Muscle Cars Essay Research Paper I have

Muscle Cars Essay, Research Paper I have the bioligraphy but didn’t feel like putting it in if u need it just email me American Muscle Cars, the very words speak of automotive power. They

Muscle Cars Essay, Research Paper

I have the bioligraphy but didn’t feel like putting it in if u need it just email me Muscle Cars Essay Research Paper I have

American Muscle Cars, the very words speak of automotive power. They

represent Americas height of power during the 60?s; throughout there aggressive body

styling, technical advances, and there massive engines. Even though they were burdened

and doomed to die by high insurance premiums and overshadowing government

regulations. Muscle Cars were by far the most impressive and greatest vehicles Detroit has

ever produced. ?Insurance surcharges, emission controls, safety concerns and gasoline up

to 38 cents a gallon: for the second time in its life, the Hemi was dead(Leffingwell 180).?

Not just the Hemi was dead but the whole Muscle Car Era.

Before Muscle Cars

Or as you might want to say, before Christ. This is the point in where peoples

minds were concerned with foreign policies. The Iron Curtain had been drawn, JFK was

assassinated, people were being drafted for Vietnam. The whole nation was on a power

surge; and was Detroit. Muscle Cars represented the way the nation thought and the way

they went about there daily life. The 60?s was a exciting era, cars from the 60?s are

exciting and nothing will or has ever been produced to replicate the popularity of Muscle


The Magnificent Era

?Putting the pedal to the floor produces modern performance art; the engine

explodes, its sound bores into the ears. The tortured suspensions swings and reacts

(Leffingwell 20).?

One of the most important factors that drew out the Muscle Car Era was

advertisement. ?They weren?t used to seeing big, glossy full-page ads from the auto

manufactures (Stathan 46).? This is what contributed to the boom of Muscle Cars, the

availability of advertisement as well as the everyone?s daringness to drive a car of

complete power. Cars were advertised by Drag Racing, Car and Driver magazines, and

TV. People were lured into buying cars like a kids are drawn into a candy shop. The only

question was, what did they use to lure people into buying the cars. They used flamboyant

pictures and exciting terms like: Super Sport, Rally Sport, GT, GTS, and HURST. Many

of these cars just had exciting names that drew people to them: Firebird, Dart DEMON,

Superbird, and even Stingray. ?By specifying what you wanted from an extensive list of

options, you built a car to suit your own needs and personality (Leffingwell 52).?

Although some of the cars were produced by impressive names like: Shelby, DeLorean,

Hurst, and Yenko. These cars were built for only one purpose, that was to go from point

A to B in the fastest possible time and people did just that.

Drag Racing, NHRA and other car sports became extremely popular in the 60?s

and even helped brought upon the car war. Companies like Ford, Pontiac, Dodge and

Chevy battled over the battle fields of Pomona Beach, Salt Flats, and the most popular on

the roadways. ?Goes to show that nothing shrinks time and distance like cubic inches and

a good induction system (Mveller 81).? Most of these ?Boulevard Bruisers? or drag strip

specials you could only get from the dealer through a long list of options and waiting for

your car to show up could take weeks. The wait was long worth the wait, you would have

the fastest car in your county and most of the time if your paid enough you could even go

and compete and actually win in most Stock Car Competitions. Alot of people got

recognized like this, and eventually got sponsored into driving strip downed and acid

dipped drag cars. People like Sox and Martin, Bill ?Grumpy? Jenkins, and Bruce Kimmen

paved the ?road? or even the drag strip for everybody.

?You know John, it would take us about a half-hour to stick a 389 in this thing

(Stathan 28).? Working on the cars also gives people a hobby, the hobby can get out of

hand, modifying your own car. ?They were great at the track, but not so great for driving

to work and back (GTOStathan 10).? Some people get to the point where they start

stripping out all their interior and yanking out all the luxury items like power steering,

power brakes, disk brakes and the passenger seat to save on weight and parasitic drag. As

fun as it is to drive some of these cars they can drive you crazy, gear drive constantly

whining just bores into your head like some kind of cruel punishment. The feeling you get

when everybody stares or when u blast through a parking garage and set off all the car

alarms makes all of your troubles worth it.

?Playing good-natured cat and mouse games with the law, vanquishing lesser foes

in late-night street races, and causing envy levels to rise at the local drive-in (Stathan 12).?

That is what sticks out the most in my mind of the whole Muscle Car idea. Cruising

around and having good natured fun. Although it has been stricken down like a bad child,

by those who don?t understand that cars keep us out of trouble and its a way for us to

socialize. Being one of the biggest ways to socialize I know of. I?ve meet so many people

by trying to look for parts, from going down the drags or just cruising around and asking

people questions. Plus I have learned alot on my own just by messing around since

everything?s just basically bolt on and bolt off.

The Destruction of the Magnificent Era

Greatness could only last so long and the years it did last were exceptional. Muscle

cars started going on a constant decline starting with 1970 and then hit a nose dive and

died in 1973. There was many things that ended the ?greatness,? insurance, pollution, and

safety regulations. All these were imposed on outside forces, you may call these the

bringers of doom.

