The Unmuscular Car . . . and More

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The first bad news of the new year is that it’s official. Dodge will no longer be making muscle cars after 2023. As distinct from making Chargers and Challengers – which Dodge will still be making after that – for awhile.

Because muscle cars are powered by burly V8 engines, not turbocharged six cylinder engines. Which Dodge just announced will replace the burly V8 engines that make the Charger/Challenger muscle cars.

Without them, they are just cars.

Probably, fast cars. Maybe even faster cars than they are right now. Dodge hints they will be. But speed isn’t everything – even as regards muscle cars. Especially as regards muscle cars. The fact is established by the fact that not one muscle car made back in the ‘60s and ‘70s is even close to being as speedy as a Tesla electric car and yet no one considers the Tesla a muscle car – the proposition is absurd – while the bona fides of the actual muscle cars are not in question.

People esteem the old bruisers even though they aren’t the most “muscular” things around anymore – if the definition of “muscle” is some combination of horsepower, 0-60 and quarter-mile times.

If that’s the definition, then a bullet train is a muscle car, too – and everyone knows it’s not.

Most original muscle cars – even the ones with big block V8s – weren’t much speedier than a current family car with a small six, like the Toyota Camry. But the Camry is not a muscle car, either. And neither will a Charger or Challenger powered by a small six, the Global Medium Engine (GME) Turbocharged 6 – which is the just-announced replacement for the V8s that make cars like the Charger and Challenger special because on account of them, they are unlike any other car.

Without those V8s – and the sounds and sensations only V8s make – all you’re left with is speed. And that’s no longer special because it’s become common. A Tesla “plaid” is just as quick – even a little bit quicker – than a supercharged V8-powered Hellcat Redeye Charger or Challenger. But people who buy the latter bought the latter rather than the former.

Why?

Because they wanted more than just speed. They want other, intangible things. Like the sound of the V8 – and the hair-raising gear whine of the blower perched atop. The same reason, essentially, that Harley buyers buy a Harley rather than something else that’s the same as everything else. Only a Harley sounds – and feels – like a Harley. 

Numbers aren’t everything – unless you’re talking ’bout displacement, Willis – and then it matters, a lot. How many other cars are packing 6.2 (or even 6.4) liters of engine?

It’s analogous to the prestige which once came along for the ride when you owned a luxury car powered by a V12, which was a kind of engine almost no one else had. Which made owning a V12-powered car something special.

It no longer is, because luxury cars are now powered by the same turbo 2.0 fours as cars without the luxury car price. It feels like a gyp – and it is.

If speed, alone, is the thing then Dodge is not the only one selling it. But Dodge is the only one selling something else, which no one else is.

And which the management just decided it will no longer sell, leaving Dodge selling the same thing as everyone else, just packaged a little differently.

That will be The End, though it may take a couple of years of slow-dying first.

A lesson from the past comes to mind – one which Stellantis, the corporate overseer of Dodge – might wish to consider  . . . and then, perhaps, reconsider.

General Motors used to have a number of very successful divisions, including Pontiac – which sold very successful cars like the Firebird. Which wasn’t a Camaro, though related to them. What made it a Pontiac was its engine, which wasn’t built by Chevrolet. People bought Firebirds precisely because they didn’t want a rebodied Camaro – with no offense intended toward the latter. Better or worse isn’t the point.

What mattered was difference.

Pontiac wasn’t Chevy – and Chevy wasn’t Pontiac. The latter were successful so long as they weren’t Chevys. They became unsuccessful when they became rebodied Chevys. After the 1981 model year, a Firebird had the same engines as a Camaro. Which made it a Camaro in every way that mattered.

After a few more years, there were no more Firebirds – because why bother when it’s the same? After awhile, no more Pontiac, either.

Why bother with a muscle car that isn’t, anymore? Which no longer comes with the thing that made it a muscle car – and without which it is just another car, irrespective of how speedy a car it may be?

Down that dead end road lies extinction.

Which of course is precisely the point, in case it’s not obvious to you.

Dodge isn’t kicking the Hemi to the curb because people don’t want to buy them. Dodge can’t build them fast enough to keep up with demand for them. The main reason for that being Dodge is the last car brand still selling them. Well, not counting Ram and Jeep, which also still sell them (more on that follows).

The only reason Dodge has decided to stop selling them is because of government ukase regarding the “emission” of carbon dioxide gasses, enmeshed with ukase regarding how much gasoline engines are permitted to consume, which ukase makes building big V8s extremely difficult and soon, impossible.

The plug is being pulled so as to push people toward plugging in. Which is more than just that, as your libertarian car guy has been hollering about for decades. The object isn’t “electrification” – much less to “save” the environment.

