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Death of the Camaro/Firebird? by ChadMan
Started on: 03-09-2000 10:21 AM
Replies: 21
Last post by: Da Bus on 03-10-2000 08:36 PM
ChadMan
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Report this Post03-09-2000 10:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ChadManClick Here to Email ChadManSend a Private Message to ChadManDirect Link to This Post
It appears more and more likely that GM will indeed kill the Camaro/Firebird after the 2002 model year. Right now, Mustangs outsell Camaro/Firebird combined by a 2-to-1 margin. I just got my latest Car and Driver and they've tested a 300-hp Chevy sport truck that they hope will "fill the void" left by the Camaro's passing.

Does the passing of the Camaro/Firebird disturb you? Could it be saved with a redesign?

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fierospeeder
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Report this Post03-09-2000 01:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierospeederClick Here to visit fierospeeder's HomePageClick Here to Email fierospeederSend a Private Message to fierospeederDirect Link to This Post
It is sad that they discontinue cars. I guess america will stop producing sport cars besides corvettes and mustangs. Anyone afford the viper? It seems that the 80s was the era of america making a lot of sports cars. Mustangs,camaros,trans ams, fieros, vettes, tbirds were sporty until they became luxury cars, daytonas.
Its okay if they discontinue a geo, but i hate it if they want to take a car away that was made for decades.
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GT Bastard
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Report this Post03-09-2000 01:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GT BastardClick Here to visit GT Bastard's HomePageClick Here to Email GT BastardSend a Private Message to GT BastardDirect Link to This Post
My lease will be up in 2002, and my insurance should be lower because I'll be over 21. 2002 F-body here I come!
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SpeedPhreak
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Report this Post03-09-2000 07:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SpeedPhreakClick Here to visit SpeedPhreak's HomePageClick Here to Email SpeedPhreakSend a Private Message to SpeedPhreakDirect Link to This Post
i think its another gm slap in the face. its bull sh!t. i mean chevy drivers are the biggest most loyal group of car guys around. i think even if profits are slim at best they OWE it to us to continue producing the f body. i mean i know a couple of people that have either had or presently own all the generations of f-body... i dont know any mustang owner like that. there is an online petition somewhere that u can sign to keep the f-body. i will try to find it & post. the fiero was stupid to get rid of, but at least it didnt have the history of the camaro/firebird. i think this will be suicide. i personally am considering an all out gm boycott if they do this. i really cant express how p!ssed i am about this... the suv driving mainsteam america is driving the sport/muscle car genre to the grave. correct me if im wrong but u can only produce so many gas gusslers for each eco box u put out right? so if all these suvs are selling to the point the max number of gas gusslers is reached only through suv sales then why cut production to produce a limited number of muscle/sports cars that wont sell as well? it all profit & politics & i think it is bull sh!t. i hope im stationed overseas the majority of my time service time.
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william_thorniii
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Report this Post03-09-2000 08:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for william_thorniiiClick Here to Email william_thorniiiSend a Private Message to william_thorniiiDirect Link to This Post
The majority of this post is based on an opinion that GM will resurrect a sports vehicle in the near future. This is merely speculation.

SpeedPhreak,

Be careful, you might blow a gasket!

Hopefully this post will give you a slightly different perspective on the situation. I do know many folks that work in the automotive industry and have a general knowledge of how things have historically worked.

I do understand how you feel from an enthusists and historians standpoint. The simple fact is that F-bodies are usually priced significantly less than their Ford counterparts but are being vastly outnumbered in sales tells the story of the cancellation. GM is struggling engough just developing decent cars. Perhaps by cutting some of the fat (please don't be offended) out they can concentrate on producing better cars. If they do not do just that Ford will soon overtake the General.

Another very important thing to remember is that there have been skipped years in production of many other cars. The 83 Corvette is an example (at least that is the year I think it was). The truth is that in a few years absence, GM might very well produce a very different F-body. GM has been talking about killing the F-body since 1995 when sales of the new Gen 4 were already beginning to slump. The problem is that without a break in production, it is difficult to create a revolutionary change.

The problem really was created when GM designed the 3rd and 4th gen F-body. They saw the trends were to smaller, lighter, faster and more powerful cars. GM just kept designing them longer and lower. So extinction might be the best way to stop the evolutionary changes and come up with a revolutionary change a few years down the road. Sadly this might be the only way to return the much deserved glory to the F-bodies.

From your posting, I doubt that you would be happy with a smaller sports car version of the F-body since it would drastically deviate from the Pony Car heritage. However, I would like to point out to you that the original GM Ponies were essentially a sports car of their day. They did not posess the massive #'s of many other american offerings. What they did have going for them was that they were lighter, faster and better handling than anything else out the US had to offer. This was all brought on by the success of the European roadsters.

