There is something to be said for being a celebrity in the United States. It provides access to places and possibilities that the rest of us only dream about. Take this new ’11 Camaro SS convertible. Master Food Network front man and game show host, Guy Fieri, got the very first yellow one to roll off the line in Oshawa, Ontario, this past spring.
Take note that Guy is not just a TV personality who likes to use muscle cars as props; he has been a diehard car nut since Tonka trucks and Hot Wheels hit the playroom floor.
The ’11 Camaro is referred to in Chevrolet PR as a Sports Car, rather than a muscle car. Little wonder then that Guy was mesmerized by this machine when he discovered that the new SS had run the Nurburgring, in Germany, just 54 seconds slower than a Corvette ZR1!
“That’s smokin’! I’ve got a C6, but to have the same performance with a four-seater made for some serious decision making!” according to Fieri.
The astounding performance record convinced Guy to make sure he got the very first yellow SS convertible. His personal garage is a mass of Detroit horsepower, but this latest addition had him collaborating with his head wrench: Glen Houde, who runs Fieri’s own Knuckle Sandwich Garage.
They mulled it over and decided that improved handling and performance had to go with a crisp update in wheels and ride height. As you can see, the results are rockin.’
Houde garaged the Camaro for a month and installed an Edelbrock E-Force supercharger kit. This conversion added a smooth 100 horsepower to the already dynamic 6.2L 426hp OEM powerplant. “The supercharger is right there when you want it. It’s all throttle, no bottle!” Mentions Fieri. To add some musical magic, they scored a new Flowmaster American Thunder stainless exhaust kit, which gives extra grunt as you start down the road.
Underneath, the suspension was reworked with Eibach Multi-Pro R-1 coilovers and sway bars. In combination with the larger Nuteck custom aluminum wheels and Pirelli Nero Zero tires, the outcome made a world of difference to an already well-handing machine. The fronts are 22x9 and the rears 22x11, capped with 265/35-22 and 315/25-22, respectively. The interior remains stock except for the new B&M short-throw shifter.
All these upgrades work well with the OEM Brembo brakes and the StabiliTrack stability control with its launch-control. It’s all part of the OEM six-speed manual transmission option.
Guy notes, “I was stoked when it arrived, and now with the updates, I drive it every chance I can. It is, hands-down, one of my favorites.”
Now that's saying something!