Nestled in the pages of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, the over-the-top extravaganza of price-no-object presents, between a $17,500 Leica M9 and a $4,500 electric tricycle is the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible. The car does not hit showrooms until next February, but the anxious consumer may order one of 100 limited edition Neiman Marcus versions for $75,000 next week (for delivery next spring).
Compared with a pool sculpture installation designed by the glass artist Dale Chihuly going for $1.5 million in the Christmas Book, the $75,000 for the Camaro may seem reasonable. That’s until your inner bargain-hunter discovers the standard Camaro Convertible will cost $30,000-$40,000 less than the Neiman Marcus model when it goes on sale. Of course, budget considerations rarely factor into purchases made via the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book.
“The Camaro Convertible is considered one of our nine to 10 fantasy gifts,” said Ginger Reeder, a spokeswoman for Neiman Marcus. “If you’re going to buy a Neiman Marcus edition car, you want your neighbors to notice.”
Even so, the Neiman Marcus Edition Camaro Convertible shouldn’t prove too shocking to park at the country club. Finished in a tastefully restrained “Deep Bordeaux” paint job, the only hint of the boy-racer lurking within are the “ghosted” racing stripes. The windshield surround is silver painted, and the cabin is finished in amber leather with red accents on the steering wheel, shift knob and center console.
Tom Peters, G.M.’s director of design for performance vehicles and full-size trucks, said the Camaro “is much more than a muscle car.” Mr. Peters explained that the transformation from coupe to convertible was much more complicated than simply cutting the top off the standard car. “We paid a huge amount of attention to the fit and finish, trim pieces and the roof,” he said.
The rear deck, rear fenders and trunk lid are all uniquely designed and re-engineered for use in the Camaro convertible, Mr. Peters said. Exact pricing and further technical details will be revealed during the Camaro convertible’s official media introduction in November, during the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The range-topping 2SS model in the catalog comes with a rumbling 6.2-liter V-8 engine and choice of a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The color and trim package used on the 100 Neiman Marcus editions will not be used again by the factory. Sales begin precisely at noon next Tuesday.