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studegary
06-30-2017, 09:32 PM
I have known the Recreation Director for our town for years. More often than not, when we see each other, I have a Studebaker related shirt on. She knows of my interest in them and ownership of them. The Town is running a car show that they have specified as for American cars (I was not in favor of this restriction). The Director asked me if Studebaker was an American car. In her (partial) defense, the Studebaker dealer in this town was long gone before her birth. She does deal with senior citizens in the Town's Senior Center on a daily basis.

First the town employees setting up the show wanted to limit the show to American muscle cars. I said that they would have a hard time defining a muscle car and it is even hard to define what is an American car anymore. I tried to help even though my assistance wasn't wanted by those that knew better.

riversidevw
06-30-2017, 09:49 PM
I've also dealt with well-intentioned people who think there's an easy formula to define "muscle cars" for the purpose of local car displays. Every era has had cars that stand out in terms of performance. This doubtless predates the first Stutz Bearcat. And the definitions of performance evolve. Early NASCAR with Hudson Hornets circling the track? Carrera Panamericana with Benz Gullwings and heavy Lincolns duking it out on rural highways? The quarter mile sprints? Just realized that these days even middle-aged folks have no useful recollection or understanding of automobiles produced prior to 1969 or so. Unless it's a resto-moded '57 Chevy.

bezhawk
06-30-2017, 10:26 PM
Show an Avanti. Tell them its a German owned Italian car made by the Polish in Canada!!!!:lol:

sgriggs
06-30-2017, 10:37 PM
I have known the Recreation Director for our town for years. More often than not, when we see each other, I have a Studebaker related shirt on. She knows of my interest in them and ownership of them. The Town is running a car show that they have specified as for American cars (I was not in favor of this restriction). The Director asked me if Studebaker was an American car. In her (partial) defense, the Studebaker dealer in this town was long gone before her birth. She does deal with senior citizens in the Town's Senior Center on a daily basis.

First the town employees setting up the show wanted to limit the show to American muscle cars. I said that they would have a hard time defining a muscle car and it is even hard to define what is an American car anymore. I tried to help even though my assistance wasn't wanted by those that knew better.


It is an interesting question to ponder the definition of an American muscle car, and not at all straightforward. I suspect that a definition that would withstand the scrutiny of most "car guys" would be onerous to administer. I would argue that one of the defining features of a 'muscle car' is a high power to weight ratio. But, as cars have gotten more powerful in the last 20 years, this definition might include late model cars that are decidedly not intended to be performance oriented and aren't notably faster than their contemporaries. For example, Motor Trend says the 280hp 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan (!) should be good for 6.5 seconds 0-60. No one would characterize a garden variety minivan as a 'muscle car', but the Odyssey matches the 0-60 time for a 1985 Mustang GT, a car that most should certainly qualify.

Therefore, you could modify the power to weight ratio definition of a muscle car to be any car with a power to weight ratio in the top 5% of American cars in the model year of its manufacture. I think that would be a good definition, and one that should capture such diverse vehicles as Stutz Bearcats, early Ford V8's, Golden Hawks, and Dodge Omni GLH's. It would just be a bear to administer such a definition because who has power to weight statistical data for every model year going back to the early 1900's?

It's fun to debate, anyway.

Scott Griggs
Louisville, KY

Steve T
06-30-2017, 11:21 PM
Yep, a fluid definition...I was just uploading a few recent pix on P'bucket and ran across one I'd captioned as a muscle car...a 98-year-old (at the time) muscle car. What was it? A 1913 Mercer speedster. The Shelby Cobra or Dodge Viper of its day...

kurtruk
07-01-2017, 01:58 AM
it is an interesting question to ponder the definition of an american muscle car, and not at all straightforward. I suspect that a definition that would withstand the scrutiny of most "car guys" would be onerous to administer. I would argue that one of the defining features of a 'muscle car' is a high power to weight ratio. But, as cars have gotten more powerful in the last 20 years, this definition might include late model cars that are decidedly not intended to be performance oriented and aren't notably faster than their contemporaries. For example, motor trend says the 280hp 2018 honda odyssey minivan (!) should be good for 6.5 seconds 0-60. No one would characterize a garden variety minivan as a 'muscle car', but the odyssey matches the 0-60 time for a 1985 mustang gt, a car that most should certainly qualify.

Therefore, you could modify the power to weight ratio definition of a muscle car to be any car with a power to weight ratio in the top 5% of american cars in the model year of its manufacture. I think that would be a good definition, and one that should capture such diverse vehicles as stutz bearcats, early ford v8's, golden hawks, and dodge omni glh's. It would just be a bear to administer such a definition because who has power to weight statistical data for every model year going back to the early 1900's?

It's fun to debate, anyway.

Scott griggs
louisville, ky


:!!: Well said!! :!!:

6hk71400
07-01-2017, 02:31 AM
To me, a car show is to be a delight to the eyes, a link to a former time that will not return, and a brief respite from today's times to another time. It can also include if you want a broad view of fantasy of another life such as a Ferrari Testa Rosa which most of us mere mortals can only see in pictures or dream about.

When I set up a mall show one time for Studebaker the young man that was helping set up mentioned he had an old car too. We asked what is the car and he said 1974 Mercury Comet. Oh man, we smiled but talked after he was out of earshot and we wondered how he thought that was an old car. Granted at the time, 25 years ago in the 90's that a early 70 car was an old car but probably not one that any of us Studebaker people owned. Most car people feel the 70's and 80's cars were more necessity than anything else and probably not a good hope for the industry as a whole.

