So, in a future where fossil fuels are prohibitively expensive, the men in a neighbourhood envy their one neighbour who drives a large V8 sedan from the old days.
The owner of the throwback is well aware, and rubs their noses in the fact they drive little electric cars that are small and have limited range, or are otherwise just dull compared to his massive vehicle every time he arrives home from work.
However, we learn a secret the neighbours don't learn… His wife comes down to the garage from the house, late at night, and asks him if the ownership of the vehicle is worth the effort. As he strains and sweats, he says that the numerous hours every night winding up the clockwork mechanism that replaces the original engine is worth it, as are all the effects that make it sound like a petrol-driven engine.
I keep thinking Harry Harrison is the author, but no search there has helped.