The very popular Camrao Z28. A favorite for car collectors.
The Muscle Car
Back in the 1960s and the 1970s, American car manufacturers diversified their automobile lines with high performance vehicles which came to be known as “Muscle Cars”. These muscle cars are typically mid-size with two doors and have the same basic interior packages that come with most of their automobiles. The one thing that separates the muscle car from the standard production automobile is that the muscle car has a very powerful engine usually a big cubic inch V8 block. The motors were designed to produce huge horse power and torque which translated into speed. Muscle cars could pass for a family car but when the drive mashed the gas pedal the car could go from 0 to 60 at an unbelievable speed. Basically they were undercover race cars. Good for both regular driving and street racing.
It has been debated as which to company and which car was the first muscle car. Since the 1950s, cars were being “hot rodded” by guys who wanted a fast and cool car. As public interest grew, the car manufacturers understood there was a market for big horsepower engines and sportier two door designs. In the 1960s, the major American manufacturers, Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet, starting producing cars that were fast, sporty and with big cubic inch motors that put out big horsepower. Ford introduced the Mustang. Chevrolet countered with the Camaro and Chrysler came out with the Challenger. Car clubs began springing up everywhere for Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers, etc. And much of the talk was about motor size, 289, 327, 350, 351 Cleveland, etc and tire size, 0 to 60 times and who beat who in a street race. While the big auto makers were battling it out on the race tracks, the common folks were street racing. If you grew up in the era, you know it was an exciting time for car junkies.
Very clean modified GTO
What car could be considered the first real muscle car?
It’s been said that the Pontiac GTO might be the first “real” muscle car. Production started in 1964 and ended around 1974. The 1964 model looked racy and had an powerful V8 engine with an attitude. A dual exhaust system gave it more through output. The 1966 GTO was a quick 0 to 60 MPH in 6-1/2 seconds. Speed equaled sales in the muscle car era and the 1966 GTO became a bestseller. In this ten year run, this powerful two door, also known as the Goat, was a hotly sought after car for the muscle car enthusiast.
This Ford Mustang looks great. One of the original muscle cars.
Hello Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro
In the 1960’s, the muscle car era exploded. The auto manufacturers designed cars that with bigger engines for more horsepower which equated to speed to go up against one another. This rivalry was called the Muscle Car War. After Pontiac introduced the GTO, the outstanding sales were definitely noticed by the other car manufacturers and a different race was on now. Every one of the major auto manufacturers began producing their own muscle cars. Ford entered the game when they added a V8 engine to their Mustang car line. Next came Chevrolet with their Camaro in 1967. Car clubs and a “cult like” following developed for each of these muscle car lines. Chrysler – Dodge – Plymouth had a whole line of muscle cars that included the Charger and Barracuda along with several others. Today still, a muscle car collection is not complete without a Mustang, Camaro and a GTO.
Here is a a restored 1967 Plymouth Barracuda. Later models were available with 440 motors.
The era is dead but not the cars
While the muscle car era has ended, the cars still live on. Almost anywhere in the USA and, in fact, the world, you can see one of these awesome muscle cars. Many of them have been rebuilt to original specifications and many of them have been modified with newer components to get even more performance from these beasts. Muscle cars continue to be admired and have great popularity with car enthusiasts all over the world. Some of the most popular models that are sought after around the world are the Mustang, GTO, Camaro, Challenger and the Firebird. Fifty years and billions of miles later and the muscle car still rules the street.
1966 Chevelle Super Sport with a 396. A real muscle car.