Photo Gallery
Powered by Squarespace

Entries in V8 (7)


The Toy

Finally the weather is warmer, the motorcycles are out, and the toys are coming out too.

The other day we were reflecting on what constitutes a toy at Strada. The car that usually spends its time in the garage under a cover.

Here is the summary:

Push rod V8 naturally aspirated, clutch pedal, 6 speed manual transmission, some form of positraction, well calibrated fast steering, robust brakes, sticky tires.

Lets get The Colonel involved in this conversation.

Q: Push rod V8...sounds archaic

A: Not at all push rod V8 with a Bow Tie, reasonable displacment, is not archaic at all. Its a reminder of a different time, and its a toy that awakens the emotions. The Chevy engine does the trick.

Q: Clutch pedal, why not paddle shifts.

A: No...a clutch pedal is de rigueur...its old school, it demands a level of concentration.

Q: You mean a 6 speed manual with a shifter...H pattern?

A: Precisely...with synchros that are need the synchro sound.

Q: slip, whatever...why not traction control?

A: Its a throwback to having both rear wheels engaged...(smile).

Q: Well calibrated steering?

A: A slightly heavy steering feel, well calibrated, good on center, and a fast steering ratio.

Q: Robust brakes...we can understand.

A: The brakes have to be strong, dramatically stronger than the engine, obvious discs all around.

Q: Sticky tires...what is that?

A: High performance tires with strong adhesion, that will wear out fast.

Q: What level of performance?

A: Up there to generate fun, enjoy.

Q: Colonel why is this toy sounding like a Z28?

A: Perhaps the folks that put together the Z28 have the same understanding of what a toy with a push rod V8 should be.

Q: Don't you have one of those?

A: Yes from a few decades back, push rod V8, clutch pedal, manual transmission, reasonably fast steering, acceptable brakes. Good thing you reminded me.




In Torque We Trust

The magical pushrod V8, manual transmission, clutch pedal set up...



Rear Wheel Drive V8 Sedan

Have you noticed the North American infatuation with rear wheel drive V8 sedans. Have you noticed that its almost an exception today to have an RWD V8, while at one time there were multitudes on North American roads.

What is it about RWD cars that captures the imagination. When you think about it, its simple, the front wheels steer, the rear wheels power, and all four stop the car. Yes...rear wheel drive cars were made popular in geographic areas with wide spaces, that easily accommodated bigger than smaller cars, and implied covering longer than shorter distances.

Agreed back in the day it was probably easier to design and engineer a rear wheel drive layout, than a front wheel drive, even if a drive shaft running the lenght of the car is cumbersome.

Yes...the V8 is (was) a North American preference for decades.

In 2013 what is it about RWD that captures the imagination? 

We all know that you cannot pack serious power in a FWD configuration, the torque steer becomes annoying, the back of the car is constantly telegraphing that its a litle light. The AWD configuration which is very popular in Canada, is a constatnt reminder of something more useful, practical than fun. Agreed you can pack serious power in an AWD configuration. 

Should we mention that FWD was for years associated to an econo box, and AWD was a 4x4 pick up, should we had diesels in the mix to truly make it interesting.

Anyone seeking a fast car that could/can accomodate adults to this day gravitates to a RWD configuration with a V8, and if you need to go faster the V8 is bigger or you had turbos. 

Somethings never change...

From back in the day, the inline 6 cylinder sedan with an automatic transmission (3 speed at best) is comparable to our current FWD V6 sedan.

From back in the day the cars with V8's always had a special allure, a distinctive sound, captured the imagination.  





Stinger 609

From Conley Precision...captivating details...miniature V8



Detroit V8 Iron

With the resurgence of pony cars from the Detroti 3, there is an immense pool of opinions expressed and exchanged on the various cars (you know the one's) with the V8's. 

Its usually to the effect that the cars are big, bulky, heavy, seem to prefer straightlines, while implying that there are other vehicles "out there" that do a better job of going from A to B. Obvious they are also fast, and can do burn outs.

Sounds like the same stories being recounted from over 40 years ago...or close.

Here is the deal....

For many individuals some older, and some younger there is an undeniable fascination, interest, captivation with a good ole' domestic V8 pumping out some power, coupled to a manual transmission with a clutch pedal, rear wheel drive, and a generally heavy feel. 

Are these cars every day drivers, not really...were they every day drivers 40 years ago...not really. 

Perhaps all the folks that have one, have understood that the cars provide a good level of old school performance, fun, and enjoyment for the money...the cars are a strong performance value proposition.