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What is Americas muscle car?

american muscle

American muscle cars were known for their massive V8’s, powerful engine roar, and for destroying their competition on the drag strip. These cars were very popular during the 60’s and 70’s, especially in america. Many people have their opinions and likes/dislikes about certain cars, but everyone can agree that the 60’s and 70’s were owned by the muscle car. These V8 monsters were the best performing cars in the world, and their foreign competition, including the European exotics, couldn’t match the performance of the american muscle. Not only were they powerful, but they were loud — you could hear them coming from miles away. Muscle cars were built with passion to outperform its competitors, and it was successful at doing so. They were known as King of the Road, and it was this that made muscles such a popular american icon.

But as the muscle car era neared the 80’s and 90’s, something changed. There was something different about how american manufacturers were making their vehicles. Their cars didn’t perform or look half as good as their earlier models, and they became more. sloppy. Not only did they go down in performance and looks, american companies became greedy and started selling muscle cars in mass production, not giving a care if the car looked or performed well. The countless victories and success of the muscle car seemed to have made america cocky and greedy, and they were building cars only to make money. Take the Dodge Charger, for example. In the 60’s-70’s, these cars were one of the biggest, baddest muscle cars you could buy. Their incredible performance made them popular, and as american companies took notice of the rapid increase in sales, they became greedy. As the years passed, they became more sloppy, making careless mistakes. Dodge was producing chargers in mass production, not thinking about how they were ruining the car. Soon the charger went from an awesome performance monster to a crappy way for dodge to make money. This caused a rapid decrease in sales, and in 1978, it was discontinued. America’s overconfidence and want for money was killing the muscle car, and this continued through the 90’s and into the 21st century. Nowadays, muscle cars are crap. They don’t perform or look half as good as they did 40 years ago. Current models like the GTO and Charger are examples of some of the worst muscle cars ever built. It wasn’t that america could no longer build cars like they did in the past — they could still do it. But as time passed, technology advanced, and as foreign companies were keeping up with this advanced tech, americans stuck to their original muscle car «recipe». It’s all because american companies lost their passion for building the high-performance muscle car, and it was replaced with the passion for money.

Muscle car enthusiasts, however, refuse to believe this. Their pride and love for the american icon is glued to their hearts. They collect and treasure muscles from years past, and continue to rebuild them and increase their performance. If only it was these people who would run american manufacturers such as Dodge, Ford, Pontiac. . Sadly, they don’t, and the people that do run these companies just want the money. America still tries to make performance cars, however — the corvette and viper, especially the corvette, have been able to compete with the new King of the Road — the Europeans. Euros these days are built with the passion to perform that america once had. Many are hand built to perfection using high-quality materials and performance parts. Now, Europe makes some of the fastest cars in the world, and lap records to almost every major track are set by euros. The corvette, although not a muscle car, is as fast as many euros and costs about half the price. This american sports car is the one of very few decent american cars that is made today. Muscle cars from the 60’s and 70’s remain as the most decent muscle cars ever built, and there are still some around today. But with global warming and demand for more fuel efficient vehicles, these american icons, with their loud V8’s and massive power, will soon be gone forever.

dodge charger, ford mustang, chevy camaro, and plymouth ‘cuda are examples of american muscle
by Robben van Persie May 3, 2008
Boost your Facebook post on Urban Dictionary in just 3 clicks

american muscle

Cars that were built in America by American companies from the late 50’s until 1972 during the oil crisis where they all sucked, they in the 80’s they began to pick up again with the fox body mustang, mercury capri, iroc camaro, monte carlo ss, and buick grand national. They are popularly mistaken as having. Common misconceptions of muscle cars are as follows, poor handling, poor fuel effeciency, poor suspension, and chassis. But take a step back 30 years and compare them to other cars of the time. You may notice that they are some of the fastest best handling cars of there time. And yes they are heavy, but so were most cars of the time, no matter who manufactured them. Today muscle cars basically destroy any other cars on the track, take Le manns for example where the corvette wins basically every race. Again they are becoming popular for racing, with turns, as pointed out in the past few issues of hot rod magazine which featured a camaro and a chevelle, both from the 60’s, which destroy european cars on the track.

poor handling is often attributed to muslce cars which is usually true since most muscle cars are set up by their owners for the drag strip, where of course, they also dominate. Seriously, do you expect a car with 20 inch wide tires in the back and 3 inch wide tires in the front, and a big block v8 engines in between the front wheels to beat anyone in a turn?

I drive a volkswagen, and I am deeply into european cars, but seriously if you don’t know anything about american muscle cars, keep your mouth shut. If you weren’t so biased and you knew what you were talking about maybe you would seem a tad more intellegent

camaro, chevelle, vega, charger, fire bird, gt, gran torina, skylark, cutlass, 442, mustang, gto, corvette, roadrunner, baracuda, grand national, monte carlo, nova

American muscle

American muscle is the collective term for high-powered American cars, particularly those from the 1960–70s.

Related words:

  • high-performance engines
  • Mach 1
  • muscle car
  • V8

Where does American muscle come from?

