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Why not just get a muscle car?

Got a good laugh recently. Saw a teenaged boy driving his tricked out “sport edition” Toyota Corolla complete with spoiler, flared underskirting that had colored LED lights all around underneath, low profile tires on wheels with lighted spinner hub caps, and over-sized after market giant stereo speakers taking up most of the interior back space of the car. All this on a Corolla! Somehow NOT my picture of a muscle car. It was a brand new model too. He tried racing someone in an older Ford Crown Vic from a dead stop when the light changed. Tricked out Corolla left the lad seeing only the back side of the big boat Crown Vic cruising out of sight. Rather livened up a dull day in suburbia to witness this brief vignette on the road. :slight_smile:

Marnet
…still reading, still learning…

I’ll add that I see this car, with the same kid driving it, every few months. It started out with just the flared underskirting and spoiler of the SE Corolla. Then came the stereo speakers. Then the fancy LED lighting all around underneath. The fancy new wheels/hub caps/low profile tires are the latest additions. The kid always seems to drive quite sensibly for all the tricked out details. In fact, his trying to race the Crown Vic away from the light is the first I’ve seen anything like that from him. I figure the lad is just having youthful fun with his car but, heavens, he must be spending a fortune on the fancy add-ons. LOL

The muscle cars are for one genertion and the tuners are for a different gen. I suppose its a matter of taste and what you grew up with.
I am a fan of the muscle cars.
Its all opinion but I dont think cool comes from an erector set wing, fart can muffler and speakers that cannot do anything but vibrate.
In reality no matter what car someone drives is it because they like it or does it make them feel self important/cool? That comes from the inside, not by an ignition key.

FDLOL Well said. You are so right. :slight_smile:

The truth is most people don’t care. He is probably happy and proud of his car. If it was my kid, I would be happier to have him drive in a safer car from this century, and maybe not have much power either. So, happy kid, happy parents and you are having fun with it too.

I agree, Galant. I’m just amused at seeing a little compact tricked out that way. But, if that is what he could afford to start with and then wants to fancy it up, more power to him. What amuses me is to see it being done with that particular model car. Mostly I see that sort of fancying be done by kids to current model Chargers and Mustangs or even to Challengers and Avengers.

My first car was a 1973 Corolla, a bare bones econo box that ran on hamster power. Yet it was a surprisingly good little car for many years and miles before it totally wore out. Even so, it never used oil until the very end, never had any oil leaks, never had any transmission problems. The body rusted out and was mostly Bondo filler covered in spray paint at the end, the rear window defroster quit working, the seals around all the windows dried up and let a noticeable breeze ruffle my hair even with all the windows up, etc. but it far outlasted its designed life expectancy in both years and mileage. I confess, though, it never occurred to me to try to spruce mine up with fancy add-ons, but then I didn’t have the money for that either. I was simply greatful to have transportation. In some ways, I suppose what amuses me about this kid’s Corolla is that I never had the youthful joie-de-vive to have that much fun with a car. Makes me think I missed out on some fun. :slight_smile:

Some people are all about how a car looks and not how it performs or drives. Image is everything. I’d expect a career in Marketing and not Engineering… An old Crown Vic is hardly a muscle car. Even the “police interceptor” Vics were only good for about a 7 second 0-60 time. They were fairly quick for their day, but almost anything with at least a V6 these days will beat one, and most econoboxes will keep up. The CVs were more about durability than speed. Hit a curb at 40 with your Corolla? Time to get a new rim, wheel alignment, and maybe some more expensive repairs. Hit a curb with your Crown Vic? Oops, I spilled my coffee…

With my first car, I barely could afford to keep it running and feed it gas. 8.5MPG baby!

@Marnet - the next time “Fast and Furious” and/or one of the sequels in the series comes on TV you can get a look into the world of “tuner” cars. These are small cars with hopped up motors and suspensions that have replaced the muscle cars of old. Some owners put more money into looks, but some of these car have the “guts” to really move.

They might not jump off the line like the Crown Vic, but they’ll leave the Vic in the dust on a twisty road. As to why not just get a muscle car? Really there aren’t many “muscle” cars available that young drivers can afford. They even stopped making muscle cars entirely for about a decade. A kid can get an old Civic, or Corolla pretty cheap and spend money on it as paychecks come in from serving burgers at McD’s. The kids might crave a muscle car, but they can’t afford them.

