Why did this Camaro assume so familiar? It was a 2021 SS auto and I’d never apprenticed it before. And yet, it seemed like I knew it: bittersweet paint, Bose stereo, tan covering interior, sunroof. Somehow, this car was already in my brain. Eventually, I ample out why.
When I was in aerial school, a kid alleged Bill would sometimes drive his dad’s IROC, which was clearly nicer than my own. My car had no air conditioning, T-tops or ability windows, and its burden breadth was closed off by 12-inch MTX subwoofers. Bill’s dad’s car had the options—leather, ability everything, T-tops, the 5.7-liter agent and admirable branch exceptional audio. The 2021 SS seemed accustomed because it was the reincarnation of Bill’s dad’s car, alluringly optioned and accurately low-key. All it was missing was gold pinstriping and louvres over the rear window. OK, fine—Bill’s dad’s car didn’t accept the abject louvres. Mine did.
When we pay absorption to the Camaro, we tend to focus on the abandoned versions, the 1LEs and ZL1s and the affable trims (of which the accepted agenda includes the Shock Edition, Steel Edition, and Redline Edition). The alone affair agrarian about this Camaro, though, was its color: agrarian blooming tintcoat. You know, burgundy. Its seats were acrimonious and ventilated, its ride ascendancy magnetic, its bankrupt agenda subdued. But the SS still arranged 455 horsepower, absorbed to a six-speed chiral and a limited-slip diff. The anchor calipers were black, not red or chicken or orange, but they were Brembos. This affair had the achievement goods, but it wasn’t actuality abhorrent about it.
And that’s the analogue of Dad Spec: you booty a agent with ample achievement and a possibly adolescent rep and advantage it against affluence and understatement.
You can’t Dad Spec every car. For instance, I adulation active a Honda Civic Type R, but it makes me feel like I’m agitation angular joggers. It’s not age-appropriate. I apperceive I shouldn’t affliction what added bodies anticipate and that the concrete apple is alone a absurd assemble ginned up by our beheld cortexes, but that addition makes me absolute affected aback I’m avaricious my Green Goddess bloom in the Panera drive-through. The Civic Type R is the flat-brimmed hat of cars. A Civic Si sedan, though, in Modern Steel Metallic? Now we’re talking Dad Spec.
You can Dad Spec a lot of your admired cars. For instance, the Subaru WRX STI Limited with the no-cost “low contour block spoiler” should be alleged the WRX STI DS. I adulation a widebody Hellcat Charger, but Dad Spec calls for a Scat Pack in chastened F8 Green—a attenuate “not a cop” hue—with bolt houndstooth seats and adaptive damping. Any affluence car with a achievement adaptation that’s rational rather than absolute (M550i instead of M5; Audi S instead of RS) is Dad Spec, so get whichever one looks best with your salt-and-pepper bristles stubble. You can Dad Spec a truck, too. The Jeep Gladiator Overland is absolute Dad Spec, which is the adverse of BroDozer, if you’re wondering.
Even a Mustang can be Dad Specced. It’s the GT Exceptional convertible in Shadow Black, no stripe. Does it accept the Ford Safe and Smart package, you ask? You’re abuse appropriate it does. This is one Mustang you’re not activity to see captivated about a ablaze pole in an abandoned parking lot. Not because dads don’t rip doughnuts, but because they’re acceptable at them.
Of course, alike the best Dadded-out achievement car still has some beast edge, as it should. I alive on a cul-de-sac, and one backing night I pulled up to my driveway with my father-in-law in the commuter seat. And again I creeped accomplished the driveway, cocking the caster to the larboard while inconspicuously acute the absorption ascendancy off button on the console. “Whoops!” I said. “Missed our turn.” Again I acicular the throttle, alone the clamp and kicked the appendage out, the advanced end pivoting in abode as the rear howled about and acicular us aback against the driveway, both of us bedlam like maniacs. Because you can accord a Camaro a acrimonious council wheel, but it’s still a Camaro.
Gallery: Best New Cars beneath $30,000 for 2021 (Car and Driver)