Fans of classic cars have their favorites, and the debate is fiercest when it comes to muscle cars. get any group of enthusiasts together and you can hear conversations ranging from the definition of a “true” muscle car to which was the first or the best.
Any top 10 list of muscle cars is sure to have the usual suspects filling out 3/4 of the list. Cars such as the GTO, Camaro, Mustang and Charger are perpetual entries. What makes a car a classic is a combination of style, performance and engineering that takes it a step above the pack, and the 1960s and 70s were the times when competition among the major auto makers were at their peak.
Arguably, the great race to create the perfect muscle car began in 1964, when the first GTO rolled off the assembly line. This was the Plymouth Tempest, and this model and other Mopar cars from Chrysler-Plymouth set the standard that the muscle cars of the era were up against. Other cars that define this great time in auto making were the Ford Mustang, which with it’s high performance engine and compact body, ushered in the pony car era; the Chevy Camaro and Chevelle; the Dodge Challenger and the Plymouth Roadrunner.
The technical definition of a muscle car is a high-performance car with V-8 engine and a super-light body. Car manufacturers targeted a horsepower to weight ratio of 10 pounds per. The definitive look is a mid-sized, two-door car that’s able to accelerate fast in a straight line like street dragsters. Car manufacturers targeted a horsepower to weight ratio of 10 pounds per. The definitive look is a mid-sized, two-door car that’s able to accelerate fast in a straight line like street dragsters. They were also relatively inexpensive, had easy to find parts that were often interchangeable from one model to another and they were easy to work on and modify; they still are, which makes them a favorite of restoration buffs. Unfortunately, the engine size and performance were the factors that saw the decline of the muscle car as the energy crisis of the late 70s and changes in emissions standards and other regulations made further development unfeasible.
The good news is that there are still plenty of the originals on the road, and new technologies, coupled with nostalgia, have seen a emergence in modern muscle cars that combine the power of the first generation with the amenities of today. You can finds loads of parts and information, or join a forum and discus a range of topics from engine compression to Mustang restoration at BlueSkyClassicCars.com. This is an example of a car lover’s website run by and for true auto enthusiasts.