Empire Lambda New York Automobile Club

sports cars

Mike’s 2000 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28 SS

by Roger on Jan.15, 2013, under 00's Cars, 90's Cars, Chevrolet, Muscle Car, Our Cars, sports cars

I’ve been a member of the Lambda Car club/Empire Region since 2000, having discovered the club at that year’s Hershey AACA meet.  That was a very timely introduction for me as I had recently taken possession of my brand new, special ordered  2000 Camaro Z-28 SS (i.e. Super Sport) through Chevy 112 in Medford. It was the top line performance model back then. In all these ensuing years the black roof over “Bright Rally Red” T-topped Camaro has been my one and only car (though I compensate with an extensive model car collection). I’m a long time Manhattanite and that means owning any car is a luxury/indulgence but it’s one I’ve never regretted. Anyone who has known me for even a little while knows that I’m both a life long enthusiast of all types of cars and that I’m devoted to my Camaro. I bought it as my reward dream car, having cruised into my fifties and survived a recent heart attack. In that context, I finally gave myself permission to “go for it” since after all … life is short.  I hadn’t owned a car for over five years since a terrifying multi-car crash (not my fault!) that destroyed the lovely ’77 Scirocco which I’d bought new, 18 years earlier.

I knew that production of the GM F-body Camaro/Firebird cousins was soon scheduled to end forever, or so we all thought back then. It seemed that this would be my last chance to own one. I need to say that the attachment to my Camaro is deeply rooted in my past. This car is really the successor to my original ’67 Camaro, acquired by my family –after relentless campaigning by me – in December ’66; this basically was a reward for all my part time work and good grades. I used it to commute to college and generally race all over Westchester. That black vinyl roof over Bolero Red beauty with the base 327c.i. V8 and Muncie 4 speed, was adorned with 14” white walls and factory pin striping. I could never believe I had such a gorgeous car back then. I was inconsolable after it was stolen while I was in college back in ’69. But that car and it’s importance to my younger self is a whole other story. While my Y2K SS enabled me to feel reconnected to my dear departed ’67 (I do keep the ‘67’s key case in the console), it has long since become just as loved as the original ever was.
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Our Cars: Roger Klein’s Buick Reatta(s)

by Roger on Jan.07, 2011, under 80's Cars, 90's Cars, Buick, Our Cars, luxury cars, sports cars

My Current Reatta Fleet: '88 Keeper, '90 Flipper and an '89 for parts

I have been obsessed with the Reatta since before day one, when I saw my first spy-shot of one in a magazine as a car-crazy teenager. My paltry earnings when the car was finally released coupled with the Reatta’s high price when new made it an unobtainable lust-object. Fast forward 13 years and my income had increased significantly–and obviously the cost of a Reatta had dropped considerably as well. At that point I had been leasing an Audi A6 for about $600.00 a month and woke up one morning and said to myself: “Geez, for considerably less than what I’ve been spending on lease payments I could drive a car that I REALLY love.” I have since dropped out of the 2 or 3-year new car buying cycle with its never-ending car payments and only drive older iron.

My current keeper Reatta is my second, the first being an ’89 that had a string of very bad luck at the end of its life; considering how inexpensive it was to start over with a “new” one it was not economical to refresh the old ’89. I nicked this ’88 Reatta off eBay for $3,800, and it is in near-perfect condition. She’s sporting ’99 Riviera chrome wheels which themselves are a version of the wheels that were exclusive to the Reatta for its final model year, 1991. I had custom centercaps fabricated with “correct” Reatta “R” logos to replace the incorrect Riviera “R” logo’d caps the car had when I took possession of her. I’m probably the only idiot who would notice the wrong “R” there, but what can I say I’m mental. She’s got about 145K on her at present, but that’s far from “used-up” when it comes to Reattas.
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