It is to kill off the car, period.

And part of that death process is to kill off interest in cars, which is furthered down the road by using ukase to render all cars the same. Very speedy – and very homogenous. Compress-your-spine acceleration without doing a thing to make you feel something else.

One car same as another, so why bother?

In the end – and we’re close enough now to see it – it will be transportation. “Provided” as a “service” . . . provided you’re sufficiently socially compliant, of course.

There is no future for thundering, wild-haired V8s in this homogenized and lifeless tomorrow.

Nor for Dodge, either – which is choosing to abet its own extermination by exterminating the very thing which currently gives Dodge life.

Also Ram, by the way – since the Hemi’s cancelling encompasses what’s under the hood of trucks, too. Also Jeeps, such as the Grand Cherokee and SRT 392 Wrangler.

Sayonara, all.

It was fun while it lasted, at least.

. . .

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86 COMMENTS

  1. Eric, I’m having trouble with your muscle car definition. In high school, I had a 1968 LeMans convertible. 350 V8 with 3-speed Hurst tranny and a 4bbl Holly carb. Definitely a muscle car.

    My current ride, a 1998 Jaguar XK8 convertible with a 4L V8, is that a muscle car? Definitely stronger and faster than the Pontiac, but I would consider it a grand tourer, not a “muscle car”.

    Of course, my 1980 Yamaha 1100XS will blow the doors off both, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

  2. I wonder if this will begin another era at Chrysler having no 2-door V8 vehicles available. I’m trying to remember the years, roughly 1984 to 1992 (after the Mirada and before the Viper)

    • Hi dood –

      Yup; that’s coming.

      People buy the Challenger – despite it being a two-door – because it has that V8. Take that away – and what’s the point? Daniel – the poster below – thinks a powerful six will fill the void. No. It will make the Challenger just another performance car. It will no longer be a muscle car.

      And as just another performance car, it will be forced to compete with all the others – as opposed to being the one thing unlike all the other things.

      The Charger is one of the few sedans that’s selling ok. Why? Because it is the only sedan you can get with a V8 for less than $50k. Take that away – and there’s no more reason to buy a Charger than a Camry.

      Arguably less.

      This will be the end of Dodge. Possibly Jeep and Ram trucks, too. I mean – why bother? They’ll be selling the same stuff as everyone else.

  3. Don’t know much about much, do you? I have a 3.6 Pentastar V-6 that I supercharged and it puts out 600 hp. I ate a Hellcat for lunch with my car and you don’t think it’s a muscle car? Like I said, you don’t know much about much.Clover

    • Daniel,

      Power/performance is only part of what makes a muscle car. A Porsche GT4 is very powerful – and fast. Is it a muscle car?

      What defines a muscle car?

      My four cylinder non-supercharged sport bike would eat your modified supercharged V6 car for lunch.

      Is it a muscle car – because it can run a 10 second quarter mile?

      Almost anything can be made quick/fast. It does not necessarily make it a muscle car.

      Your modded V6 whatever-it-is would probably outrun my 455 Trans-Am in a drag race. A stock V6 Camry is quicker than my TA was when it was new.
      But my Trans Am is a muscle car. A Camry isn’t. Nothing with less than a V8 ever will be.

      You’re good with personal attacks. How about some facts?

      • Actually I’m talking about a 2018 Dodge Charger GT AWD and it’s actually an SRT. These are police cars and come with heavy duty everything from the factory. I bought it specifically because it’s an AWD and you can’t get that with a V-8, period. So I supercharged the engine that came with it. It happened to be the 3.6 which is built strong enough to handle it. My car is badged a supercharged SRT-6 which is what it really is. Why? Because it is a serious muscle car and was badged out of class. The ultimate sleeper car, if you will. That can get you killed if you bet money on a street race. Something I learned when I was a kid.Clover

        Muscle cars are called that pretty much for their straight line ability to street race against like cars. European cars a not the same because they’re specifically built for handling. I also own a 2002 Chrysler Prowler, with a horsepower to weight ratio of 7 1/2 lbs per hp, it certainly is a muscle car but no one would call it that. But that car will blow off any Lambo Contach 0 -100. But at 100, the Contach launches. Two different classes of cars. And you’re trying to meld them together as one. And inferring a motorcycle could be called a muscle car is both childish and clueless.

        • Hi Daniel,

          Your car is a great sleeper – no question. But it’s not a muscle car. They are defined by one thing – a rumbly V8. Take that away and you have a performance car.

          It’s an important difference. A critical difference.

