Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Well, The Cars Have Muscle

Mark Yost writes about where America's automotive get up and go has got up and went in today's Wall Street Journal (sub req):

Many come to this leafy suburb outside Detroit every August for the Woodward Dream Cruise. It's one of the last places on Earth where low fuel economy, high octane and raw horsepower are still celebrated with a rare combination of exuberance and reverence.

Best described as the world's largest rolling muscle-car show, the Dream Cruise has been held on the third Saturday of August for decades. But locals know that it really begins as soon as the snow melts. That's when unabashed muscle-car enthusiasts open up the heated garage and take the tarp off of their 400-horsepower steel chariots. These cars are labors of love for many. They scour eBay and small-town auctions to find them. Viewed more broadly, the cars, with names like Chevelle, Mustang and Hemi 'Cuda, are reminders of the days when Detroit actually made cars with some sense of styling and git-up-and-go under the hood.

Woodward Avenue is the grand boulevard that runs the length of Detroit, from the bombed-out shell of the inner city to suburban Pontiac and beyond. But during the third week in August, the stretch from about Eight Mile Road northward becomes a scene straight out of "American Graffiti," George Lucas's 1973 homage to California's Car Culture and the muscle cars that defined it. There are other classic car shows, but this is the one where car owners come to cruise and be cruised.


Like most work by Mr. Yost, it's down to earth, interesting, and well-written. My only qualm comes with this bit:

And so it went. I walked about eight miles here, but could have gotten all the material I needed for this story in about a block and a half.

Walked eight miles? Not sure how he slipped that one by the levels of gatekeepers, fact-checkers, and editors.

JB Quips:

Weird. You mean these guys collect, like OLD cars? That's so weird. I mean, who would want an OLD car? I'm glad there is an intrepid East Coaster on the scene to make sense of these bizarre sociological activities. Like a modern day Margaret Mead, we someone to go to the native people's habitats to understand the motivations of this unusual pre-occupation and their "rare combination of exuberance and reverence" for these old cars.

And they like them fast? Again, so weird.

12 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:27 PM

    thanks

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  2. Muscle-car show is one of the favorite events of my dad. Do you know if that show used any service for their show like tilt tray services Perth?

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  3. That much rugged style and horsepower will definitely need some heavy duty maintenance. I can only imagine how much more well-equipped ute tool boxes for that will be compared to what I have in the back of my humble Toyota.

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  4. Working as a defendant of our country, we are entitled to apply for Navy Novated Leases. What I have in mind is to go for a muscle car.

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  5. I wonder the kind of windscreen being used in those muscle cars. As for my favourite muscle car it'll be the 1970 Buick GSX.

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  6. Who wouldn’t wish to witness the Woodward Dream Cruise! I think almost everyone wants to watch the car show! The cars present in the car show served as my inspiration for remodeling my newly purchased used car!

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  7. My father is a muscle-car enthusiast. He should attend this kind of shows because he will learn more about his favourite type of car.

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  8. Cars are like gems, the older it become the more precious it'll be. That's why, it is important to take good care of it, especially those with limited design and edition.

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  9. Some people like old cars because of their value. Aside from that, old cars have the kind of quality that new cars have lost through time, and that's what enthusiasts love about them. They would even prefer buying these instead of new ones.

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  10. It always hits a spot in me when there are individuals out there who keep the spirit of the old muscle alive on the streets. I'm just wondering if this tradition managed to survive the slump.

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  11. I'm not sure if I should take this as an ode to a legendary era or a requiem to a dying dream. Come to think of it, names like chevelle and hemi cuda have already fallen prey to the changing times...

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  12. My brother is an avid fan of muscle cars; I’m sure he’d be happy to hear about this. These types of old cars are the best cars to set-up,and put up some personalized car accessories and designs on it, that's coming from my brother and yes I agree with him about that.

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