I’m not going to get into the technical aspects about why the V8 engine was, is and always will be the king mill amongst car guys. What I’d rather do is simply explain why these big lumps of iron draw respect and admiration from the millions and millions of people who have owned them. There are those of you that after reading this, are going to comment and tell me that I’m wrong, that I have no basis for my comments or that you have some 4, 6, 10 or 12 cylinder plants that can blow the doors off of everything… and that’s fine. It’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. I’m writing this article because I simply felt the need to tell you mine.
In the past I’ve owned some 4 and 6 cylinder cars. Some where naturally aspirated and others were turbo charged. They were all good cars, but nothing overly spectacular. I have also driven just about everything under the sun from V10 Vipers and Lamborghini’s to twin turbo 6-cylinder BMW’s and 12 cylinder Ferrari’s. What that means is that my big ass has a lot of seat time in various cars, so I have experience with just about everything.
The V8 engine is the quintessential engine for the American male. First off, we love powerful stuff, it’s just the way we are. If I could, I’d have a HEMI powered toaster in my kitchen with zoomies sticking out the sides and it would be bad ass. The V8 aside from power, also represents freedom. I remember as a kid in the 70’s that’s really all there were, I mean everything that was American had a V8 in it. I remember my Dad’s old Buick’s and Chevy’s all had small block V8’s, sure, they were all choked up with government smog equipment, but the torque and sound was still there. You can also put a V8 (especially a small block Chevy) in just about anything that was built in the last 100 years and make it go fast.
Now think about the great car chase scenes from the movies, every one of them that is worth anything was done with cars that were equipped with V8 engines. You hear the roar of the exhaust and you could almost smell the tire smoke… they’re brilliant actually. I mean, would you really want to see a chase scene between two Honda Accords and a Toyota Tercel? What would be the fun in that?
I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today since I’m ripping into my Charger this weekend, or maybe I just like what the V8 engine represents. To me, they are pure Americana just like baseball and apple pie. They represent hard working men and women and they give us the freedom to escape from society when necessary. There is also nothing like the feeling of slamming down the gas, smoking up the rear tires and driving off for a nice long ride just for the hell of it.
**Yes I know the video has a V10 Viper and Buick GN… but you get the idea.