Can The Traditional “Muscle Car” Find A Place In The Modern World?

Hot Rod enthusiasts can pine away for the days of carburetors, manually set ignition points, even the joys of the three-pedal driving experience, but the truth is that advances in computerized power-train controls, electronic automatic transmissions, and advanced safety features have ushered in the era of the Modern Muscle Car, and to a degree never achievable back in the “good ol’ days.”  No way was a 800-horsepower yet fully street-legal Dodge Challenger Hellcat possible back then, nor a 650-horsepower ZL1 Camaro…not even a Ford Mustang that offers both 475 horsepower and 32 miles per gallon fuel economy on the highway (and 20 mpg in city driving!).  Isn’t it ironic that, in working so hard to reach government-imposed standards for reducing emissions and increasing fuel economy, automotive engineers ALSO found a way to give fast-car fanatics seemingly unlimited horsepower? And not only that, but the software and hardware these engineers created helps keep that power under at least a reasonable semblance of control?  Those of a certain age look back fondly at the Detroit muscle car era, but isn’t the real “golden moment” of the automobile age the one we’re in right now? Not only are cars cleaner and safer, but faster and more nimble in every way.  I admit that it’s taken me awhile to jump on the modern Hot Rod bandwagon, having owned a number of ‘60’s-era vehicles in my lifetime. However when I begin drooling uncontrollably at the sight of the 2019 Ford Mustang “Bullitt” Edition, I feel like I can leave the the past behind and embrace the modern reality of the safer, faster, more environmentally-friendly Muscle Car. Buckle Up, America 🙂

John Young

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