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American DNA

October 11, 2008

gm_challenger290.jpgWe always say that even though we speak the same language as our American cousins we often don’t hear the same words. Which is another way of saying there are lots of things which on the surface are assumed to be the same but which are in fact very different. One area of assumed similarity is that of the muscle car – Australia simply does not build them any more, preferring to hide horsepower under the lines of a family sedan for those willing to pay for it.  In these days of being environmentally conservative and protective it is not so fashionable to admire, let alone design and build muscle cars, but I have appreciated that, in this part of the country at least, the growl of a V8 biting down on gear changes is alive and well. It makes a change to Washington where it seems everyone is being seen in a small car, or at least a well muffled, silent car with “sucked lozenge” lines which fool us into overlooking the size of the engines under the bonnet. Around this part of the world I have heard and seen more late model Mustangs and Corvettes than I was expecting, driven by all sorts other than the young male something with a reversed baseball cap (now mostly seen in turbocharged 4 cylinder Japanese cars). Mind you the Lone Star state is still the Pickup State and at the State Fair, where I found this Pontiac Challenger, there was far more interest in the very interactive displays by Ford and GM of all manner of pickups, most of which were on steroids. But I can live with that part of their DNA if they continue producing cars that look like this and which sound like they mean it when they move off from the lights. It is, after all, a tonal language I completely understand.

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