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1999 Chevrolet Nomad Concept Car video


NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

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  • 4 weeks later...

The '99 Nomad concept is the car that put down the very early framework for the current fifth-generation Camaro. Both the front fascia and the side sculpting are unabashed throwbacks to the '69 Camaro. There are only two things that makes this concept car a Nomad, really -- the name and the fact it's a wagon.

I'm sure there's an interesting story behind the '99 Nomad concept's gestation. I know it used a F-Body chassis modified to use an independent rear suspension. It's very likely GM was initially going to bring out a fifth-generation Camaro for 2002 "based" on the Nomad concept instead of simply pulling the plug on the fourth-generation model and calling it a day. Why, though, would they design the original fifth-gen Camaro concept car as a wagon and call it a Nomad? It's anyone's guess, but I'm sure it probably had something to do with the former Sainte-Thérèse Assembly plant in Quebec.

What exactly, I don't know. I do know, however, that GM almost shut that plant down the first time back in the '80s and when it came time to update the plant the Canadian government guaranteed a few hundred million dollars in loans to help with the cost (GM also basically matched the amount). I guess the terms of that mini bailout was what locked the Camaro -- and the Firebird, too -- into that plant initially. I guess when it became obvious that GM should've moved the Camaro out and brought a new car line in to make the investment economically viable that's when they became dead set on disposing of it and I guess rolling out a concept car at that time would've tightened the Canadian government's demands to keep building the Camaro at a plant that was vastly overbuilt for such a low-volume model.

It's a shame GM didn't go through with replacing the Camaro in 2002 with a retro-styled model. They would've beat Ford with the S-197 Mustang to the punch by three years instead of having to play catch up and really pissed J Mays off in the process.

There's also the real possibility that the current fifth-gen car didn't begin with a clean sheet of paper, too. Consider the styling cues of the full-sized clay buck on the left hand side of this picture, especially the front fascia with its large round headlamps.

Chevrolet%20Camaro%20Concept%20prototype

Makes you think of this guy, doesn't it?

chevy_nomad_concept_black_01.jpg

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Well, didn't mean to imply that I don't see any Nomad styling cues on this car. I do see a few styling cues that are Nomad-esque, mainly the leaning b-pillar and the rear fascia styling. But those design features also really feel like afterthoughts. They really don't mesh terribly well with the rest of the car.

So, other than that, it's clearly derived from the '69 Camaro. The visual connection elsewhere is totally unmistakable.

Also it's interesting that Pontiac rolled out a GTO concept for '99, too. Firebird replacement?

Edited by black-knight
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