Something tells me that most of you Camaro Performers magazine readers have owned, or at the very least, been in an old drag car, road racer, or street machine. By "old," I mean a car that's somewhat past its prime as far as fit and finish go. Seasoned race cars seem to have that slightly "broken-in" feel to them. You know, doors that rattle in unison with the cam lobe as the exhaust echoes beneath the slightly hacked up floors. And of course, there is no carpet, let alone any kind of sound deadening product, as that would only mean additional weight. Yep, you've been there. And it's not a negative thing, it's just what happens to cars over the years, especially those dedicated to racing. We just accept the window rattle and interior exhaust drone as part of owning a race or performance-oriented Camaro.
I recently had the opportunity to take a little spin in a ’12 COPO Camaro. Unfortunately I wasn’t given a crack at getting behind the wheel for a 9-second pass down the quarter-mile (I’m not licensed for that, and even so, I doubt there is anyone crazy enough to let me do it in their brand-new COPO), but I did go for a ride up and down the return road with Darren Poole Adams in his spanking-new, factory-built hot rod. I have to tell you, it was freaking awesome. This thing felt every bit like a brand-new car (which it is). It even had that new-car-smell going on. The seats were firm, the doors were solid and shut like they’re supposed to, the suspension was firm yet comfortable, the paint was perfect and white with no stickers (yet), and although it’s a dedicated race car, it felt just like it was just driven off the dealer lot. Which, I suppose it sort of was.
This was the baddest race car I’ve ever sat in. I can only hope to someday have the opportunity to make an all-out pass down the dragstrip in one. So, if anyone at Chevrolet Performance is reading this (Al? Doc?), pass me the key and I’ll take care of the rest. Does it even need a key? No worries, I’ll figure it out.
With a quick topic shift, the February issue has always been one of my faves, as we get to recognize some of the best Camaros featured from the previous year. I always like to point out that our Best of the Best list is subjective, and although some of the cars chosen this year were based on reader input, your friendly Camaro Performers magazine staff had final say on which cars made the cut. So with that said, please feel free to offer up some input on our list and don’t hesitate to critique our Best of list. Go ahead, we can take it. And if you happen to agree that the cars we’ve chosen are the absolute best Camaros of 2012, then we’ll recognize that you have excellent taste in Camaros.
Now, back to figuring out how I can get my ass in the driver’s seat of one of those new COPO’s.
Hey GM … Can you hear me now?
Are you in?
I figured as much. But just in case you change your mind, my email address is at the top of the page and also the bottom, and I check it often. Well, I’ll start checking it often. Oh, and I have my own helmet, gloves, and fire suit. So yes, I’m absolutely in.
Nick Licata, Editor