In 2001 I began to look for something a bit sportier than my Monte Carlo. I finally decided on a Chevrolet Camaro because I was able to get the right combination of things I was looking for in a car, particularly in the sporty ride. Very few coupes on the market in this price range offered the kind of road feel that the Camaro did. One particular feature of this car was the “Y87 Performance Handling Package”. Basically, this brought the same suspension found in the Z28 model to the V6 coupe through stiffer bushings, tighter steering ratio, 3.42 axle gear ratio and added a dual-outlet muffler and limited-slip rear differential. This equipment was all standard on the 310 horsepower Z28 and for the cost of $200 as an option on the V6 coupe it was a very good deal. I did test drive both a regular and Y87-equipped Camaro and there was a noticeable difference in the steering and exhaust sound.
Rounding out the list of features on my Camaro were the same 16″ aluminum wheels with sport tires and 500watt stereo CD player that were standard on the higher priced Z28. I knew that the Camaro model line would be ending with the 2002 models and there will be no rear-wheel drive sport coupes to replace it in 2003 so I took the opportunity to own one of these cars brand new. It would have been nice for a “car guy” like me to own a 310 horsepower, 350 cubic inch V8 powered Z28 with T-Tops however. But the Y87 equipment and the fact that there weren’t many other cars like this today (rear-drive V6) gave me the satisfaction of driving a very unique vehicle.
Chevrolet built 29,009 Camaros in 2001, of which 16,357 were V6 models, and of that number only 1,697 were equipped with the Y87 Performance Package. Also, only 1,485 out of 29,009 were sold with the “Monterey Maroon” paint (about 5% of the total) so in a way, I owned a rare vehicle.
The slideshow below shows my car as it looked when new. You can also click the link below for a history of the Chevrolet Camaro model.
The Camaro passed this milestone in early 2007! For six years I drove the roads of 22 states and in conditions from snow and rain storms to 100+ degree heat and -20 winter cold, and this car has always been ready to go. I know, its not uncommon today for cars to hit 100k or more, but its still a significant achievement to me since the last time I broke the 100k mark was around 1991 in the Chevy Citation.
A few thousand miles later I decided that I needed to get something newer to avoid expensive repairs. The only problems at 100k miles were that it used more oil, had a very slight coolant leak, and the usual signs of wear on a car of this age. Cosmetically it was in excellent condition.
Click the link to the left to learn about the history of Chevrolet’s Camaro model.