THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
2002 Chevrolet Camaro SS 35th Anniversary coupe owned by Cary M. Rachell
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
When General Motors ended production of its fourth generation Camaro sports car in 2002, aficionados rushed to dealerships to scoop up the last models. Even the unexpected revival of new and more powerful Camaros beginning in 2009 did little to dim collector enthusiasm for the earlier versions going back to 1967. Rachell says his ride – loaded with performance and trim options -- is number 708 of a limited production run of SS (Super Sport) anniversary cars, with 3,000 built for U.S. consumption and another 152 for Canada.
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
Since January 2003
WHERE HE FOUND IT
He bought the lightly used coupe from a New York-area Chevrolet dealer.
“My car is in original, mint condition,” Rachell says. “It has never seen rain and is always garaged. It has 21,500 miles. All of the 35th anniversary SS Camaro-specific performance and appearance items were installed by SLP (an aftermarket tuning company) in their factory.” Those upgrades include a 350 cubic-inch V-8 engine, which Rachell modified to 400 horsepower; a six-speed Hurst manual transmission; functional hood scoop with forced air induction; and a high-performance suspension. The exterior color is “Bright Rallye Red” and has wide dual stripes that fade into a checkered flag pattern. The car has removable roof panels, as well as model-specific wheels and SS badging. The interior upholstery is two-tone black and gray with special 35th anniversary embroidery on both headrests.
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“If you like to tinker, by all means buy a car that needs restoration,” he advises. “I prefer buying almost new in excellent original condition and maintaining that level. Drive the car often, as this prevents bad (old) gas, tire flat spots, dried out seals, etc. I plan on driving this car for as many years as my clutch leg allows.”
Rachell says the original sticker price was over $33,000 and that he recently saw a similar car sell at auction for just under $20,000.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“Recently, I drove the car at high speed all day at Pocono Raceway,” he says. “To drive the car as it was intended was fantastic. The sound, the acceleration and the legal high speeds were thrilling.”
IF YOU HAVE an antique, classic or collectible vehicle to be considered for this page, please submit your information and photo(s) at www.inthegarage.net or contact David Fluhrer, Newsday Cars, at email@example.com.