Why the LE looks the way it does...
Couldn't find my original post, so here are the "Cliff Notes" for why the 35th looks the way it does:
Best selling color ever on Camaro: White...the problem is that we've done white a whole bunch of times...pace cars,track cars, 30th Anniversary.
...next best selling color over 34 years? Bright Red.
For those of you who were going to say "black" to the 2nd best selling color: we did not offer Black for 4 different years in the early 70s!)
Besides, Bright Red is a Sports Car color...
Wheels: A new wheel was out of the question from a cost standpoint and development timeframe...plus the 2000 SS wheel was designed with the IROC wheels in
mind...so we thought we'd paint them medium dark gray and machine the edges to look like IROC wheels.
Funny thing happened...at 50 paces, the wheels did not look much different..but when we painted 'em black...wow!
Black patch on the hood....go look at a late 2nd gen Z28 hood...notice anything that looks familiar???? Also, third gen Z28s and IROCS had dual air extractor vents painted black on the hoods....we felt the patch was in keeping with Camaro heritage.
Stripes...Camaro has always had various stripe options....and the original Z28 had dual stripes ...since then, the stripes have been used on all 4 gen Camaros...thus, a no-brainer.
The interior: I could not get the funding to do a new interior color...(you wouldn't believe what it costs to do a complete interior color match...) I asked for the light gray inserts....the color is actually pewter and it was available right away. The seats had to have some type of embroidery....and we all felt that all 2002 Camaros should have the dash plaque. I felt strongly that the owners of 35th LEs should receive a
portfolio that celebrates what Camaro is all about...thus, the portfolio.
Interestingly the original 35th LE was to be Sebring Silver with Red/White/Blue stripes. (no, not the one that we showed as a smokescreen on the boards last April and May...that was a Pewter convertible with graphics applied electronically...just to confuse everyone!) The problem was that even after we clinic'd the Silver car in Detroit with 20 enthusiasts, we felt that the car did not look right. We went to John Cafaro and asked him to come up with something..and come up with it quick because we were already late in the program for pilot. I believe John did an incredible job with the stripes....while the stripes are dual in the classic sense, they are much more progressive in that they "wave" into a checkered flag as they sweep across the hood.
It was a collaborative effort on the part of a lot of people...John Heinricy, John Cafaro, Gil Schmiel, Curt Collins (Firebird) Bret Christie (Kay Graphics) Jeff Yachnin (SLP) myself...and many others. (sorry if I did not mention your names!)
So...that's the short version of how the 35th was developed and why it looks the way it does. And I think it kicks ### if I must say so myself.
Funny thing...I was recently in Atlanta for the Autoshow....and I was sitting there in the display late one evening...looking into the "eyes" (headlights) of one of my 35th LE convertibles -- I was about 10 feet away. Now...this may sound goofy to many of you...but it was an emotional event....it was almost like the damn thing was alive....and I knew that this particular convertible would go to someone who will love it and be proud of it....and will have great memories behind the wheel of it -- and to think that I was
priviledged enough to have a part in its creation -- wow.
I could not be prouder of a car.... FBODFATHER