Antenna Freak Fixes Camaro Convertible

Hides AM/FM Antenna in the Spoiler

Early spy shots of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible brought criticism from Camaro enthusiasts because of the old fashion AM/FM whip antenna mounted on the rear deck.

Determined to head-off the complaint, Chevrolet planners responded quickly commissioning a self-described antenna freak named Don Hibbard to find a way to fix it.? ?Antennas are a beautiful thing to me,? says Hibbard, an antenna test performance engineer.

Don Hibbard
Gregg Kittinger

Teamed with colleague Gregg Kittinger had, the pair took on the challenge of relocating or hiding the ugly mast, without sacrificing radio reception.

?We weren?t sure that it would be possible,? said Kittinger. ?Typically antennas are hidden in a vehicle?s rear window, but with a retractable soft-top roof, that?s not an option.?

So they came up with a novel approach ? hide the antenna inside the rear spoiler. No one had tried that on a Chevrolet before because of the hit to radio reception.

?We responded to a legitimate criticism from devoted Chevrolet Camaro enthusiasts and in 10 months found an innovative way to improve the overall aesthetics of the vehicle without sacrificing performance and quality,? said Kittinger.

While the shark fin antenna that transmits XM Satellite Radio, OnStar and cellular signals is still present on the car’s deck lid, the built-in spoiler antenna eliminates the need for a longer, separate whip antenna to receive AM and FM radio signals.

Hibbard, a lifelong Ham radio enthusiast, says the unorthodox placement of the antenna within the body of the vehicle created a number of technical challenges, such as balancing form by preserving the car?s styling and function of unimpeded audio reception.

?Where other automakers have tried and failed, Chevy succeeded,? said Hibbard.? ?We hope to take what we?ve learned with the Camaro Convertible, build on it and apply it to future vehicles.?

The 2011 Camaro Convertible arrives in dealer showrooms this February.

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