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Auto Show:  2011 San Diego Auto Show

American Pride Camaro - San Diego Auto Show

January 2011 author photo


January 4, 2011

Perhaps it’s because there is a major Marine Corps base – Camp Pendleton – just up the road, but the American Pride 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS/RS has been resonating with visitors to the San Diego auto show. In summer 2010, General Motors commissioned artist Mickey Harris – who is about as deft with an airbrush as it’s possible to be – to honor the American men and women who have served their country in the military.

The car itself is basically a Camaro SS coupe, with a 6.2-liter V8, an engine configuration so American it feels written into the Constitution. In this instance, though, this sports machine was a blank canvas for Harris to tell a story with images. Starting at the right rear flank with the birth of the nation with Washington crossing the Delaware, Harris leads on to the Civil War and reaches the First World War by the passenger-side front wheel.

There are references to famous photographs from the Second World War, such as the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima on the hood and the charming shot from Life magazine of a sailor kissing a girl on V-J Day. This latter image is down near the driver’s-side front wheel. Moving in the same direction takes us to the Vietnam conflict, Desert Storm and Afghanistan. On the trunk is Arlington Cemetery. The work as a whole, which took three months to complete, is one of those things where there is a new detail to see each time.

“Our thanks go out to General Motors for providing this one-of-a-kind vehicle,” said Kevin Leap, director of the San Diego auto show, stating that the city “has benefitted so much from our armed services.”

author photoCOLIN RYAN has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
American Pride Camaro - San Diego Auto Show - Autotrader