The sad thing is that revolutionary change breaks a lot of hearts, but also gains a lot of supporters. Don't take it as an insult, but the weak must die to give way to the strong. GM will build a better product in the future simply because it must to survive. I for one am excited to see what the future holds.

William T. Thorn, III

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AL
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Report this Post03-09-2000 08:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ALClick Here to Email ALSend a Private Message to ALDirect Link to This Post
GM use to be a great car company, but now they are a front wheel look alike car company, i mean give me a break all there cars look the same, some times i think that toyota is controlling this company, cause if you look at it everything gm did before, toyota is doing it, no rear drive cars! i'm a gm loyalist of days gone bye but todays GM sucks i hope they do fall to ford, at least ford is making diff cars that do sell, not this lumina impalla look alike cars,what's next a nother lumina or impalla look alike with the camaro or firebird name on it.
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fiero56
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Report this Post03-09-2000 10:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fiero56Send a Private Message to fiero56Direct Link to This Post
Just wait and see, GM will give the Opel Speedster to Chevrolet. But, that might hurt the Corvette, can't have that. Lets give it to Buick, hahaha. How about Cadillac, better not(anyone read in MT??? they mention that two engine caddy very much resembles the Fiero?!).
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fierospeeder
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Report this Post03-09-2000 11:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierospeederClick Here to visit fierospeeder's HomePageClick Here to Email fierospeederSend a Private Message to fierospeederDirect Link to This Post
Ya its in my Hot rod magazine april 2000 showing the cadillac with two engines. The way they choped the back makes it look like the fiero's back. That slope pillar.
its a 95 cadillac eldorado
2 4.6l northstars
600hp at 6000rpm, 580 torque 4,400
two 4t80-e trans
rear wheels pushed back 2 feet.
Mosler engineerings did the custom job www.moslerauto.com
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Shiner
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Report this Post03-10-2000 12:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ShinerClick Here to Email ShinerSend a Private Message to ShinerDirect Link to This Post
Fierospeeder,
Why did you have to bring THAT car up again?!?! lol

If they cancel the Fbody and bring it back, it will probably be resurected as a compact, with a pathetic I-4, to compete with the riceburners.

[This message has been edited by Shiner (edited 03-10-2000).]

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Monkeyman
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Report this Post03-10-2000 06:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanDirect Link to This Post
fierospeeder--I'm sorry to say that piece of junk is in my copy of MT, too. 18" increase in WB if it matters. And I think it looks NOTHING like a Fiero, IMO. But, if you like it, more power to you. Warren Mosler (owner of Mosler Eng.) not only built the car but designed it, too. Plus he owns it. See what happens when you have too much money and too much time on your hands?
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Report this Post03-10-2000 09:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for DJRiceClick Here to Email DJRiceSend a Private Message to DJRiceDirect Link to This Post
Somehow, Ford has been able to make the Mustang appeal to several different demographics. I mean you have the 'econo' version with the small engine and auto tranny. It can carry two people comfortably and maybe even 4 as long as everyone likes each other. And then you have the GT with all the extras available as coupe or convertible with the V8 so you can get the nice growl and the adrenaline rush when you put the pedal down. And if your not satisfied with the GT off the lot, performance parts are a dime a dozen for the car. And for the rest, there is the Cobra which really is an impressive car. Ford has made the Mustang appeal to the commuter or small family that wants a relatively efficient decent looking RWD vehicle. It also appeals to those who want the wind in their hair. You add the V8 for those who like to drive by the seat of the pants, and the real performance guys like the Cobra. Not a real bad move on Ford's part. I never considered the Mustang an option when I was car hunting, but had I known the new V6 models were so cheap (>14K) I might have bought one versus buying a used car.

GM hasnt been able to pull off that image for the Camaro/Firebird. GM either needs some cajones or some vision, or before too long everything will look the same. I really had high hopes for that Monte Carlo, and look what happened. I thought the Impala was bad until I spotted that Monte Carlo. There are some names that GM shouldnt mess with. Everyone knows that an Impala should be a Monster Horsepower 4 dr land barge and the Monte carlo should be a just a bit smaller and only have 2 doors.

As far as the SUVs go, If their center of gravity wasnt so high, I really think we would be seeing production Hi-per SUVs with 300HP, but then we dont want mom dragging her Explorer GT light to light after she drops the kids off at soccer practice on the way to the grocery against that guy who was finally able to buy that Vette he always wanted.

At least now, I am seeing a trend toward the 4 door trucks with medium sized beds like Explorer Sport Trak, Dakota Quad Cab, Nissan Frontier, etc.

