Concerto in the key of Camaro

Written by on September 2, 2013 in Cars and Chicks, Perspectives, Trends - 21 Comments

Krystyna Lagowski w/camaroOh, how I laughed when I first heard about the resurrection of the Camaro. Just what our fuel famished society needs. Another rear-wheel drive, overpowered muscle car?

And every time I saw one on the street, there was a guy driving it. Sometimes younger, sometimes older, but definitely male. Perhaps this might be the man-magnet I was looking for. So, I put in an order with the nice folks at GM.

Even in the vastness of GM’s parking lot, the beast stood out. Black with Inferno Orange striping which nicely matched the Inferno Orange interior. Which matched my hair beautifully. Right away, I knew this was a match made in heaven.Krystyna Lagowski

Then I turned the key. Oh. My. God. The brute thrashed and snorted to life, with the sound of a thousand furies. Pouring out of the exhaust were throbbing bass notes I didn’t know existed outside of Edgar Winter.

It assaulted my ears like a calamity on wheels. This was a machine. You don’t drive it. You operate it.

Gauge clusterInside, the beast had more toys than Santa Claus. There were three, count ‘em, three speedometers:

  1. A regular analog speedo
  2. A surfable digital readout, which also provided trip info, etc
  3. A  holographic display dubbed the Head Up Display (HUD), that floated on the windshield in front of the driver, which was also a tach and a thermometer.

There was a huge touch-screen with more software than my iPad – and just to keep you grounded, four square beveled analog gauges for oil pressure, etc. I didn’t know where to look first.

Rowing those 426 eager horses through six gears took some serious brawn, as did latching and unlatching the convertible roof. Clearly, this car was meant for someone who bench presses 300 pounds a day. But they can’t be much over five foot five, since with the roof down, the cabin was pretty claustrophobic. I had to make appointments with both my physio and my shrink.

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Muscling the Camaro’s menacing snout around town was intoxicating. It was a force to be reckoned with, and everyone around me knew it. A McLaren shrieked out in front of me, and the slightly balding driver glanced over at the stoplight. He didn’t seem to care that there was a redhead with big glasses at the wheel, and peeled away with a mighty roar. I followed closely, bellowing and rumbling away. It was as much a contest of bedlam as it was bravado. I’d like to think I won.

IMG_7959My friends were amused by my latest acquisition. “Did it come with a case of beer, Jays tickets and a Bob Seger CD?” asked one friend. I picked up a girlfriend to check out the newest outlet mall, and as we were backing out of her driveway, she tremulously inquired if I had blown a tire. I assured her, it was supposed to sound like that. And wondered if the Camaro should come with a bumper sticker that said, “My other car is a Harley.”

It was like dating a bad boy, the kind of guy whose muscles are festooned with tattoos. He doesn’t have much of a vocabulary, but who cares? Every time he raises an eyebrow, the machismo is overwhelming. His powerful grip could crush your hand and sweeps you off your feet. How could I resist?

And between the thundering exhaust and the garishly striped hood, I attracted way too much attention. Complete strangers – men and women of every age – would approach me at traffic lights, stop signs, any opportunity, to tell me what a fantastic car I had. A very pregnant woman at a bus stop gave me the thumbs up as I drove by.  A couple of skateboarders chased after me by the Lakeshore. A tuner kid in his tricked out Mazda3 played cat and mouse with me on the 401.IMG_7947

But my bad boy had a drinking problem.

One trip to the gas pump was all it took to reveal his thirst. I couldn’t afford his habits.

So we parted ways, the brute and I, before he could break my heart – and my bank account.

But I’ll always treasure the thrill of that prodigiously booming bassline.

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21 Comments on "Concerto in the key of Camaro"

  1. Susan Cooper September 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm · Reply

    Aw the Camaro. it does bring back some fond memories if my early days. I so agree with you. It really does feel like dating a bad boy who has a drinking problem… LOL. Nevertheless it was/is still fun, huh. :-)

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm · Reply

      Susan, I remember the guys who drove the big muscle cars, and although they weren’t necessarily bad boys, that’s the image they wanted to portray. So they got a car that would display them in that light. But this one definitely had a drinking problem – pain at the pump, for sure : ))

  2. Patricia Weber September 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm · Reply

    Sometimes it just takes one date and you know. Match or no match. And it’s quite fun bringing a girlfriend with you – they’ll let you know without a doubt. Yes; lots of Camaros around where we live. Some quite well kept too. Good one!

