this speculation coming from, according to Camaro.com, an insider close to the GM Lansing Grand River Assembly plant’s operations, where the Camaro will be built, dropped a few hints to auto evolution, and according to Camaro.com if you read between the lines, an Indianapolis 500 -- 2016 Camaro Pace Car sounds like something that could definitely happen.
“Teen Driver” is a technologysystem that helps parents regulate and monitor how their teenagers are driving. This technology has been around for a while, but for the first time GM will be installing them on the 2016 Chevy Malibu. It's a simple case of making sure your teen's driving habits stay safe. The unfortunate thing is nowadays driving like a NASCAR driver with the radio blasting is not as much of a problem with teens as keeping their mobile devices out of their hands when they're in the driver seat. The technology to turn off mobile devices is in the working, but not yet quite ready for the public – let's cross our fingers for speedy solution.
Until than, the “Teen Driver” system does help parents get a little piece of mind when their kids have the vehicle. With a pin number keyed to the key fob your kids use, you can control many different aspects of the car and also request a report card of their driving when they get home.
Features the “Teen Driver” Lets You Control
- You can set the radio to stay mute until safety belts are fastened.
- You can lower the max. radio volume.
- You can adjust max speed anywhere from 40-75-mph. Now this doesn't work like a governor where the engine won't go any faster. But if the speed is exceeded, an audible warning and visual warnings will go off until the vehicle is brought back to speed.
- You can make sure that all smart car and safety features are implicated and can not be turned off. These features that will be permanently functional will be determined on what features you have on your vehicle – traction control, forward collision alert, front and rear park assist, side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, front pedestrian braking, automatic light control, daytime running lights, parking sensors, automatic braking and more.
As mentioned above, parents can request a report card of their teenager's driving, this will include things like their top speed, distance driven, how many times the driver violated the pre-set speed limit, and how often the vehicle's safety features were activated. So not only will you know how far your teenage went and how fast they went to get their, but the “Teen Driver” system will also let you know how many times the stability-control, anti-lock brake system, forward-collision alerts and auto-braking events are activated.
Your teen may think of it like an invasion of privacy, but as adults we know it's all about keeping our teens safe. The fatal crash rate per mile driven is the highest in drivers 16-19 years old. So your kid may hate the idea of the “Teen Driver” system and believe it's part of a government conspiracy, we know it's just about them coming back home in one piece. Now if we can just get that technology that shuts off mobile devices for the driver, not just for teens but for everyone, maybe the roads will be a little safer.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
It's rare to see these cars restored to look and drive more like a street car. Most of the SCCA race cars are either restored right back to spec with decals and everything or they simply don't exists no more for obvious reasons (crashed). This 1968 Corvette Roadster was restored to adhere some of its stock originality, but to also look car show pretty and promote street driving convenience with the possibility of still performing on the race track.
For starters, the 1968 Corvette Roadster has the correct 460-cu.-in. MK IV engine that was up-graded to ZL1 specs for better efficiency. The engine has 9.2:1 compression, which makes it very easy to run on 91 octane pumped gas. A close ratio four-speed Muncie transmission is mated up to the iconic engine to makes for fun driving. Adding to that fun driving is an adjustable suspension that includes heavy-duty springs, shocks, telescoping halfshafts and upgraded bushings.
The interior features the stock full roll-cage that includes door bars, Kirkey lightweight seats with harnesses, Stewart Warner instrumentation and upgraded tilt/telescope steering wheel with power steering to help make street driving more convenient. Also to add to the racing yet street legal feel is a matching hard-top with full headliner.
Other features this 1968 Corvette Roadster has is an oversized aluminum radiator for touring and long trips, four-wheel disc brakes that are period correct and underside aluminum panels that promote better aerodynamics both for the road and the track. The VIN# does match up as an ex-SCCA race car back when it was in its prime, but now it's in a different prime of its life. Sports cars like this make for great conversational pieces at car shows and at the race track – street legal, track approved with a lot of history.
Friday, March 20, 2015
In the past year we have heard a lot about what to expect from the new 2016 Chevy Camaro, some of it myth and speculation and some of it very much what we still expect to see next month. There are some facts that we now know for sure because Mark Reuss, GM's executive vice president for global development took some time yesterday to help put are imaginations at ease.
Engine and Transmission
As expected, the 6.2-liter LT-1 V-8 that nestled itself under the hood of the 2015 Corvette will make its way into the 2016 Chevy Camaro. The Corvette engine had to have 20 percent of its components repositioned to fit inside of the Camaro engine department. This engine pumped out 455-hp for the Corvette, so similar numbers are to be expected for the Camaro. Also the Corvette upgraded from a six-speed automatic that has been used for years and worked well to an eight-speed automatic for 2015 with a lot of success. From most accounts it sounds like that eight-speed transmission will find its way into the 2016 Camaro as well.
Fuel economy is always on everyone's mind in this day-and-age, so yes, like always there will be a six-cylinder option, but also new to the play book will be a four-cylinder option that makes some people disgusted and some happy, depends on how you want to look at it. The LT-4 will also have some fuel saving tricks up its sleeve. Active Fuel Management did wonders for the Corvette and even though last year it was offered on the SS Camaros, other trim options did not have it as an option. This year the option is expected to be available on more than just the SS, possibly all V-8 engines.
Other 2016 Camaro Confirmed Features
This should not amaze people too much because this has been talked about and confirmed many times throughout the year, but just in case you did not here, the 2016 Chevy Camaro will be riding on the shorter frame that the Cadillac ATS rides on. This called for some serious reconstruction. Mark Reuss confirms that 70 percent of the Camaro will be unique to the Gen 6 style. New front and rear suspension had to be engineered, along with a wider and lengthened front-end for better handling and a new unique Camaro look. An all-new interior is confirmed and should give us a different design along with different dimensions. The dimensions could help a sour spot that critics seem to complain about. It has been long talked about the cramped backseats and this renewed interior might be a solution.
Next month on Belle Isle we will finally get the unveiling of the 2016 Chevy Camaro. I'm sure by then there will be more updates and sneak peaks. But one thing that has not being confirmed, but I'm sure will happen is a convertible version and a Z/28, only time will tell.
Monday, March 2, 2015
All restores of iconic vehicles are very important to the history of the model's bloodline. Where a certain vehicle has been, who has owned it, what makes it an icon in the first place are all things that make the research and rebuild/restore process of the vehicle very important. When Camaro #100001 was was found, and the attempt to restore it back to its original condition was on its way, the process of just finding out its history of owners and where the car had been and what it had been through alone took about two years.
After all the research was done, diving into the restore of Camaro #100001 was no easy task. What started out as a 230-cu.-in. motor with a three-speed transmission, white wall tires, push button radio, front antenna and a deluxe seat belt package has long since turned into a drag car, with a non-original engine, no radio, a set of slicks and a racing harness.
The 18:00 minute video above will show the long and daunting task of restoring this now beat-up looking race car back to the beautiful condition it once was as the first Camaro ever built -- #N100001.