SEPTEMBER 10, 2014: URGENT MESSAGE FROM VINTAGE MUSCLE CARS–BABY WE WERE BORN TO RUN

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One of the saddest sights on a highway is a slow-moving old school muscle car shuffling along in the slow lane.

 

We have seen many examples of this kind of cruel and unusual punishment over the years and we are always unhappy when we see it.

 

 

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Imagine Triple Crown legend Secretariat as a kiddy ride horse, haltered into a hellish circle of complete despair, moving slowly under the overly zealous watch of helicopter parents who will never let any harm come to their heavily bubble-wrapped kids.

 

That is the sorry image that springs to mind when we see a former road warrior from the muscle car wars driven well under the speed limit on a highway.

 

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Sure the cars are middle-aged, but they were never built to suffer the kind of indignity foisted upon them when they get passed by a Prius on the road. There is no earthly reason to let this happen unless the big block lost an entire bank of cylinders.

 

 

Most of the owners appear to be old enough to remember a young Goldie Hawn on Laugh In and maybe that chronological fact may work against them. Maybe the typical 21st century muscle car owners no longer feel the need for speed like they did when the cars were brand new and they were young enough to have a strong sense of adventure.

 

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Maybe the 10-feet-tall-and-bullet-proof philosophy of their youth has been gone so long they can no longer remember what it means to put the pedal to the metal in life. Maybe the cars have become an investment rather than an adventure and their owners have moved into the “proceed with caution” phase of life.

 

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There is an easy cure to the problem: unleash the horses under the hood. A vintage muscle car should never get passed by any vehicle that shuttles kids to soccer games during the day or gets plugged into an electrical outlet at night.

 

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Old school muscle cars were never meant to be good for the environment any more than they were meant to be good for a young male owner’s insurance premiums in a bygone era.

 

They sucked up massive amounts of leaded premium gas and delivered massive horsepower to their eager young owners. It was an equitable trade-off for both parties.

 

The young car guys from the muscle car era were meant to test the live-fast-die-young boundaries of misspent youth and the cars were up for the task, even if the drivers were not ready for the game.

 

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Most of us dreamed about these cars when we were kids and we envisioned a scenario where nothing ever passed us on the road of our youthful lives.

 

Nowhere in that vision did we picture a scenario where one of these muscle car legends was 10-20 mph under the speed limit on a highway, but lately we have witnessed this grim picture enough over the past few years to conclude slow-moving muscle cars are not a tragic one-off rarity on the highways.

 

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Our advice to the overly cautious owners of classic muscle cars is pretty simple: sell the cars to somebody who will do right by them and then buy a bus pass.

 

Jim Sutherland

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