For weeks leading up to the inaugural Camaro5 Fest, the only question we kept hearing was: "Do you think they can really pull it off?" Of course, the skepticism was warranted, could a start-up forum really pull 500-plus brand-new Camaros to the middle of Georgia and have enough manpower to control a crazy one-day event with a car show, autocross, drag race, and Quick 16 race? Would half of those Camaros actually show up? Well, if you know GMHTP, you know we had to go find out for ourselves and come hell or high water, we were going to be right in the middle of the event to bring you the best coverage possible. And after spending April 16-18 in Valdosta, Georgia, here's what we can tell you.
First of all, not only was the Camaro5 Fest a complete success, it was actually one of the best shows we have attended in years. When we arrived on Friday morning, the entire town was already swarming with Camaros, every hotel parking lot had little clusters of 2010s parked out front and almost every traffic light and gas station looked like a scene out of Transformers. So far, so good. After checking into our hotel (the fourth host hotel on the list, which was also sold out) we took a ride over to South Georgia Motorsports Park (SGMP) to check on our friends and vendors who were setting up for the Saturday show, and boy was it a sight to behold. The parking lot was a virtual who's who of the aftermarket, with every conceivable 2010 Camaro builder, tuner, customizer, and racer there, all with new goodies to show off. In fact, even GM was on hand, bringing a caravan of noteworthy fifth-generation Camaros all the way from Detroit for the show. Despite all these vendors and cars, we still wondered: will tomorrow be good, and do you think 500 Camaros can pile into one track and bring everything to a grinding halt? At that point, only time would tell.
As the sun set on Georgia it was time for the inaugural Camaro5.com 2010 Camaro cruise and it was certainly one of the most impressive displays of late-model GM muscle we have ever seen. During the police-escorted cruise we counted over 240-that's two hundred and forty-different Camaros roaming the streets in a lineup so impressive it literally stopped traffic and sent people running from their houses to see. For those in the crowds that had never seen a 2010 Camaro before, the look on their faces was priceless, although in all honesty, we probably looked the same! After winding through the backcountry of Valdosta, occasionally at speeds we probably shouldn't mention, the cruise ended just where it started, in the parking lot of the host hotel, where the party was just getting started. Of course, being the ace journalists that we are, we avoided all temptations to indulge in the festivities (yeah, right) and instead headed back to our hotel, getting a good night's rest before hitting the track in the morning.