Friday, 13 June 2008

The american classic car

I know, I know, that I can´t even dare to look at such outrageously huge machines in these days where petrol prices soar trough the roof, and the people from the petrol stations don´t even bother anymore to take the numbers they use on the sign back to the shop, because in a couple of hours later they must return to the entrance of the forecourt to swap the digits up.
But fortunately, there are some countries, like the USA, where you can actually fill a tank which only set you back a few bob. Or bucks, to be more in trend.
Lets just forget about the fact, that we need to apply for a loan everytime we dare to even leave the drive , and admire this tremendous seductive machines: There is nothing Freudian here with the size, it is just pure engineering used to shift a rather huge chunk of metal about, only for the single purpose of delight.
These cars, were made to celebrate the end of the war, and to show the world how glamourous the future could be. With petrol prices rivalling a can of Coke , there wasn´t exactly any worries about things like consuption. Or emissions. So, basically throwing a fishing boat engine into some 1o square meters of car, was a straightforward exercise , and the designers rooms were only busrsting with activity to see where they could put some more chrome and fintails than the competition. Which I can´t see anything wrong with that!
Then, there was no other engine to use besides V8´s. Anything that needed to move, had to have a V8. Motorbikes,boats,vans,cars,trucks,rigs,everything had to be powered by a compulsory V8. If they could chuck a Radial with 34 cilinders in every piece of machinery, i´m sure they would! ( Well, they used one in the Sherman tank, didn`t they?)
As a hideous marketing feature, they created the small block engine, which is the same that saying my Range Rover has a smaller 4200 cc. A small block, would weight more than a Fiat Panda altogheter, and a "big block" would of course need to be shifted by railway.
But these cars, are basically about statement: Never mind the three digit power numbers. You don´t own this sort of car to race or be fast. It was like trying to race an oil tanker against a sunseeker boat. No. You part with your money on a car like this, because of the Glamour and the grunt!
Few seconds after steping hard on that plate they call the accelerator pedal, you immediatly forget the 100 Pounds of petrol you just filled in. And you keep going and going , until there´s a choked sound of vacuum coming out of the hood, and the car grinds to a halt. Unless you have another full 20 litre can, you will never make it to the next petrol station.
Meanwhile, you storm passed a bunch of gobsmacked creatures left speechless in the bus stop, and you treated yourself with some notes from that exhaust under the tunnel. And that, my friend, has a price!
Everything in these cars, from the indicator arm to the lighter, is made of steel and it´s probably chromed. Opening the gargantuous hood, it´s like seating in a table starving and being served a full dish of our preferred grub. That had to come , at least from a lorry! That filter carrier the size of a bin lid, shows that the word "muscle car" exists for a reason.
Seating inside one of these thins, is an experience itself, and we wouldn´t even bother if the car had no engine at all. We could seat there for an entire afternoon reading a book or even sleeping alongside the front seat, without even touching the doors.
Fortunately, there are still coutries with 50p per litre written in the forecourts, where you can buy some transgenic manipulated lettuce and processed cheese sarnie, while listening to Willie Nelson. And give some good revvings to try stop listening to that dreadful Harley Davidson from that bearded bloke that just stopped next to me. I wish I had a Fats Domino tape instead.

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