A problem has emerged in a western German town near a US military base, to which soldiers have shipped their modified muscle cars. The local police don’t seem to like the whole non-conformity thing…
German police are clamping down on American soldiers driving modified muscle and pony cars around the town of Kaiserslautern.
Incredibly strict German rules on what is and isn’t legal when it comes to modifications are at odds with the freedom of expression brought in by the army men at Ramstein Air Base, whose cars have reportedly been targeted by the police and clubbed with fines for a huge variety of what we’d call petty offences.
Jalopnik reports that the chief of the town’s police department had said the Americans’ cars were more heavily modified and “extreme” than German cars, even going as far as to say that the big V8s in the resident muscle cars weren’t especially welcome. That guy sounds like he’d be a riot at parties.
Other infractions that have been reported include yellow fog lights, window tinting and loud exhausts, with one soldier apparently being repeatedly stopped over the cooling vents in his bonnet, which are a standard feature on the unnamed model.
The full post makes interesting reading, essentially boiling down to a cultural difference between the Germans’ naturally controlling nature based on strictly-enforced laws, and the ingrained creative freedom enjoyed by Americans, especially when it comes to modifying their cars.
Modified German cars have to have every change noted down in a registration booklet, and if it makes the booklet then it’s passed the infamous TUV test and it’s legal. American cars’ log books don’t have anything like that, which is apparently causing the police some difficulties in determining what is legal and what isn’t.
We’d like to ask the opinions of our German CTzens, or anyone from the other side of the French border who knows the system in Kaiserslautern. Are the police being too heavy-handed or are the Americans taking liberties? Is it a bit of both?