Stephen Cox blogs about the first American car, a winged Charger Daytona, in Germany's prestigious Autobahn 250 club.
It was the mid-1970s. NASCAR's aerodynamic Supercars were a thing of the past. The great American muscle car had succumbed to a slow death, strangled by government regulations and absurd speed limits. The U.S. auto industry fell into its own Dark Age and would not emerge for another 20 years.
But in Nuremberg, Germany, a small band of merry rebels picked up where America left off. They called themselves “The Autobahn 250” and they celebrated speed over a 28-mile stretch of their country's famed Autobahn.
Membership into the club was restricted to drivers who could average 250 kph or 155 mph over the prescribed 28-mile course. “They would go out on the Autobahn, measure off the proper distance, and they would have flags to show when you were coming up to the starting point to make sure they were up to speed,” said Dick Fleener, who now owns the first American car to achieve membership in The Autobahn 250.