Cars with muscle
Ford Mustangs, old and new
As a Britisher, I am bound to assess American cars from an outsider’s viewpoint. As can be seen in our different approaches to car racing, priorities differ according to which side of the Atlantic you hail from. Americans, with their huge distances and straight freeways, want something with plenty of power; Europeans, with tight little twisting roads, want a car that will hang on around the corners.
And so a tiny car like the Mini can become a favorite in Europe purely because it’s such fun to drive, whereas the American hungers for Mustangs, Corvettes, Chargers and Vipers. Muscle cars, in fact. Things with so much power they’ll accelerate like nobody’s business but are on only nodding acquaintance with corners.
1970 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Don’t get me wrong – Europeans love muscle cars too. We love those huge V8s, the glorious sound they make and the kick in the back when they accelerate. It’s just that our twisty little roads demand that cars can corner too. That’s the reason for all those funny little British and Italian sportscars, after all – they give the illusion of power and still go around corners as if on rails.
For this piece, however, I thought I’d celebrate the tradition of American muscle cars. They are wondrous beasts and look great too.
1970 Dodge Charger