Post by The Rascal King on Oct 26, 2018 1:30:25 GMT
Anytime you discuss superlatives, you have to understand the subjective nature of such things. I'll be the first to acknowledge my personal bias on the matter, but setting aside the musclecar/ponycar debate for a moment, I'd put the 67/68 Mustang rear quarter up against the Charger any day:
But no doubt you're thinking that it's not a Muscle car because it's too new, and only has the V6. But for me, I just love it! Cheap to buy, run, drive, tax, insure, buy parts for, and great retro muscle car styling... Whats not to like?
For me the definition of muscle car is quite strait; a mid-size saloon or coupe with an excess of engine beyond what you'd have expected it to have. It started with the Pontiac GTO in '64 and petered out due to emissions, insurance and gas mileage constraints with the death by strangulation of the Challenger in 1974
There's probably more web pages arguing what counts and what doesn't than any other automotive subject. Is a Mustang a muscle car, or as a compact, the archetypal sub-sized "pony" car? Even after it bloated out twice and ended up massive post-'70? Is a T-Bird, when even Ford called it a "personal luxury car" from the get-go and it started out smaller than a Corvette? Is a Torino? Despite having prodigious big-blocks and drag-spec options lists, surely it's a race car made to clatter around the big ovals like Talladega at 200mph?
Not sure it matters... maybe the thread could just be for "cool American performance cars"? Not snappy but possibly a broader and more interesting church
Anyway, what's with all the Dodges and Fords? No love for the Tri-shield?
I like the way you're thinking there luckyseven, I think trying to determine what is a Muscle car and what is not a Muscle car is an argument much like the "Is my car retro yet" or "when does a car become retro" one. There probably are 'rules' but mostly it's more of an opinion that a rule I feel. However, what I will say is that as a general rule of thumb, wagons, pick ups, vans etc. No. Cars with more doors than you've got hands, no. Cars with only two seats, no. I think cars like the current Mustang, Camaro, Challenger etc, although have the retro Muscle car styling, and to some point ethos, they probably aren't, or at least, if they are, they are diluted. Although, to defend my Mustang, what I will say is that I don't think it has any driver aids, no traction control etc. Much like the proper Muscle cars, it will just chuck you in a ditch if you run out of driver talent! Anyhoo...
I feel about the Grand National (and even the insanely groovy and rare GNX) much the same way I do about the various incarnations of Monte Carlo; some clever engineering, some epic engines, some crazy ability to generate speed. But they're criminally ugly and make me ill to look at, so nope.
Yes, I'm fickle
Have another forgotten marque. 442... coolest "name" if you're a cognoscenti... best year, best colour so cool it gives me serious trouser problems
My take on the Muscle car is probably, and broadly, in line with how the US Auto industry first envisaged them. Family cars with huge engines developing huge horsepower that could be run down the strip at the weekend and to and from work in the week with the occasional shopping trip. What emanated from those early cars was a refining of design to make them also LOOK like fast and powerful cars and moving them away from the crowd that they used to hide behind, understated.
I adore Chargers and I'm very much a Pontiac fan BUT if I was pushed to nail down my perfect muscle car then it would be this.
Apart from the name, a boggo stock looking Plymouth Fury looked like the car an American mom drove to Walmart and her hubby drove the family to the Church in on a Sunday. They were popular with police forces across the States because they were big, fast and comfortable cars that could match most others on the road and, again, were understated yet imposing. The pic I have put up is of one that has recently been for sale on line. Christ, I wanted it badly!!!
This thread has inspired me to have a trawl through my photos and found these beauty's. Sorry for the varied image quality, don't think any are my own.
The Buick Skylark/special is a car I have wanted for a long time, though whether or not that's actually a muscle car I'm not sure. As you can probably tell I have a bit of a thing for those early 70's Plymouth Roadrunner/GTX cars. And the General Mayhem of Roadkill fame has been posted before, but I much prefer it pre-Hellcat swap.
It COULD be argued that the late 70s/80s were a bit of a disaster for US family cars in terms of styling and engines. Some still had strip speedos FFS!! 4 and 6 cylinder asthmatic engines ( unless they were breathed on like the Dodge Omni) yet, looking back at them now, that boxy shape on many of them really works now.
Bog standard, you would just overlook it but modified, yes!
Don't think there's any argument the 70s were an utter disaster for American cars in almost every respect and it took them till the millennium to really turn the corner. Just one easy example...
'68 Cougar, basically a swisher, more upmarket Mustang for the urbane young gent around town
Ten years later, the '78 Cougar. The male menopause made steel... leather trimmed boot and Landau simply complete the awful transition into chest-wig chariot. You can almost hear the death of youth and optimism crying to itself in the passenger seat