2016 Camaro

I’ve been pretty excited to see the new 2016/Gen6 Camaro for awhile now. The Gen5 was a big hit.
My friend Steve has been wanting a Gen5 1LE since they were reintroduced a few years ago.
But since Chevy announced they were introducing a new Gen6 Camaro in 2016, he’s had to wait to get the new one.
He’s been reading up on its development in all the Camaro fan-sites.
So back in July when I saw one set up at the Chevrolet Performance display at the Car Craft Summer Nationals I went over to the big-guy: Bob Phipps and asked him if I could check it out.
I had the honor of meeting Bob on the Hot Rod Power Tour.
I bothered him enough on the HRPT that he hooked me up with a ride from our hotel to the venue in the 1971 Corvette Chevy built for Jimmy Johnson for SEMA last year.
The thing is sick! It looks like a 1971 Corvette on the outside, but that’s about it.
Everything else is state of the art.
It’s got the all new direct-injection LT1 under the hood, attached to a Tremec T-6060 6-speed manual.
And it’s riding on a mix of C6 ZO6 & Grand Sport suspension.
Like all of Chevrolet Performance builds – it’s a mobile work of art.
Bob told me to come see him the next morning before things got too busy. Bright and early the next morning I paraded my way straight over to Chevrolet Performance.
Bob saw me coming he ran inside the trailer for protection.
But when he came out he had the keys to the new Camaro in hand.
He moved the rope barriers aside and opened up the front door.
He even let me start it.
I called Steve and told him not only did I get to sit in a new Gen6 Camaro…
I got to start one!
He was thrilled.
Then in August I was in Detroit for training.
I’m a product specialist for Chevrolet and we go there once a year to see what’s new and exciting.
We get to see all of next year’s vehicles up close and personal.
Even the new Camaro.
We only got about 15 minutes with the Gen6 Camaro.
And they’d disabled the hood latch so we couldn’t pop the hood and see what was inside.
But it was pretty cool to get a basic once over of what’s new and to see it up close and personal again.
We played mainly with the new AC controls integrated into the vents, the color pallet to set the interior lights and the My Link & Apple Car Play systems.
It looks similar to the Gen5 Camaro but the only two parts that are carried over are Bow-Tie emblem on the tail panel and the SS badge.
The next day we were scheduled to hear from Al Oppenheiser – the Camaro Vehicle Chief Engineer.
He was the one who was going to be talking us thru the Gen6 Camaro.
Al is the man when it comes to the Camaro.
When he got there he apologized for being late, but said he was late because he was picking up the first Generation 6 Camaro off of the assembly line.
What the?!?
After his presentation was over, I went to the back of the room and waited.
When it was my turn introduced myself and asked if I could take a look at the new Camaro.
He walked over to his backpack and reached inside.
He pulled out the keys to the first Gen6 Camaro on the planet, handed them to me and said: “Just don’t leave with it.”
With the keys in hand I ran out of the building.
There were a few people who saw what happened and they followed me. When we got out to the parking lot we saw it.
It was a black SS.
And it was parked in between a truck and an SUV.
I unlocked it and popped the hood to take a look at the first LT1 in a Gen6 Camaro.
As I was taking pictures and noticed the truck and SUV on either side of the frame.
That just wouldn’t do.
I decided we needed to see this beauty it in its natural environment.
I shut the hood and told everyone to hold on a sec.
They asked what I was going to do, and I told ‘em I was going to back it up and move it out of its parking spot so we could take some pictures without the truck and SUV on either side.
You’re going to drive it?
I guess if backing it up out of its parking space is driving it then I’m gonna drive it.
I fired it up and the LT1 roared to life.
I slid the 6-speed into reverse and eased the clutch out.
It just purred out of the parking spot.
One of the product specialists Carolyn yelled out: “Hey Jeff! What’s going on?”
I looked over and saw she had her iPhone pointed at me.
As if on cue I said: “This is the very first production model… The very first unit… Available for… The very first 2016 Camaro available for sale… And it’s alive! That LT1 baby.”
This is the video she took: https://youtu.be/0ClJy6YC45s
After lunch, I posted it on Facebook and pretty much forgot about it.
The next morning I woke up to find it had almost 4000 views on Facebook. When I got to the lobby to meet my friend Ben and wait for our Uber to the airport it had almost 9000 views.
Then I got a text from my buddy Steve reading: “Good morning. You’d better check this out: http://www.camaronews.com/camaronews-bloggers/facebook-user-jeff-thisted-posts-first-video-stating-first-camarosix-for-sale-to-public/
I looked at the link and showed Ben.
“No way!” he said.
I was on the front page of CamaroNews.com!
It read: “Facebook User Jeff Thisted Posts First Video Stating First CamaroSix For Sale To Public!”
Then I got a text from Steve that said I was on the front page of Camaro6.com, CamaroSix.com and CamaroNews.com.
Ben said: “That things going viral.”
When we got to the airport it had over 16,000 views.
Before our flight took off it had over 60,000 views.
And when we landed it had over 140,000 views!
That was August.
As of now it’s got over 600,000 views on Facebook and over 70,000 views on YouTube.
So when I got the invite from Chevy to come down and check out the new Camaro and Malibu during their “#findnewroads tour” I said heck yeah!!
I even brought my buddy Steve along so he could check it out in person. It’s the first time he’s sat in one – and he said he likes it.
They even showed him how to change the interior lighting on the MyLink display which drew a crowd of people to watch.
He set it up in random or Disco mode and the interior lighting fades from color to color.
It’s pretty cool.
We even ran into Al Oppenheiser at the event.
It was a road trip that hit every state in the United States to show off the new 2016 Camaro.
Every Camaro we sat in had over 6k miles on it, so they’d been driven a bit.
And they looked great.
That’s my story on the new Camaro Right now I’m getting ready to head into the LA Auto Show which starts today.
If you happen to be at the auto show, stop by Chevy and say hi.
I’d love to see ya there.
Until next time…

2 thoughts on “2016 Camaro

  1. Jeff,
    Jen sent us your blog. It is fun to see the girl’s high school friends in their adult life. Bev and I are still into cars; we both race our 99 “fixed roof coupe” in National Council of Corvettes autocross events. Bev finished the year in 5th place overall in the Ladies class and I finished 13th in the Men’s group for the Rocky Mountain region.
    I raced my Legends car at all the Cal tracks in 1999-2001 when we lived in Santa Rosa, California. We recently retired back to Pueblo, Colorado.
    Keep that 55′ going!
    Bob and Bev Landdeck

    Liked by 1 person

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