Thursday, March 14. 2013
To wrap up the question of whether muscle and pony cars days are numbered, I had mentioned that 500 horsepower cars were becoming in greater supply and a 35 MPG standard in the same sentence. Gas was nearing three dollars a gallon for regular 87 octane; would this mean current muscle cars like the 515 horsepower Z06 Corvette and 500 horse Mustang Shelby GT500 could be on borrowed time? Would the upcoming 638 horsepower ZR1 Corvette face the chopping block, and would the big three have to give in to economy above performance on their future check lists? “High performance vehicles such as this may actually be legislated out of existence” Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter mentioned when referring to the ZR1 and the CAFE standards coming. So was it a doom and gloom future?
My family has vacationed in Maine since the 1970s, and in 2009 I got a few indicators that could show the muscle car and pony car future status. Isleboro is a small island off the coast of Maine, and unless you own a boat, a 30 minute ferry ride is required to experience their way of life (the island's lighthouse is pictured). Even in this remote of places, I was able to see muscle cars every day. In one weeks time, I saw two 1970 Chevelles, a ’68 and ‘80 Camaro, and a few days before I left, a spanking new 2009 orange Dodge Challenger came in. All this on an island less than is 25 miles from end to end, and only containing one place to purchase gas. Might seem crazy, but those owners are still cruising and living the dream of having a muscle car in their life. They gave me hope that our hobby will continue to survive for future generations.
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