I don’t think the Corolla was every marketed as a muscle car, so I’m not sure why you would compare with one. But yeah, there are a lot of kids who get a Civic or N/A DSM car, spend thousands on a body kit, enormous wheels, a park bench spoiler, and custom paint. But do no actual functional mods. The muscle car crowd tends to go the other way. Most of us don’t do much in the way of appearance mods, but instead add modifications that will actually improve performance.

With that said there are some import enthusiasts that do actually improve the performance of their cars. A guy I used to work with swapped a LS1 into his 240SX. I also knew a guy who had a Ford 302 in a Miata. And there are plenty of very fast WRX/Evo’s out there as well.

In the interest of disclosure, I have a Mustang GT with a Kenne Bell supercharger, 3.73 gears (used to be 4.10s), custom exhaust, eibach springs, Koni shocks, Cobra-spec Brembo brakes , Steeda Tri-Ax short shifter, and some other bits. The visual mods on my car are limited to a rear spoiler delete, Mach 1 grill delete, and a Mach 1 chin spoiler.

I don’t know about the insurance for muscle in your neck of the woods but I can tell you that there are few if any young drivers where I live that can afford it. In fact some companies will refuse to insure a certain younger demographic on anything but a four door model. Ironically the kid could have got the same or lower rate on the Crown Vic in these parts. I’ve always liked a sleeper but today’s crowd seems to be all about flash. loud exhaust and window rattling (my windows) sound systems.

Ah, I hadn’t known what was meant by a “tuner” car. Now I do!

I confess that I did have occasional fun with my second car (which I retired 6 years ago and gave to my nephew who is still driving it), a 1987 Olds Cutlass Cierra. I wanted the big 3.8L engine but couldn’t afford the Buick Century or even the Cierra luxury edition, so I factory ordered a bare bones Cierra with the upgraded engine. So looking at it, everyone, including mechanics who hadn’t worked on it before, assumed it would have the usual 3.3L engine. They’d put their foot to the gas pedal and get a surprise. That engine had quite a nice low end torque with great acceleration and would GO if I needed to floor it in passing situations or merging onto the highway. Sigh, I miss that. Anyway, once in awile some boozo would try to race me to cut me off. Unless they had a V8 fuel injected engine they rarely could do so. Saw more than one really stunned face in my rear view mirror.

My 13 year old wants a Firebird.
I say ''good project car for you to learn on."
SHE looks at her french manicure…then at me…then back at her hands…then at me…

FDLOL You know, I hope she does learn to handle all sorts of basic mechanical jobs, like how to change the oil in cars and lawnmowers, how to put a new washer in a faucet or even install new faucets, how to put new parts in a toilet tank, etc. I won’t hurt her to get a few broken nails, brusies and scrapes on her hands.

My late father, bless him, never would teach me any of that, wouldn’t even let me watch to learn. It wasn’t “woman’s work”, according to him, and he thought he was protecting me. Of course, try as he might, the poor man was one of those who could (and often did) fix things beyond repair.

Had I learned such important, self sufficient basic tasks at a young age, then I might be able to still do them today despite some major physical limitations, because I would know how to do the task and have gradually adapted methods of getting the tasks done despite painful arthritis. You’d be amazed at how one adapts household chores, cooking, vacuuming, etc. As it is, I really struggle to figure out how to do mechanical things and find myself having to pay others to do some tasks that I should be able to do for myself.

Sometimes, though, I do manage. Prime example, I needed to remove four hugely overgrown and mostly dead evergreen yews in front of my house. Lowest bid I got from any tree/landscaping company was $450 and up. I thought about that and how I found I cannot safely handle the small chain saw Dad had and decided there was still a way I could do this. I spent $40 at the hardware store for a good pair of loppers and a good pruning saw… A few hours at a time spread out over a week’s time and voila, the yews are gone! Put some stump rot on the remaining stumps and let nature do its work over the winter and I’ll be able to relandscape there in the spring. Not pretty, not quick and efficient but affordable and I have the satisfaction of having conquered at least one such task for myself.

