My friends as a teenager were gear-heads. They liked American muscle cars–GTOs, Chargers Road Runners, Chevelles–all manner of American muscle,to be driven murderously fast and all 400 horses breaking a sweat. One guy drove a midnight blue Impala with a shimmering metal-flake finish and it was like a sleek torpedo. He’d get it out on the Eisenhower and bury the needle heading east to Lake Shore Drive and the night skyline decked out with lights like shiny gangster candy, blinking on and off was like a lover’s semaphore. The Impala roared an American high-octane howl, a pagan machine, under the Chicago night sky.