Real Muscle Car
How did muscle-car madness start? 1 of 8 Ford Because it is a genre that enthusiasts are passionate about, you are bound to generate some criticism when compiling a list of the 7 greatest muscle cars of all time. However, Bankrate stuck its neck out to do just that. Some enthusiasts trace the history of muscle cars to the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. But the heyday of this genre ran from 1965 to 1970 before collapsing under the weight of higher gas prices, more stringent exhaust emissions regulations and soaring insurance costs. Check Auto Loan Rates What is a muscle car? There isn’t a settled definition, but most experts agree it’s a smaller, 2-door car powered by a high-displacement engine typically found in a larger, full-size sedan. Some argue that pony cars, such as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, aren’t muscle cars at all, but for this list, Bankrate chose not to make that distinction. Manufacturers engineered muscle cars for straight-line speed, inspiring more than an occasional Saturday night drag race between traffic lights. Neither built nor sold in huge numbers, muscle cars were bait, luring buyers into showrooms where they would purchase more mundane models. Yet, the muscle-car mystique lives on. Here’s our list in model-year order. Previous Next 1 of 8
Real Muscle Car
According to Muscle Cars, a book written by Peter Henshaw, a “muscle car” is “exactly what the name implies. It is a product of the American car industry adhering to the hot rodder’s philosophy of taking a small car and putting a large-displacement engine in it. The Muscle Car is Charles Atlas kicking sand in the face of the 98 horsepower weakling.” Henshaw further asserts that the muscle car was designed for straight-line speed, and did not have the “sophisticated chassis”, “engineering integrity”, or “lithe appearance” of European high-performance cars.
Real Muscle Car
WELCOME TO REAL MUSCLE Simply Put, we love cars, “Always Have and Always Will”. Real Muscle Car Boutique has served car collectors nationwide since the early 80’s. In the last three decades our family owned business has remained constant in its dedication to their clients by providing the highest quality vehicles available today. We are consistently first to the market with the latest trends and styles in rare and hard to find collector cars. We source some of the highest quality vehicles throughout the United States, Europe and around the world. For this reason, Real Muscle Car Boutique is an industry leader and will continue to provide some of the best examples of high end classic and exotic cars from around the globe.
American Motors, though late entering the 1960s muscle car market, produced “an impressive array of performance cars in a relatively short time,” said Motor Trend. “The first stirrings of AMC performance came in 1965, when the dramatic, if ungainly, Rambler Marlin fastback was introduced to battle the Ford Mustang and Plymouth Barracuda.” Although the Marlin was a flop in terms of sales and initial performance, AMC gained some muscle-car credibility in 1967, when it made both the Marlin and the “more pedestrian” Rebel available with its new 280 hp (209 kW; 284 PS), 343 cu in (5.6 L) “Typhoon” V8. In 1968, the company offered two pony car muscle car contenders: the Javelin and its truncated two-seat variant, the AMX a sports car in the Grand Touring tradition.
Even if you want to argue that the Charger is a family car and that therefore the Challenger should be included in the muscle car category, however, I’m going to shoot that down by stating that we are discussing American muscle cars. The Challenger Hellcat might be all-American in conception, design, and even engineering, but the engine comes from Mexico and the assembly is done in Ontario. At best, it’s a North American muscle car.
Many consider 1970 to be the apex of the muscle-car era, and the Chevelle SS 454 is a weighty piece of evidence for that argument. Chevrolet offered 2 versions of the 454-cubic-inch V-8. The LS5 generated a very impressive 360 horsepower, while the LS6 punched out a whopping 450 ponies. It’s the LS6 version, with its Holley 4-barrel carburetor, that put the SS 454 on this list. No other muscle car would equal the horsepower wallop of the 1970 SS 454, according to HowThingsWork.com. It was the last great gasp of the muscle-car era.
Simply Put, we love cars, “Always Have and Always Will”. Real Muscle Car Boutique has served car collectors nationwide since the early 80’s. In the last three decades our family owned business has remained constant in its dedication to their clients by providing the highest quality vehicles available today. We are consistently first to the market with the latest trends and styles in rare and hard to find collector cars. We source some of the highest quality vehicles throughout the United States, Europe and around the world. For this reason, Real Muscle Car Boutique is an industry leader and will continue to provide some of the best examples of high end classic and exotic cars from around the globe.
