January 11, 1998
Metro Detroit, 1998:
If you were driving down the street and saw this car coming at you, you would think that it was a ’98 Chevrolet Camaro. On the other hand, if you were behind it, you would think you were following a fourth generation Pontiac Trans Am. And if you were confused enough to follow this car to its destination and managed to get a closer look, you would discover that this car is one that is highly unlikely to actually make production.
So what would you call it? A TransMaro? A Cam Am? Behold one of GM’s somewhat strange test vehicles. Don’t worry, this is probably not the look of the next generation F-Body, but is actually a vehicle that is being used to test prototype 1999 model year vehicle computers. This car would never see the end of an assembly line because of a severe lack of fit and finish. The car is basically tacked together, making it clear that this car is indeed for developing components on the inside, and not showing any concern for body style and image.
Beneath the mismatching body panels, there are a total of four on-board computers constantly taking in information as the vehicle is driven around. There is no real reason for the strange body panel configuration. We assume that the computer diagnostic and testing team at GM had some spare parts laying around, and put them together. After all, it’s what’s inside this car that counts.
If you happen to see one of these test cars in your area, try to remember that it may not be what meets the eye. Again, it is a very confusing sight.