          “…inferring a motorcycle could be called a muscle car is both childish and clueless.”

          And once again – you hurl insults rather than deal with the point made. I could hurl the same insult at you regarding your “childish and clueless” insistence that a six-cylinder-powered AWD sedan is a “muscle car.”

          You represent your car as a muscle car – on account of its high power/quickness. Well, a my sport bike has both. But it’s not a muscle car and neither is your performance car.

          Using your standard, a Camry with a 600 hp V6 that runs an 11 second quarter is a “muscle car,” too.

  4. I agree with you, Eric. Dodge will not last long after this. The platform is ancient and few people will want a turbo 6. How many people buy V6 Mustangs and Camaro’s? They have no other product. Seems to me like Sergio was keeping them around because he was a real car guy. His replacement, whoever that is, Is probably a Barra-esque bean counter.

  5. After awhile, most average people will not be driving cars but stuck on public transportation if your ESG score allows you the privilege of transportation. The Elites will drive cars and some of them will be gas powered. They will also be allowed to fly on planes while the Masses will not be allowed.
    Sound dystopian?? Yes it is, because your future is dystopian.

  6. I’ve never owned a high strung V8 car, and I’m thinking of buying one in the next year to keep forever, with the caveat, that I want it to tow about 5,000 lb and I also want it to smoke tires. It looks like a few SUV’s fit the bill, Hellcat powered Jeep or Durango, BMW X5M or Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The last two cost about the same as Hellcat SUV’s, but you’d need to get them 3-4 years old and used, which is fine. Do you have a favorite bonkers SUV, Eric? The alternative is that I go for a manual transmission Toyota Tacoma but that’s not a V8 and doesn’t smoke tires.

  7. Another major factor toward Eric’s point about making cars boring is that the electric cars most people can actually afford do not even offer the brief bursts of ludicrous speed. $45,000 gets you the cheapest Model 3, and it offers respectable but not mind-blowing acceleration. Meanwhile a V8 Mustang GT offers really nice performance and no added inconveniences for less money. The electrification push has the intended side effect of preventing “the poors”, as our overlords are wont to call us in unguarded moments, from accessing fun vehicles.

    • Very true, Bama!

      $35k or so will can buy you a Mustang GT – or a Nissan Leaf. A Chevy Bolt – or a Charger R/T.

      A Tesla 3 is a $50k car; the GM Hummer EV starts at $79k.

  8. While modern engines, with their exotic valve trains, fuel injection systems, and computer controls may indeed crank out more net power per unit displacement, they’re also considerably more expensive to manufacture and service…and for all practical purposes, beyond the ordinary oil changes and air filter replacement, and MAAAYBE spark plug replacement, are beyond what even an experienced wrench-twister can service, as just “reading codes” will still not necessarily help with fixing whatever ails it.

    The old-time “performance” engines and drive trains were not all that much different from the “grocery getters” they were based upon. Indeed, major components like carburetors, starters, alternators, radiators, and transmissions were often identical to Mom’s “Family Truckster”. There were certainly SOME differences, such as forged steel cranks, hotter cams, dual-point distributors, dual and freer-flowing exhausts that gave the engine that “rumble” sound, and higher compression ratios that made the engine require premium, or “Ethyl” gasoline. But with the exception of some limited-production special engines like Mopar’s 426 Hemi or Ford’s Boss 429, most of these “performance” engines were a V8 with a 10.5:1 or so compression ratio, a single four-barrel carb, and dual exhaust. There were a few hi-performance sixes like the Convair Monza Spyder or Pontiac’s OHC Six (with the four-barrel carb), but those engines were nixed by the “suits” that felt they competed with their own make’s V8s. The cars they were installed in could be bought by some 20 y.o. kid that had just made assistant manager at the local McDonald’s or got promoted to E-4 in the Air Force. If he was mechanically inclined (and likely had taken Auto Shop in high school recently), he could do most of the work on that hot ride himself, and indeed, looked forward to when the warranty expired so he could start adding the “goodies”. And he didn’t have to worry about “passing smog” or whether any aftermarket modifications would be “street legal”.

    But that era is GONE, for various reasons, be it b/c the Insurance Mafia freaked out at liability costs for these fast cars, or the Eco freaks thought them a threat to the “planet”, or simply that folks, especially those that presume to be “in charge”, forgot to have FUN.

