Muscle car


I was listening to ?Car Talk? this morning 8/25/08 and was dismayed and disheartened at what should normally be a humorous show.

The caller, a concerned mother, called in looking for ways to talk her teenager out of buying a 1970s ?muscle car? and she sought advice from ?Click & Clack? on how to do so, she feared that the car was too powerful for her son. The car talk guys gave a myriad of reasons having to do with repair & maintenance cost, etc. But neither party ever mentioned the one obvious issue GAS MILAGE!

It should have been impressed upon this caller that we?ve Soldiers being separated from their families for years on end and DYING in Iraq over petroleum and that the cars we drive affect the need for it. The United States is a market economy and we shed blood over economics. Regardless of your politics ALL agree that Oil is at least a strong factor in the reasons for the Iraq War. Don?t deny it, WE ALL KNOW IT.

This exchange between the ?car talk? guys and this woman lasted for several minutes NEVER was it mentioned that this young man should avoid a gas guzzling ?Muscle Car? because it is the responsible thing to do.

The ?Car Guys? should have been talking ?Mom? into buying a used Toyota for the boy for that reason alone, forget how much it costs to get a 69 Chevy road worthy. These gas guzzlers should be in scrap heaps; save for a few museum pieces to remind us all of our wastefulness. It is not as though these ?Muscle Cars? are capable of providing some utility as even ?SUVs? are in adverse weather & terrain. Driving ?muscle cars? is not responsible to say nothing of economy.

As an Iraq war vet it is obvious to me that people in this country are oblivious and don?t care because most are not affected especially this brat who wants a ?muscle car? and his overbearing mother. Her biggest worry is that he?ll drive too fast in a muscle car. For her it is all about ME ME and me protecting my brat from a too powerful car, no concern for the waste of resources!

I would ask this mother if she planned to send her son off to the Marines or Army so he can fight for the petroleum needed to drive his car to the mall at 11mpg. The Army will gladly provide him with a muscle car in the form of a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Humvee) which he can navigate around the streets of Baghdad or Ramadi Iraq.


Richmond, Vermont


Good Lord. :wink:

So let me ask you this. Are you also offended by boats (gallons per mile), private aircraft, SeaDoos, ski resorts (astronomical amount of electricity), Winnebagos, and any one of a hundred other fuel wasters?
I propose that all RVs, boats, aircraft and SeaDoos be put into the same landfill followed by bulldozing all of the ski resorts.

Are you living in a 3k sq. foot home that requires a lot of fuel to heat and cool when you do not really need that much space?
Are you equally offended by Al Gore living in a home that consumes a shade over 220,000 KWHs of electricity per year?

Just trying to determine if you’re selectively offended or not.


Yeah, let’s blame some 16-year old and his mom for the fact that the U.S. hasn’t had a coherent energy policy (or foreign policy) for the last 50 years. I think it’s a tad more complex.


If said teen-ager is going to do his own work on the car, it could be a good learning experience. He may have it apart so much of the time that he isn’t using much gasoline to drive it around.

Of course, if he is in school, he needs to keep up his studies. However, many of today’s engineers and mechanics got their start tinkering with cars as teen-agers.


If the US actually had a plan on new energy resouces you wouldn’t be in Iraq.


As a matter of fact I am annoyed to some degree of the boats, RVs, ski resorts, but not nearly as much because these things at least provide utility or serve a larger population.

The muscle car is for one or two jerk/s usually a guy/s with a testosterone fueled attitudes to show off and make loud noise.

The ski resort is serving thousands of people in a laudable goal, exercise, recreation, etc.


True, certainly can?t blame one 16 year old alone, but the discussion can start there. We also have to start teaching young people about this issue. He is a symptom on the problem. As it happens I grew up around the ?Muscle car? and developed the attitude over time and careful thought.


Yup, and US citizens have to demand that plan. With the muscle car attitude, leaders won’t.


Said teenager could also work on a fuel efficient car or better yet a motorcycle which gets what 65 mpg? as well as doing all the other things you mention.


