Why I shouldn’t be in the auto industry
I’m a millennial, who thrives off nostalgia I could never possibly relate, a mountain of debt and a love for the classics. I don’t know much of the muscle car era besides what I can read on the Pony Horsepower Wars and ripples that express themselves through culture modern and retro.
Point all your angry comments at us all you want, call us weaker or tear down our use of safe space, my generation is lost without its way. We are here in a wandering state of questioning and rebellion and no central cause or identity to justify our being.
The allure of the era, their calling, their certainty, their cause is much of what makes it iconic beyond its peak. The legacy of American Muscle was the automotive apple pie of it day and has evolved into its turkey dinner for the rest of us.
Look at the main (surviving) Pony cars ; Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang all of which are drastically aged from their pride and peak. Noted, Muscle Cars and Pony Cars are different classes of vehicles but the Pony class is much simpler and concise.
Inspired by the Ford Mustang, The pony car is a class of American Autos defined by certain characteristics that include being cheap, sporty and performance oriented.
A brand new Ford Mustang V6 (ugh) is currently about $26,000 retail, in comparison in 1965 where it was billed at $2,427 (or about $18,398 when adjusted for inflation) So, does that mean it’s still a pony car? Certainly depends on who you ask but call it bias, I would say not a true Pony but a Pony Variant.
The Chevrolet Impala by comparison, a major player Muscle Car in its early days is far from such today. A muscle car has it’s own set of character traits which include; American made, designed for high performance driving , 2doors all of which can be considered broken by the SS-less 10th generation Impala. If you take all into consideration, The Impala of today is a survivor, a grizzled veteran slightly starting to gray. It’s not what it was, not that it is an inherently bad thing. I love the new Impala for what it is, and I love that the name is still alive but I can’t love it like I do the Retro Muscle.
I believe that I shouldn’t be in the auto industry because of my views as such.
- I believe in graceful aging of a moniker
The modern Chevy Impala should have some signs of the past; SS Variant, diversity of Lux and Race features, historical reference points or cues.
- I believe in emotions more than I do sales
The Ford Mustang is a legend, I couldn’t bare to take anything away from it. The legend is a huge reason for my love and loyalty. It’s an American icon by itself and is never afraid to remind you why if your memory slips. It kept its v8,v6 and added turbo 4 cylinder which as much as we frown does help it get around to a bigger audience. If the mustang was switched with the Impala and was retired from the game of its heritage, would I be complaining? Yes. You can bet I would be all for the Impala. The emotion is what I love. Outgrowing it’s roots, puts a bitter twist in its story.
- Culture never dies, even if nameplates do
My generation may have missed the attitude of the Muscle and Pony eras, but we shouldn’t have to miss the experience. If modern cars could reach into what made the old ones great however possiable we could create a new staple of life 50plus years later.