  9. Looking at the ICE from the accounting department…

    Internal combustion engines are hard to make. Sure, they’ve had 100 years to get the machinine tools perfected, but there are fine tolerances on every part and allowing for slop means performance takes a hit. I think the big manufacturers are at the end of the road for building better engines in bulk (for many reasons, not only because of Uncle), so they’re moving to electric motors. Really easy to build an electric motor, you can do it at home with a metal lathe and a sheet metal metal punch. One moving part, two bearings, copper wire and some magnets. A factory operation can crank out identical parts to very tight specs all day and automate most of the process (once the overseas labor wants a raise). The motor controller is just a box of SCRs or MOSFETs that can be ordered from many different sources. Again, very easy to automate manufacturing. Industrial Lego bricks. Sure, there are tolerances in MOSFETS just like any other manufactured product, but that can be accounted for in engineering and software. So put them in the test jig and see what they do. The 3% tolerance chips go to the production line. The 1% tolerance go to the aftermarket where they can be sold for a premium. And a few might be even better than spec, and they get set aside for special uses. But either way, the cost of producing drivetrain components drops exponentially once you stop blowing up gasoline and start wrangling angry pixies. Only problem is where you get the pixies from, but the R&D Department, or Uncle’s network of grants and research universities (LOL) will have a fix for that any day now… just like the “safe and effective” vaccine American ingenuity rolled out in 2020…

    As for the reality that electric cars are as exciting as a power drill, that’s what we pay the marketing department for.

      • Collectivist utopias are obsessed with efficiency. They see the choice of many different variations of products and competition as wasting resources. They don’t much like the redundancy it creates either. Never mind the ability to resist power. They want everything the same dull drab choice for everyone. One size fits all.

        • It will at once be evident that on this point the position will be different with respect to different kinds of knowledge; and the answer to our question will therefore largely turn on the relative importance of the different kinds of knowledge; those more likely to be at the disposal of particular individuals and those which we should with greater confidence expect to find in the possession of an authority made up of suitably chosen experts. If it is today so widely assumed that the latter will be in a better position, this is because one kind of knowledge, namely, scientific knowledge, occupies now so prominent a place in public imagination that we tend to forget that it is not the only kind that is relevant. It may be admitted that, as far as scientific knowledge is concerned, a body of suitably chosen experts may be in the best position to command all the best knowledge available—though this is of course merely shifting the difficulty to the problem of selecting the experts. What I wish to point out is that, even assuming that this problem can be readily solved, it is only a small part of the wider problem.”

          -Friedrich A. Hayek, The Use of Knowledge in Society

          https://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/hykKnw.html?chapter_num=1#book-reader

      • There’s a balance for sure. A few weeks ago I came across a video about a German study that determined the optimal/most efficient piston size to maximize power from fuel. Probably true, but then what about all the other factors like combustion chamber shape (Hemi engine), piston angles (VR-6, V Twin, etc) and the rest of the drivetrain?

        For sure efficiency is critical for any design, especially when it comes to transportation. But it is a complex issue, no single factor should dominate outside of what the engineer wants. Once you start spreading the responsibility whoever shouts the loudest wins. And in corporations the budget guys’ booming edicts take precidence over everything else.

    • battery electric products have their own difficulties. Much of those problems have to do with the batteries.
      The battery manufacturing is not easy or cheap. It requires more up front costs and capital than making ICEs. Machining centers for ICEs can be used for decades. Battery cell manufacturing changes much more frequently.
      There’s other issues that pose manufacturing challenges as well regarding wiring, connectors, etc and so on. Now auto manufacturers do understand things like crimping wires and such but at higher voltages and currents its all the more important to get just right.

      All in all, it’s really the govt regulatory issues that make difficulty for ICEs. but that’s happening with battery products too. I’ve had some tangential work dealing with California charging efficiency regulation with regards to getting a charger/product combination to pass it. Real pain in the butt and it’s not going to get easier or stay in California either. Then there are other issues from RF emissions and so on. It’s trading problems at best.

    • And another thing, all MOSFETs and other components are not created equal.
      You have to qualify every supplier in application. If you don’t you’re asking for trouble. Sure they all say they meet the same specs but they may not in reality. One of your internal tests the component only passes because that manufacturer exceeds the standard or there’s something not on the standard they do that allows it to pass. Switch to a different one and next thing you know you’ve got problems. It’s just as true with a MOSFET as it is with a ball bearing.

  10. anon 1

    Electric cars aren’t that quick, the ones that are quicker than a gas engine car usually have multiple motors.
    A gas engine car with two engines is faster then the electric cars with three motors.
    This dual engine Golf is quicker than a tesla plaid with three motors, and it sounds better.
    This dual engine Golf makes 1600 hp a tesla plaid with three motors only makes 1006 hp.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzKpFHEqO4w

    • Hi Anon,

      They’re also not quick for long!

