Muscle-car mania

TUPELO – Richard Hagood likes the new Camaro.
In fact, he even told his wife she needed one.
“I think the car looks great,” said Hagood, who joined about 100 other admirers and other curious onlookers who were at Blackmon Chevrolet on Monday to see the unveiling of the 2010 Camaro.
Hagood won’t be getting one of his own – yet.
“I’ve got a ’52 and ’54 Chevy, plus a ’46 Ford that I’m putting a Chevy engine in,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve got enough old cars to handle.”
But the SS version of the Camaro? Now that he might be tempted to buy.
Dwayne Blackmon, general manager of the dealership, said anticipation has been building for more than a week. Blackmon got the Camaro last week, but kept it under wraps until Monday’s unveiling.
“It was tempting to take a peek,” he said. “There’s been a lot of interest.”
So much interest that Blackmon had five pre-orders for the Camaro.
The yellow one shown Monday – on sale for right under $32,000 – was up for grabs.
“We may end up selling it today,” he said.
Allen McDaniel, curator of the Tupelo Automobile Museum, helped Blackmon pull the covers off the Camaro on Monday.
An admirer of cars old and new, McDaniel said he was impressed by the new Camaro, which joins Ford’s Mustang and Dodge’s Challenger as “new but retro” muscle cars.
“I think it’s really, really neat,” McDaniel said. “It’s not as retro as an old guy like me would like, but it does have the look and feel of a muscle car. And this gets 29 miles per gallon on the highway, which is incredible.”
McDaniel, who said he remembers the big events that accompanied car unveilings in the 1950s and 1960s, said Monday’s Camaro showing was similar.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that until today,” he said.
As for projected sales of the Camaro, Blackmon said he think he has a hit on his hands.
And told that the latest Motor Trend issue picked the Camaro over the Mustang and Challenger in a comparison test, Blackmon smiled.
“That’s really good news,” he said.

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

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