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm · Reply

      Ain’t it the truth?! The chemistry needs to be there. And a caring girlfriend – of which I’m fortunate to have many – will never steer you wrong. We had our moment, but alas, I just don’t think it was meant to be …

  3. Stephanie September 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm · Reply

    I liked the Camaro back in the 80’s when one of my teachers had one but that was the only perspective I had of it until I drove a rental for work. I loved how fast it was, the low center that allowed me to hug the curves when coming off of the acceleration ramps and the general look of the car but the windshield was a minus for someone with my vision. I didn’t like the low profile, otherwise, a good looking and fun machine to drive!

    Love the hair color.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm · Reply

      Hey Stephanie, it sure was fine to drive short-term. The Camaro hollers “butch” at every opportunity, from the inside out. Certainly not for the faint of heart or limp-wristed. My right arm still aches every time I think about the manual shift!

  4. Arleen September 4, 2013 at 7:42 pm · Reply

    The Camaro brings back memories. It was the bad ass car of hot rod type males. The car was known to have no power and cheap. Interesting that they bought it back into the fold.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2013 at 9:12 pm · Reply

      Yes, “bad ass” was one of the first things that came into my mind when I saw this machine. Although this one was pretty powerful – so much so, that driving it exhausted me. It truly does separate the boys (and girls) from the men!

  5. Debra Yearwood September 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm · Reply

    What an excellent review. You had me laughing and appreciating a car that I would normally roll my eyes at. I drive a hybrid, so you imagine my disdain was immediately in place. However, there is something very appealing about a car that makes a big noise and can make its presence felt in traffic. :)

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm · Reply

      Debra, for goodness sake, if you drive a hybrid, this car would not be your style! It’s designed to make a statement, even intimidate, and for some reason, that requires a lot of gasoline. You definitely can’t ignore it! And that’s great fun for a week, but any longer, I would have been exasperated and – maybe even embarassed…

  6. Grace September 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm · Reply

    You can’t say Camaro without invoking something in the spirit of those of us of a certain age! Your post brought back all sorts of memories. I love your description of your Camar– what it felt like and sounded like and mostly what it is and what it stood for!

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm · Reply

      And that’s why I wanted to try it, Grace! I can remember the guys who used to drive Camaros back in the day – and I don’t think it’s changed much. That’s another reason why I stuck in the Edgar Winter vid! GM is still appealing to that crowd, young and old (boomer) alike.

  7. Alison at Diamond-Cut Life September 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm · Reply

    This is an incredible piece of writing, Krystyna. The alliteration, the imagery . . . you amaze me.

    Now that I’ve sat here at the coffeehouse with my jaw on the counter for a few minutes, I’ve remembered that I actually hate loud machines. Last Sunday while I was walking through Mt Tabor park I scolded a man in a flashy, extremely loud convertible for disturbing the peace and quiet of the park. Not completely sure he heard me over the thundering motor. But I felt glad I’d spoken up.

    — None of which detracts from the excellence of your writing. Rock on, Krystyna. Thanks for your thoughtful comment at Diamond-Cut Life. I just replied to it.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm · Reply

      Why thank you, Alison. I really enjoy what I do, and I’m glad it shows. The Camaro was a blast for a week, but I don’t think I’d be as happy with it long-term, and the noise factor would definitely be one of the reasons. It actually sounds more like a motorcycle than a car, which may have been the intent. A car can still sound thrilling, without being quite *that* loud!

  8. Jeri September 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm · Reply

    What kind of gas mileage did it get? I was definitely with you all the way on this post. There’s just something about a muscle car…

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm · Reply

      It cost me $60 Canadian to only fill a little over half a tank. Likely a full tank would have cost $90 CAD. Estimate it got about 12 to 18 mpg. But – it was FUN!

  9. Elizabeth Scott September 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm · Reply

    I love reading your posts. You always give a real life view to your posts. As we know bad boys can cause us problems and the gas bill is just that.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm · Reply

      Aw, thanks, Susan! Bad boys are nothing but trouble, in the end. But they’re fun for a little while – you just can’t kid yourself about the reality!

  10. Becc September 10, 2013 at 3:28 am · Reply

    It really is a sexy looking car, shame about the fuel guzzling.
    Definitely brings back memories :)

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm · Reply

      Yes, Becc, it’s definitely a head-turner. Can’t be inconspicuous with all that flash, glam and noise. But a little too high-maintenance to be a keeper!

  11. krystle cook September 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm · Reply

    Very nice. My husband had a Camaro as a teenager and he loved it of course. He thought he was so cool lol. Once we starting having a family it had to go though. There’s just no room in those things.

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