      One of the many compromises – and contradictions – that beset EVs. Use the “ludicrous” speed much and you’ll drain the battery fast. A Hellcat’s gas tank runs empty quickly, too – but unlike the EV, it can be refilled in minutes practically anywhere. So it has no meaningful impact on range. The EV is a speedy car you’re forced to drive slowly. And why the focus on speed? Aren’t EVs supposed to be about reducing cost and increasing efficiency? Speed is the enemy of both.

      • anon 1

        Hi Eric

        In reality the tesla is a joke, to use ludicrous mode you have to cool the batteries down for 20 minutes and put the car in cheeta mode, that takes a few minutes, meanwhile you are at a stoplight beside a Porsche 911 turbo which can launch and drag race all day long whenever you want on 1/4 of second notice, so you have to tell the 911 turbo driver to come back in 1/2 an hour to race, ridiculous. If you use ludicrous mode very often you void your warranty and tesla will block access to that mode.

    • anon 1

      Here is an ice car with only one engine and only two wheel drive, it is quicker then the tesla plaid with three motors and all wheel drive….it also sounds great, you can hear it and you can feel it and smell it too…….

      Here is a super 7 (a 1957 design) with an ice engine that is quicker then the plaid and all the hypercars in the 1/4 mile, it was the quickest kit car in the world.

      Dutton Super 7 clone with SBC V8 434ci, 1600 lb, steel tube frame, fibreglass body, it has run a best 8.90 sec 1/4 mile, this is how a car should be, small, light, agile, fast, no frills, mechanical art made to go fast only, no luxury, no doors or roof, some have no windshield, nothing extra, it is quicker then all the hypercars and the tesla plaid.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn2lHb7N3uQ

  11. “In the end – and we’re close enough now to see it – it will be transportation. ‘Provided’ as a ‘service’ . . . provided you’re sufficiently socially compliant, of course.

    There is no future for thundering, wild-haired V8s in this homogenized and lifeless tomorrow.”

    The Fabian socialists in 1930s Britain understood that utilities and services were a better way to push socialism than revolution.

    When a technology is new, it’s like the “Wild West” — anyone can invent it, provide it, sell it, etc. This is percisely what happened with cars — men — MEN — simply decided to build and sell them to whoever wanted to buy them, and put their names on the trunk — Ford, Hudson, Nash, Dodge, Chrysler.

    Once a technology becomes so widely adopted that it becomes a necessity, people EXPECT to have it, and eventually it becomes an ENTITLEMENT. And then the government takes over and “regulates” how much of it you will get and at what price. In Britain after 1945, literally all such industries that were considered “necessities” were nationalized: oil, gas, electric, coal, telecom, rail, air, and medicine.

    We have something similar but not as extreme in the U.S.: gas and electric are regulated to the point where they are BARELY private. Although we have not directly nationalized the auto industry the way the UK nationalized British Leyland in 1975, auto companies have been “too big to fail” for decades and two of the Big Three have been bailed out directly by the government.

    Socialism is here, has been for decades. “They” will decide what you get and how much.

  12. The problem Chrysler has, if it does it the same way everybody else does, it becomes the “also ran”.

    Case in point, the last Dart and 200. Both nice cars, but yeah, nobody cares….

    Their only desirable vehicles are the V8 powered ones. Without them, they will populate rental fleets until they go under again.

    I have no interest in a V6 powered Charger, even if its faster than the outgoing V8. It will be like the prior 300 (front wheel drive and a V6) to the current one. It’s a different kind of car. One that excites nobody. My next vehicle will be a pickup or large SUV.

    Its gotten to the point that “car guys” will only be interested in cars of the past. It’s that way for many already.

    The Camaro is already discontinued (and if it returns will likely be “fully” electric). So no longer a muscle car either.

    On a sidenote, how long do you see real Mustangs with V8’s? Guessing not too much longer either. Biden’s new rules will make even V8 powered pickups hard to do.

  13. anon 1

    Everything has gone virtual now, fake.
    Fake pandemics, fake tests, fake criminal leaders. Everything is virtual, locked down in your house all you have is the internet to communicate with, communication with live people not allowed, masked so you can’t talk anyways. Education is virtual because of the fake pandemic. Food is even becoming more fake.

    Cars are fake now, in the distant past you could see, hear, smell and feel them, they were alive. The new cars (the worst are the EV) are losing this aliveness. The EV’s are dead, you can see them only, no emotion or life, like the leftists driving them.

    All the fun has been removed, no life left, everything is about death now, extermination injections, masks, lockdowns, ending mobility and freedom, all the money was stolen, soon no food, soon you will own nothing, witch hunting the purebloods.