American muscle

Likening muscle to horsepower, American performance cars were first called muscle cars in the 1960s. A 1965 issue of Popular Science noted how the option of a high-horsepower Hemi-426 engine made the Dodge Coronet a muscle car. Car and Driver used the same term to describe the Pontiac GTO. Notable models of Buick, Chevrolet, Ford, and Plymouth cars, all of which tend to be two-door sports coupes, were also designated as muscle cars during this period.

In 1977, as car imports were increasing in the United States, the Complete Guide to American Cars described this class of vehicle as American muscle. Car and Driver would call it “uniquely American” in 1985, so use of American muscle emphasizes the car’s American-ness as way of differentiating it from other vehicles (e.g., Australian muscle cars).

American muscle began to take on an element of nostalgia in the 1980s. A business journal article from 1983 asked “Remember American muscle cars?” Car and Driver made reference to “good ol’ American muscle machinery” two years later.

This nostalgia continued into the 2000s. A 2003 letter to Road and Track, for instance, asked if a resurgence of great American cars was coming in response to an article titled “American Muscle.”

Examples of American muscle

We all have our own idea of the perfect car. For some of us, it is those iconic examples of American Muscle that are deemed a ‘must-have’ for any collection of cars.

Jesse James, Stupid Dope, April, 2018

Who loves classic American muscle? We do! So the team at our West Carrollton store was happy to install a new @KENWOODUSA radio in this second gen #Pontiac #TransAm.

@CCSDayton, April, 2018

Build a car based on today’s amazing technology, cover it in a skin that hints at the golden age of American muscle machines, and you have yourself a Chevy Camaro. Or a Ford Mustang. Or a Dodge Challenger. Point is, the romance of car rivalries from the past is an excellent way to market and sell more cars.

Brian Chee, New York Daily News, April, 2018

Who uses American muscle?

American muscle is widely used by classic car drivers, collectors, and enthusiasts as well as by museum exhibits and expositions of muscle cars.

American Muscle is used as a brand name for model car kits and for Ford Mustang parts. Classic American Muscle is a vehicle-class designation used in motorsports competitions by the Sports Car Club of America.

American muscle is sometimes used to refer to the engine or power of a car, specifically, rather than the car as a whole. Automobile Magazine described “a car with American Muscle” and Hispanic Business described a Pontiac as having “European styling, American muscle.”

Prior to its automotive use, American muscle was used to describe the American labor force, American athletes, and American military power. American muscle is still sometimes used in these contexts. The band 1 AMVRKA released a song titled “American Muscle,” as “an ode to the working class” in 2017.

Muscle Cars

T o those in the Boomer generation, the term “Muscle Cars” conjures up memories of big displacement engines produced by the Detroit OEM’s, formerly known as The Big Three (GM, Ford & Chrysler). “There’s no replacement for displacement” was the mantra back in the day. That was before the Japanese and German invasion in the 1960’s with offerings from Daimler, BMW, VW, Audi, Toyota, Nissan and many others.

Volkswagen’s beetle made a huge, post WWII impact on the US auto market beginning in the late 50’s that began the trend toward fuel efficient, small displacement engines. Sixty years later, Japan and Germany have been joined by Korea in the hunt for the US consumer, and are taking increasingly larger bites of the market share pie. Today, small displacement, turbocharged, computer controlled, 4 and 6 cylinder powertrains offer performance on a scale unimaginable in the ‘60’s, and they dominate the market.

The relative inefficiency of a 60’s era Ford 427 Side Oiler V8, mated with a toploader four speed manual transmission, stands in stark contrast to a two liter, four banger with 500 HP. High horsepower, all-wheel-drive, and paddle shifters are commonly found in current offerings from US, German and Japanese manufacturers. Today’s performance cars are far superior to those built 50+ years ago, but that’s to be expected after half a century of technological advancements.

The Appeal of Muscle Cars

The beauty of American Muscle Cars is their emotional appeal. Beyond the timeless lines of a ‘67 Mustang fastback, or a “split-window” 1963 Corvette Stingray, most enthusiasts find the exhaust note from a well-tuned V8 preferable to a 4 cylinder Honda with a fart pipe. Or, to paraphrase a racing cliché, “it’s not how well you go fast, it’s how you look and sound when you do.”

Most of us have an idea of what a muscle car is, but maybe we’re unsure of the exact models that meet the criteria. The term is often loosely applied to most 1960 and 1970’s classic cars that were optioned from the factory with big engines, more horsepower and typically a 4 speed manual transmission.

What Defines a Muscle Car?

First of all, the term “American muscle cars” is superfluous. All official muscle cars are American made. It’s possible you’ve heard of Australian muscle cars or even Latin American, but these are cars manufactured abroad by the Detroit Three.

Muscle cars come in a 2 door, family style package with a V8 engine. These cars are ideal for street use, and also the occasional drag race. The muscle car is quite different from European high performance cars and the Shelby Cobra. While the European cars were designed with agility, the muscle cars were designed to get up and go. Drag races became popular with the help of several successful films including 1957’s Rebel Without A Cause. It wasn’t until the mid 60’s though, that muscle cars began their popular stride. The interest would continue until the 1973 oil crisis and subsequent regulations.

