Why Everyone is Wrong about the Catfish Camaro

Why Everyone is Wrong about the Catfish Camaro

(engine revs) (police sirens wail)
(upbeat music) – The car next to me is known
by some as the Catfish Camaro. It’s got a reputation for being the worst Camaro of all time. It’s ugly. It creaks and cracks and
sounds like it’s falling apart. But today we’re gonna look
at why people hate it. Then I’ll show you why it’s the most underrated Camaro ever built. We’re going Bumper 2 Bumper
on the Catfish Camaro! (upbeat music) Big thank you to this week’s sponsor of Bumper 2 Bumper, Audible. Now, Audible is like
reading for your ears. Which is great for me,
’cause my ears soak in information much better than my eyes. With thousands of titles to choose from, there’s an audiobook for everyone. I’m excited to listen
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a 30-day Audible trial that gets you your first audiobook plus two Audible Originals for free. Visit audible.com/bumper2bumper. Or text BUMPER2BUMPER to 500-500. And thank you for supporting the companies that support Donut, we love you. So, this is actually my car. It’s a 2001 fourth gen F-body Camaro. And in fact, the clip
of James in Up to Speed is the reason I subscribed to Donut before I started working here. – (beep) fire, where’d you
get that bitcin’ Camaro? What you got in there? Seven liter LS big cams blower
poppin’ out of the hood? – So, to prove just how
controversial this Camaro is we posted some pictures of the
car on our Donut Instagram. And so I’m gonna read some
of these comments right now. (upbeat music) It’s a Camaro, they’re
not attractive cars. And slow and have terrible
grip, says shadymagician. Least favorite gen but it’s still an SS. That’s right, it’s an SS, baby! Pretty damn ’90s-looking. Looks like a fish. Catfish-looking ass (laughs). Not a fan. (upbeat music) So, as you can see some
people like this car a lot. Some people don’t like it. Part of the reason is that this car just looks very super ’90s as. And so that’s why some people really liked it when they did that. I mean, it took away
all those sharp lines. Really rounded everything up. But they did it by design. This car actually has the lowest drag coefficient of any Camaro ever built. That’s pretty crazy. I mean, the windshield
itself has a 68 degree rake. It just slips on through the air. Like a catfish slips on through the water. (upbeat synth music) Whoa-pow baby! So, one of the reasons this car is so underrated is because of the looks. But, if you can get past it you got a really, really cool car. And one of the things that
make this car really sweet, and the reason I bought it,
is because it’s got T-tops. So, the main reason to have a T-top? So you look frickin’ cool as heck, dude! We haven’t done a T-top
car on Bumper2Bumper. It’s different than a targa top. You might have seen that video of that 1,000 horsepower
Supra, it was a targa top. And when it took off you could
see the frame literally flex. Well, a T-top has this
centerpiece right here. And this adds structural
rigidity to the chassis. It prevents that flexing.
(upbeat synth music) But one of the things
that’s super annoying about this car and why a lot of people hate on it even today is bubbling sail. Now, from 1998 on all F-body sail panels were adhered to the body
using a urethane-based glue. The problem with that is that the glue seeps through the panel
and it causes the bubbles to rise up to the top of the panel. Now, you could sand this piece down if you wanted and repaint it. But the urethane glue is still leaching. And it’s still gonna come
up and create more bubbles. Literally the only way
that you can fix this is if you completely
remove it and replace it. That’s it, you can’t paint it. You can’t binder it, you can’t wrap it. You can’t do any of that, and that’s why this car in particular gets a lot of flak. It has some of those ’90s
GM manufacturing flaws. And this is a major one of them. Speaking of shoddy ’90s GM manufacturing. Let’s go on the inside and check out some things people don’t really like about this car, there is a lot. (car door clicks open) (leather creaking)
(car door slams shut) So, we’re in here and
it is typical ’90s GM. You have kind of this cheap plasticy looking wrap around everything. This car had an option for leather. So, it’s a little bit nicer. But for the most part it’s
pretty boring (chuckles) ’90s GM. Just take for instance this head unit. They used this thing in a ton of GM cars. In the Corvette, the Sunfire,
the Grand Prix, Suburban. Gets a lot of crap, but you know what? It works! This thing has never failed me. So, I can’t complain on that. (upbeat music) Now the steering wheel,
it’s not very pretty. I mean, beauty is in
the eye of the beholder. But for most beholders,
this is not very pretty. It’s big, it’s clunky. Funny fact, if you have a CD
in here and you wanna mute it you’d think it would pause
it, it doesn’t pause it. It just mutes it, so, that’s interesting. Kind of annoying. This car in particular has
the Monsoon sound system. It also has this thing called SCV. And basically what that means,
