If there was one car rightfully expected to be the “belle of the ball” at this year’s SEMA show, it was destined to be the ’11 Camaro convertible. We were right in thinking this because we counted more than eight of the droptops even before we entered the building. Some were all blacked out, others were dumped on airbag suspension sitting solidly on their framerails, others were in an array of satin hues, but nearly all of ’em were over-the-top.
That’s why we’ve got to give it up to the amazingly subdued yellow-and-black striped ’11 convertible sitting in Flowmaster‘s booth.
Sure, it’s owned by the host of our favorite guilty pleasure TV show, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, Guy Fieri, which is pretty cool in and of itself, but is was the fact that to the untrained eye, this Bumblebee-styled soft top could drive past you on the street and you wouldn’t give it a second glance. You can’t buy that kind of subtlety.
The Bowtie in question started life as any new convertible Super Sport…well, sorta. Coming from the factory with the 6.2L LS3, the four-and-a-quarter-horsepower V8 was all but left alone, but the exhaust was opened up using Flowmaster’s all-stainless steel Force II axle-back exhaust system, which immediately converted the GM exhaust note in a burble far more appropriate for the ride. The polished and larger-diameter chrome tips jutting out of the rear valance don’t hurt either.
Inside, the manual gearbox retained its factory warranty, but the way its shifted got a nice – and deservedly – shot in the arm. Hurst went to town, replacing the stock lever with a new floor-shifted Hurst short-throw shifter with the iconic white Hurst ball. Had the yellow-and-black droptop had been equipped with an auto, Hurst would’ve provided its Hard Drive Shifter Handle with the same contoured “Pistol Grip”-inspired lever found on some Hurst-edition cars with manual gearboxes, available in black and titanium finishes.
Moreover, had the Camaro been an auto, Hurst would’ve complimented the addition of the Hurst Shifter with an impressive set of paddle shifters which take the place of GM’s “Tap Shift” column-mounted shifters.
The Hurst pieces are available in either aluminum or delrin and add a nice aggressive look to the wheel. And since these pieces don’t require removing the wheel or messing with the wiring, they went on effortlessly and within minutes. Not a bad upgrade.
Of course, a set of Brembo four-piston calipers hanging over slotted rotors are found at each corner, but the rolling stock has been “plussed” to larger three-piece wheels in black with polished rings.
Again, for the most part, this Camaro looks much like any regular ol’ Camaro…that is, until closer inspection. While it might not draw the crowds or the lookieloos, it’s right up our alley as a cool cruiser and a fine sleeper…well, as much as a bright yellow and black-accented ’11 convertible Camaro Super Sport can be.