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My eight year old daily driver is starting to nickel and dime us. (Hubby would say $50 and $100 us.) The odometer reads 87,000 miles. We have cars with well over 100,000 miles on them that we haven’t put as much money into as we have in this Pontiac Grand Prix.

I love my Grand Prix. It’s the base SE 3.l six cylinder model. The color is a dark green that reminds me of the Chrysler F8 Green Metallic that went on many Dodge Chargers in the late 60s/early 70s. It gets 31 mpg on a road trip. It’s a great daily driver and I’ve never thought it was racy or ought to be.

My husband likes cars better than people. He’s been a master tech for over 25 years. So he takes it as a personal affront from General Motors that this Pontiac, that he babies like all our other cars, is starting to cost him money. When he went looking on the Honda website, I knew I was in trouble. The only thing he hates more than (in his eyes) a poorly built car is a car payment.

On our way back from a visit to the local Honda dealer (!), we stopped by the Dodge dealership. They have three nice looking Challengers. Can you see me smiling? I love the body style, old and new at the same time. However, to stay in the same ballpark price range as the Accords we saw, the six cylinder base model was the only one we could consider.

Now back in the day, as Junior would say, you wanted a muscle car in sheep’s clothing. In fact, most muscle cars were standard issue models with a few “upgrades.” Street racers optioned their cars with big motors, heavy duty transmissions and strong rears but without obvious stripes or badging in order to take other drivers by surprise.

Today the program seems reversed. Apparently a muscle car body doesn’t mean muscle car performance or that deep growl from the exhaust. Driving a Challenger or a Mustang or a Camaro with a six cylinder – well, that’s cost effective and green. If you saw the Motortopia video stream of the Camaro announcement from GM, you know the whole focus of the announcement was fuel economy and muscle car cues.

I’m pretty sure I could talk my way into having that Challenger in my driveway instead of an Accord. But coming from the age when powerhouse big blocks and mighty small blocks ruled the streets, I can’t help an uneasy feeling there’s something wrong with this picture. A muscle-car dressed vehicle with single exhaust and a half-full engine bay? A sheep in muscle car clothing?

So Motortopia crew, what is it – wolf or sheep? Is it too old school to expect muscle in your daily transportation if it has muscle car details? Or is it all about style?