Ryan RocKs Writing about Cars #Driven
American Muscle Cars... the stuff of dreams. Big engines, big noise, big everything.
It's a culture we aren't all that familiar with first hand in the UK. It is a very American tradition. Cars literally handed down through the generations from father to son. Cars that are part of the family. Amazing machines, that just seem way more accessible to American people.
Our exposure in the UK is Television based. At least in my child hood it was. The A-Team Van, The Knight Rider Trans AM, to a lesser extent (for me) the Grand Torino from Starsky and Hutch. Even now, more modern day things aren't much different. I get my Muscle Car exposure from the TV show "Supernatural" where they have a cool black Impala.
Just a quick look on Auto Trader as I write this, shows me that if you want something like a Chevrolet: Chevelle SS or Caprice or Impala... then... you can't.
It's True... There actually isn't any (well.. there was one Under the heading "Impala", which turned out to be an El Camino with a brand new Crate motor in it.) a 1959 for £49,995. Which is, a lot.
And a few weeks back, a standard Black Trans Am that looked like KITT from Knight Rider. I've never wanted instant access to £10,000 more than I did when I saw it... Just because.. you know... Childhood nostalgia.
Seriously this is the Car that was for sale... my inner child almost exploded with excitement,,,, again... Nostalgia!!
But... it would never be a daily driver. Not here. The cost of fuel alone would be astronomical and try finding parts if it breaks down. Which cars 30 - 50 years old will inevitably do.
Then there's the sheer size of these cars. If you live in a normal town in the UK, parking one would be a nightmare. They are massive. Now, I know that this is a very British view on the subject. But that's the point I'm making.
So, in Britain, at least, the American Muscle Car experience is very much a dream. Reserved for the wealthy and the privileged. Which is ironic because they were designed and built by and for the American working class. The blue collar heroes.
In America, I saw Muscle cars, normal people owned them. Some were even driven on a regular basis, maybe not daily drivers to work and back but on an evening and weekends. They were used. And loved. In the short time I spent visiting I saw a demolition derby, speedway racing, several car shows and a few car museums. The car culture is huge. It's accessible. You can search the classifieds and find thousands of cars under 15000 dollars.
At today's exchange rate I know that isn't that cheap. But the point is, if you wanted a Muscle car, you could have one. You could buy a beat up example and fix it yourself. If you aren't that way inclined you can still get a decent runner, really easily.
It's something that really is Geographically specific. I'm know of other country's that have a similar thing too. Australia for example (mad max, anyone), but the spot light is on American Muscle cars. Posters, screen savers. I bet you have at least one favourite.
MY current Favourite, incase you wondered... (not anything to do with the fact it looks similar to KITT)
In a land of Hot Hatch Backs and after market Alloy Wheels. Cars I had access to in my formative car years. Friends had Citroen Saxo's, Ford Focus (not even the ST, I had a 1.6 LX) Vauxhall Astra's, Honda Civic's, Subaru Impreza's and so on, you get the idea.
The idea of owning or knowing someone who has a Chevrolet Camero, or Dodge Charger or Challenger or a Ford Mustang (to name just a few main stream examples) is a very alien concept.
Tell me your experiences, what was your first car? What part of the world was it in? I can't wait to hear different perspectives and for us all to share with each other.