The True Power of American Muscle

            Recently something happened that showed me the true power of American muscle cars.
           A few weeks back I received an email from Samuel Rus. Samuel was born and raised in a small town in Romania. But while Romania is far from a center of car culture, Samuel said that he became interested in them when he was young.
            “Even when I was 4 years old all day I was talking with my father about cars,” Samuel said.
            “I grew up in a small town in the mountains of Transylvania. In the 1930's and 40's some of the people here moved to the US and worked in the industrial areas near Detroit,” he said. “After the 1989 revolution Romania became a democratic country and those people came back home. So when I was a child the town’s elderly people used to gather around and tell stories about the years they spend working in the US.”
Through these people and their stories, Samuel learned how to speak English. And he also learned a great deal about American culture. “Later I've went to a high school that was specialized in British and American history and culture,” he added. “So I've basically grew up encouraged to learn about the American culture and American cars captured most of my imagination.”
Sparked by the stories he heard growing up, Samuel became captivated by those cars that were made in Detroit. But it was when he turned 13 that he had an experience that shook him to his core. That was when his family moved from their little village to a larger city. There he had an uncle who had started a business.
“He used to buy old classic cars from Germany,” said Samuel. “Some were muscle cars that were originally from the US. He would bring them into the country, restore them and later sell them at a higher price.”
Unfortunately, his uncle’s business didn’t work out. The taxes to bring cars into Romania became so high that it was often costing more than the car.
One of the last cars his uncle brought into the country really opened Samuel’s eyes. “American muscle cars always seemed so amazing when I’d see them on movies and video games,” he explained. “Then I saw in real life a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro. I was just astonished! The big, powerful engine, the sound of the engine, everything, I loved everything about that car. Since then I have a big respect for American engineering.”
Through his interest in cars and because their families were very close, Samuel began spending time with his uncle and that magical vehicle. “He gave me many rides in that Camaro so I've come to love that car. It was so different compared to European cars that have much smaller engines. The Camaro was a monster compared to those cars and it was giving me such a visceral feeling while ridding fast in it,” he explained.
Unfortunately, before Samuel was old enough to drive, his uncle passed away after battling cancer. The family had to sell the Camero to help pay expenses.
 “Since the Camaro experience I've become a huge fan of American cars,” Samuel added.
Two days after he sent me an email, Samuel turned 18. For the past several months he has been collecting automobile news from around the world and turning out his own car blog. It can be found at The plan is to try to earn money from the blog so he can buy his first car.
“My dream is to move to the US some day and perhaps own a muscle car.”
Separated by generations and a continent, American muscle cars have touched the life of a young man. That is the true power of American muscle.


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