Autobytel and the American Muscle Car Love Affair

  Autobytel and the American Muscle Car Love Affair

 This July 4^th, the experts at Autobytel share stories (and photos) of their
 love of American classics—from a nostalgic look back at Detroit’s heyday, to
                   modern-day muscle parked in the garage.

Business Wire

IRVINE, Calif. -- July 3, 2013

Autobytel Editor-in-Chief Michelle Naranjo’s love of cars started at an early
age as the daughter of auto enthusiast parents who painted the front door of
her childhood home to match the color of her dad’s orange 1975 Ford Bronco.
Through the years, she’s test driven and reviewed hundreds of vehicles but
nothing comes close to eliciting the glint in her eye like the one she gets
when talking about an American classic with a throaty engine under the hood.

Rose Mayer of Autobytel and her beloved Dodge Challenger "Rose Rage." (Photo:
Business Wire)

Rose Mayer of Autobytel and her beloved Dodge Challenger "Rose Rage." (Photo:
Business Wire)

Naranjo isn’t alone. She and a host of other Autobytel staffers share their
passion for American muscle, along with their favorite photos, in a special
July 4^th feature entitled American Muscle Cars & Autobytel: Vintage or
Modern, We Love Muscle.

“Hands down, the American muscle car era was Detroit’s heyday and it’s been
virtually impossible to replicate,” said Naranjo. “Back then, cars made people
really feel something…that raw emotion of American spirit, of pride of
ownership. There’s nothing like being behind the wheel of a classic—the way it
jumps off the line, the way it rules the road, right down to that distinct
smell of raw gas and rich exhaust. For me, it’s about as American as you can

Naranjo says that while not entirely the same experience (citing, in
particular, the missing heavy-on-the-choke aroma with that glint in her eye),
Detroit’s present day versions of American muscle—the Ford Mustang, the Chevy
Camaro and Corvette, and the Dodge Challenger, Charger and Viper—certainly
come close to resurrecting automotive yesteryear.

“We’ve driven and written about all of them and they’re exactly what you’d
expect from the automakers that are American car culture—built on iconic
design and performance cues with completely modern materials and
technologies,” she said.

Autobytel’s Rose Mayer, Product Manager of Dealer Operations, says her
lifelong love of muscle cars is the reason she bought the new Challenger when
it debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

“I literally pushed people out of the way so I could sit in it,” Mayer said.
“I told my husband I would own that car some day and now I do. I take care of
it almost to the point of obsession and I’m always looking for cool new ways
to customize it.”

In her pre-Challenger days, Mayer’s long work commute earned her the nickname
“Rose Rage” – which she says is her “alter ego” and the moniker she uses to
write about her driving adventures today, and to share her experiences with
Facebook fans and car club members.

“I’m a member of West Coast Challengers and Ralph Gilles recently signed my
car,” she said. “My commute is much more bearable post-Challenger. I couldn’t
imagine life without it.”

Autobytel writer, Chris Wardlow, shares the story of his Uncle Al’s Chevy Nova
SS, bought in the early 70s when Chris was a kindergartener and at a time, he
says, “before parents knew to strap children into seat belts, and before they
knew not to allow their kids to ride with hooligans like Uncle Al.”

“It was a deep purple color, with a black vinyl interior, a “4-on-the-floor”
shifter, and those chrome dented dog-dish hubcaps with the bow-tie logo
stamped into the middle.

He offered to take my mom and I for a ride one warm summer day, and I still
remember the scent of new vinyl warming in the hot summer sun, the sound of
the rumbling V-8 engine, and the stench of burning rubber as he tore around
corner after corner in our Detroit suburb, melting what surely must have been
Goodyear Polyglas white-lettered tires to the pavement.

I never forgot that day, sliding around in the back seat of that screaming
Nova SS, giggling and laughing the entire time. For a while, Uncle Al was
something of a personal hero. But then, after he got married and had kids, he
bought a tan Renault Alliance and the hero worship evaporated, just like

Writer Jeff Glucker reflects on his 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner.

“I drove it through the back roads of West Virginia. It may not be a delight
on the twisty stuff, but the noise and power easily made the journey an
exciting one.

It's the ultimate cruiser, and it got serious stares everywhere we went. Plus,
the meep-meep horn always gets a thumbs up.”

See more Autobytel muscle car pictures and stories at

About Autobytel Inc.
Autobytel Inc., an online leader offering consumer purchase requests, or
leads, and marketing resources to car dealers and manufacturers and providing
consumers with the information they need to purchase new and used cars,
pioneered the automotive Internet when it launched its flagship website,, in 1995. Autobytel continues to offer innovative products
and services to help consumers buy, and auto dealers and manufacturers sell,
more used and new cars. Autobytel has helped tens of millions of automotive
consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with
motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand
online. Through its flagship website, network of automotive sites and
respected online affiliates, Autobytel continues its dedication to innovating
the industry’s highest quality Internet programs to provide consumers with a
comprehensive and positive automotive research and purchasing experience, and
auto dealers, dealer groups and auto manufacturers with some of the industry’s
most productive and cost-effective customer referral and marketing programs.

Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and
invitations to special events by accessing the online registration form at

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:



Autobytel Inc. Media Relations
Splash Media
Jennifer Lange
Autobytel Inc. Investor Relations
Curtis DeWalt
Chief Financial Officer
PondelWilkinson Inc.
Roger Pondel/Laurie Berman
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