Saturday, January 13, 2007


Powerful cars in the 1960s reflected U.S. power in the world. World War II was the biggest power thing yet and we (U.S.) won.

American kids had the idea that if they saved up, they could afford to buy a Chevy Impala SS (super sport) with an engine that displaced fourhundred nine cubic inches.

A 409 engine is bigger than that of four current Honda Civics. I don’t think there is any passenger vehicle built today with an engine that size. And the 409 was tops for only a couple of years. Other makes soon went even bigger. Wiki has more.

That was the brief blooming of an unsustainable mutation. But it was fun.

I think the the terms “getting scratch” and “getting rubber” have pretty much disappeared.

In my 2000 Honda Civic, cruising along at 65, to pass someone doing the same speed I have to push the throttle to the floor and wait for some additional speed to develop. In a 409 in the same circumstances, if I pushed the throttle to the floor the tires would spin and “lay rubber” on the road.

Exhilarating and excessive. Having won World War II, it was time for Fun Fun Fun.

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