2017-03-06

Speaking Of Surprises

...I didn't buy just one, but two cars from the Camaro Fifty series. This Camaro was the Chevrolet equivalent to the Pontiac Firebird of its time with the Knight Rider styling. The Chevrolet angle was the IROC-Z styling, based on the International Race Of Champions cars.
'85 Camaro IROC-Z
Camaro Fifty #4
The theory behind IROC was simple -- you took top racing drivers from different disciplines, had them race in different race formats in identically prepared cars, and you could therefore compare apples to oranges and come up with a conclusion as to which driver was "best".


The execution was somewhat different. All the drivers were pulled from US racing series, NASCAR and CART racing. The majority of the race courses were ovals, being one-mile short courses or super speedways. And even though the cars were supposedly identical, with that many cars to prepare and maintain there were differences -- I have a vivid memory of CART driver and road-course specialist Arie Luyendyk disappearing into the distance on a super speedway course with the rest of the field powerless to catch up even if they used drafting.


As to this model, what strikes me the most is that it is narrow. Or, proportionally, tall. These cars are supposed to be wider than they are tall, and this car is almost square from the front. It isn't what I expected at all and I find it unusually disappointing. Even though I picked up the this car first, and didn't like the '82 Camaro as much, out of the package my opinion is 100% reversed. The '82 car is much nicer and I don't like this one at all.


But even from a Hot Wheels perspective these cars are unusually narrow -- see below comparing some recent examples on a slice of orange track. The STI is what I would consider a typical Hot Wheels footprint, while the Warthog actually fills the track completely. The IROC-Z is almost comically narrow and would suffer pretty badly in track racing.


(And now you know why the orange track has made a periodic appearance over the last week or two.)