MARCH MEMBER/CAMARO OF THE MONTH CHAPEL
Congratulations Chapel! You are the March Member/Car of the Month here at ModernCamaro.com.
Thank you all soo much for nominating and voting for me. I am very honored that you even considered me for this. I feel more at home here than ever before. I really enjoy this site. It's like we're family.
We all want to know a little more about you and your Camaro so I have a few questions for you...
Will you share with us what began your love for cars and/or the Camaro specifically?
I didn't know anything about cars until I got my license to drive at 17 in 1994. I started off with an 86 T-1000 that I paid $700 for. As I got used to it I started feeling the need to go faster. Soon later I started working at a car dealership in Neptune NJ. I fell in love with a red 93 Mustang GT 5 speed and a red 86 Corvette with an automatic. The dealership also had an 88 green Corvette but for some reason I didn't care for that one. Of course I couldn't get either car. They also had an 86 Berlinetta Camaro with T-Tops and a Green RS Camaro. I didn't know squat about cars...so I settled for an 86 Jetta, lol!! And get this, the RS camaro was going for the same price as the Jetta, haha!!
Around 96-97 I started working at Sears Auto in Freehold NJ and began learning more about cars. At that time the LT1 was all the rage and the LS1 was about to hit the streets. I could only afford a Third Gen at that time. I couldn't find an affordable 5.7 TPI F-Body for a decent price in good condition so I had to get an 87 Z-28. It was an auto with a 5.0 carbed H-motor. Burgundy exterior with the two tone scheme on the ground effects. It had louvers, gray interior, T-Tops, 87K on the clock, and bone-stock. And in my efforts to make it a better car I straight up mangled her . So as I learned more and wasted a lot of money with trial and error and a lot of late nights stuck out in friend's garages or on the side of the road somewhere and getting her broken in to and scammers out there selling me fake stuff I can honestly say I learned a lot.
Eventually I stepped up to an 87 IROZ around 1999-2000...black with a 5.7 TPI and auto trans. This car also experienced the horror of inexperience with limited money plus too much ambition paired with gullibility. So after some time I decided to step out of the muscle car game and just do the nice sedan thing. Around that time the Maxima started creeping up there in HP along with the Accord and even some SUVs. After a few years I started feeling the need for more power again.
This brings us to 06. I went to a dealership that had a GTO on the lot for several weeks. I merely went to look at it because I had never seen one before...even tho they had been out since 04. And it just soo happens that they sold it on that day. The salesman started talking to me about an 04 Mustang Mach-1. I told him I wasn't actually interested in buying a car and even if I was, I wouldn't consider a Mustang. See coming into the car game around Freehold in the mid to late 90s, you learn quickly that the Mustang vs Camaro rivalry was straight up brutal. And the biggest insult was to switch teams. But the salesman insisted on me looking at the car so I told him I would look at it since I had nothing to do that day. He brought that car around and words cannot describe how beautiful she was. Black on black 5 speed!! Alas I couldn't get the credit for that car but I found a dealership up the road with an 03 GT auto convertible with 18,000 miles on it. I got a great deal and thus started my Ford affair. For the next few years I bought Mustangs, a T-Bird, a couple Mark VIIIs...but throughout all that I remained a Chevy Camaro guy at heart.
I have a lot of memories from the Camaros I've owned. A lot of good times and frustrating times. I met a really nice girl when I had my IROC. I took her out to Seaside in it, I bought her her first funnel cake in it, and we stayed out all night on the beach several times in it. Not to mention all the friends I made when I was stranded by that dang car, lol!! So yea, I have a long history with cars...especially the Camaro!!
Please share with us the story behind your 5th Gen Camaro?
I wanted a new car around early 2011. My 03 Mustang GT was showing her age. Unfortunately my credit was not in the greatest shape due to some mistakes and stupidity on my part tho I had been slowly rebuilding it over the previous few months.
I kept up with all the reviews on the Mustang, Challenger, and Camaro...and I wanted one. I didn't really care which. I figured whoever would give me the best deal would get my business. But I could not get financing at the time. So I knew I would have to wait. In the meantime I went to a dealership and looked at the new Coyotes. I looked at the Challenger R/T and SRT/8 and the Chargers. And I looked at the new Camaro. I liked the Mustang and Challenger because they have "Smart Key" tech. The Camaro was the most comfortable. The Mustang was too tight and the E-brake on the driver's side made it even worse. The Challenger was too big, heavy, and expensive...tho it was the better looking of the three. Overall I thought the Camaro was the best for me.
So around early March 2012 I applied for financing and was approved for $30,000. I immediately began my search. I looked at a Gray 08 GT auto for $23,000, didn't like it...it was beat up and they were asking too much considering it's condition. I looked at a 2010 black Camaro V6 auto with a CAI, exhaust, and some killer rims for $26,000...I liked it but they wouldn't come down on the price. It had been sitting there for months. I then looked at a black 2010 GT 5 speed with two tone (black and tan) interior for $23,995. I asked them to drop it to $23,000 even and they wouldn't have it. I didn't see any Challys or Chargers that were even remotely decently priced so I straight up wrote them off.
