Although designed for life on a track, where it excels in tight corners, the 1LE doesn’t feel excessively compromised on the road, certainly not beyond the limitations common to the rest of the family. As with any sixth-generation Camaro, you’ll have to cope with a cramped cabin and visibility that’s limited by the shallowness of the windshield, the dearth of glass area, and the thick roof pillars. But while the 1LE is more stiffly sprung than the regular V-6 coupe, it still rides without excessive harshness. Adding velocity or cornering loads gives the upgraded dampers something to chew on, and hard use reveals a chassis that feels tight and poised, all of which keeps the body’s motions in check even on some of the poorest-quality surfaces that Michigan could throw at it. The tightened front end also brings a marked improvement in steering feel over the already communicative helm of the standard V-6 model, with the suede-wrapped steering wheel faithfully relaying information about tire loads, slip angle, and even surface textures. Many engineers responsible for the increasingly feel-free steering in posher sports cars could benefit from spending time with this humble Camaro.
When parked up, the vehicle automatically adjusts the steering wheel and driver’s seat so that exiting the vehicle doesn’t turn into a laborious process. The software will remember the driver settings so that when you get back into the vehicle and step on the brake, it will return to the driver’s preferred driving position.
In the mid-1960s, Miller was driving home from his Dearborn, Mich., office in a Lincoln Continental when another car struck him from behind. The Continental spun around and burst into flames. Because he was wearing a shoulder-strap seat belt, Miller was unharmed in the accident, and because the doors of the car didn’t jam, he escaped the flaming wreckage. But memories of the crash stayed with him for years.
"It was unbelievable," Miller recalled of his first months at Ford in the 2003 interview with Automotive News. "During World War II they lost money on cost-plus contracts. Now that takes some skill, to lose money on a cost-plus contract."
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This was also an era, don’t forget, when the green brigade began its inagrual march for fuel efficiency. But unlike today, when it's all about downsized engines and hybrid technology, in the late 1980s the buzzword was aerodynamics. And with its thoroughly modern lines and flush-fitting windows, the Cavalier Mk3 boasted a slippery drag coefficient of just 0.29 versus the Mk2’s 0.37. Overnight, it had made every one of its rivals look faintly prehistoric.
“We weren’t a bunch of accountants,” he told Automotive News in 2003. “We knew the importance of people.”