that it has this little knob right here and as you twist it, it will increase the volume as you increase speed in the car. So they know that this car is not very quiet when you
drive it down the road. And as you’re going 70
miles an hour if you have this turned on, the volume
of whatever you’re playing will increase to cancel
out all the road noise. (upbeat music) Now one thing that’s really cool in here, and probably the coolest, is
this Hurst shifter right here. Now, not all cars came with this. This was an added option. One of the weird things about this car is that it has a skip-shift feature. And basically you weren’t able to shift from first to second if you
were below a certain RPM. Now you had to go from first, skip second, skip third and go to fourth. They did it for fuel economy purposes. It just caused people to always push this thing to the red
line before they shift it. That’s why everyone’s freaking
hooning these cars out baby! ‘Cause they don’t wanna
have to skip-shift. Another annoying feature is that this car comes with two
different sets of keys. One key for the ignition
and then another set of keys for the doors, the T-tops and the trunk. Oftentimes these keys would go bad. And you weren’t able to start your car. Pain in the rectum. (upbeat music) So, the cat (beep) is
pretty boring inside. It’s pretty basic. But in actuality this car is
really, really comfortable. The seats are really comfortable. The driving position is comfortable. I’ve driven plenty of
road trips in this car. And it’s done amazingly well. And you know what? You don’t need MP3s when
you got a case of CDs. (zipper unzips) Let’s see what we got going
on in my collection here. Now, this did not come with the car. Say you’re in the mood for
some Skain Gates (laughs)! How about 50 Cent? Mariah Carey music box. Indika Soul, dang man the
hits just keep coming! Let’s start this bad boy up.
(dinging) (engine revs) Sounds pretty sweet, huh (laughs)? So, what’s making all
that beautiful noise? Well, why don’t we go under the hood, check out this LS engine? ♪ A buffalo soldier ♪
(car door slams shut) (suspenseful music) So this is an LS1 engine. It’s an all-aluminum block. GM rated the horsepower of this engine at about 325 horsepower. Now this has some added SLP features. But basically it’s the exact same motor that was in the Corvette and the Corvette was rated at 345 horsepower. So, if they are the same why are the horsepower figures different? Well, it’s pretty simple actually. GM didn’t wanna sell a cheaper car with the same motor that
was in the Corvette. So they downrated the horsepower. But in fact this makes
the same amount of power. They just rated it at
rear wheel horsepower versus crank horsepower. So, as I said before, this is an SS model. And if you don’t know about
the SS model of these cars what GM did is they would build Z28s. And then they ship ’em off to SLP which stands for Street Legal Performance. And they would modify the
cars and turn them into SSs. Now SSs have a couple of features. They have different wheels,
they have a different wing in the back, and they have
a different hood right here. Although it’s not really functional. It’s just more or less aesthetics. The air comes in right through here. Air will go boom, boom (whistles), boom. So it does a full 360. However, this is a closed air box. So (chuckles) it doesn’t really
do anything, funny enough. They say it’s a ram air but
it’s not really a ram air. Another great thing about the LS is that these things get
incredibly good gas mileage. You have a 300 plus horsepower pushrod V8 that’s getting you 30 miles
a gallon on the highway. That’s crazy! Because the LS was such a good engine. And you could put it
in pretty much anything people would buy these cars complete, take the LS1 out and then scrap the car. And they could do that because
the catfish was so cheap. Which leads me to my next point and that’s the price of these cars. It took me about three
years to find this one. I wanted one with a bunch
of different options. I wanted an SS, I wanted
some of the SLP stuff. But if you’re not as picky as me, say you want a Z28 you
can get these things for so cheap if you’re not all that picky. You can get a six speed American V8 with 300 plus horsepower
for less than five grand. And then you could dump
probably twice as much money and have you a crazy fast
American muscle hot rod. (wind whooshing)
(engine revving) So if you get one, hit me up
on Instagram @jeremiahburton. Let me know what you got,
send me some pictures. I wanna build this Catfish Camaro nation! Follow us on Instagram @donutmedia. Click the subscribe button. We got a bunch of new shows coming out. Thank you guys so much for watching! Bye for now! – [Cameraman] Do you have a name? – Cathy. – [Cameraman] ‘Cause of catfish? – Yeah.
– Really? – Well, I call my girlfriend Cathy. I say she looks like it,
she gets pissed (chuckles). I named my car after my girlfriend. Big mistake when your
car looks like a fish that people literally throw
in the trash (laughs).

