Recently there have been a lot of articles with headline quotes such as “V8 On The Way Out” “Big blocks doomed” “Muscle cars a thing of the past” and so on. Yeah sure, and I have some beach front property in Iowa I will make you a great deal on too. This is simply a trend of the times not all all unlike those hard times with high fuel cost and gas lines back in the 70’s. I should know, I was there and I owned three service stations at the time.
Some more recent quotes have been made by Bob Lutz who has been a vocal opponent of the regulations which he believes will harm the U.S. auto industry. Lutz said, “This is going to be a net average of cost of $6,000 per vehicle which will have to be passed onto the consumer. CNN reports, “Newer luxury cars are shifting toward smaller, more sophisticated engines for power.” and Chrysler says, “The Hemi in not the powertrain of the future.”
During the 70’s the oil companies began talking about the shortage of fuel and the price of gas began to climb. In realty a shortage was far from the truth and some of the best road trips I ever took were during those same gas shortages and fuel could be found everywhere especially as you got farther away from major cities. This was the beginning of escalating sales of many imports not to mention small American cars like Pintos and so on. Even then there was talk that there would be no more V8’s in our future but as soon as people began forking out for the increased cost of fuel the V8’s came back. What a surprise. The only difference between those days and today is simply that the oil companies have learned they don’t have to use those old fashioned scare tactics to get customers to pay more at the pumps… they simply say take it or leave it.
Sure, the government will get involved and try to convince the public they are here to help us and these things always conveniently happen during an election year. In the mean time they will put pressure on the auto makers to build cars that will get 35mpg and run on water and air until everyone stops complaining about the high cost of fuel. Then we will begin to see the V8’s make a come back right on cue as they did in the 80’s. In fact there will be many good things come out of all this. The car manufactures will indeed improve mileage in the same way they did during the transition from the 70’s to the 80’s when they fine tuned electronics and fuel injection and got away from antiquated carburetors and so on with the help of constantly improving technology. History proves that until we face such challenges like the ones put on us as in this case or another fuel shortage, we will never force ourselves to improve. But as soon as the public tires of seeing someone else go down the freeway faster than them, the need for speed will once again take over and so will the demand for the good old American V8.