How do you define "Muscle Car"
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The place to discuss classic muscle cars (old and new)!
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TOPIC: How do you define "Muscle Car"

How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 12 months ago #1

Fresh Boarder
I'm new around these parts, so I don't want to stir up any trouble, but I feel like the collectible companies consider every car produced between 1963-1973 a "muscle car", and that's just not the case.


I was always taught that the definition of a muscle car was an intermediate or full-sized body style, with a powerful performance driveline. These cars had full back seats and sometimes even four doors. So Ford Galaxies and Fairlanes, Pontiac GTOs and Catalinas, Dodge Chargers and Coronet's, Chevy Impalas and Chevelles, those were muscle cars.


Cars like the Mustang, Camaro, Firebird, Challenger, Javelin, with their short deck lids and tiny back seats were "pony cars" - an affordable hybrid of a sports car and a family sedan. Even a big-block powered Yenko Camaro - not a muscle car. Still a pony car.


And 427 Corvettes and Cobras? Definitely sports cars, and it makes me go into near OCD-induced seizures when I see one in any kind of "muscle car" branded packaging. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Last Edit: 7 years, 12 months ago by TreasureHunter.

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 12 months ago #2

Senior Boarder
I'd say for the most part that I would agree with you, but by definition, that would mean that today's Taurus SHOs, BMW 5 series, and other powerful sedans are "muscle cars". True?

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 12 months ago #3

Platinum Boarder
Muscle cars are for the most part American V8's from the big three: GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

In the Pacific Rim of Austral-Asia it was the competitive rivalry between Ford, Holden and the Valiant Hemi's that mimicked the US V8 muscle car genre.

Europe had their own thing going. V8+ cars were for company bosses and the super wealthy. In Europe it wasn't practical as petrol was and still is expensive. Whilst the American culture appeared to squander it all on their gas guzzlers.

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #4

Platinum Boarder
Personally I consider anything with 4 doors a sedan, maybe a very quick sedan but still a sedan.

A muscle car would only have 2 doors for me.

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #5

Platinum Boarder
I would agree and I don't like the term Pony Car being used for anything but a Mustang. Most Mustangs, Cameros, Firebirds are muscle cars in my opinion. 2 door Hard tops and convertibles with big or oversized V8 motors is a muscle car to me. Even a '67 Impala with a 396 is a muscle car, if done right. 650 horsepower makes any car a muscle car.

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #6

Platinum Boarder
For me, a muscle car is anything that produces a big horsepower number, thunders down the road, gets less than 10 miles a gallon, and is blue collar American made (given. there are Australian cars that fit the bill, but most were basically Fords anyway,the Falcon XB comes to mind) before 1973 or so (or is based on it, i.e. restores, customs). Ford. Chevy. Mopar.


I think this epitomizes the definition fully.

Last Edit: 7 years, 11 months ago by StarbaseBravo.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Nobleco

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #7

Platinum Boarder
Any manufactured V8 or six cylinder engined car that was produced during the 1950's to the 1970's that had lots of chromed 4 door attitude and those 2 door grunts that left their tread where many wild cats would run the made mile. While those coups of the 30's and 40's were usually in the Rod iron categories leaving those 4-doors in the drive-in love creepers .
Last Edit: 7 years, 11 months ago by GunnerJim.

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #8

Senior Boarder
StarbaseBravo wrote:
For me, a muscle car is anything that produces a big horsepower number, thunders down the road, gets less than 10 miles a gallon, and is blue collar American made (given. there are Australian cars that fit the bill, but most were basically Fords anyway,the Falcon XB comes to mind) before 1973 or so (or is based on it, i.e. restores, customs). Ford. Chevy. Mopar.


I think this epitomizes the definition fully.

 


That video is awesome. There used to be a mid-60s Chevy Malibu that ran around Kansas City that was set up like that, but he had taken it a step further, in that everything under-hood was as stock appearing as he could get it. He had nitrous lines run through fake heater hoses and a bunch of other trick stuff. Car ran low 11s in street trim as I recall, and was basically just used as a street racer.
Last Edit: 7 years, 11 months ago by 289Cobra.

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #9

Platinum Boarder
Now, that is a muscle car and a sleeper too. Love it. Thanks for showing.