It all comes down to bean counters, what they say goes. Right now they say that the F-bodys need to stop. Maybe they are trying to scare up business, after all everyone seems to agree that they are messing with an American Icon. The question is this: "Will Americans respond to the impending loss of the F-body by running out to their local Chevy/Pontiac Dealer and buying one?"

(Geez, I've been typing for a while)

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ChadMan
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Report this Post03-10-2000 09:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ChadManClick Here to Email ChadManSend a Private Message to ChadManDirect Link to This Post
It's great to get everybody's opinion on this! I'm glad a lot of you are as upset about this as I am. William, that's interesting that you think GM would need to kill the F-body for a couple of years in order to bring it back with revolutionary changes. That's what Ford is doing with the T-bird - we'll see how it works out.

I think the F-body could be saved with a redesign. The existing drivetrain is great - don't change it. But why is the back seat unusuable in a Camaro/Firebird? Why can't you see out of it? Why is the dash/windshield so long that cleaning it is nearly impossible? Why is half the engine inaccessible and hidden by the cowl? Why is it still a hatchback? Why does the public still perceive it (incorrectly IMHO) as a "hillbilly car"?

Address these concerns - leave everything else alone - and I think F-bodies will start selling again.

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william_thorniii
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Report this Post03-10-2000 10:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for william_thorniiiClick Here to Email william_thorniiiSend a Private Message to william_thorniiiDirect Link to This Post
Chadman,

Firstly I would like to say that I agree with you. I lust after the SS Camaros and the Firehawks. Those are some great cars. The problem is the image (as you eluded to). When the 4th gen F-bodies were released they were obviously F-bodies. I really think that they need to go in another direction. What they need is for folks to say "Wow! That is an F-body." Once you get their attention, then you can dazzle them with your drivetrain. Although I disagree with you about that. What GM desperately needs is some technology breathed into their powertrain. Pushrods simply cannot do the amazing things of the OHC engine. A small 8 with OHC and variable valving and induction would blow away virtually anything shy of the LS-1. Then you can get into the factory turbo's like back in the 80's. The difference being would be that on this type of engine they would be a perfect complement to eachother. Can you imagine an F-body with a 9K redline? WOW!

Al,

For the most part, I agree with what you said. I live, eat, breathe and sleep GM. I even went to their engineering school. The last few years have been really difficult for me to watch (reminiscent of the 80's imo). What I am hoping to see is the Phoenix emerge from the ruins. Unfortunately GM is so large it seems that this is the only way that they can make changes happen. A funny thing that you said about Toyota only having boring cars.... That is because they only export the boring cars to the U.S. In the rest of the world, fwd is definitely not the way to go. If it isn't RWD, its AWD. I do agree with you in the fact that all US Toyotas do look similar. But can you remember Honda of the 70's and 80's. All their cars were the same.

I guess what I am trying to say is that sure, you can't please everyone, but the diminishing demographic that GM pleases is not enough. They must expand their horizons. Hang on F-body fans, this is going to be a rough couple of years.

William T. Thorn, III

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Raydar
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Report this Post03-10-2000 10:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarDirect Link to This Post
I've been hearing this rumor in one form or another, for about a year, now. One version was this:
Both F-bodies would be discontinued. One redesigned F-body would be re-introduced after a year or two, possibly as a Chevy. It would be based on the Holden, currently manufactured by GM of Australia.
Before you panic, recognize that the Holden is a medium sized 4-door sedan, powered by a 5.7 V-8 driving the rear wheels! (I think there is even an "SS" version.) I believe the Cadillac Catera is also based on this car. I have also heard that a 2-door version of the "Hotrod" Holden is now in production. I don't think an "athletic" 2-door or 4-door sedan with a 5.7 would be a bad thing, at all.

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 03-10-2000).]

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Raydar
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Report this Post03-10-2000 11:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarDirect Link to This Post
Check out this link... http://www.hsv.com.au/cars/cars.htm
They're using LS1's!
I may have been mistaken about the 2-door.

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 03-10-2000).]

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87ECO5
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Report this Post03-10-2000 01:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 87ECO5Send a Private Message to 87ECO5Direct Link to This Post
I'll probably get flamed for this but ...

I'd be happy to see the current F-body go bye-bye. The present car is poorly put together, uses cheap-looking materials and is terribly unrefined. The Camaro and Firebird deserve the same treatment that the Vette got when it transitioned from the C4 to the C5!

Granted, it took GM nine long years to finally get things right (something the Japanese have been doing in four) but it was well worth the effort. The latest Vette is now considered to be the best Vette ever made and Chevy is selling EVERY C5 that comes out of Bowling Green.

Learning from their mistakes, GM chose not to skip a model year like they did in 1983 (Vette fans threw an absolute fit because 1983 was the 30th anniversary year for the car). Instead, they extended the C4's life another year and gave us two "special edition" cars - the Grand Sport and the Collector's Edition - both well-received models!

