Muscle Cars

The Need For Speed Never Changes

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By Mark Weisseg

The 1908 Minnesota State Fair the caption reads. The photo implies some sort of race, as cars were so new, people would turn out in droves to see these machines. Remember, the transportation of the day was a horse and buggy so the cars made noise, went faster than a horse, and had real possibilities for the average farmer. Back in 1908 the average American person rarely if ever, traveled more than 10 miles away from the farm. The reason was they just could not do so in a timely fashion and the probability of getting lost was high. No real roads, no paper maps, and it would be hard to ask anyone else for directions as they were in the same situation as you.
Now, we know Henry Ford did not invent the automobile. Most historians would give that credit to Carl Benz.

What Ford did was he revolutionized the assembly line, paid workers a five dollar a day wage with some stipulations, but more importantly he made the Model T very affordable to the masses. Hence, families would venture away from the farm and start exploring. And after that, the entire industry exploded. I am not going to bore you with all those stories of the winners and losers but, instead remind you that even as far back as 1908 we had ourselves classic muscle cars.

In the 1908 State Fair photo, it looks like these guys are gonna race. I hope they did because here we are in 2016 doing the same thing, attending racing events. I go to dirt track racing as much as possible just like the folks did way back then. Even today if you sit in the right seats you will come home dirty from the dust, mud or dirt in your hair, your ears ringing, and you will have much to talk about for days.
In that sense nothing has really changed. Imagine the spectators back then going home dirty and telling other family members what they saw and heard. I’ll bet the next race the folks that heard about the race just had to go themselves to see and witness it too. And, that may be how we all got where we are today. So cool huh?

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