Motoring | Reader's Drives

Abeer's 2012 Chevrolet

This is a rare sight — a woman with a muscle car. But if Abeer Kamel had it her way, more women would be driving cars such as her Chevrolet Camaro

  • By Imran Malik, Sub Editor, wheels
  • Published: 13:11 August 2, 2012
  • Wheels

Abeer Kamel
  • Image Credit: Dennis B. Mallari/ANM
  • Abeer Kamel with her muscle car Chevrolet Camaro.
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You’re a late bloomer in the world of cars…

My interest started in 2005 when I arrived in the UAE. It was after seeing all the incredible types of vehicles on the roads here that I became more interested in motoring. It kind of rubbed off on me I guess. When I started to work in vehicle retail for a prominent company in Dubai, it gave me a lot of confidence because everyone seems to think it is difficult for a woman to work in the car market, which traditionally was dominated by men. It feels like I am breaking down the barriers in this respect.

Why do you think this notion exists?

It can be argued that women are not exposed to vehicles as much as men, or that
they are not as interested in them, which might be true to a certain extent. However, I feel I am fortunate to work in a showroom and be surrounded by a range of vehicles. It helps me learn every detail of each and every model, and being allowed to drive them too is just the icing on the cake.

Tell us about your first ride…

It was a Nissan Murano and I got this due to the nature of the UAE roads. I was looking for something sturdy and big to protect me, so this was the ideal vehicle. But muscle cars have always been my favourite. They give me such an adrenaline rush. Who says they’re for men only? Not me, that’s for sure.

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You and your Camaro make the perfect pair. Why do you like this car?

Well, I first saw it at the Dubai motor show some time ago. It was just a concept then but I loved the shape and the aggressive look of it and thought to myself, “If they put this into production, I’ll just have to buy it.” Thankfully, General Motors did, and I kept my promise to myself.

It was great seeing it on the big screen in the movie Transformers. It just added to the buzz of owning the car. I followed all the developments of the car online and was getting more and more eager to own one. I was really excited about it coming out and once I got my hands on this 2012 RS, I was not disappointed at all. It has a 3.6-litre six-cylinder motor mated to a six-speed automatic. It has around 323bhp.

The RS package gives this car a very similar look to the top-of-the-line SS, but it lacks the massive V8 of that car. But there is more than enough power on tap to keep me entertained. It handles really well and I would give it 10 out of 10 for its looks.

This isn’t really a women’s car though, is it?

Some women might think it is difficult to drive a muscle car. The very term conjures up images of those old fire-breathing monsters that did require a lot of muscle to drive. They were big and heavy and very hard to control because they had huge engines with loads of power.

Those older cars might have been a little tricky to drive for us girls and perhaps
were for men only. These days, muscle cars are way more refined. They still have tons of torque and can burn rubber like those of yesteryear, but now, since they are far superior, they also appeal to a wider audience.

You’d like to see more women behind the wheel of them, right?

Yes, in fact, I want to send a message to all the ladies out there; muscle cars are easy to drive and if you like to look good and be seen — which probably means every woman out there — then you’ve got to get a decent car. My Murano was good, practical and easy to drive but I feel my Camaro is all that and much more. It just makes me feel alive every time I turn the key and wake that V6 up. Plans to add a little more flair to it are on my to-do list.

What does your family think about your choice of car?

My family has always supported me in whatever decision I have made and it was the same when I told them I was buying a muscle car. They have full trust in me, especially behind the steering wheel. They know that I am a safe driver and even if I buy a powerful car, I won’t misuse it. My advice to everyone is that if you want to own a fast car, go for it. But when you want to enjoy the power, take it to the track. Street racing is so childish and only ends in tears, so don’t do it.

Is it your dream car?

No, that would be the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. But I do love these fifth-generation Camaros because even though they are all-new, they hark back to the original cars that I love. And I have enough room for my friends to enjoy it too. They always like to ride along with me but if I ever get that Corvette, I don’t know what they’ll do since it’s only got two seats! I guess it will have to wait a little while. For now, I am enjoying my Camaro and I have no plans to say goodbye to it just yet.

Profile

Name: Abeer Kamel

Job: Sales consultant

From: Jordan

Wheels: 2012 Chevrolet
 
Camaro: RS

In the: UAE Seven years

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