1960s Nostalgia

Trump's car policies show he's living in the past

The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt, inspired by the movie of the same name, debuts during the press preview at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit
You work your side of the street, and I'll work mine. Source: Reuters

Remember the cult movie “Bullitt” with Steve McQueen? There is a legendary 10-minute-long chase scene that features a Ford Mustang and a Dodge Charger. No words are spoken; all we hear are the roaring engines and squealing tires. Ford is introducing the Bullitt Mustang, with at least 475 horsepower, at the Detroit auto show to commemorate 50 years since the film’s release. It comes a little late, quip car connoisseurs. In fact, back then the Ford Mustang wasn’t powerful enough to keep up with the more powerful Dodge Charger and it had to be souped up.

Yet it is a fitting time to look back in history. In those days things were going well for the US automotive industry, with the “Big Three” dominating the world and domestic markets with their giant cars and gas guzzlers. That hasn’t changed much. Today General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler still don’t worry much about fuel consumption, as is evident at this week’s Detroit auto show. After all, big cars are top sellers. Not to mention that pressure from Washington has eased considerably after Donald Trump won the presidential election.

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