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Muscle Cars

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By aleharrington
Words 642
Pages 3
Muscle Cars
It has been said that racing began once the second car was built. NASCAR started the “race” of the American muscle car in 1947. Due to the growing interest in power and speed, General Motors introduced the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. America’s first high compression overhead-valve V8 was put into the light body of the Oldsmobile, creating the first muscle car. American’s take pride in owning the biggest, most eccentric vehicles. Due to the gas prices in other countries such as Europe and Asia, they are less likely able to afford these large, gas thirsty vehicles. Americans have been infatuated with making cars faster and even more powerful since the Rocket 88, therefore, the muscle car is a huge symbol of American culture.
Muscle cars were being produced by many different manufacturers in the early 1950’s, including Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford and Pontiac. In the 1950’s bigger was considered better. These muscle cars gained weight and inches with every year that past. Gaining weight meant losing speed, the cars required larger engines, but still weren’t fast enough for the buying market. Each manufacturer had a different idea to enhance performance and boost power. Chevy only offered fuel injection, Pontiac offered fuel injection and “tri-power”, and Ford offered supercharging. Dodge went in at a different angle and offered a power up “D-500” engine for every 1956 model they had. In 1955, Chrysler C-300 AKA “America’s Most Powerful Car” became the star of NASCAR with its blend of hemi power and luxury.
Factory-sponsored racing and advertising came to a screeching halt in 1957. Though Automobile Manufacturers Association publicly agreed to ban everything muscle, they continued under-the-table engineering. After a short three years, the ban was lifted and “big blocks” were a must on and off of the track. The Pontiac GTO was invented in 1964and became the standard for muscle car imitators. Pontiac expected to sell 5000 cars but instead sold over six times that in just one year. It is clear that Americans were in love with muscle. Each car reached for more power and personality than the next.
Muscle mania struck a chord with the US, it was uniquely American. As our cars grew, our rival country cars got smaller. In Japan, WWII greatly impacted fuel availability. Unable to use his car, Soichiro Honda came up with the novel idea of putting an engine on his bicycle. In 1964, Due to oil restrictions and cost Honda Motors had become the worlds’ largest motorcycle manufacturer and Asian car companies focused on fuel efficient cars. When looking around at the cars in America you do find a big Japanese and European market on the road. I asked a couple of people why they own Japanese and European cars. "I like European cars because they handle better and give you the classy look American cars lack. However, I did own a mustang and if you are looking for pure power and fun you have to go American we are second to none In the power to price category" Joel Edmunds.
The muscle car is as American as Old Glory. Our culture including, music, movies and ads have including muscle cars since the 1960’s. Many classics such as “The Dukes of Hazard”, “Bullitt” and “Vanishing Point” were inspired by these cars.
In conclusion, American cars are big and powerful and I find that our citizens have the same attitude. Our culture does not accept second place and neither do our cars. We see something we want, we get it and when you mess with America the power and pride ring true. Just like our citizens, we make cars that you can be proud of. Muscle cars are a large part of American culture, the pedal hits the metal and we show other cars what power is.

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