Readers Rides

Sweating the details: Muscle Cars Today

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By Mark Weisseg

I seem to recall much earlier this year when the gas prices were rising like crazy. All the “experts” said that the price of fuel would be five, six, seven, maybe ten bucks a gallon. Gadzooks!

Well, here we are close to the end of 2015 and gas prices are not even on topic. There are plenty of other bad news stories for the press to beat to death for now. Everything has a cycle and the new cycle is no different.

Back in late summer I heard of gas being sold in the great city of Chattanooga for a buck seventy five a gallon. What happened to all the experts? These gurus who cannot wait to relay bad news to you have gone back under the rock. That is until something else comes along that they can pronounce bad.

You see the benefit of living a life into your Middle Ages and beyond is we all have heard it before. I was around for the made up gas shortages of the 70’s.

Remember when we only could buy gas on certain days, or you had a number whether it was odd or even? I remember long lines, fights, stabbings, shootings, locking gas caps, and worst of all- the engines that were built. The engines had emission devices in the engines and converters in the exhaust. Horsepower was way down and the engines were dogs. So, America is a great country and many people figured out ways around the system. Not always legal, but some really worked. Then, the quacks show up. Engines that run on tap water, engines that will never wear out, get a hundred miles to the gallon. And so on and so on.

Today, you can buy a 2016 Camaro with a V6 that has 335 hp. And it is smooth, quiet, runs great, and has very little emission pollution coming out the tailpipe. I have a friend that went to high school with me. He is a big time gear head and he told me just this past summer that his 2013 Camaro is the best car he has ever owned. And he has owned many, many cars in his life.

So, when the doomsayers come out from under the rocks and proclaim the auto industry is dead, or cars will never be the same again- I just ignore them.
However, I do wonder at times why if the President of the United States sneezes three times in a row the stock market takes a dive and fuel prices surge. What does his allergy to grass, mold, or weeds have anything to do with the stock market and fuel pricing. Please forgive me but I went off topic for a moment but it happens. When was the last time you heard the President is sick in bed with the flu? Never happens. To me or you it happens, but not him.

I implore you to take a deep breath the next you are told we are doomed in the automotive industry. I was around when we switched from drum brakes to Disc brakes. Oh, the outcry was loud. Why should we put these shiny discs on our car and these so called semi metallic pads on to stop my car? It stops fine you yelled. Fast forward to today. Do you know anyone who is building a hot rod or fast car that in the rebuilding process thinks drum brakes are better than Disc? Heck no. Change will happen. Sometimes the engineers don’t get it right on the first pass but eventually they figure it out and we throw aside the “old” for the new. Stop sweating the details and embrace change. You will be surprised how good things are now. If you are doing a resto mod you can appreciate my statement.

Us old goats have seen it, heard it, smelled it before and we know it will always works itself out. If not, we all sink together.

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