?In 1965, Americans were shocked and enraged by Ralph Nader?s book Unsafe at

any Speed (Leffingwell 16).? True these cars were very dangerous but thats a one sided

argument with many factors that play into this whole equation that were completely

ignored. Factors like age of driver and type of car. Muscle Cars give the feeling of

unlimited power and people without self-control push it to its limits which is far beyond

their own limits and end up hurting themselves or even killing others. Muscle Cars

weren?t great for handling either, during that time they had Polyglass tires. These tires

were made up of fiberglass which doesn?t really stick to asphalt like rubber does. Drum

and no power steering, which just adds to the excitement of driving. Drum brakes just go

out sometimes after heavy use.

Most cars weren?t even built to be taken to the extreme on the streets they were

built to scream down the dragstrip. ?Inside the glove compartment, found almost by

incident,… Notice this car is equipped with a 426 cubic in. engine (and other special

equipment). This car is intended for use in supervised acceleration trials and is not for

highway or general passenger car use (Leffingwell 19).? Most cars were built with ?special

options? that made them powerful or even special. ?The Dodge Daytona was built to go

over 200 mph and held the fastest closed track speed for thirteen years (Brazendale 75).?

Most of the automobiles to roll out of Detroit were pure works of art. ? By virtually all

accounts, it was the most outrageous car ever to leave an auto maker destined for the

street (Leffingwell 86).? Power machines with one thing put in there design, to destroy the

competition and bring in sales. Sales they did bring in with these modern day grim

reapers. Grim reapers they were not only did they slay on the track they killed on the


Killings and massive accidents was also another downfall to the Muscle Car era.

?Yet Nationwide Mutual Insurance research showed the same cars (Muscle Cars)

produced 56% more losses than did more mundane cars (Leffingwell 17).? The people

that drove these cars were generally crazy. One day on a trip to San Fransico I past this

guy reading the newspaper while driving his car. Picture a whole nation of stupid drivers

behind the wheel of cars that could out run most police cars. Of course accidents were

going to rise. With the rise of accidents and death rose the insurance payment.

Without insurance you can?t drive, its illegal. Sometimes paying the outrageous

insurance payment can get out of hand. ?The effect of insurance surcharges meant that

even safe drivers could have insurance payments equal to their car payments. Warning

lights were flashing throughout the auto industry (Leffingwell 176).? This kind of

surcharge meant that it shun people away from opting for these ?special options? and

when they did opt for the options they got reamed for it. One of the things that Detroit did

was to ?underrate? their engines actual power output. Meaning a 69? aluminum block

Chevy 427 put out around 420 horse in the books. When actually if dyno tested today it

would put out around 550 horse, thats a major difference in power and money when it

comes down to insurance charges. Detroit reacted to the insurance cloud in 1970. It

started to drastically weaken the power it was putting under the hood of its beasts and

focusing more on looks. 1970 also started the second generation for Camaros. These cars

were sleeker and more intimidating then its older brother. Unlike its older brother the

second generation was weaker, this was seen throughout all cars.

In my opinion this was the steel boot to the head that ended all the nitrous flowing

through Americans veins. Pollution control, a very bad idea when it comes to Muscle

Cars. ?On New Year?s Eve, 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the law that aimed to

reduce the automobile pollution emissions ninety percent by 1977 (Leffingwell 17).? Smog

stations were popping up all around the country. A way to monitor your car to make sure

it wasn?t ?over polluting.? To reduce emissions engines had to be leaned out and had all

this ?extra? tubing (looks like a maze when you open the hood) to recycle and help reduce

emissions. One of the major problems that people ran into when modifying cars is that

they would break these smog laws. Break the rules by not passing either the visual or sniff

test. The visual test included looking at all the Pollution Control Valves that flowed from

the engine like ivy draining a Oak of life. If one of these stupid valves or tubing was

missing, you were unable to register your car which meant you can?t drive it now. The

sniff test is one of the easier to pass, to bad your given both. They just stick a stick up the

tail pipe and check for parts per million. Ways of getting around it include putting

kerosene in the gas tank or leaning out the Carburetor.

The good thing is that the smog laws only apply to cars that are younger then 25

years. That gives a cut off to everything 74? and under which is just plain beautiful. Satan

has been known to show his head and things are starting to show up in Congress, these

bills are passing and sneaking by the public which is no good at all. Gore being one of the

avid supporters of the doom of Muscle Cars is helping out alot with all these bills. These

bills include extending the smog laws to everything up to 66? which will screw out alot of

people. Muscle Cars might just end once and forever with no hopes for resuscitation.

Architects of the sixties would have loved the Muscle Car. They would have

approved mightily of its form-follows-function purity. Even though they were burdened

and doomed to die by high insurance premiums and overshadowing government

regulations. Muscle Cars were by far the most impressive and greatest vehicles Detroit has

ever produced.