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Dead Auto

By Jesus Garcia
On October 27, 2011


In 1970 Detroit Michigan manufactured nearly one million "muscle cars", cars that produced high amounts of horsepower. That same year the average horsepower in American cars was 350. Back then people did not care about how many miles a car could go on a gallon, but how fast it could go in a quarter mile at the drag strip. These are considered to be the golden age for Gear-heads, people that are automotive enthusiasts, back when gasoline was under 50 cents. Gear-heads today feel that their hobby is under attack by the Government making Gear-heads uneasy about the future of their hobby.

            The Corporate Average Fuel Economy, CAFE, has stated a corporate fleet average of 39 miles to the gallon by 2016. Meaning that for all automakers will have to produce automobiles that will have to average 39 mpg. This has Gear-heads idling with worry since that could mean the end of the road for auto makers such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Rolls Royce, and cars like the Chevrolet Corvette, and the Ford Mustang. It is impossible to make a Ferrari the sports car it is while getting 39mpg without taking the very thing that makes it a Ferrari, the power. It could also mean the end of SUV's, which are not known for their gas saving engines, and heavy-duty pick-up trucks. One Gear-head named The Mechanic from the, an automotive website, stated in an article:

"The future promise to be filled with gruesomely boring and agonizingly tiny cars no one really wants. I'm talking about cars with small engines, two-digit power outputs and rock-hard low-rolling-resistance tires. They'll be slow, they won't handle and they'll all be ugly. Not to mention the simple fact that they'll all look pretty much like each other; think Prius."

Not only is the national government against the Gear-head, but so are state governments. In California they passed a bill SB435. The bill was to stop motorcycles that were too loud, and all motorcycles made after January 1, 2013 will have to get inspected if the owner wants to add on any after-market exhaust system to meet the new sound regulations. Motorcycle Gear-heads were outraged because to them motorcycles are about three things: freedom, power, and noise. Granted that motorcycles built before 2013 do not have to follow this law, but it might cause their owners stress as they might be stopped frequently by traffic officers who might think their motorbikes are newer than what they really are.

Gear-heads are scared of living in a world where they have no freedom of choice when buying a new car or driving them on the open road. Ever since the turn of the last century when the automobile became available to the public, Gear-heads have always had the choice to either drive what everyone else drives or something powerful that sounds like Thor shouting. Everyone knows a Gear-head because everyone knows someone that has an "old car", that they have stored away or someone that spends hours working on their cars. The Government is leaving automakers with their hands tied when it comes to building cars Gear-heads want. The future looks bleak for Gear-heads, and all they can do is hope that their theories are wrong and they can continue to burn rubber till the tires of time burst.

(For more information on this article, contact Jesus Garcia at

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