Our choice is obvious this time...
Detroit muscle cars are legendary the world over. Nameplates like GTO, Barracuda, 442 and Marauder bring to mind rumbling exhaust systems and big, smoky burnouts. Keeping this tradition alive in the 21st century is a variety of hopped-up cars that are as emotional as they are speedy. Two of the most famous are Chevrolet’s Camaro and the Dodge Challenger.
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Value. Demand. Access. The three factors that play into pricing on all collectibles come together in the auction setting. The value part is the possibility of buying low or selling high depending on which side of the auction you’re on. The demand is made real by both singular examples or a variety of cars being offered at the event. The access is the reality that you will get this opportunity, here and now.
For 30 years, Dana Mecum has been doing just that at his Spring Classic, a show that has emerged as one of the largest offerings of muscle on the yearly schedule. Held the weekend before the legendary Indy 500 race, this show fills up most of the larger exhibit buildings on the Indiana State Fairgrounds, located just northeast of the capitol city.
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Before the 2008 recession, the muscle car group was accelerating the fastest from nearly every standpoint. Auction companies, TV shows, themed-magazines and more all found wins focusing on good ole American muscle. When the recession stormed in, the collector car market dipped, but no sector was hit as hard as muscle cars. Unit sale prices tumbled, as did the volume of sales. After bottoming out in 2009, the muscle cars have taken the longest to recover, but as late as last year, it seems America’s love affair with high-powered Detroit steel is back.
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The Camaro for 2011is much the same as 2010 and has many things going for it-with all versions offering good performance in the six cylinder models but the V8’s range is from fast to amazing. For safety all models have four air bags in front with one curtain bag on each side extending into the rear seating compartment. The impact tests show favorable results while all units are equipped with anti-lock brakes to safely stop quickly from triple digit speeds, traction control, and dynamic stability control as standard features on all Camaro versions. Creature comforts available on all models include Onstar navigation, Bluetooth, as well as heads up display, iPod, and a USB plug is all offered optionally if you like.
The car has an aggressive, in-your-face look-aerodynamic also- but that comes at a price-the Camaro does not offer good visibility; particularly through the windshield and the seating is fringing on cramped for anyone while a tall individual may have a problem with head room particularly if sitting in the driver’s seat. The rear seating is not very large even for children while the trunk has little available storage space. The driver has responsive, crisp steering while passengers do have a great ride on the tuned suspension and the interiors well sound proofed from exterior noise is an added bonus.
For the 2012 model year the car retains the retro look and offers the same drawbacks but it receives a five star safety rating by NHTSA now. The features inside remains the same although there is the added options of leather or suede upholstery which could be a nice touch and the rear view camera is also a great new feature
But let’s face it this is a muscle car in every sense of the word with the entry level 3.6 Liter engine putting out 312 hp (229.5 kW) but still giving up to 18/29 mpg city/highway. The SS power option remains as a 6.2 liter and with the six speed automatic offers 400 hp but with the six speed standard version puts out 426 hp and will do 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The big news is the addition of the track capable ZL1option complete with a newly styled body and this power choice is equipped with the 6.2 L engine but in the ZL1 it develops 580 hp with 556 ft-lb of torque at 6,000 rpm, with the standard transmission, it will take you from 0-60 mph in 4.1seconds-if you don’t blow any shifts and will do up to 180 mph without a problem.
The Camaro is available in five trim levels for 2013 with the base V6 offering a few more horses at 323 now with slightly improved highway mileage as well for this year. Other than too low head room on all versions the SS model has a slight tendency to under steer while the 1LE version has a slight tendency to over steer. The supercharged 6.2 Liter engine putting out 580 hp is in the ZL1 which can take you from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 184 mph.