The downfall of American muscle cars
This article is taken from https://www.carthrottle.com/post/w3e4k45/. Please read it and note down more reasons for the downfall of the Muscle Car culture.
6 Reasons Why Hot Rod And Muscle Car Culture Is Dying
It seems as if as time goes on, talk and love for muscle cars and hot rods dissipates. There are several factors that cause this and I will talk about them now…
One: Dying Enthusiasts and Rusting Cars
A lot of hot rodders and muscle car enthusiasts are older men. Go to any hot rod or muscle car meet and you’ll see that’s the case. As a result of this, they tend to kick the bucket more than young JDM enthusiasts (even when they’re drifting canyons). Even if they don’t die, they might grow too old to be ripping at the autocross or rocketing down the drag strip. Many cars that hot rodders and muscle cars love have ceased production long ago. The number of cool old rides diminishes day by day much to the chagrin of their enthusiasts.
Two: The Rise Of JDM Culture
Up until the 90’s if you wanted cheap car thrills in America, you got a muscle car. Yes there was the AE86, RX-7 and the early Supra’s but Japanese sports cars didn’t start to get really popular until the 90’s. Now a lot of new and used Japanese cars are cheap to buy, cheap to own, big aftermarket and culture plus decent fun. Most Japanese cars handle pretty well too, where muscle cars unashamedly give a crap about straight line speed. There are turbochargers and computers and all sorts of new technology while most muscle cars are seen as archaic. The Muscle vs JDM battle is still going on today, and it won’t stop until car enthusiasts themselves stop breathing.
Three: Fuel Concerns and Emissions Laws
Although this kind of thing affects car culture as a whole, it especially applies to muscle cars. This problem isn’t a new one, this problem has had a big effect on muscle cars in the past as well. An oil embargo and tightening emissions regulations in the 1970’s temporarily ended the glory days of the American performance car. Nowadays, fuel economy and emissions are real concerns among many Americans, even when the Big Three are producing 500 plus horsepower cars. CVT’s, hybrids, electric cars and engine downsizing are common. These trends and technologies are an effort to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions, things hot rodders and muscle car enthusiasts couldn’t care less about.
Four: Autonomous Cars And Lost Interest In Driving
It’s very clear that many drivers all over the world see the act of driving as a chore. Many chores are being taken over by robots, like vacuum cleaning for example. Autonomous cars in different forms have been popping up recently. Teenagers are losing interest in cars, why? Because technology has replaced cars as a means of connecting with friends. Back before the internet sprouted into existence, people had to use cars, bicycles or their own two feet to hang out with their friends. Nowadays, you can play video games, video chat and text your friends even if you’re thousands of miles away. Because of this, teenagers are completely fine with taking public transportation, walking or using their bike. Heck, those modes of transportation might be cheaper than driving most of the time.
Five: Poor Global Outreach
With the exception of Scandinavia and Australia, muscle cars are rare and expensive outside the USA. Yes, the Mustang is currently being sold in Europe, but for the most part, the big three seems perfectly OK with keeping muscle cars an American thing. This is a bad thing for the far and few between enthusiasts across the world. This is how American car executives see it, “Why sell muscle cars in a place where people don’t want to buy them or a substantial profit can’t be made?”
Six: Advancement of Engine Technology
Back in the day, if you wanted big power you had to have at least a V8 engine. An engine with less cylinders than that wouldn’t do. Nowadays, that’s not the case. There are six cylinder and even some five and four cylinder engines that make as much or more power than V8 engines do, why? One word, turbochargers. Recent development of turbochargers and engine technology means that there really is a replacement for displacement. The side affects of these developments is that the V8 has been replaced by turbochargers as the holy grail of power.