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ZL1 Blazes A Trail To Braves Country

Having a (base) ball in a 580-horse ragtop
Posted September 26 2013 02:12 PM by Jim Campisano 
Filed under: Super Chevy Comments, Chevy Small Block, Chevrolet Camaro

Fireworks, indeed. With 580 horsepower and an open road, you'll definitely see the rockets red glare with this factory hot rod

The Camaro ZL1 and I bonded. I've always had a soft spot for powerful ponycars with folding roofs, and the latest from Chevy might be the best one ever created. With the suspension in "Tour" mode and the shift lever in Drive, the ZL1 is as comfy as a Cadillac, a highway cruiser that asks little of the driver. Switch the Magnetic shocks and adjustable suspension to "Sport" and pull the shifter into the manual mode and the car's entire personality changes. It becomes an animal ready to pounce on any lesser vehicle—though by no stretch does it become uncomfortable. It's never harsh.

Could you build a momument to the Confederate States of America in 2013? Doubt it
Route 25 through Kentucky proved to be a fine match for the Camaro ZL1's suspension and firepower. Once we cleared some rush hour traffic, we caught some fun corners, elevation changes, and the joy of seeing rural America

After watching the Reds trounce the Cards 7-2 on Labor Day, my son Sam and I dropped the top on the Ashen Gray ZL1 and were southbound and down towards Atlanta. While we stayed on I-75 from Detroit to Cincinnati, I wanted to explore the ZL1's more aggressive side on some backroads in Kentucky. After studying a map, I noticed Route 25, which runs sort of parallel to the Interstate. Sort of. It's a twisting, turning roller coaster in parts, and it was just what I wanted to exercise the ZL1's fabulous road manners. Top down, sun shining, wind in our hair, it was a blast. Sam helped with some cool photos for the magazine article.

Once the rain started falling, we pulled off, raised the roof, then hopped back on I-75. We still had a long way to go and I didn't want to check into our hotel at midnight. Unlike Ohio, Kentucky seems to turn a blind eye to speeders. Traffic was moving around 85-90 mph. Best of all, the highway actually had some curves in it and beautiful scenery. So, too, did Tennessee. As we crossed from the Blue Grass State to the Volunteer State, it reminded me of Route 80 by the Delaware Water Gap, from New Jersey into Pennsylvania. Majestic stuff.

The police presence picked up considerably in Georgia, but I caught a "rabbit" I could pace at a reasonably good clip. Let him get the ticket. After a good night's sleep, Sam and I had a day to kill. We took the Camaro to Stone Mountain State Park in Georgia, which is sort of like Mount Rushmore, but a tribute to the Confederacy. Carved into the side of the mountain are Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson.

Then it was off to Turner Field, where we watched our favorite team, the Mets, lose a well-pitched game to the Braves, 3-1. Oh well. We'll always have the '69 National League Championship Series to brag about.


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