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Muscle Cars are better than Imports
There has long been an argument over who produces a better automobile, America or foreign nations. Engineers are now making muscle cars improve on their flaws while maintaining their rich history. Muscle cars are a long held American tradition and these fabulous cars are an example of the benefits to American engineering and manufacturing. Muscle cars are an ever growing form of art, increasing in popularity daily. Car shows are held frequently to display these works of art and celebrate their proud heritage. Companies that pride themselves as muscle car producers include General Motors, Ford, and Dodge. Imported cars are vehicles whose origins lie outside of America in countries like Japan, China, and Germany. Some of the automotive companies that make these imported cars include Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
In 1908, the first mass produced automobile was created. The Model T was an innovation in manufacturing and continues to be the root of today’s automotive industry. The popularity of the Model T comes from its low price. Affordability made the Model T a barrier breaker, American social classes previously had not permitted the average American to own a car. Muscle cars continue the tradition and manufacturing principles founded by the Ford Model T. Brilliant engineering and tremendous workmanship caused the Muscle cars of the 60’s to begin booming. Despite a diminishing economy and an extreme gas crisis, Chevrolet under General Motors decided to stick with creating muscle cars instead of shying away from these cars to create a fuel efficient, but pedestrian car. The 1979, Camaro hit record sales records and sold over two hundred fifty thousand cars in a single year! These cars continue to grow overwhelmingly, with the Camaro obtaining new record highs with the release of the new body style in 2009.
Popularity continues to skyrocket, so does the increased celebration of these cars and their rich history. These car shows have created a new social phenomenon where car owners and spectators alike can share in the fascination of the work put into restoring the old muscle cars as well as the engineering capabilities that have been established in new muscle cars. Walking around a car show you will surely see children smiling and exclaiming “How cool!” As the children run around buying toys that model these spectacular creations their parents talk to fellow enthusiasts. Owners and spectators alike speak of a time in their life when they had a beautiful Mustang or Camaro. Russell Birkett, a muscle car owner, exclaims “My Camaro reminds me of my childhood when I could only wish of owning one of these spectacular vehicles. I am so glad that now I am able to share this experience with my sons.” Other enthusiasts agree that these cars show a great time in history and should be recognized as the world’s greatest cars.
Museums are made in order to store these beauties and protect the history of previous generations. Just like any form of art these cars need to be protected. Jay Leno, an influential comedian, also shares in the hobby of buying Muscle cars. Jay Leno sports a 17,000 square foot garage with space to work on over a dozen cars at a time (Jaylenosgarage.com). The garage has all the supplies necessary to fabricate his own parts to help restore his muscle cars to factory specs (Jaylenosgarage.com).
Currently engineers continue to correct all of the mistakes that previously were considered a reason not to buy a muscle car. The common argument in the late 70s during the gas crisis was that these models though fast, good looking and enjoyable they were not fuel efficient. Today, this has all changed the 2012 Mustang gets an overwhelming thirty one miles per gallon with over three times the horsepower of a typical import in the same price range (Ford.com). The safety precautions have also increased with the muscle cars gaining serious ground. The Muscle car also sports amazing aesthetic value. Birkett states “Muscle cars are by far the greatest cars produced.”
American muscle cars, also support the American economy and well being, whereas, imported cars only support their original countries economy. The economic value of American industries helps provide our country with the support necessary to continue to reign as a supreme world power and an economic example. Industry in America has declined rapidly, which further increases the value of old muscle cars. The Mustang is forever held as a prime example of the work of true American manufacturing like seen previously in Detroit. Some American companies are beginning again to build these muscle cars in America.
As new and old muscle cars alike gain respect for their economic support, great history and continued tradition a further debate shows import owners are criticizing the way these cars provide safety for their passengers. Shane Miller, an imported car owner, says “Muscle cars cannot be safe. The passengers in these cars are likely to face serious injury.” John Healy, manager of product planning at General Motors of Canada Ltd., says a properly worn seatbelt can create your best chances for remaining safe in a potentially deadly situation. Healy says “A properly worn seatbelt saves up to 42% of potential fatalities.” Installing seatbelts into old muscle cars will highly reduce the number of potential fatalities and insure safety for everyone involved in the muscle car world. The airbag continues to be talked about as to whether it can help or hurt the drivers in cars with airbags. Airbags which were not standard in older Mustangs, Camaros, and Chargers are said to cause minor skin abrasions (Making life safer behind the wheel) (3). Making life safer behind the wheel also says that airbags deploy at greater than 18 km/h and can actually cause injuries to small children (3). They later said that airbags also do not provide no protection for the occupants from the rear and side impacts or in a roll-over.
Muscle cars are gaining in value with severe appreciation these cars have actually become an investment. The 1971 Mach 1 Mustang had a base price of $3,268 (howstuffworks.com). The 1971 Mach 1 Mustang is now priced at around $27,000 (ebay.com). This appreciation is due in part to the staggering numbers of these cars due to the fact that at the time no one could have known their historical significance. Now as these cars raise in value so does the desire for newer Muscle cars or Muscle cars that are seen as undervalued that spectators think will soon raise in value and make them some money.
Several companies, as well as individuals and families, are restoring these cars in order to turn a profit. The cars have created a wonderful supply of jobs for not only these mechanics but for also the part manufactures that supply these factory parts. These companies are known for being the American “toy shops” that will help you restore your antique or torque up your 2011 Mustang with parts for everyone in the Muscle car community. These American companies provide local jobs and help boost our economy and help struggling families provide a living for their families. National Parts Depot is a local Florida parts dealer that supplies all the parts to restore muscle cars Birkett says “National Parts Depot is a great American company that takes pride in their work of supplying the parts we [muscle car fans] need.”
Muscle cars are a significant part of American history and are celebrated for their proud heritage. As popularity grows for these wonderful rides so does the interest in wealthy, influential individuals who claim their stake in history one car at a time. As time has gone on the muscle car has also increased fuel efficiency without losing power. Muscle cars support the American economy and have appreciated in value since their original production. The muscle car is an amazing breed of cars that deserves celebration.
Birkett, Russell. Personal interview. 16 Nov. 2011.
"The Garage." <http://jaylenosgarage.com>.Web. 17 Nov. 2011.
Gates, Bruce, and Others. "Making Life Safer Behind the Wheel." Article. 3 Nov. 2011.
Web. 17 Nov 2011
Miller, Shane. Personal interview. 16 Nov. 2011.