America's Last Muscle Car

by Mike Satterfield

I know what you are thinking, there are other muscle cars for sale and on the surface you would be right. You can still buy a Camaro or Mustang, but are those still muscle cars in the traditional sense? The new Mustang is a refined European Styled Sports Coupe, that looks more like a Jaguar F-Type then a Mustang (not that it's a bad thing.  It comes with a four cylinder turbo and the Camaro is following closely behind with the next generation going far more continental than colonial.

But the Dodge Challenger is a brutal example of American hot rod fun, big engine in a (relatively) small chassis. Mash the throttle and you can light up the tires all day long. But it is also cleaver, the Challenger still gives you everything you want in a modern car, it's comfortable, has amazing technology, it even gets decent gas mileage for a big V8. For me, what it does so well is evoke the feelings of driving a 1960's muscle car, without all the drawbacks of driving a 1960's muscle car. The feel, the sound, the look of the shaker, the fact that it comes in-your-face colors like Sublime Green and Plumb Crazy Purple, it is a uniquely American car experience the other manufacturers have turned away from. Throw in the fact you can option up to the 707 hp Hellcat and it's easy to see why the Challenger really the king of the Muscle cars.

I drove the new Mustang not long ago and it was refined, smooth, handled well, it could have been an Audi, or a BMW, or a Honda, it was a profoundly good car. It seemed to be missing some of the soul of the muscle cars from which it came. The Challenger does not suffer from this identity crises, it is a fine car, but it bold, brash, and unmistakably American and that is why I love it.

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