We remember the greats. But we forget that the greats were not that common, really. What’s the running joke about there now being at least three time the amount of 1969 Z/28 Camaros in existence than were ever cranked out of Van Nuys, Norwood or even Biel. Most Camaros that were plying the streets looked more like a COPO car than any RS or SS….they had the plain grille, the spoiler-less trunk, the caps on steel wheels. Same story for the second-gen cars. For every legit Z/28, Nickey, or Phase III there are twenty tons of tributes at the ready to take their place. Just today one very serious mother of a Motion tribute car drove past us as we headed into town, black stripes on black cherry red paint, thumping like a bass drum with Tommy Lee at the pedals. Tasty.
The Motion cars were special for lots of reasons if you want to look into them, but the one that always captures our attention is that Joel Rosen himself guaranteed, in writing, that with an approved driver at a legit dragstrip, that his Phase III cars would bust out an 11.50 or better on the quarter. That’s not a guarantee, that’s an ultimatum, and it is one that to anybody’s knowledge, nobody ever challenged. Joel Rosen built monsters for the street, whatever you wanted so long as you were peeling off the bills. So if you wanted your 1970 Camaro to have enough torque to set the clock back an hour just by one good hard launch, so be it.
A real Baldwin-Motion Phase III Camaro is big money. A tribute? Approachable coin. This tribute? Don’t care what it’s about so long as it is being treated exactly like Mr. Rosen himself would’ve encouraged. Let that sucker sing one more time, for the neighbor down the street who is calling the cops again.