Muscle car is an American term used to refer to a variety of high-performance automobiles. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines muscle cars as “any of a group of American-made 2-door sports cars with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving.” A large V8 engine is fitted in a 2-door, rear wheel drive, family-style compact, mid-size or full-size car designed for four or more passengers. Sold at an affordable price, muscle cars are intended for street use and occasional drag racing. They are distinct from two-seat sports cars and expensive 2+2 GTs intended for high-speed touring and road racing.
In the United States, lightweight cars featuring high-performance engines were termed “supercar” before the classification of muscle car became popular. For example, the 1957 Rebel’s “potent mill turned the lightweight Rambler into a veritable supercar.” “From the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies, what we now think of as muscle cars were more commonly called ‘Supercars,’ often (though not always) spelled with a capital S.” This term described the “dragstrip bred” affordable mid-size cars of the 1960s and early 1970s that were equipped with large, powerful V8 engines and rear-wheel-drive. “In 1966, the supercar became an official industry trend” as the four domestic automakers “needed to cash in on the supercar market” with eye-catching, heart-stopping cars. Examples of the use of the supercar description for the early muscle models include the May 1965 Car Life road test of the Pontiac GTO along with how “Hurst puts American Motors into the Supercar club with the 390 Rogue” (the SC/Rambler) to fight in “the Supercar street racer gang” market segment. Moreover, the “SC” in the model name stood for “SuperCar”.
While the aging baby boom generation inspired the modern demand for classic-type American Muscle cars, the consumer market is much more diverse than it was in the 1960s and 1970s. Looking at modern muscle as a social trend, Ford and GM are the “innovators,” followed by baby boom males in their 50s as “early adopters.” The big bulge or “early majority” in the modern muscle movement comes from the men in their teens and early 20s. For these non-baby boomer consumers, the “cool” image is key. In the 1960s “a car was not quite a car unless punching the accelerator resulted in screaming tires and the landscape blurring around you…” according to Brent Staples of The New York Times. Fuel was cheap and the staple of drag racing counterculture was to be fast and loud. Now being “cool,” fuel efficient, and cost effective is all a part of the package. Instead of fuel guzzling V8 engines, you see V6 or turbocharged I4 models. Despite the reduction in power, Detroit is successfully selling this package. The Camaro and Challenger saw a 13% and 11% spike in sales during June 2011, which “outpaced” the growth in sales of all other passenger cars, according to Autodata.
Manufacturers engineered muscle cars for straight-line speed, inspiring more than an occasional Saturday night drag race between traffic lights. Neither built nor sold in huge numbers, muscle cars were bait, luring buyers into showrooms where they would purchase more mundane models. Yet, the muscle-car mystique lives on. Here’s our list in model-year order.
The popularity and performance of muscle cars grew in the early 1960s, as Mopar (Dodge, Plymouth, and Chrysler) and Ford battled for supremacy in drag racing. The 1962 Dodge Dart 413 cu in (6.8 L) Max Wedge, for example, could run a 13-second 1/4-mile dragstrip at over 100 miles per hour (161 km/h). In 1961 Chevrolet introduced the SS package on the Impala for $53.80, with included an optional 409 cu in v8 with 425 hp and upgraded brakes, tires, and suspension. By 1964, General Motors’ lineup boasted Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, and Pontiac muscle cars, and Buick fielded a muscle car entry a year later. For 1964 and 1965, Ford had its 427 cu in (7.0 L) Thunderbolts, and Mopar unveiled the 426 cu in (7.0 L) Hemi engine. The Pontiac GTO was an option package that included Pontiac’s 389 cu in (6.4 L) V8 engine, floor-shifted transmission with Hurst shift linkage, and special trim. In 1966 the GTO became a model in its own right. The project, led by Pontiac division president John DeLorean, technically violated GM’s policy, limiting its smaller cars to 330 cu in (5.4 L) displacement, but the new model proved more popular than expected, and inspired GM and its competitors to produce numerous imitators.