        • Amen, Handler! I’m not a very social (sociable?) person….what others do doesn’t usually affect me (Do whatever you want, just leave me alone) but now….seeing all of these fools performing all of these ridiculous scamdemic rituals- even allowing their very genes to be assaulted and their every action and interaction controlled by the whims of the most psychotic evil people on the face of the earth- and even demanding that we play along….is just too much!

          I’ve long said that our enemy isn’t just the government, but also all of those around us who advocate and are complicit with that government; and now that is becoming even more apparent.

          All good attributes of civil society were long gone, even before the world became deathly afraid of the flu (If that were not so; if our culture had not been thoroughly degraded, they would not have been able to pull-off a scamdemic when no more than usual are dying), and now…now whatever relics of the glorious past we had are just about all gone, and have been replaced with artificial garbage.

          Before, most things were more than merely utilitarian. Things were made to last; to be easily repairable when they finally did wear and break; they did what they were designed to do well, but they were often also things of beauty, good taste; and their beauty would endure, because they were not designed to look ‘state of the art’ (Which things age faster than anything, since their appeal lies mainly in the fact that they appear radically new and different- and once the shock wears off, they appear ridiculous).

          Buy an 80 or 90 year old radio today; it still works! (Because it was easily repairable, and one could just replace a tube now and then)…and it is a thing of beauty, being made of real wood, with real fabric speaker covers…and even sounds better than it’s modern counterparts. If only there was anything worth listening to on the airwaves…I’d buy such a radio!

          Scary thing is: radios, cars, whatever…..we can now include the masses of people into that category of those things which have been ruined, and are now worthless barely-utilitarian frauds of short duration, which barely function, and which no one misses when they fizzle-out.

          • “I’ve long said that our enemy isn’t just the government, but also all of those around us who advocate and are complicit with that government; and now that is becoming even more apparent.”

            Yup. The erosion of orthodox Christian values and culture is the reason we’re living in such a dump. It’s pretty self-evident even as a not very religious man such as myself. The institutions are not entirely to blame for our predicament.

    • Speaking of fake, did you know Teslas make fake farting noises? You can program it to fart a multitude of ways.

      Perfect feature for this stupid, disgusting world we live in.

      God help us all.

    • “All the fun has been removed”. As should have been expected. Much of the tyranny comes from the Yankees, which evolved from the Puritans, which considered fun a sin.

    • I “fly” an airplane simulator. It is remarkable how realistic it is, but I always know that if I get bored I can just quit, I can forget to lower the landing gear, or perform a myriad of day-wrecker moves without consequence. But then again, I get a knot in my stomach, grit my teeth and feel pretty good about myself getting out of a bad situation.

      My experience is pretty much in line with professional pilots too. The primary reason there hasn’t been a loss of life in large commerical airliner accident in 20 years is because of pilot training, most of which took place in simulators. Humans seem to be pretty gullible when it comes to simulating real life. Most of what we hear is a simulation of a performance. Much of what we see is a recreation of a scene captured by a camera. Both are digital representations of real life, but compressed and moved over a network.

      If the day ever comes when I have to have an electric car, I really want it to be completely silent. Let it be what it is, not a simulation of something else.

  14. Whose fault is it? This country was founded with the vision of
    freedom and liberty. Currently, it’s a county of individuals,
    corporate and otherwise, who kowtow to every illegitimate
    edict coming down the pike (V8s and jabs, presently).

    Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States
    by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved
    to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    “How did the federal government get speed limits to 55 for years or
    force every state to make 21 the age for drinking?” – Unconstitutionally.

    “A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.”

    Bertrand de Jouvenel

    • You would too if you got whacked on the peepee every damn time you tried to exercise your do-called “freedom.”

      There are reasons why things are the way they are, and it’s going to be a long and difficult process to make them any different.

      • Don’t agree. My state of Florida did not get to be the good example it is today through political non-participation, or “magic”. Governor DeSantis was, at the beginning of Covid, going along with the wrong program. I, and others, suggested he change his trajectory, and he did.

        “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”
        ― Thomas Paine

        • Not everyplace is Florida.

          The red state where I live = mostly OK not perfect. The squishy governor got embarrassed by the L candidate’s unusually good showing, and backed waaay off of stuff. But there are still a lot of things that need to be worked on/clawed back.

          The blue state where I work = not that great & extremely bad in some areas. No hope for it, maybe hopefully they will go bankrupt soon, crash, burn, and start over. Perhaps an enormous strategically located fire would help? I hear that fire cleanses.