I don't think F-body geeks would have a major cow if it was killed for a few years AS LONG AS they knew the light at the end of the tunnel was the best F-body to date, not a Prowler-wanna-be concept truck! In fact, I believe they'd prefer it to the alternative - a "special edition" loaded up with all sorts of decals and bodywork that's no faster than the base V8 car because it's weighted down by all that crap. I know it wouldn't be as well received as the GS or CE Vettes - GM probably knows that too.

We are exactly 2.5 model years away from the 50th anniversary Vette and, though it's gonna be HUGE!, GM has done a pretty decent job of keeping the wraps on any details of the car.

For all we know, they could be doing the same thing with the F-body.

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william_thorniii
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Report this Post03-10-2000 01:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for william_thorniiiClick Here to Email william_thorniiiSend a Private Message to william_thorniiiDirect Link to This Post
Raydar,

The Catera is actually a rebodied Opel Astra. The Holden group has some AMAZING cars though. I would love to see a rebody reach our shores. Most of their chassis are unique, so look for more of a European ride (that is if our GM guys don't screw it up too much). To me this would be great news and for the first time I would possibly consider buying another generation of F-body (I also love the 1st generation...mmmm Yenkos!).

William T. Thorn, III

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olympic
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Report this Post03-10-2000 02:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olympicClick Here to Email olympicSend a Private Message to olympicDirect Link to This Post
I really don't get why the Mustang out sells the f-body. The f bod is much cheaper and way faster, even faster than the cobra!! Anyways, if it is cancelled I can almost guarantee that the replacement will be a riced out sunfire with huge factory wings, ground effects and fart can exaust tips. Not something I look foreward to!!
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Report this Post03-10-2000 02:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Deer_SlayerClick Here to Email Deer_SlayerSend a Private Message to Deer_SlayerDirect Link to This Post
Fart Can! Ha Ha Ha Ha!
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Raydar
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Report this Post03-10-2000 03:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarDirect Link to This Post
W.T.III... You're right about the Catera being based on the Opel Astra, instead of the Holden. One of the car magazines referred to all three of them, in the same paragraph, though. Seemed to imply that there was a connection. It was a while back, so I don't remember exactly what was said.

I've been prowling the Holden web pages, most of the afternoon. My GAWD, what cars!! The Commodore SS looks to be about the size of a Grand Prix. Has an LS1, and a T-56 6-speed trans. If GM ever releases anything like this in North America (one of the rumors said "possibly as an F-body"), they'll sell all they can build.

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Report this Post03-10-2000 06:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for william_thorniiiClick Here to Email william_thorniiiSend a Private Message to william_thorniiiDirect Link to This Post
Raydar,

You might be more correct that I thought. After looking at the Club Sport, I could easily see at least a striking similarity between itself, the Astra and Catera. Either way, I think that I could handle an LS-1 in a 3000-3500 # car. Did you notice how nice the interiors are as well? WOW! The attention to LS-1 Detail is what really got me though. That manifold design is absolutely beautiful. I would have to park the car with the bonnet (in true sense of Austrailia) open.

The thing that has been killing me lately about GM is that they are being annihilated by the foreigners. Ford saw this and has started using their European design house to produce their big hitters, Cougar, XK8, Focus... GM has great designs overseas, but when they import them, they always have to go and mess them up. Maybe someday they will finally get the idea. Although Holdens in my opinion are just becoming exciting on the exterior. In years past, they were often not only one of the fastest, but also one of the ugliest cars on the road.


Hey Ozzy,

Do you have anything to throw in about Holden's?

William T. Thorn, III

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Report this Post03-10-2000 08:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Da BusClick Here to Email Da BusSend a Private Message to Da BusDirect Link to This Post
For those that wonder why Mustang out sells the F-body, I have a story for you. I have always been a Chevy guy (72 SS Chevelle, 2 68 Camaro's, 80 Camaro, 80 Z28, several others too). A little over a year ago I got a new job, one that paid well enough to buy a new car. I looked at the Vette first, couldn't get a deal I liked. Looked at an SS, but didn't like the front end styling. Decided on a WS6 TA. I applied for a loan of 31k and was approved. I lost count of how many Pontiac dealers that tried sticking me for $3-5k over sticker. All they had to do was order the car, and make a few bucks. Sorry, but I wouldn't pay over sticker. I bought a 98 Cobra for $2.5k under sticker. I caught hell from all of my friends about buying a Ford, but one trip to the track and a 13.43 @ 103.9 quieted them. Anyway, I hope they keep the F-body. I also hope they restyle it, it just isn't what a pony car should be.
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