Sunlight broke the horizon early Saturday morning as almost two dozen Camaros tore across the 15 North in form. Their destination – Camaro Con in Temecula, Cali., – where members of HeadTurners Car Club of San Diego represented their group with a sample of 916 Camaros and Firebirds.

The HeadTurners’ hour-long commute paled in comparison to the cruise of Southern Nevada Camaros, who brought 12 Camaros for the Show and Shine event. “Lots of energy,” Ofer Perlmuter said of the event.

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Perlmuter is the owner of GEN5DIY, the home of specialty electronic wiring and other do-it-yourself projects for the Camaro. His booth, like most of the other vendors present, showed a wide array of accessories ranging from superchargers at the Magnusson booth to wheels at the MRR Design tent.

“I enjoyed the rev contest,” Perlmuter said of his favorite event. He drove a trailer from Lake Havasu, Arizona, to feature his products alongside a stunning ZL1/1LE. He didn’t have room to bring all of his merchandise and his other favorite toy, a fifth generation Z/28. “I think it was a great event.”

Camaro Con, held April 28 at the Promenade Temeluca, was hosted by Phastek Performance parts store, and two Camaro Facebook communities: CornfedCamaro and Lethal Camaros.

Ramon Padila from Los Angeles found out about the event on Instagram.

“I like how close the Camaro family is,” he said over lunch with his father. Padila credits his father with his car enthusiasm, which in turn inspired him to become a mechanic. His Chevrolet enthusiasm started at a young age and continued with his first truck, a 1992 two-door Blazer that he still owns today.

The team organizing the event made compelling effort to get the word out using social media. Most participants found out about Camaro Con on Facebook or Instagram. Last year marked the first time the event took place, and it attracted over 500 Camaros. With this year’s growth, there’s room to keep going with future Camaro Cons, according to event planners.

Jeremy Thomson cruised with his brother to Camaro Con from Corona.

“I’m a converted Ford guy,” he said, although he still plans to keep his 1966 Mustang in the garage. He brought a 2016 Camaro after trading his 1999 Z28. “I needed something a little more reliable.”

Of course, leaving no car stock, Thomson recently installed a Kraft Werks centrifugal supercharger and is looking forward to getting it dyno tuned.

“I’m definitely doing more mods—probably suspension next,” he said.

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Camaro Con attracted a wide array of enthusiasts driving well-recognized local cars as well as up-and-coming performance vehicles sponsored by shops, wrap companies, and performance brands.

Standing out among the crowd, Dan Manacher quietly worked on his art project. A white vinyl-wrapped Camaro with swirling designs, Manacher explained his project as a living art piece. He calls his bold art “shwoopty loops”, but he’s been doing it for so long that the source of his inspiration escapes him.

“I’ve put about 100 hours into it so far,” he said as he drew with permanent marker directly onto his fender, a crowd observed, quietly paying homage to his hard work. “It just sort of happened. It started with doodles years ago and turned into this.”

Likewise, the crowd grew around the rev competition as about ten Camaros smashed their throttles to cheers from those in attendance. On the other side of the lot, another crowd observed as pony cars laid down their best dyno pulls.

With this year’s success, there’s plenty of reason to be excited about next year’s Camaro Con. To keep tabs on the next Camaro Con, or other Camaro-related events around Cali, check out the CamaroCon Facebook Page.

Also, don’t forget to visit the Phastek Performance website, the Gen5DIY websiteor the Facebook pages of Cornfed Camaro and Lethal Camaro for more information about their Camaro-filled communities.

Jason Buckley is the owner of RaceCarWear.com

 

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