100 thoughts on “Why Everyone is Wrong about the Catfish Camaro

  1. I'm MUSTANG all the way , especially the 1-3 gen cars….i think this camaro is grate looking…..also love the early gens…

  2. Skip shift actually came about because of a noise test. They needed to be under a certain decibel while accelerating to a certain speed. Forcing it into 4th "hacked" the test. It would be in 4th gear right as the car was being tested.

  3. My dad got the 2000 z28 slp edition and srsly it beats some fucking ass yeah its ugly but damn its fast for its look

  4. I loved my 98 SS. I hate that I had to sell it. I also loved my 2010 SS and my 2011 SS. I see a trend there…..

  5. I had a 6-speed LT1 Camaro, and it only had one rattle which I took care of with a shim. After that it was very quiet inside on the highway. That car is still one of my favorites, despite it not being the best looking. I still like the glassback, and some aspects of the sports car look, but the catfish could have used some more styling work.

  6. I love these Camaros! My buddy had an 02 Z28 LS2 with the Hurst shifter, an SLP intake and custom exhuast. That thing felt like a rocket ship back then!

  7. The 4th Gen "Catfish" has frequently been called the "ugliest" Camaro, but I've never heard it called "the worst" (especially not with the LS1). Generally the 3rd Gens are stereotyped as "the worst," but I'd argue the late 2nd Gens have the least to offer.

    I don't believe that aero comment is accurate. I'm not as familiar with the Camaro as I am the Firebird (and there are notable differences), but the 3rd Gen 'bird with the optional aero wheels had the lowest drag coefficient (0.29) of all the F-bodies; I'd wager that the 3rd Gen Camaro was capable of 'similar' stats (at least <0.32).

    While the Pass Key IIs can fail, far more often, it's the cheap wiring in the key barrel that fails (not the key itself).

  8. This car was a Saturn Rocket compared to my old 2nd Gen 1981 Berlinetta. 267 small block and 2-barrel carb producing a mind-numbingly low 120hp for a car that weighed 3300lbs. Good for a leisurely stroll to 60 in about TWELVE SECONDS. Pretty car though https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUPDapnXrs

  9. The air box is open at the bottom. The air directs into the lower portion of the air box giving you a cooler charge of air. It isn’t ram air.

  10. If you don't like the looks of the Camaro, just buy a WS6 Trans Am instead. Way better looking but I'm biased since I have a 2002 WS6 🤘🏼

  11. Great video, but 3rd gens are the best 😉 I think we all also dislike the 4th gen because we blame it for the Camaro 03-09 hiatus. But overall they have a lot of potential if you get past the looks, one place to start is lowering springs, that will instantly take away from the weird bubbly look.

  12. Considering i have a 4th gen 6 speed ls1 trans am i can attest to it being an excellent platform for price to performance. Also every mod you could ever want is available.