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #10

Platinum Boarder
TREASUREHUNTER,   Welcome aboard.  Muscle Car, interesting and a big KICK to read all the defines thus far. My youth was filled with these USA difines as well as the real thing. I had one. An ordering mistake by the dealer, and he paid the difference. Still there are all sort of arguments regarding when it originally happened, who started it and what the real meaning was.


                          The pride of GM Pontiac Division Sales corp might have had a bit to do with it around 1964. The auto magazines took off as they usually do like a dog chasing a bone tied to a bumper. Someone decided their Pontiac LeManns,  was an intermediate size auto with 300 plus cubic inch displacement to be a real " Muscle Car" and they had just that car. The GTO. "The first out....." was what they said, all others were followers. ...... "and try to beat it." Hmmmm to all that rubbish.


                           They should have looked back to 1957. AMC had a intermediate size 4 door hardtop with the continental kit, solid lifters, 4 barrel carb(initially fuel injection) dual exhaust that could run alongside the Corvette in the 1/4 mile drag also of the same year. The really first Muscle Car by their definitiion, also read here on TC/DC.  YUP!


                           This AMC Nash Rambler was called the REBEL. Look it up on the internet.....


                             GM, Ford, and Chrysler types will put up a loozing argument every time. The facts are there.


                              My 1965 Chev Malibu convertible was a real sleeper, because I ordered it with a 327cid-350HP. The side fender flags did not display the 396, they were just cross flags indicating a v-8. It came to me as a 396- a bit more than 350HP, later engine version with 4 bolt main bearings. Forget the rest of the details, just that this car would pass anything but a gas station. Then fuel was less that a dollar a gallon - not liter you jealous folks. Who cared then about gas guzzlers was the attitude and down the road we blasted.......showing tail lights to those Goats! More jealous folks.....


                               Enough!


                               Below is a Dinky Code 3 I purchased off the bay a few years back. My grandchildren play with it regularily as you can see from the paint rubs. A nice Code 3 and good workmanship, I replaced the fastener with a button head screw and the base plate has not come apart since.


                                   










I think he did a real nice job on this Code 3 DINKY Nash Rambler.


                               dinkyboy
Last Edit: 7 years, 11 months ago by DINKYBOY.

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #11

Platinum Boarder
Ah, that is one I forgot. Pontiac.

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #12

Platinum Boarder
One of the very first muscle cars for sure Erwin. Here is a couple of pictures of the real car. Your model has done it justice.


Both are 1957 and google 1957 Rambler Rebel to see more and find out about this iconic but seldom loved car. Went the way of American Motors, deadsville in the end.


And it was a four door.




















Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #13

Platinum Boarder
Nobleco,  Great pictures Jim. Thanks for adding them. My neighbor had this same car. He had fuel injection, it ran poorly and AMC eventually replaced the induction with a 4 barrel quadrajet. The engine was a 327 AMC, about 220 HP or so if I remember correctly and a 3 speed manual with overdrive, and some type of locking rear (like Posi-traction) . He swore better than 22mpg then! He had a good paint job, because the only paint scheme was what are in your pictures, and many of the cars had to be repainted because something about the paint chemistry. Some owners went to the standard colors, talk about a real sleeper. The side trim was the give-away, and only if you were looking.  


             MUSCLE CARs had to be Factory. Specs and all.... no performance add ons that were not offered as an original factory option. Now that should make it a little more precise, or as they say where I come from, "clearerer."    


             1957 NASH RAMBLER REBEL = The Original U. S. A.  MUSCLE CAR 


             dinkyboy
Last Edit: 7 years, 11 months ago by DINKYBOY.

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #14

Platinum Boarder
I think if you are going back that far how about a '53 Hudson twin H power or even a '50 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. Both of these were very successful in NASCAR and could be considered "Muscle Cars"

Re: How do you define "Muscle Car" 7 years, 11 months ago #15

Platinum Boarder
DINKYDI,   The Hudson and Olds you mentioned, I believe were all full size. Yes they were hot NASCAR items.  The early 50's Hudson Hornet was closest to the mid size but still considered full size. The Hornet had 308 cubes. I 'll stick with intermediate size to identify them as Muscle Cars.


                 I believe the New Jersey State Police had those Hudsons on the N.J. Turnpike because they were big and fast cars.


                  dinkyboy
Last Edit: 7 years, 11 months ago by DINKYBOY.
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