(Rick Hickman/American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, August 11, 2014 11:31 AM
Since going on sale in 1966, Camaros have been turning heads and developing a cult following.
Locally, about 20 fans and owners of the car gather each month to exchange ideas, give each other maintenance tips and have a good time.
The Cajun Camaro Club, which has more than 100 members throughout Louisiana, also helps spark friendships, as it has with local members Laura Duhon and Christy Moses.
Moses serves as event coordinator for Southwest Louisiana and has been a member for three years. After attending a car show in Buna, Texas, with friends, she has been hooked on showing off her 2010 aqua blue Camaro.
“I had the car for a year before I went to my first show,” she said. “I won fourth place in that first show and was hooked after that.”
Moses drives a limited edition model that she has customized with mural paintings and lights beneath the car.
“There were only 3,900 made,” she said. “I went to Billy Navarre to order it , but they didn’t have the color. My sales rep found one in Northern Arkansas. We drove eight hours up there to pick it up. It is a beautiful car. I had seen one at the mall and just fell in love with it, with the color.”
She and husband Terry own three Camaros.
“He wasn’t a Camaro person before but he is now,” she said. “He owns a 1968 and we also own a 1980. I don’t drive it every day. We try to drive it every weekend but not when I am out and about. The mural under the hood is of my car sitting in the middle of a marsh scene. Everyone loves it and wants to take pictures of it.”
Christy has found the balance between customizing it to her liking without going overboard.
“It started off with a piece of chrome here or there, a little stitching on the headrest,” she said. “It has kind of built-up over time and you get used to people looking at it. I have pretty much done everything I wanted to do. You can overdo it, you have to know where that point is where it is too much and it is kind of gaudy. We want to stay away from that.”
Both Christy and Terry have numerous awards from car shows.
“We get pretty competitive,” Christy said. “We each have a wall in the shop with our awards. I started two years before him and have more awards. He gets better awards, I usually get top ten or top 25, he gets best paint or best engine, all of that stuff. His car is fancier and more expensive than mine.”
Things are more laid-back at club gatherings.
“Once a month we get together and have dinner and talk about cars,” Moses said. “Sometimes we get together and go on cruises. We do cruise-ins, we hang out. The people with the new ones want to drive, the people with the older ones want to park. There is a little bit of both going on. All of the shows that we attend are benefits. That is our way of giving back. In March we had a benefit for local quintuplets. We made them little shirts that said they were honorary members, we gave them little cars, it was a great experience.”
Duhon is a two-year member of the club who drives a 2013 Hot Wheels Camaro. Her husband Ed drives a 1969 Camaro. Her car, which features flashing lights in the wheels, is a hit with kids.
“The first thing that caught my eye was the color, it is called kinetic blue,” she said. “It is such an unusual color for a Camaro. It was part of a limited edition. We were driving past a dealership in Lafayette and the color caught my eye. Then when went in to look at it and I saw it was Hot Wheels, I just had to have it. I traded in my Mustang to get it. I was anxious to have it. This is my first Camaro. When they came out with the 2010 I liked them, but was afraid to get a smaller call since I had been driving a Lincoln Navigator. I was worried I would not be able to see out of it too well.
“The attention it gets from little kids is my favorite things. I buy a bunch of the little Hot Wheels and bring them out to the car shows and give them to the kids. Adults like it to, the color and uniqueness.”
Ed prefers to keep his looking like the original model.
“That is one of the things about the Camaro club, we all share ideas and everyone has their own idea of what they want to do,” Laura said. “Some people like to keep it all original. Some people like to put a lot of modifications on it. My husband wants his to look like it did rolling down the street in 1969. At shows, each one draws people. Some people like the originals, some people like them all souped up.”
Duhon and Moses said the friendships formed through the club has been its biggest benefit.
“I consider Laura my best friend,” Moses said. “We have the same breed of dog now, we hang and do stuff not related to the cars. We would like to have more people in the club, we have about 20 in Southwest Louisiana now.”
The next club meeting is at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24 at Coyote Blues. For more information on the club, visit its Facebook page.