        • Hey, don’t use Florida (Little New York) as an example. It may currently offer one or two perks, as most every sate does in one area or another…but a state where it is illegal to live off-grid, and where you to get and PAY FOR permission to drill a well on your ‘own’ property, yada yada, is far from being an oasis of liberty. And with it’s huge population (and growing) of ex-Yanks, whatever vestiges of liberty which still remain will likely be extinguished very soon.

            • Quotes from a letter I just received from the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis:

              “I banned vaccine passports because they are blatantly unconstitutional…

              They [corporate media] know full well I stood virtually alone when, as Florida’s governor, I made the decision to choose freedom over Faucian dystopia.”

              Florida has the lowest tax burden in the country and has three million more residents than the state of New York. Yet, our annual budget is ½ of theirs! Road and bridges are all better.“ (no state income tax or vehicle property tax)

    • “How did the federal government … force every state to make 21 the age for drinking?” –libertyx

      *raises hand*

      When New York state still had a drinking age of 18, but some neighboring states had hiked it to 21, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) started his sensationalistic ‘blood borders’ campaign to make political hay from late-night accidents that killed some teens returning home from NY bars.

      Lautenberg’s insidious ploy was to condition federal highway aid on compliance with a de facto national DUI standard of 0.10% BAC, now cut to 0.08%.

      No state can afford to give up big chunks of federal aid (a return of its citizens own money), so they all knuckled under.

      Then with the fedgov camel’s nose under the tent, other federal spending was conditioned upon compliance, rendering the once-sovereign states into mere administrative districts ruled from the federal capital.

      The Senate (with two senators chosen by each state legislature) was supposed to stop such federal power grabs. But Amendment XVII (popular election of senators) destroyed the founders’ basic structure.

      It’s not a federal government anymore, just as covid jabs aren’t a vaccine. It’s an illegitimate, usurper regime. We comply only at gunpoint … or raise a middle finger when we can’t abide their malicious tyranny no more.

        • Indeed, Manse –

          And that (Amendment XVII) was preceded by the revocation of the previously implicit right to withdraw from the federal union – the ultimate “check and balance” against usurpation of sovereignty by the federal government.

          • Which appeared in 1913, the same time as the Federal Reserve Act, and the income tax. The republic was killed in 1860. The final nails in the coffin in 1913. We’ve managed to thrive in spite of it, but it’s like water eroding a rock, it was destined to prevail.

            • Yep. 1913 for the U.S., and right around the same time for Russia: The beginning of the great experiment. The one to implement communism gradually via ‘reform’, social engineering, and financial controls; the other to implement it overnight via violence and revolution. See what the results would be and which would sustain it the longest, and which would do more damage to traditional culture. The US ‘won’……

      • The late Sen Lautenberg is also the kosher POS that sponsored a “gun control” bill re: firearms and domestic violence. Why good in THEORY, as most of these harebrained ideas are, it stripped those convicted of misdemeanors of their 2A rights, even if they’d gone down before the bill was passed, in effect, an Ex Post Facto law.

    • anon 1

      ……….nation of sheep ruled by evil wolves owned by satanic pigs….pigs the wef/elite nobility/.0001% billionaires

  15. “But the Camry is not a muscle car, either.”

    I’m guessing the woke kwanza lovin’ idiots that run nascar (nascrap?) would beg to differ. Oh well, they can sink too, I don’t care anymore.

    • Hi Mike,

      Nextel Cup cars are stock cars! Muscle cars are a different thing – though there is some overlap in that both have V8 engines up front and are RWD. But the “stock” cars are purpose-built race cars that are unrelated to anything you can actually buy.

      • Which begs the question, why are they called “stock” cars? Toyota no longer offers a rear wheel drive car, much less a V8. I can remember in the late 60s when Mopar owned much of racing, going to a Dodge dealer with my father, and seeing a Dodge Charger Daytona. Which was very close to a race ready stock car. Add roll bars, a five point harness, and remove the side windows, and off you go.

  16. What if Dodge just kept making Hemi’s? OK pay the fine and pass it along to the consumer who is willing to pay the premium anyway? Or are they afraid they will get the VW treatment and find themselves in prison?

    It’s not about cars, it’s about control. Sooner we all start disobeying, the better it will be for all.

    • You already pay the gas guzzler tax on the hemi powered cars. The fine would put the price tag in a place even people who can afford it won’t buy.

      • What if Dodge refused to pay the fines and taxes as well? Would the state send their goons with guns to enforce them? Or would they simply spew hate and displeasure? What if Dodge ignored them? Or, do the current Psychopaths In Charge lack the courage to enforce their insanity? Lot’s of possibilities, few likely actions.

