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The F-Body: A Protest (9-20-00)
revised 6-30-01
by Steve Wingate

When I see pictures like the one above, two things happen to me.  The first is something very close to sexual desire, the other is a stirring wistfulness that reminds me that I will probably never own one.  I can't afford one right now, but by the time I can, the f-body will be gone... swallowed up by GM bureaucrats salivating over profits from SUVs and front wheel drive sedans.
This is the future GM has in mind.  This monstrosity is known as the Aztek.  It may be a fine automobile, but to me it symbolizes the death of the f-body.  Think about it.... this is an all-new vehicle, introduced the year before the last f-body.  This is the future GM wants..... Azteks, Escalades, and what ever other bloated abomination it can dream up.  Thirty five years of automotive heritage are about to be completely washed away by pop culture.  Camaro and Firebird.... gone.  Assimilated into front wheel drive "sport sedans"... ugh.  
We're not ready to give up on the f-body, and you shouldn't be either.  Four years ago, you killed off the Impala SS and your booming police interceptor trade to make Tahoes.  Now the rumor is that you want to turn the Camaro and Firebird into front wheel drive sport coupes.  That way, the current f-body platforms can be retooled to make SUVs and the Camaro and/or Firebird can engage in platform sharing with some wheezy front wheel drive sedan.  I can just see it now.....

Overpaid GM executive: Hey guys! I've got an idea..... lets make a two door Buick Century and call it Camaro II.  Ford did it.... look at the Mustang II..... it was a hit!

Other overpaid GM executive: I don't know, sounds risky.  I think today's young, hip generation would want the new Camaro to be an SUV-like vehicle.

Overpaid GM executive: Or better yet, let's take a Cavalier and give it wide tires, a bulgy hood, ground effects, and a sporty-sounding exhaust system and call it Trans-Am: The Next Generation.

Other overpaid GM executive: Oh, I know, the kids today like things with "extreme" in it.  How about the Camaro Extreme?  I can just see the commercials now..... the ALL-NEW Chevy Camaro Extreme, Seriously intense, just like you.

Overpaid GM executive: You know what else?  We could bring back the old Pontiac slogan.  You know, the one before "Wider is Better".  What was it?  Oh yes, I remember, "Pontiac.  We Are Driving Excrement."
Other overpaid GM executive: Don't you mean "Pontiac.  We Are Driving Excitement"?

Overpaid GM executive: Not really.

Don't get me wrong, front wheel drive sport coupes do have their place, and are great cars for the most part, but the Firebird and Camaro are not and never will be front wheel drive.  You can slap a nameplate on it that says anything you want, but f-body enthusiasts will not be fooled.  (How many Mustang enthusiasts liked the Mustang II?)

And don't give us any crap about consumer concerns over rising fuel prices are killing the f-body.  Your average SUV is a gas glutton.  My Honda Passport gets less than twenty miles to the gallon, yet I have a friend who drives a 1990 Camaro RS and averages 28 mpg.

The bottom line is the bottom line.  GM executives have heard the mooing of cash cows, and it is unlikely that the f-body will survive.  Thanks for 35 good years.

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