Very few people put enough miles on the old muscles cars for their gasoline usage to be a real issue. In fact, if he were to buy such a car he’d likely spend so much time maintaining it till he’d not put many miles on it at all and therefore use less gasoline than if he had a realiable newer car.


Yes Craig, indeed a tad more complex but it starts with attitudes. Peek around at the cars sold in Australia for example, they have the equivilant of a sedan merged with a flatbed pick-up, why? Because they demand better MPG. US citizens have to do that too, it starts with social pressure on the gas guzzler.


Read the reply to the topic fuel saver? spam? by the gentleman with the dodge 2500 who commutes 178 miles a week. He gets 11.9 mpg. My 68 firebird with a 400 motor in it gets 14 mpg. You cannot judge a guzzler by it’s age or genre.


I sincerly hope you are right and that he gets so frustrated that he junks it.


I judge 14 or 15 mpg to be awful, slightly less awful than 11mpg. you are part of the problem.


This comment shows how skewed your thinking is.
You bash the muscle cars, but are willing to give a pass to RVs, boats (which use a lot more gas than a muscle car), etc. because they serve an “entertainment purpose”. Muscle cars do the same thing.

Your reasoning behind the ski resorts being a worthwhile endeavor because it promotes “exercise” is really laughable.
All of that fuel used to operate the resort, along with what is consumed by people traveling there, is justified because it allows people to exercise?
An hour or two on the slopes followed by pigging out at dinner followed by a drinking binge is exercise?

If exercise is REALLY that critical to someone, they won’t need to burn all of that fuel traveling somewhere to do it. They can do it at home by jogging around the block or with the use of a exercise bicycle/home gym.

You never responded to my comment about the large amount of energy required to heat/cool Al Gore’s mansion.
He uses 220,000+ KWHs of electricity a year (average person is about 20k KWHS) top of having an 1100 dollar a month natural gas bill.
Do you think his energy use is justified?


to further answer your question, with regard to Al Gore’s home. As a former vice president, he probably has a sophisticated security system. But think of the offset he provides in raised awareness. Also, Al Gore is one, Muscle cars are many. This is a problem that will take the masses to tackle.


Skewwed thinking! you should talk, we’re talking about muscle cars and you are grasping at straws like RVs, Al Gore and trying to broden the discussion until you can find an argument that will win.


I take personal offense to your statement. I am the proud owner of a 1969 Dodge Dart with a 340 CID engine. I have spent literally thousands of dollars rebuilding this car. It gets approximately 14 miles per gallon. I drive the car 200 miles a year. My next door neighbor owns a ? ton, 4 wheel drive suburban with a big block in it. He uses it as a daily commuter. He lets this beast idle for 10-15 minutes every morning before driving it 50 miles one way to work by himself. Who is the bigger violator?

I have a 2006 Kia that is used as a daily driver. It gets 30 miles around town and we (my wife and I) put a grand total of 6,000 miles on it last year. During the school year every morning I walk my son the 8 blocks to school. On the way I see untold numbers of trucks, SUV?s, and rice burners dropping children off. The school my son attends does not offer bus service because all children that attend live with-in 1 mile of the school. Who is the biggest violator in this case?

I spend my day repairing vehicles for owners who care about there car. I see numerous cars that come through my shop that are spewing out pollutants and the owners either can not fix them or do not want to spend the money to fix them. As the price of fuel began to increase I began to see customers who wanted there vehicles fixed to help improve gas mileage. Some of these cars had not had any maintenance done in years. Everyone I know who owns an older muscle car keep them tuned regularly for the best performance. Again I ask you who the biggest violator is.

Just as a side note: I ride my bicycle to work everyday in the summer (6 miles each way) how do you commute?



and since you mentioned it, no I don’t think al gore’s energy use is justified. Now back to muscle cars, convince me that they should not be junked.


You are percisely the person who should maintain the “muscle car museum”. if you reallyonly drive it 200 miles a year, you are not really the problem are you?? Now park the thing in your living room, drain the gas and oil from it, wax it weekly and show it off. I used to commute 3-4 weeks to work via bike until I got hit by an oversized SUV, now i use a economy car that gets almost 30mpg.