The muscle car - any colour, as long as it's back

Story by Joseph Yadao
7 May 2009
 

This writer's chance encounter with an American beast flexing its muscles up North makes him wonder what Singaporean drivers are missing out on

I'm talking about the car for the common man, an "affordable" alternative to 4-wheeled bad boys like the Evo and WRX

There it was, standing in the middle of the Sepang International Circuit carpark. Those in the know stopped, their cameras clicking. The stance was unmistakable, the angles spelt pure aggression. The thick racing stripes, the power bulge on the bonnet and the flared wheel arches - it was (what it seems) a Shelby Mustang GT500. Except it was not, as what we were looking at was just a kitted out Ford Mustang complete with a Shelby badge and rims.

But even without the body kit, the Mustang, and most American cars in general, come with attitude and personality right out of the box. Big and brash, they let you know that they mean business.

 

When was the last time a car on our roads gave out that vibe? Lime green Lamborghinis and that pink Zonda doesn't count. I'm talking about the car for the common man, an "affordable" alternative to 4-wheeled bad boys like the Evo and WRX. To put things in perspective, the base model Ford Mustang starts out at just under US$21,000 (which is about S$31,500).

It's not that Detroit's finest lack a presence here; Fords, Chryslers, Jeeps, Dodges and Chevrolets ply our roads. In fact, the latter has developed a following since its introduction into the Singapore market in 2003. According to LTA, 1,372 Chevrolets rolled out of the showroom last year.

I've had the opportunity to talk to General Motors' head honcho last year, and was told that Chevrolets sold in Singapore cater to the Asian mass market, featuring smaller engines with better fuel economy. How un-American.

 


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