The Music of the Muscle Cars

1967-pontiac-gtoI count myself fortunate to have been a teenager during the heyday years of the muscle cars.   The Pontiac GTO, the Ford Mustang, and the Chevy Camaro were some of the hot cars of the day.  These cars have been replaced by their more fuel efficient cousins.

The throaty roar of the muscle car was lost in the quest to gain more miles to the gallon of gas.  Car enthusiasts wear a short lived smile when they hear the roar of their sports car.  The much-loved iconic growl is the source of a sardonic scowl when the driver learns the noise is fake.

Drew Harwell of the Washington Post wrote:   “The engine growl in some of America’s best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether. And it’s driving car enthusiasts insane.”

Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book, says automakers should stop the lies and get real with drivers:  “If you’re going to do that stuff, do that stuff. Own it. Tell customers: If you want a V-8 rumble, you’ve gotta buy a V-8 that costs more, gets worse gas mileage and hurts the Earth,” Brauer said. “You’re fabricating the car’s sexiness. You’re fabricating performance elements of the car that don’t actually exist. That just feels deceptive to me.”

When the Beach Boys sang about their beloved “409,” part of the love affair was the full throttle roar of the engine, and to replace it with a synthetic sound is like substituting Spam for a T-bone steak.

The world is full of junk noise, and we have to learn to filter it. Can you discern the bloviating and bogus from the genuine and authentic?  Paul spoke of this when he wrote to the Colossians:

I say this so that no one will mislead you with arguments that merely sound good. You received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live as Christ’s people.  Sink your roots in him and build on him. Be strengthened by the faith that you were taught, and overflow with thanksgiving. Be careful not to let anyone rob you of this faith through a shallow and misleading philosophy. Such a person follows human traditions and the world’s way of doing things rather than following Christ (Colossians 2).

Next time you fire up your engine, listen carefully:  Is it the seducing sound of a real Deuce Coup, or is it just a synthetic scam?


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