Driving American Muscle Cars has got to be any petrol head’s ultimate dream. And, when they have been featured in top block buster films like the cars we were to drive, it only adds to a super cool experience.
I knew we were in for a real treat when invited to drive these awesomely powerful cars at Abingdon airfield. I was excited, but I have to admit, a little nervous! I struggle to break 70mph on motorways, let alone take control of an incredibly powerful classic car and race around a track…
We were each testing two cars; I was taking on the classic Camaro SS as seen in Fast and Furious, and the Camaro ZL1, otherwise known as Bumblebee from Transformers! Evie was driving two very famous cars, Lightning McQueen himself and General Lee, the iconic Dodge Charger from The Dukes of Hazzard. Robb was to test the super fast Toyota Supra and probably the most iconic muscle car out there, the Ford Mustang.
We arrived early at Abingdon Airfield, the sun was shining and we could hear the roar of engines as the cars were warming up for a day of driving. After showing our driving licences and registering in the tent, we received a group introduction to each of the cars from a highly knowledgeable instructor, then it was time to go!
We waited our turn at the edge of the track, marvelling at the awesome cars lined up in front of us, perfectly happy to stand as watch as other drivers had their go. I could feel my nerves rising as the true power of the muscle car was demonstrated by the other drivers taking them for a spin.
Then it was our turn! Check out how we got on…
I was driving the classic SS first, and as I stepped into this beautiful car, my instructor immediately put me at ease. He explained how best to control the car and the differences I should expect in comparison to modern cars. My first impression was that this car is HEAVY, you have to press hard on that accelerator to get going and with no power steering, you really have to concentrate on driving this Camaro. It was an absolutely fantastic insight into classic race cars and although I didn't go much more than 40mph (I know...) I really experienced what it is to drive a car of this calibre.
The Ford Mustang… probably the most iconic Muscle car of the lot and I was thrilled to have to the chance to test it out. This 30 year old classic car was quite tricky to drive, but that’s all just part of the experience. After getting used to the gearbox and accelerator, I was driving the car perfectly fine and enjoying the ride! – Robb.
Next up was the Toyota Supra. After driving the Ford, this was a bit of a shock. This modern machine is so much lighter and so much easier to drive. Even a light touch on the accelerator and you can feel the pace pick up. The thrill of whizzing around the track in this modern race car was intense and an entirely different experience from the classic cars. – Robb.
Bumblebee is a truly beautiful car. Big, bold and bright yellow, I was extremely excited at the prospect of taking this supercar out for a spin! Sitting in the drivers seat, I couldn’t wait to get out on the straights and push the limits. I’m not a overly confident driver, but I can honestly say this Camaro was a dream to drive and I was reaching speeds of 80 without even thinking about it.
As we waited to drive the Mazda Mx5, or Lightning McQueen himself, we watched numerous kids taking him for a ride. The look of joy of their faces as they drove their Disney hero really was lovely and only helped build excitement for my own drive! Once I hit the accelerator, there was no looking back as I whizzed around in this super fun, easy to handle sports car. – Evie.
The instructor had explained how this Dodge was actually used in The Dukes of Hazzard television series and, just in case I didn’t believe him, he pointed out the cast and crew’s signatures on the boot. Knowing this was an actual car used in the show made this driving experience even better! The power of the Dodge was evident from the word go and this famous car was a delight to drive, if a little hard to handle! – Evie.
After an amazing morning driving these cars, it was time to head home. First though we took a quick peep of the in-car footage you can purchase as a video, just so I could prove I did get above 50mph!