Once Upon A Time: The History, Impact & Culture Of The American Automobile
Back in the day, the American automobile was one indicator of your status as a person. If you had one of these sweet rides, you were famous, rich, or highly respected.
Just like any technological innovation, each invention has had its fair share of failures and achievements which still happen to create an impact on society today. Now, we look into the story of America’s iconic sweet ride which has influenced us from the past to the present.
The American automotive industry has existed since the 1890s but only became popular in the 1950s. After the second World War, many opportunities for technological advancements opened to meet consumers’ needs and boost the economy after such an awful downfall.
Since technology evolves through time, many functions were developed for the American automobile. Because of this, the product continuously improved until it became what we know now as the American muscle car.
The demand for the said cars was ultimately high, and this caused the automobile industry for the whole of America to be very successful in terms of profit and income. In a short span of time, the 1950s became the golden era for America’s automobile industry, and its influence continues to affect society now more than ever, beyond highways.
Since the influence of American automobiles was powerful, it has created such a culture that has been present in most of the American society for as long as we can remember.
Who knew that the existence of American muscle cars could create a high-end, exclusive kind of lifestyle also known as the “hot rod culture“?
The hot rod culture is a lifestyle adopted by most American muscle car owners. Initially, the hot rod has two parts: “hot” signifying “hotting,” meaning to develop, innovate, and improve the product continuously, and “rod” which pertains to “roadster” which is an older inspiration for the creation of the hot rod vehicles.
With the technical definition established, many people have also modernized the concept into an aesthetic which we can still see today. In modern and pop culture, hot rods are now the concepts we see in the ’50s- and ’60’s-themed films, songs, photo shoots, music videos, TV shows, musicals, and much more. More than this, despite it being an old concept, it is still used today as the concept of many cafes, car wash shops, and other profitable establishments.
This creation of culture is what others refer to as a “contemporary movement” to further show their appreciation for the lifestyle and confidence boost given to them by the presence of the fancy automobile in their lives.
More than just being an option for transportation and bringing a unique culture into the lives of modern men, the American muscle car has created an impact in many unimaginable ways possible.
In entertainment and sports, American muscle cars were used as one of the main vehicles to participate in drag races and hot rodding which boomed in the 1950s. Despite it being a thing of the past, we can still see it being integrated with modern sports today which involves vehicular contraptions as well.
Not only did it help in certain aspects of economic growth but also the same industry contributed significantly to the development of women’s rights in the 1950s. A well-known institution, the United Auto Workers Union, established a women’s department which highlighted the importance of women’s participation in such unions which eventually led to the factors of implementing the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
Besides this, the automobile industry, where American muscle cars originated from, also contributed to the development of many auto-related enterprises and businesses that make life easier and enjoyable. Some of these would be the fast food drive-thru we have now, drive-in cinemas, aftermarkets, and even showrooms for what is now vintage branding.
With the emergence of such inventions from before, we can see how relevant its impact is to the things we experience now. May it is through entertainment, political rights, economic growth, or even aesthetic purposes, we can guarantee that having your American muscle car can give you a timeless value of a lifetime.