When you hear the words muscle cars, you think about large vehicles. However, they might not be as huge as such. Muscle car is a term used mostly in America to describe high-performance cars that are generally rear-wheel-drive fitted with very powerful V8 engines, with some manufacturers sourcing for the best utilizing a VIN decoder.
Pony cars that have very high power are sometimes categorized as muscle cars. Between the 1960s and early 1970s, muscle cars were designed specifically for drag racing. Some of the muscle cars include Dodge Charger R/T, Chevrolet Camaro LS, and Cadillac CTS-V. The following are six interesting facts about muscle cars.
Australia Also Used To Manufacture Muscle Cars
When you imagine the muscle cars that used to roam the streets, we think they typically were in the USA only, but these cars had a very big following in Australia. Recent research points out explicitly that muscle cars in Australia gained popularity around the same time as in the USA. Some of the significant manufacturers in muscle cars in Australia include Chrysler Australia, Ford Australia, and Holden. Actually, in the 1970s the government of Australia had a crackdown on muscle cars since prototypes could reach 170 mph which were unsafe.
Ford Mustang Is Not a Muscle Car
Many people have been arguing whether the Ford Mustang is a muscle car. Enthusiasts of muscle cars classify the Ford Mustang as a pony car. Just like muscle cars, pony cars are equipped with two-seater autos with big engines and a small body. On the contrary, pony cars have smaller V8 engines and are much smaller. The Ford Mustang is a highly styled car with a performance-oriented image, but sorry, not a muscle car.
No One Knows the First American Muscle Car
Most people argue that the 1964 Pontiac GTO was the first muscle car to be produced. The 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 got a lot of attention from enthusiasts who say it was the first muscle car. It had a scaled-black body, a V8 engine and was approximately one foot shorter than the 98-series counterpart. The Oldsmobile Rocket 88 had an engine displacement of a 303-cubic inch, an output of 135 horsepower and a two-barrel carburetor. The torque and high-end muscle with horsepower gave it a powerful low-end speed it could only reach 97mph.
The 1970 Chevy Chevelle LS6 Has a Mighty Engine
Many people call it the ultimate muscle car. Chevy’s top-performing vehicle has been the Chevrolet Corvette. Until the LS6 was manufactured, GM did not accept any other Chevy to have a higher horsepower than that of the Corvette. In 1970 the stance was relaxed, and the highest Corvette 390-hp for LS5 was increased to 450-hp for the LS6 making the 1970 Chevelle the highest–output production car.
The 454 cubic inches, 7.4 liter V8 of the Chevelle produced 500-pound-feet torque and 450 horsepower. The engine powered the rear wheels via the M22 four-speed manual transmission. It was heavily optioned and came with factory options like performance suspensions, power front disc brakes, power steering, and heavy-duty battery.
Police Muscle Cars
In the modern-day, law enforcement agencies use various types of vehicles for their patrols. During the early days of the muscle cars, the police cars were big and slow. Fast vehicles capable of attaining high speeds were being produced that could outrun the police cars. Therefore, the Alabama State Troopers needed faster cars that could chase suspects. The vehicles required regular police equipment and also enough space for officers. It was then decided they should buy the AMC Javelin with a V8 engine which was a muscle car.
Alabama was the first state to use muscle cars due to its high speed of up to 150 mph for the pursuit of vehicles during highway patrol. The AMC Javelin was picked because of financial and performance reasons.
Muscle Cars with the Same Engine but Different Horsepower Ratings
During the muscle cars most significant period of popularity, many production companies used to hide the horsepower ratings for falsely advertised car powers and also for insurance reasons. The GM had a rule that prohibited the manufacturers from producing cars with greater than one horsepower for every 10 pounds of the weight of the vehicle. This was supposed to prevent manufacturers from producing overpowered cars.
In the late 1960s, Pontiac came up with a new model that had a 400 V8 engine producing 320 HP while the same 400 V8 engine of the GTO model was 366 HP.
Today, muscle cars are slightly different. The big V8 engines are a thing of the past, and small blocks that have more horsepower rating are used. Modern muscle cars can negotiate corners at speed, have massive acceleration in a straight line, and have improved reliability.
Duncan Kingori has been in the writing profession for a decade now. He has great experience writing informative articles and his work has been appreciated and published in many popular publications. His education background in communication and public relations has given him a concrete base from which to approach different topics in various niches.