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2018 Woodward Dream Cruise: Cruising With Mr. Camaro, Al Oppenheiser

Motor Trend Logo Motor Trend | Slide 1 of 6: Al Oppenheiser made sure he bought his sign for the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise. It will go on the wall of his garage with signs dating back to 1988, his fourth year of cruising. He has only missed once since, when he was in Europe for work.The Camaro chief engineer is a familiar face in a familiar car. We spent an evening cruising in his black 1968 Camaro SS convertible that he restored, and people along Woodward recognized both him and his car, shouting hi as he passed by.Oppenheiser grew up in Flint, Michigan, where many families had multiple generations that worked for General Motors, and his family was no exception. He was a third-generation GM employee; his father worked at Fisher Body. Some of his friends opted to work in the plant after high school and were buying new Trans Ams when he was broke while getting his engineering degree and dreaming of new muscle cars.His life has been filled with synchronicity. When he started at GM, he met Lloyd Reuss and told him someday he wanted to be the Corvette or Camaro chief. When GM brought the Camaro back for the fifth generation, it was Al who started working on the concept in April 2005. It was shown at the 2006 Detroit auto show and went into production in March 2009 as a 2010 model.His first restoration, a 1969 Camaro SS, was already underway. "I was working on new Camaros as my day job and coming home and working on the restoration until I was ready to fall asleep on the cement floor." Both were completed at the same time.More 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise coverage:Cruising with Fiat-Chrysler/SRT's Mark TrostleCruising With Ford/SVT's Hermann SalenbauchCamaros, Mustangs, Mopar, and More: 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise PHOTOS

1968 CHEVROLET CAMARO SS CONVERTIBLE OF AL OPPENHEISER FRONT SIDE VIEW

Al Oppenheiser made sure he bought his sign for the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise. It will go on the wall of his garage with signs dating back to 1988, his fourth year of cruising. He has only missed once since, when he was in Europe for work.

The Camaro chief engineer is a familiar face in a familiar car. We spent an evening cruising in his black 1968 Camaro SS convertible that he restored, and people along Woodward recognized both him and his car, shouting hi as he passed by.

Oppenheiser grew up in Flint, Michigan, where many families had multiple generations that worked for General Motors, and his family was no exception. He was a third-generation GM employee; his father worked at Fisher Body. Some of his friends opted to work in the plant after high school and were buying new Trans Ams when he was broke while getting his engineering degree and dreaming of new muscle cars.

His life has been filled with synchronicity. When he started at GM, he met Lloyd Reuss and told him someday he wanted to be the Corvette or Camaro chief. When GM brought the Camaro back for the fifth generation, it was Al who started working on the concept in April 2005. It was shown at the 2006 Detroit auto show and went into production in March 2009 as a 2010 model.

His first restoration, a 1969 Camaro SS, was already underway. "I was working on new Camaros as my day job and coming home and working on the restoration until I was ready to fall asleep on the cement floor." Both were completed at the same time.

More 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise coverage:

  • Cruising with Fiat-Chrysler/SRT's Mark Trostle
  • Cruising With Ford/SVT's Hermann Salenbauch
  • Classic Ford Broncos Corralled at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise
  • Classic Emergency Vehicles at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise
  • Camaros, Mustangs, Mopar, and More: 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise PHOTOS
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