        • Hi John,

          It’s no longer just the fines for “gas guzzling.” It’s the impossibility of “complying” with the regs pertaining to the “emissions” of gasses… of C02.

  17. Instead of bootleg whiskey folks will have to start bootlegging real car parts.

    Might be a good sideline for someone with machinist skills and capable of setting up a small foundry.

  18. “It is to kill off the car, period.” – EP
    Yep.

    We will all eventually be enveloped into the government transportation solution and the dream of making America Europe will be one step closer.

    But we ARE Americans. We desire different things.

    Bureaucrats don’t understand people want some things just on their sheer “cool” factor.
    Why else do we shell out $1200 for the latest iPhone?

    Eliminating choice is fundamentally unAmerican, but so is our government.

    • **”Bureaucrats don’t understand people want some things just on their sheer “cool” factor.”**

      It’s not about choice- if it were, they could just step back and let the free market operate. It’s about the UN agenda to eliminate cars for the masses- and the way to achieve that gradually (They always use gradualism…keeps the slaves from rising up, because by the time they realize what is going on, they’re already used to the new paradigm) is to make cars much less durable, so that there will be no such thing as viable cheap older used cars.

      It is practically to that point now- since cars have been so complex for so long, and all the really old ones have rusted away. If you want and can afford a new car, it’s viable till the warranty runs out..then quickly becomes a money pit because it’s getting to the point where every repair on these uber-complex abominations costs THOU$AND$….and that’s if the parts are even available- which is getting iffy, because the manufucturers aren’t making the parts for as long as they used to…and because of all the delicate plastic and electronics and VIN-specific stuff now-a-days, junkyards are often not an option. (In many locales, entire ‘junkyard rows’ have completely disappeared).

      These over-stressed highly pressurized turbo’ed and double turbo’ed 4 and 6 cyl. engine pulling around heavy cars and trucks just don’t last very long. We’re seeing high oil consumption and multiple major repairs well before 100K miles now.

      Some manufacturers (Notably Chrysler) are doing their damnedest to deny warranty claims (I know two people already who have experienced this, with high-dollar new vehicles, barely out of the showroom) and others are just patching ’em up to get ’em through the warranty period…and once the warranty is up, you’re on your own, and Gawd help you if you buy one of these babies used! Virtually none of the current crop of cars will be viable as 10 or 15 year-old used cars. THAT is their plan.

      Makes ya wonder what they’re gonna do next, to snafu things for even those who can afford to buy a new car every 3 or 4 years….. So you can bet, it’s gonna get even worse.

    • The elephant in the room is that the state can no longer finance their insanity. Hence the drive for the “great reset”. Avoid the latter, and we avoid the former.

  19. Bravo Eric Peters. Not only one of the best writers on the web, but most insightful and prolific. I actually get annoyed, unjustly, if he doesn’t write something of consequence on any given day.

  20. Global Medium Engine (GME) Turbocharged 6 isn’t a name that engenders love or fear like a 426, 427, 429, 440 or Hemi emblem gracing the flanks of our favorite pony cars. And yeah when my Camaro was restomodded and refurbished I had the 327 emblems with the cross flags emblems installed (hard to believe the amount of research involved to find the correct OEM location to put them, including measuring original factory pictures for scale) even though It has a Tune Port 350 in it. But as a genuine RS it didn’t come with a 350 in 1967 so I stuck with the original size on her flanks, but it’s not like M20 or the 12 bolt are original to the car either. Makes you wonder how some cars escape the salvage yard to live again (mine did the escape from LA salvage yard thing back in the 80″s). Funny thing you notice if you read is how some of these cars were bought not just for looks and a big engine but also to tow a boat or trailer. My Monte Carlo had a hitch on it along with it’s original 454 to go with it when I bought it.

  21. There is no cam lope in a Camry. Z4 engine noise programmed into its stereo. Because it has none. Is it not remarkable how the Psychopaths In Charge are currently guilty of the worst offense of the Pilgrims. The outlaw of fun.

    • And the Puritans that evolved from the Pilgrims, and the Yankees that evolved from the Puritans. And the progressives that evolved from the Yankees.

      • “And the Puritans that evolved from the Pilgrims,”

        Huh?

        Pilgrims = Separatists (persecuted for separating from the Anglican church)
        Puritans = remained within the Anglican church to try to reform from within

        Difference is night and day.

        I would agree that the “yankees” may have evolved from the Puritans…but Pilgrims swallowed the red pill (or its 15th century equivalent) and so deserve more credibility than the Puritans who couldn’t make a proper stand.

        I identify as a Pilgrim (Separatist) in today’s age.

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