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Why Run American V8 Muscle? No computer needed

People often ask me why I run good ‘ol American V8 muscle in my classic 1966 Fastback Mustang. Obvious reasons aside, there is nothing quite like the feeling of getting into a classic car, being enveloped by the original interior, and then both body and senses completely consumed by an intoxicating mix of touch, sound, and smell. No new car will ever EVER be able to replicate this experience…regardless of how much convenience computer controlled systems offer.

I enjoy being able to lift up the hood of her – yes, HER – and with my hands and a simple tool tune the carburetor just right to make her engine purr. Newer cars where you can click a button on your laptop to control a fuel management set up or add a Super Chip to reprogram factory computer settings just don’t do it for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a 1998 Ford Expedition with a couple of minor “technical” adjustments. But owning older cars like my Mustang and a Monte Carlo creates a certain passion in the owner. You can listen to what the vehicle is trying to tell you and fix things yourself with basic skills, tools, and knowledge. As such, none of my “girls” have ever let me down yet.

Try doing that with a warning light or odd sound on a newer vehicle…even if you do have access to a diagnostic tool that plugs into your OBD I/II port.

Now, I have nothing against import “tuners”…to each their own. I don’t run with that crowd and haven’t seen a computer controlled management system fail. But with recent news events about computer software possibly being the cause of some major safety issues, I can’t help but say give me something mechanical every time. That might sound odd coming from someone who works for a computer hardware manufacturer…but it keeps me and my girls rollin’ happily down the road…and Great Lakes Dragway in Union Grove, WI.

OWC Mary
the authorOWC Mary
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  • I’m old school to . try to change out all my computer stuff on my 91 Camaro 350 tbi I hated it trying by pass code & junk

    • I hope everything turned out alright in the end for you?

      Leave the old school, old school.
      Again, to each their own, some like that sort of challenge, but I would think in some cases it could be more of a headache than anything.

      I now also own a 2010 Mustang. I recently added modifications that require an SCT Tuner. I am still getting used to changing the Tune at the track.

      In the long run, technology is an amazing thing, but there is nothing like the feel of old school!

  • I love the old muscle cars, its a shame that they haven’t remade alot of the old body styles into the new computers… v8 for win!

  • I think the overall point is that technological solutions can sometime overcomplicate what already worked perfect in the first place. Take the Fly-by-wire accelerators many new cars employ, or the iDrive debacle that struck the BMWs 7 Series 5-6 years back wherein owners could not figure out simple items that were once handled by physical knobs versus an awkward twist knob coupled to a multi-level on-screen navigation system. Heck, some customers couldn’t figure how to start their car after incidentally activating some obscure on-screen setting. Of course the safety failures of recent news really drives the point home.

    A Jobsian quote that would apply is that “it’s a technology in search of a problem.”

    • I’d say the comments on that link sum it up:
      Can the iPod help it do a burnout?
      Way to lower the resale value!

      Exerpt from article: “Following the key-fob he created a control system using a 2.4gHz cell phone which used the speed-dial to create timed events like putting up the top and rolling up the windows.”

      Gimme a break…why doesn’t he spend his time learning how mechanical things work and build a better motor?

      I’m with OWC Mary…give me hand tools any day over a keyboard when it comes to classic cars.

    • I say to each their own. That’s a little much for me.
      Everyone has their own desires for their classic car.
      I like to keep my without those types of bells and whistles.

  • Now, see you make a post like that and it makes me all the more impatient to get my 52 Chevy Fastback back on the road. (In the middle of a MASSIVE rebuild right now.)

    I agree there is no new car that will put a grin on a driver’s fave like a good ol’ carbureted V8 will. And extra points if it has a manual transmission.

    It’s better than therapy.