Just being fwd eliminates a car from being “muscular”.

Yes, Marnet, I’m trying to draw her in to this DIY houshold that she’s been adopted into.
My 36 year old daughter knows the houshold and automotive diy and is trying to help talk the 13er into getting her hands dirty just like ‘‘big sis’’ did.

But that one eyebrow raised smirk on her ‘‘you talkin to me ?’’ face says it all .

Marnet, I never understood why the excellent 3.8 was never availible in the small trucks,plenty of power and good economy-Kevin

Some people are interested and have mechanical aptitude, and some people are’t and don’t. It’s that simple.

I believe that mechanical aptitude is no less of an innate talent than music or art. Show some people how to change spark plugs and suddenly they’ll be checking the valve lash. Show others how to change spark plugs and they won’t even remember which end goes in the hole a week later.

It’s too bad Marnet’s dad was of the “old school”. It sounds like she had the innate ability.

Dagosa, although I admit that any vehicles I’ve ever thought of as “muscle” cars have all been RWD, I am curious to ask why FWD doesn’t qualify? Not arguing your point but asking for enlightenment.

Ken Green, some kids, whether boys or girls, are more interested in hands on type activities and/or doing things with one or the other parent. Good luck with the younger daughter!

Kmccune, every mechanic who ever worked on the Olds told me they considered the 3.8L to be a “bullet proof” engine. I got just as good gas mileage on average with it as with the 3.5L I now drive. But the 3.8 had far better immediate acceleration, a couple of speed sweet spots it tended to pull up or down to where it would settle in and just purr along with minimal effort. There was no tachometer in the 1987 Olds but I didn’t need it; I simply listened to the engine and paid attention to the feel of the car and knew when to ease of the gas a tiny fraction for a moment to let the transmission shift more easily. I’ve been told by many people that I bought a “geezer car” and should have gone for a sports car. Well, I truly had fun driving the Cierra. It had such a great engine, handled fairly nimbly, had a great trunk that was soooo easy to use for groceries, luggage, etc., it had small blind spots and great all around visibility, and had such easy to use controls for a/c and heating and radio that I never had to look at, could just work by feel. I miss that. Yes, the 2007 Impala I now drive has much improved safety features and some nice convenience features the 1987 Cierra lacked but overall the Cierra was fun to drive while the Impala lacks that fun factor and is merely fairly comfortable transportation.

Mountainbike, thank you for the compliment but truthfully I don’t have an innate talent for hands on tasks. As one friend puts it, I’m trainable but only at great frustration to the trainer. I’m great with words, with writing, but I don’t do well with visualizing how to do manual tasks, what something should look like when I’m done, with following diagrams and relating that to what I’m seeing, etc. Computer software in particular is frustrating for me learn because the logic used in programming is so different from my innate logic. I end up with computers doing what I tell them to do rather than what I want them to do. I have a slow learning curve with such things, actually with almost any new material, until one day all of a sudden the entirety of what I’ve struggled with just seems to fall in place and then my learning curve shoots up and I finish comprehending the new material quite rapidly.

Marnet…good question. To me, it isn’t just about the horsepower, it’s just as important how the horse power gets to the road in order to deliver high performance. Though there are fwd cars that out accelerate some rwd cars when they are comparable, it seldom if ever happens. The most efficient in doing so is always with rwd. Technically, it has to have a large v8…

It’s just physics.

At least two publications agree.


I hadn’t thought about it but your point about handling gets my attention. The RWD cars I grew up driving – my parent’s 1965 Olds 98 and the little 1973 Toyota Corolla – and later RWD cars they had – a 1983 Olds Delta 88 and 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis – all handled much more “stick to the road” through curves, even the dinky little Corolla, than did the FWD 1987 Olds Ciera I had or the current FWD 2007 Impala.

Having nothing to do with being muscle worthy or not, I’ve always been able to parallel park RWD cars fairly easily and well but even after 25 years driving FWD cars I am lousy parallel parking FWD if I have to back into the slot; only pulling forward into a curbside slot with FWD is relatively problem free. It’s the difference in how the wheels track.