Happy July 4th from Automoblog
Fireworks, picnics and camping! This is a time when families and communities come together to celebrate the birth of America. This weekend, we pay tribute to the brave men and women who have shown courage to defend their homes.
As Stars and Stripes shine all across the country, Automoblog staff members share their favorite July 4th vehicles.
These are the ones we would drive in the parades, by the company outings, and to the town celebrations. They are the most uniquely American vehicles to us, all with special memories.
Back in high school my first car ever was a 1984 Chevy Caprice Classic – two-tone blue with a plush red interior.
And I mean RED! Look at the pictures!
I loved this car – about as American as you can get (already got the red & blue part down), tons of interior room for uhh . . . activities, and it could fit 8 comfortably, although not exactly legally.
The parade would be easy in this beauty! I was already half tempted to fit a disco ball inside – so the ball with a light in the middle of the interior, some Sweet Home Alabama blasting through the speakers, and a few tweaks here and there and we’ve got ourselves a parade car!
I’d totally paint the tail lights red, white, and blue and paint a flag on the hood!
My favorite July 4th parade car would be a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door hard top. This would be Matador Red with black interior. This car will wow the crowd because it will have a 427 big block motor with a blower sticking out the top of the hood.
It will have big, drag tires on the back and straight pipes with no mufflers.
The car will have a full drag cam and will be so loud coming down main street that the women will grab the kids and pull them back when they hear it coming! This won’t be your typical parade car that putts down the street!
This car will have dark, tinted windows and have a sinister look. I would want this car because it will stick out from all the other quiet, polite parade cars.
I would romp on the gas as I drive it down the street and watch the people cover their ears.
For the company picnic, I would pull into the parking lot, power brake, and light up the tires. The guys will come running to see what all the noise and smoke is about. They will be talking about it for months.
The ideal July 4th car for me would be a baby blue, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28. It would have to have the SS and RS pack with a four on the floor.
But . . .
My realistic car for the day will be my beloved, 2008 Volkswagen Passat B6 Wagon. I know it is German, but early America was settled by German immigrants, so the history works.
I think of my photo above as a “carfie” or the car version of selfie.
My first thought for the parade is a red Ferrari 308GTS. What red-blooded American kid of my generation didn’t grow up thinking Thomas Magnum’s ride was the very definition of vehicular performance AND the coolest of the cool?
It’s so tattooed on my brain, I still desperately want one even though most modern minivans can outpace it, 0-60.
Pop off the convertible top and get ready to wave at the kids—it’s the perfect sexy parade cruiser.
However, for the quintessential American holiday, you want a vehicle that is quintessentially American, right?
A Ferrari doesn’t quite fit the bill.
That other automotive icon of my youth: Burt Reynold’s black 1977 Trans Am, certainly passes the ‘Merican test—screaming chicken decal on the hood and all. It’s a shining example of (fading) Detroit muscle car era excess. There’s more than just a taint of bleached mullet feel about the Bandit’s car, and I still can’t help but love it.
In the end, however, I’ve decided the Oshkosh M-ATV armored MRAP would be my perfect July 4th parade float. I got to drive one of these babies while in pre-deployment training for Afghanistan in 2011 and loved it. Despite weighing more than 30,000 pounds, I was amazed to find it drives wonderfully, albeit a bit loose and floaty like a 1970’s El Dorado.
The M-ATV is comfortable enough to be your daily driver, with room to chuck the kids and a few RPGs in the back with ease. Unless you are in the military or SEAL Team 6 is coming after you, most people will never get to see this truck in action – but what could be more quintessentially American than a giant armored truck rushed into service and costing well north of half a million bucks?
Swing open the roof hatch, gimme a few sparklers, and I’m not just going to be in the parade . . .
I am the parade!
For July 4th, I want to be the guy towing in the grill or pulling the float in the parade. While I respect fast, performance based cars, I have a fondness for towing. There is something empowering about driving a powerful pickup truck, with a large trailer attached.
I have owned two Ford Rangers with the SOHC V6 and two F-150s with the 3.5 EcoBoost. A Ford F-150, with the 3.5 EcoBoost, will change your perception of small displacement engines. I had a 2011 and 2013 respectively but the 2015 F-150 is even more amazing.
Truthfully, any truck is a wonderful representation of the United States and the greater American Automotive Industry. Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ram Brand, Toyota Tundra; I would take them all and pull every float, grill, bandstand, boat, camper – you name it – I would tow every last one to the July 4th festivities.
If you need some towing tips for this weekend, I have a resource
from General Motors.
Have a happy, safe, and enjoyable July 4th and thank you for reading!
Leave a comment below or post here to tell us your favorite July 4th vehicle.
Virtual showdown: Tesla Model S and Audi e-tron GT
The Audi e-tron GT concept is Audi’s vision for fast electric vehicles.However, the Tesla Model S lords over many in the EV universe.Is this sleek Audi strong enough to dethrone the mighty Tesla Model...
Letter from the UK: The meaning of Crossover
Initially, my idea was to discuss and update the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (or Brexit as it is known) and its impact on the British automotive industry. Unfortunately, nothing happened....