Oversized, super powerful engines were shoehorned into once were mid-size family cars. Mopar had the Hemi and 440 Magnum engines, GM’s had their “big block" 427 and 455 H.O. powerplants and Ford’s race-ready competition 427 cu.in engine rated at 425 HP are examples of the excess brawn built into these cars right from the factory.
Some of the most famous names of the day were the Boss Mustang and Gran Torino, the Chevy 396 Chevelle, Pontiac Judge GTO, Buick Gran Sport, Hurst Olds 442, Dodge Super Bee, the Hemi ‘Cuda and of course the ever popular Plymouth Road Runner. Even the now defunct American Motors Corporation built some of the fastest, most underrated muscle cars of the day, including the Hurst SC/Rambler, Rebel Machine and AMX.
Under the fabulous paint schemes and the roar of some of the most powerful engines every built, these cars had several weaknesses. The brake and suspension systems were woefully under engineered to control the excessive horsepower and speeds these cars could achieve.
And like the dinosaur, the end came quickly. In the early 1970's the insurance industry began levying surcharges on all high-powered models, then the first oil embargo and finally the Clean Air Act of 1970 which saw octane ratings lowered to 91, when most muscle cars needed 101 octane, or better, and the elimination of leaded fuel were the final death knell for these classics. Although the American manufactures tried to revive the muscle car return in the 1980s increases in pollution and safety laws, plus high production costs made these cars but were nothing more than a sophisticated marketing ploy and were simply a visual reminder of the once mighty performance package coupes.
So, have fun looking and reading about some of the great Muscle Cars and other unique and rare pieces of automotive history that are highlighted in my web site!
Thanks for the memories!
Mopar (Plymouth & Dodge)
The Buick Y-Job: The World's First Concept Car
Automotive Scavenger Hunt
WebQuest: Where in Philadelphia is Ben Franklin?
Classic & Antique Picture Slideshow
Muscle Car Facts
Classic Muscle Cars
Muscle Cars (Wikipedia)
Northstar Gallery - Car Art at its Finest
Classic Car Ads