Ahh… it’s nice to be back in the driver’s seat. First let me say I’ve been reading some of the responses to this blog and I appreciate all of the love you’ve been showing me. Today I’ve been feeling quite nostalgic and want to share a personal story with you. The first car I ever drove was a ’72 Chevy Nova SS 350 colored gold with black racing stripes on the hood and trunk. This was my father’s car. He loved this car with every fiber in his body. He made sure he did all the work on it himself and whatever he couldn’t do he took it to one mechanic, Randy. My Pops would have me wash that Chevy so that it was always shining “Super-Nova” bright. Back then there were guys roaring down the block in their Pontiac Firebirds, Chevy Camaros or Ford Mustangs. Anytime they would see my Pops they would honk their horn cause they all knew he was the only one in the neighborhood with a Gold Nova SS. When he started that engine it sounded like a lions roar.
When I was 16 I asked my mother if I could take my best friend home in the Nova cause: A) I just got my license and wanted to show off and B) I wanted to show off. My mother, being supportive, said “Why not, your a licensed driver now. Just be careful out there”. That night we didn’t go straight to his house. We stopped at Mack Do’s for some fries and to possibly meet some chicks for us to get our Big Mack on. When leaving McDonald’s it started to rain. Being the inexperienced driver I was, I made a sharp turn in the rain… big mistake. The car starts to slide with no brake controls. We slid right into a gas station hitting a steel Getty sign head on. Luckily, it was a sign and not a gas pump or I wouldn’t be writing this today. Needless to say my pops was beyond mad, the kind of mad that he couldn’t even talk to me. Heck, he still won’t talk to me (real talk). The car was totaled but he kept it in the back yard for years, I’m sure, with hopes that one day he would be able to repair it. He held on to that Chevy Nova for over 10 years before giving it up to the scrap heap.
Moving forward to 2010. It seems that the American Car companies have been moving back to what made them famous in the first place, the Muscle Car. The release of the 2010 Chevy Camaro is a breath of fresh air for me to see on the road. Before the Camaro came back on the scene, the average person couldn’t tell you the name of a Chevy car model (besides the undeniable Corvette). But yet, there are several – Cobalt, Impala, Malibu and Aveo. Chevy is not the only one that’s going back to its muscle roots. Dodge released the Charger about 4 years ago with much success in the young drivers market. My hat goes off to Dodge for also bringing back its updated version of the RT Challenger. What a beauty!! This car has a manual 6-speed transmission option and the powerplant pushes 375 Horses under the hood. Even Ford has gone back to its original Muscle car styling in the look of its Mustang. The Mustang is one of those few muscle cars that kept its public appeal after its peers fell wayside. I personally love the Mustang and had the pleasure of driving my roommates in college while he was in the 1st Gulf War. Don’t worry Sam, I only did the reenactment from the movie Bullitt once or twice. (By the way if you doubt American Muscle Cars and haven’t seen Bullitt you need to check this movie staring Steve McQueen- one of my all time favorite car flicks.
I believe that this is the direction that American Car manufactures need to return to – the American Muscle Cars. These cars don’t just represent personal transportation; they represent a part of American culture. The Dukes of Hazzard was about the ‘69 Dodge Charger not Bo, Luke or Daisy Dukes. Smokey & the Bandit wasn’t about Burt Reynolds on the run from the law, it was about the ’77 Pontiac Trans AM. I am here to testify that if a car can make millions of people watch a movie, a TV show or even make a father alienate his only son, you’ve got a winning formula on your hands. Take heed American car manufactures, we love muscle (pause…). Now only if Chevy could make a new version of the Nova SS, I could patch things up with Pops. This is my exit, keep shining.