Old versus new, technology marches on. Newer cars out perform the older ones. If you exclude the 70’s and some of the 80’s, it usually holds true.
Look at the peak of the muscle car era, 1970, versus the start at 1964. In just six years, there was a big increase in performance.
But to really see the difference, look at the difference between 1970 and 2013. The top engines in 1970 were the LS6 454 at 450 HP, the 426 Hemi with 425 horsepower and the Boss 429 at 375 horsepower. I know, they were gross horsepower, and the numbers were probably picked as much by marketing concerns as any real output.
But in 2013, the ZL1 Camaro has 580 horsepower, the GT500 Mustang has 662, and the Challenger is available with 470 horsepower. The Challenger is naturally aspirated, and the Mustang and Camaro are supercharged.
And while you don’t buy these cars for fuel economy, they are all capable of 20+ MPG on the highway. That was nearly econo-car territory in 1970. Plus the fact that they will start and idle in any weather with no sputtering. And the exhaust is squeaky clean in comparison.
Add to that tires that actually have a prayer of putting that power to the ground adds to quite the package.
However, there are some places were the old cars stand out. Drive a modern muscle car, and drive a classic one, and see which one gets more attention. Plus the modern cars don’t have the cool sound of the old ones.
So like anything else, there are trade offs to the technology improvements. But for most people, they out weigh the draw backs.
But there is still something fun about the old simple cars. They help to remind us of where we came from, and looking at the new ones, hopefully we have a ways to go yet.
As a note, there won’t be any new posts tomorrow or Thursday, I will be out of town due to a family emergency. Regular posts will resume Friday.