  13. Let me tell you a story that no one will care about. Back in 2002 I was 20 years old and I went with a co-worker to go see a 95 Camaro SS at a dealership in Milwaukee which was an hour away from me. I had the cash to buy the car outright. I get to the dealership and the car was beautiful. Black on black just awesome looking. I go in to ask about it and the guy I talked to was a complete dick to me. I can't remember what he said to me but he thought I was too young and wouldn't be serious about buying it. He wouldn't even walk out to show me it or let me start it. He was just an outright asshole. I wanted a Camaro at that time and after that I couldn't find another Camaro like it so I started to look at mustangs. I ended up buying a 95 mustang, which I still have btw and now I also have a 03 Mach 1. Funny how that scenario played out back in 02 that changed what I was into it.

  14. I used to have this car. My girl purposely wanted to move from her bed just to have sex in the passenger seat. Talk about how it inclines at 170°

    I now have a S2000. Used to own a Porsche Cayman S, Miatas and stuff.

  15. I had a 99 m6 with nitrous FBO for 10 years, thing beat everything and got 30 mpg cruising 6th gear. This was the original LS people.

  16. I have a Black 98 and 97 WS-6. Killer looks. Better than Camaro and sought after. Super fast. Both T-tops. Many compliments!!

  17. I like me some bumper to bumper I do love me some donut media but I don't think I like this guy very much the way he is presenting I don't care for his style he has no energy or Flair and he's talking about his own car and it seems like he has a complete lack of enthusiasm. This is my very humble opinion

  18. My mom had an anniversary edition… and when i was little she blew the trans and never fixed it… she sold it about a year ago and i still miss it

  19. It sucks to work on though, the engine is way far back in there which is great for weight distribution but awful for wrenching

  20. T-Tops…aka tinkle tops. They piss water on you when it rains, car wash, window spray…🤣🤣🤣🤷🏻‍♂️

  21. This was my very first car lol. My dad had a 98 z28, and I was the king of the parking lot when I was in high school in 2011-12. Nowadays it’s slow compared to everything else, but I still love it.

  22. So only a 20hp loss through the drive train to the rear wheels huh, no trans just direct drive I take it. You guys need to do a bumper to bumper on the 03-04 Mustang "Terminator" Cobra too.

  23. I absolutely love the GM 4th Gen F-Body, ESPECIALLY the Pontiac Firebird. It's my favorite sports car and I totally want to own one in the future, especially one that's painted black. I'll take a 2002 Firebird Trans Am over any exotic.

  24. These things are tanks lol. They won’t die. My parents bought one in 04, it took all of us to school, my sister to highschool and college and then myself to highschool and college 😂😂. We HAD to get rid of it cuz of inspections but that thing drove away til the last day of our ownership until I traded it for my Frs.

  25. Kinda wanted one but then realized that even a 2001 doesn't have a proper head rest? lol I love the car but it needs an aftermarket seat for safety right away

  26. I feel obligated to point out that the ram air hood is 100% functional, when the hood closes the air is forced in the opening between the radiator support brace and the airbox. Look closely….and even the ws6 blackwing box is raised for even more air to get shoved in.

  27. I love these cars I have a hugger orange 99 z28 n just recently bought n 02 ss with slp package has center mounted exhaust which I think is sick n has 6 speed so can’t go wrong these are good cars strong engines idk why some people think these cars are suck junk when they look so good n can build so cheap

  28. My 98 firebird is one of the lucky ones. No cracked door panels no bubbles on sail panel
    . And anyone that doesn’t like F-body’s was most likely smoked by a F-body💯👍🏻😂😂😂

  29. Im looking for one in the U.S
    Camaro 2001 hatchback v8 aut 4 speed on GOLD OR SAND COLOUR
    No joke pls send message

  30. Got lucky and got an early 4th gen with the square lights that look way better. Little note, the early 93-94 v6 (3.6) was technically mid-engine as the whole drivetrain was behind the front axle

  31. FWIW this generation and the one before it are my favorite ones! They were great cars!
    Dude, throw in some Sublime!

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