It's Good to be the King

Is there such a thing as too much?

I was having a discussion the other day about horsepower and is there such thing as “too much” when describing a “street” (another very loose term for another day) car. When it comes to an actual number that some see as LOTS and others see as merely a starting point, I notice that age is a big factor on where the number actually falls. Now this is a gross generalization with any “hot rodder’s” age bracket, so don’t hate me. The younger group with their usually smaller import style of cars (again, don’t hate me) look at HP numbers completely different than the older crowd. The majority of kids I talk to are normally impressed with numbers ranging from 300-500hp which for small engines is impressive but very much different, when the older group looks at 500hp as the STARTING point. Now I know money is the HUGE issue when it comes to making horsepower, but the mindset is very much different amongst the different age groups.

If one is strictly looking to do burnouts from a stop sign or lights, 350HP will have no problem with most any car getting the job done. But if you’re the kind of person that wants to light them up while already doing 80mph on the freeway, that “small” HP number won’t cut it. When the American car manufacturers sell “factory” 650-700HP cars on a regular basis, that says the public definitely wants even more! Where does one draw a line in the sand? I have a friend with a gorgeous ’32 Ford 3 window that’s ridiculously light with a 550HP small block that embarrasses European cars like Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Porsche’s, etc. all the time and for something really lightweight that “might” be enough. I’d love to have a vehicle that weighs around 3000lbs making¬†an easy 1000HP because to me, that would be a riot and yes, would ABSOLUTELY destroy the tires at 80mph.

Now this is where the discussion regarding “how much is too much” comes into play. For some, doing stoplight burnouts is fun and that’s all they need, so the idea of 500HP is the absolute max. When you have a car that embarrasses Italian sports cars for fun, then 550HP might be your max. For others a 1000HP and beyond are “maybe” the max. Sure, that kind of horsepower is completely unusable on the street, but that was never the question. For those of you who’s world is 1000HP street cars, you are my heroes! The only next “logical” step is figuring out how to harness 1000, 1500, 2000HP because hey, you never know when you need to bring a Howitzer (that’s a serious cannon for those of you who skipped history class) to a water fight. Is there such thing as too much horsepower? That swimming pool sized hole taking up space where your car used to reside, yells at me a resounding NO!!!

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Brad King

Brad King

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