Gary, I wish you well on getting through to your town folks. Is this show going to have a charity attached? Does the town want to restrict attendance? If the goal is to get the town involved in a community activity then having young and old see as many varieties of cars would be great.

Bob Miles
Tucson AZ

Skip Lackie
07-01-2017, 07:59 AM
For many years I served as the SDC Potomac Chapter's rep to the committee that ran a car show sponsored by the city of Rockville, MD. It started out as a nice little show in the 1960s with ~100 old cars, but grew to more than 400 cars, which was the capacity of the park property on which it was held. The committee was composed entirely of reps from sponsoring car clubs, but was chaired by the director of the city's recreation department. The entry fees did not cover the costs of running the show, which were paid by the city. The city had two rules up front: (1) Cars had to 25 years old, and (2) No modified cars. The latter rule was difficult to enforce, and most of us did so only half-heartedly. The show was actually run by car club committee members, with support from city employees. In exchange, the sponsoring clubs got to park together with a club banner marking our territory.

It worked well, as the car club reps were knowledgeable about cars, and usually were able to resolve any problems without conflict. (That said, on one occasion I had to rely on a city cop to enforce my request that the owner of a 56 Golden Hawk with gold-plated valve covers and chrome-plated undercarriage to remove the mirrors and velvet ropes around his car.) The other advantage of the committee arrangement was that the committee was on many occasions able to convince the city council that one of their ideas either wouldn't work or bordered on being stupid. The city council, being politicians, often wanted to provide a favor to one of their friends, but the committee was usually able to kill such exceptions to the rules.

I would recommend such a committee arrangement to any municipality interested in running a car show.

8E45E
07-01-2017, 08:28 AM
From April, 1979 Turning Wheels:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4286/35261029320_b9071eba4e_h.jpg

Craig

tsenecal
07-01-2017, 11:19 AM
If they don't think a Studebaker is a muscle car, show them some pictures and stats of Ted Harbit's Lark.

T.J. lavallee
07-01-2017, 02:18 PM
I'd love to see a car show that doesn't include the usual late 60 and 70's Chevy Chevelle's, Camaro's, Mustangs and Chrysler "Muscle" products on display. They are so common. I'd love to see more Studebakers, Packard's, Hudson's, Kaisers, Ramblers and Nash's along with the "Big Three" offerings of the 30's through the early 60's. Now that's a car show for both young and old in my opinion.

studegary
07-01-2017, 04:36 PM
I'd love to see a car show that doesn't include the usual late 60 and 70's Chevy Chevelle's, Camaro's, Mustangs and Chrysler "Muscle" products on display. They are so common. I'd love to see more Studebakers, Packard's, Hudson's, Kaisers, Ramblers and Nash's along with the "Big Three" offerings of the 30's through the early 60's. Now that's a car show for both young and old in my opinion.

I agree with you. Around here, most general type car shows are made up of about one-third being cars that are newer than my everyday drivers, many current to three year old Camaros, Corvettes, Challengers, Mustangs.

riversidevw
07-01-2017, 05:18 PM
My favorite "show" past couple of years has been an annual Sunday morning gathering on private property, a fairly close circle of friends and about as many invited guest car enthusiasts. Five miles from home. Only money that changes hands might be for coffee, brunch or an adult beverage... no entry fees. There hasn't been a big block Chevelle in three years. For stuff that most of us don't usually see on the road every day, selected local dealers are invited to bring their best. This year that meant an Audi R8 V10 Plus, a Jag Type F SVR, and perhaps the ugliest 2017 Porsche Carrera 4S imaginable (paint-to-match Acid Green). We've had a couple of classics (both prewar Packards) and two Studebakers (mine). The Speedster was best of show last month, in part because it is something quite different from the usual run of cars. Guy with the Morgan also owns the '40 Packard and a great little Corvair Spyder convertible. We had our first bike this year, a '48 Harley copy of a prewar German motorcycle, design taken as war reparations. There was an excellent '40 Ford coupe this year, still with original flat head and interior. And there was a 2006 Ford GT. All in the wonderful and varied world of motor vehicles. Typically close to thirty cars enter, about the limit of our reserved paved parking.

The first time I showed the 56J at a SDC-related event, the car was a mere 13 years old. Now, even the all-original (down to tire valve stems) gray Mercedes coupe is 41 years old. We emphasize the cars 25 years and older. It takes far more time and effort to preserve and prepare them. Also takes a little more to preserve and prepare the owners.

riversidevw
07-01-2017, 07:09 PM
If that local gathering sounds as much a party for our friends and guests as a car show, you are right. If we don't do it for ourselves, nobody else is going to. Still have memories of big fundraiser concours events where the cars were treated as rented props, the owners as an inconvenient necessity. Years ago we attended a big show on the grounds of the polo fields near Santa Barbara. It was a fundraiser for Daniel Freeman Hospital. The grand poobahs, eminences and dignitaries of the hospital foundation were having their lavishly catered gala party during the event, the display of exotic and beautiful cars was just a part of the landscape, the car owners kept at a respectful distance, invisible to the "beautiful people."

(Edit) But I do recall some great, wonderfully friendly SDC meets over the years. Hoping be able to get back to those soon, after a long absence. It's the mega-shows that I shy away from. Especially those designating a decade-old Monte Carlo as a "classic." Or those black tie events where a car becomes incidental ornamentation for a cocktail reception.