Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Twofer Tuesday returns a day late and many horsepower short

Somewhere on the ever-moving boundaries of East Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick I ran across 2 unfulfilled promises. Basically these are both either muscle cars or pony cars depending on who you ask, but in actuality they are the low horsepower neutered versions of their former selves. Allow me to introduce the mid-to-later years of the 2nd generation Chevrolet Camaro:
This first example seems to be a 1977 LT edition. The brushed metal panel between the taillights was first offered in '76, and the small black "bumperettes" on the front bumper were introduced in '77 on the LT model only. The chrome headlight surrounds and trim around the taillights and down the sides is black which could mean Z28, but this would mean the front bumper would be painted the body color. My feeling is that somebody decided to simply black out the trim at one point to be tougher. In '78 the whole front end of the Camaro changed so we know it can't be newer than '77.
The LT stood for Luxury Touring which fit perfectly into the era of lowered performance. Remember that this was the time that brought us personal luxury coupes like the Cordoba. With the Ford Mustang reduced to the Mustang II the Camaro and Firebird were the only remaining offerings resembling muscle cars in any way. For this reason the Camaro actually enjoyed several record-breaking sales years in a row through the end of the '70s.
Those body-colored Sport Mirrors are another indicator that this is one step up from the base model, as is the mild hood bulge. I believe the color is the original Light Red that is simply fading away at this point.
Nothing like a bold-faced lie to gain status at the stoplight! Despite the fact that AIR INDUCTION has been stenciled on the side of that faux scoop you can plainly see the insert plugging it up. At least have the presence of mind to paint the insert black while you're writing ridiculous untruths on your ride! Bonus points for the extremely masculine lavender pinstripe they added to the side too.
Oh yeah this is why I figure that paint's original! That wheel well is giving it up to rust completely and the trim around the windows isn't too far behind. Still, somebody's rolling around with this thing on its aftermarket American Racing rims almost 40 years after it was made so hats off I guess.
Now let's move on to the future a bit.
Here we go! This car looks like one of those people who have a disingenuous turned-down smile. What we have here is a 1979 Berlinetta edition Camaro in Gold Poly. The Berlinetta replaced the LT so this was still the "let me run out in my robe for a gallon of milk and a pack of More 100s" version as opposed to anything remotely sporty. The material of the newer-style body-colored bumper is on full display here thanks to somebodys right hook.
By '79 even that nifty wing would be gone to all but the Z28. In safety-era fashion the taillights grew to enormous proportions, gaining big orange reflectors in the process. The overall body shell and rear window design is great though, I have to admit.
When the 2nd generation was introduced it was a lean, mean, athletic machine with legitimate power to match its looks. It was given the utterly ridiculous nickname Super Hugger in commercials for reasons I can't pinpoint, though I imagine it had to do with it handling well. The funny thing is that on the exterior this is really the same car with different front and rear treatments. It's amazing how lazy you can make a car look by adding a huge sloping plastic face to it.
The passenger side has mud flaps; who knows why?
I've always loved drawing this car as the different grill, turn signal, and headlight openings somehow fascinated me as a kid. The Z28 editions of both of these years have some of the most hilarious graphics too; fat swooping multi-colored stripes down the side and Z28 written out HUGE on the sides and in front of the fake hood scoop. I would still like to run around town in either of these poseurs even though they don't hold up their end of the muscle car persona. Then again I once tried to buy an ambulance to drive around in so what do I know?  

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