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Rice Rockets – The Wannabe American Muscle Car

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What happened to the good ole days when Detroit cars were king of the road, Euro cars were for the sophisticated yuppies (and still are), and Japanese cars were garbage during the greatest era of automotive engineering, where cars displayed raw beauty and beastly power.

Having fallen prey to the eighties, those days are long gone. Leave it to the nineteen eighties to destroy the reputation of the American car industry and smear the good name of every vehicle crafted at the hands of freedom-loving Americans like you and I, and bring rise to Japan. May it be forgetting Pearl Harbor, the gas crisis creating opportunity for a league of typically smart Asians to design fuel efficient vehicles, or losing our souls, Americans these days have seemed to lose their pride in vehicles. And when I say we lost our souls, I don’t mean we bargained with Satan or any shit like that. I mean the American teenagers of the sixties and seventies decided to put a suit on and go play business man in the city, thus losing his or her passion to burn (American) rubber.

Well look at us now. You don’t have to look very far, in fact. Take a look out your window there, and you’ll probably see some ridiculous hunk-of-crap Japanese economy coupe turned into a wannabe muscle car. It’s impossible to miss it- the 20 inch chrome rims, the classic tone of a flow-max muffler (which sounds more like a RC car running out of batteries), or some 3 foot high rear spoiler – reminiscent of racing spoilers on seventies Trans Am cars. And oh, who can forget those low riding body kits, outfitted with hood scoops, side scoops, front spoilers, tinted glass all around, ‘aggressive’ wide stance quarter panels- the very thought of those shit boxes trying to push their puny little 4-cylinder economy engines over 60 mph makes me want to puke.

What father (in his right mind, of course) can genuinely watch his kids modify the family Honda Civic coupe into a ‘race car’ after having grown up with Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers, Chevelles, Cudas, and Corvette? I simply cannot comprehend today’s youth’s obsession of taking a cheap piece of junk and trying to make it look any less outrageous. Not to mention that the eighties are over people! Ford Pinto doesn’t exist anymore and there’s no reason to fear buying an American car, God forbid supporting our economy for once. Reality check- cars don’t blow up anymore and everything lasts well over two-hundred thousand miles these days, so reliability is not something to look at when buying a new car.
Everyone has their own opinion. Car companies create a product people will like, which is why some people like Japanese, and others American. Eighties stigmas are over and the American Muscle car is back. Personally, I have no desire to be woken up on my watch to the sound of some obnoxious ‘sports car’ driving down my street. Why spend your money on cheap modifications? From spoilers, to headers, to flashy rims, you’re better off purchasing an American sports car and get all of that in one, pretty cheap package.
The return of three American muscle cars has been long awaited, and understandably, people did not buy anything American, or sporty from 1974 to 2004. Honestly American cars absolutely sucked, as previously stated. But what is the logic, in the year 2010, with buying a Japanese car and modifying it to compete with a stock American sports car. The closest stock competitor to an American muscle car is the Nissan 350z, and Infiniti G coupe. Both cars are considered luxury, and their base prices are 5-10,000 dollars more than the Mustang. The Camaro and Challenger are similarly priced, but with all American cars exceeding 400hp, and both Japanese cars producing over 300hp, the difference is significant both in your pocket and in the car. The choice is clear, A 420 horsepower Mustang GT for 25,000 dollars, or a Nissan 350z with 330 horsepower and a starting price of 31,000 dollars. Sure, there is more than just horsepower to a car, there’s no need to get into everyone’s preferences on styles and handling and everything else, but one thing is clear; there’s no point in buying a cheap, non-performing car and trying to make it look or out perform a stock sports car. Just because your car is loud, doesn’t mean a thing.
Rice rockets are a sad sight. Save your time and hard money and ditch your unsightly economy car for a new Mustang or Challenger… chances are it’s faster and a hell of a better deal for your dollar. Not to mention be conscious to where that dollar is going. Support your country, be a patriot and remember that you are an American. Leave your Rice Rockets in the garage – American Muscle never dies.





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