What Was the First Muscle Car?

Though opinions of when the muscle car era began vary, the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 is often cited as the first muscle car, closely followed by the Hudson Hornet. Chrysler then came out with the 1955 C-100. The C-100 stood out from the crowd. Not only was it fast, it possessed unmatched handling. Chrysler advertised it as “America’s Most Powerful Car”.

The original muscle cars boasted 135hp – not much by today’s standards. But by 1970, muscle cars were producing up to 450hp. Variations within the model were commonplace, as each manufacturer offered several upgrade options. Ordering your muscle car and tailoring it to your desire was a big draw among customers. Before long, muscle trucks were introduced. Leading car companies came out with models such as the Ford Ranchero, GMC Sprint and the Chevy El Camino, all available with big block performance options.

How Do Modern Muscle Cars Compare to the Classics?

Muscle cars have been periodically revived, like the 2004 Pontiac GTO and the 2008 Dodge Challenger, but none have been able to sustain the fame of the originals. Certain classic cars, as well as original muscle cars, continue to be well sought after investment opportunities. They have a long-term track record of appreciation, outperforming many other investments. They perform well, both as weekend toys and as an appreciating asset, much like art, antiques, and other historical artifacts.

For example, if you had purchased a 1965 Shelby Cobra when it was new, and sold it 50 years later, you would have realized an annual rate of return of just over 9%.

Besides, you can’t drive a mutual fund.


  • 1962–1965 Dodge Dart 413/426 Max Wedge/426 Hemi
  • 1962–1965 Plymouth Fury 413/426 Max Wedge/426 Hemi
  • 1964–1965 Ford Thunderbolt 427
  • 1965–1972 Buick Skylark GSX/GS400/GS
  • 1965–1970 Dodge Coronet 426-S
  • 1965–1970 Plymouth Belvedere 426-S
  • 1965-1983 Chevrolet Malibu SS 2 Door Sport Coupe
  • 1965–1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442
  • 1964–1965 Pontiac Tempest
  • 1964–1965 Pontiac Le Mans
  • 1964–1965 Pontiac GTO
  • 1965–1975 Buick Riviera Gran Sport
  • 1965–1969 Buick Skylark Gran Sport
  • 1965–1970 Dodge Coronet 426-S
  • 1965–1970 Plymouth Belvedere 426-S
  • 1965–1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442
  • 1966–1971 Plymouth/Dodge intermediates with 426 Hemi
  • 1966–1967 Chevy II SS327
  • 1966–1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396
  • 1968–1969 Chevy II Nova SS396
  • Ford Torino Cobra 428


  • 1971–1972 Charger R/T E37
  • 1971–1972 Charger R/T E38
  • 1972–1973 Charger R/T E48
  • 1972–1973 Charger R/T E49
  • 1972–1973 Charger S/E E55 727 Torqueflite Auto 340
  • 1969–1971 Valiant 318/360 V8S
  • 1973–1974 Charger E48
  • 1973 Charger E49
  • 1973–1974 Charger 770 E55


  • 1967–1976 Ford Falcon GT
  • 1967–1976 Ford Falcon Cobra


  • 1968–1977 Holden Monaro
  • 1974–1978 Holden Torana
  • Leyland P76 «Force Seven»



  • 1971–1975 Opala SS 250 I6
  • 1975–1979 Opala SS 250-S I6
  • 1979–1980 Opala SS 250-S I6
  • 1976–1979 Caravan SS
  • 1980 Caravan SS


  • 1971–1975 Maverick GT 302 V8
  • 1975–1979 Maverick GT 302 V8
  • 1966–1971 Galaxie 500 289 V8
  • 1971–1980 LTD Landau 302 V8
  • 1980–1983 Landau 302 V8


  • 1969–1975 Dart 318 V8
  • 1971–1979 Charger R/T 318 V8
    (1969 Dart modified sold under the name of Charger)
  • 1980 Charger R/T318 V8 (Modified 1976 Dart)


  • 1975–1979 GTB S1
  • 1980–1988 GTB S2
  • 1988–1994 AMV



General Motors Argentina

  • 1972–1977 Chevrolet Chevy Coupé «Super Sport»
  • 1967–1974 Chevrolet 400 «Super Sport»
  • 1970–1974 Chevrolet 400 «Rally Sport»

Ford Motor Argentina

  • 1973–1981/82 Ford Falcon «Sprint»
  • 2016–Present Ford Mustang GT “Coyote”

Chrysler-Fevre Argentina S.A.

  • 1970–1972 Dodge GTX “RG”
  • 1972-1979 Dodge GTX “Chrysler LA”
  • 1974–1979 Dodge Polara «R/T»

IKA-Renault (Industrias Kaiser Argentina)

  • 1966–1970 Torino 380/380w «Tornado Interceptor 230»
  • 1970–1973 Torino «GS200 «Tornado Interceptor 230»
  • 1973-1976 Torino GS200 “Tornado 233”
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