So then I saw Nadia...2010 Camaro SS with 10,797 miles for $26,700. 6 speed manual, fully optioned, RJM with gray racing stripes!! I went to look at it and I could not believe how beautiful she was. As soon as I walked in the door and saw her on the sales floor I looked at my little brother and said "I'm buying this car today". I talked to the sales guy and he let me take it for a spin. I was hooked!! However, I had also told a dealership about 20 miles up the road that I would come look at a silver 2011 GT for $28,000. That one had a black interior and a 6 speed manual. There was a small dent on the driver's side door. I went in and offered a much lower price due to the miles and the dent. But regardless, even if they accepted and even if there was no dent, that Mustang had no chance. So I went back to the original dealership and signed away on Nadia!!
How did you discover ModernCamaro.com and what has kept you here?
I wanted to join a site. So the first one I came across was "The Camaro Forum". Small group of friendly and kind members but they eventually shut down. While I was on that forum I then joined Camaro5. I found that I didn't like that place. Too much bickering and too many egos and too many uppity people talking trash about V6s and other cars. Seriously, it's like they snub everyone. So all the while I had been stopping in here (Modern Camaro) to pretty much watch and learn. Because I didn't want to join yet another site if the members acted like those guys on C5. And I liked what I saw so I joined!!
What keeps me here is that it's a bunch of familiar faces and names. We all get along very well. Sometimes people get out of line but usually they apologize and/or explain themselves afterwards. Everyone here is mature and helpful. There isn't any trolling. And everyone makes new members feel at home.
And finally, do you have anything you'd like to add to the ModernCamaro.com members or anyone else reading this interview?
I enjoy interacting with all of you guys. I think Envy always has a well rounded grasp on tech and general discussions. And she's great at diffusing any arguments or insensitive comments. I like Cuoncrs sense of humor...always has something funny to say. But never hesitates to get serious when a thread takes a wrong turn. RacnJsn95 always keeps us updated with very informative material about new testing and new products. Patriotpa is great because he loves his Camaro bone stock...probably more so than I love my Camaro with all my mods, haha!! I always look forward to reading Bucky6702's replies and comments. CamaroFreak has a great handle on things as well. Guapo, SDK, Hypurone all have great input!! MidnightSSS needs to go ahead and buy some headers, LOL!! But he never hesitates to ask questions and he always accepts info and advice. Hotrodhoodrat always has good and interesting input. Vintage_Iron also has great input...and also gets into harmless and entertaining trouble. I haven't seen tazz3 in a while...another cool member. Silverbullet is cool as hell also!! And everyone else that I haven't mentioned. You're all great contributors. And again I apologize if I failed to mention someone specifically. I feel close to all you guys and I hate the thought of leaving someone out.
This is a great site full of great members. Differences are always resolved, info and help is always offered, sympathy is given when one of us has an accident or mishap, advice is well taken, egos are always kept in check, and there is an air of genuine concern, well spirited jokes, familiarity, support, and freedom of expression without fear of being banned or suspended or ridiculed...unless deserving of such. I am looking forward to being here for a long time to come!! I apologize that this is such a long read...but I'm known to be very long winded, lol!! Thanks again everyone!!
James 1:25 Ordered from Faulkner Chevy #NKCF02 1100 5/8/9 2000, 3300 7/16/9 TPW 7/20,GOT MY (low) VIN! 4000 7/24/9 ,Picked up 8/7/9!!! Signed Litho #45. Car signed by FBodfather 2011. Service: Jennings Chevy in PA. We don't "drift", kiddies... we POWER SLIDE! MOTM/COTM Sept 2012 Pro Patria Vigilans. Click the pic.. I don't tolerate fools.
Check out my build thread:https://www.moderncamaro.com/forum/me...addiction.html
*1ST PLACE - SAN DIEGO CAR SHOW 4/17/11**PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD - FREEDOM FESTIVAL CAR SHOW 7/4/11**TROPHY RECIPIENT - GREATEST SHOW ON TURF 9/11/11**1ST PLACE MODERN MUSCLE - CORONADO SPEED FESTIVAL 9/23/11**AWARD OF EXCELLENCE - GOOD GUYS NATIONALS 11/27/11**1ST PLACE / '82&UP CAMARO/FIREBIRD- FORT WALTON BEACH FF SHOW 2/16/13*
Very nice write-up. I have been away for a while and see there are some cool new members here. Also there are still the old familiar nice folks that I have come to know too. I didn't officially get to welcome you to this site so consider this an official WELCOME and a big CONGRATULATIONS on COTM.