Date registered: Apr 2004
Location: The BlueGrass State
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
On American Muscle.
I grew up in the South which in some circles automatically puts me in the Redneck category. That's ok, it has proven very useful in negotiations in New York and LA and London when some folks figure they have themselves a good ol boy to work over in those overly complex contract talks.
Now to cars, and their perception and their values. Back in 1973 I came back to the states, not much worse for wear and awaited my first year at the academy. I had 9 months to kill and spent them at Vandenberg AFB going to Sears Point and Laguna Seca and Riverside nearly every weekend racing a 914/6 after running Bondurant Driving School at Sears Point. I got to drive a lot of FAST cars. Then one day I drove a Pontiac SD455. While it was rated at only 350 "net" HP, this motor dynoed much closer to 460 from the factory. The balance was for road racing and the car was different than anything I had ever driven. Now, I have driven a Carrera GT, a couple of different Ferraris, nearly every AMG and NOTHING except the Carrera GT provided the visceral thrill of that SD455.
I thought that maybe the youth and years had made it slide to legend status in my head but a couple of years ago I got a chance to drive another one. The sensation was the same. No CLK55 can come close to the feel of that car. Is it a dated look, yeppers. So is the 6.9 and if you drive one of those today you will be shocked at the difference from what you expect.
Who buys these RedNeck wonders? The six I know about are all owned by investors who keep them with their Ferraris and Porsches and other classics. I have been trying to buy one for nearly a decade from one guy. He tells me his widow has instructions to have me at the top of the list. That's no way to get a car.
Restored like one would do a proper 560SEC AMG, a 73 TransAm SD455 is as tight and roadworthy as the AMG. It is, however FASTER. And as for silver interior on the TA? I just saw, while in California a Silver CLK55 with silver/gray interior, carbon and aluminum appointments, a small wing on the back, air dam on the front and a few thousand bucks worth of other AMG logoed accessories attached to the car. With a couple of exceptions that I would not have done, the car looked very good.
Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.