European Beauty, American Brute
Car culture worldwide is perceived in many different ways. You have the bright lights and colors of the Japanese. The elegance and refinement of the Europeans. The brash, loud and obnoxious vehicle of America. Honestly, the car says a lot about the country of origin. Look at Japanese cars: simple, functional, not over-done on power or style. European cars are sleek, elegant, well-put together, and often over-engineered. Here in the good ol’ US of A we build ’em fast, plentiful, just-good-enough, and with more power then you can shake a stick at. The rest of the world is focused on hybrid and electric? Dodge just build and 850hp Demon. One giant fist to their commie mouths! So American right? Always doing our own thing. Everyone else be damned! You gotta love it or at least respect it. We get shit down around here.
So why then when it comes to depicting American cars or Japanese cars for that matter, aren’t they shown in the same light or appreciation as their Euro counterparts? I get it, the 50’s were the day and age of vehicular art. America hadn’t quite caught up yet. But we as enthusiasts see our favorite car as art, right? So why can’t I view my version of art under the same light as your version of art? If you want an example of this, check out www.petrolicious.com. These guys are amazing! The content they create is part of what inspired me to start this little blogging venture. Each video they do, which can be found here, is shot like a mini movie. You’ll be hard pressed to find better automotive content on the internet. But shockingly the disparity in Euro to American is vast. Are there not that many cars worth shooting? Doubt it. There are far more Boss 302’s than Ferrari P330’s here in America. These videos are awesome and beautiful and all the things you wanna see in an enthusiast piece. But I just can’t help but wonder “why not the same love for the American Muscle?”. Videos shot with slow panning cameras, classical music, the exhaust note rumbling through my headphones, shown with maturity and respect.
I understand nothing compares to an old Aston Martin, or Porsche 911 RS or Lamborghini Muira. Those are just a few examples of marquee, legendary automobiles. But I think we can break the barriers of a few stereotypes if we simply show muscle cars in a different light.
If you’re like me, you spend ungodly amount of time watching videos on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram and you’ve probably seen your fair share of car videos. I want you to look at the way American cars are shot. It’s always with some fake, shitty rock music or something with a little mixture of country and rock. It doesn’t matter if that car is from California or New Hampshire. It’s always with shitty rock music as the background music. Another thing I want you to notice is there’s almost always a host or narrator with a country twang, heavily tatted or the rocker/rebel looking type. Then there’s the combination of the two (Gas Monkey Garage) If you watched just one of those Petrolicious videos, did you see any of that? Was anyone there yelling “boogity boogity boogity!” ok that’s a NASCAR dig, but the answer is: no. Maybe it’s just that specific production company? Maybe there is some place where American and Japanese cars do get taken more seriously? I haven’t found it, maybe you have. Please, share a link if so.
What I’m looking for is to see all cars depicted as the art that someone most certainly sees them as. Just because it’s a Mustang, it doesn’t need a guy named Bubba yelling about how he wanted to keep “the rusted look.” Or if it’s an import, the video doesn’t have to be shot with EDM (Electronic dance music) and night drives through Downtown L.A. The way we romanticize the Alfa Romeo GTV, someone looks at an Integra Type R the exact same way. Why not enlighten the Alfa fan to what a 90’s Integra is all about, and vice versa?
At the end of the day, we’re all just fans of cars. Euro, Japan, or American, it’s about the obsession with the automobile. Let’s start to recognize each as interestingly and passionately as the other. Your Ferrari love, is someone else’s love of Nissan. Lets show them as such.
Thanks as always for reading. Please share this and comment below if you have a car you think doesn’t get enough love. Thanks guys!