© 2020 kertong © 2020 kertong

1995 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

I can’t believe it’s been almost 20 years since I bought my first car – a 1995 chevrolet camaro z28 6 speed. pretty much learned to drive in it, and learned to wrench on cars with it; by the end of its life it had a full headers to catback exhaust, 1.6 roller rockers, lt4 “hot” cam, thinner head gaskets, pcm tuning, all for what was then an impressive 340rwhp. Impressive, that is, until it blew oil out of its valve cover bolt due to crankcase pressure (result of cracked piston rings) while racing down infineon raceway, catching fire and smoking all the way down the track. Miraculously made it home, and ran for another couple thousand miles until it spun a rod bearing. 

I bent over backwards to buy this car I couldn’t afford at the time, working a part time job to pay for this car as well as the gas and insurance, when I should have been studying in college. However, in retrospect – this forcing function got me to gain valuable work experience as a systems administrator, something that set me up to get my first post-college job at Google. But that’s a story for another time. I had lusted after this car for several years, since I had my first taste of the invisible hand of torque pushing me into the seat in a friend’s 1987 Buick Grand National, and his 2000 Chevrolet Camaro SS after that. I was hooked and entered college with cars on the brain.

I cringe thinking of all the stupid things I did in, around, or for that car. Yet, I’ve owned many many more fancier, faster, more expensive cars since; and none ever gave me the thrill and joy that this shitty ol’ camaro did. And it saw me through college, my first job, my Google career start, relationships and breakups, a move from Northern to Southern and back to Northern California, losing my childhood dog, etc.

When I first got this car, I was beyond elated – I couldn’t picture myself with any other car, and figured I’d die of old age with this car. But it was just the first step of many I’d take down the vehicular path of insanity. 

Goodbye, Old Friend.