- Automobile History
The Muscle Cars
Born in the sixties, a muscle car was a car with a powerful 280 hp V8 or more. Some may have had less than 280 hp, but all were targeting the youth of America, those under 30 yrs. old at the time. They all had a similar configuration: bucket seats, 4-5 speed stick shift on the floor, a center console, some sort of racing stripe or other racy detailing. Many came with 5-spoke mag wheels or simulated mag wheels. They were the American sport car, slick and powerful and gas guzzlers (at $50 cents a gallon, no one thought economy). The most popular were the Chevrolet Camaro Z28, Corvette, Ford Mustang GT, Pontiac GTO, Dodge Challenger and Charger, Plymouth Barracuda. There were many more.
They were hugely popular. That was 1965-71. Now, in 2011, they are back (minus the Barracuda and GTO). All are modernized but resemble their originals for heritage purposes. You can tell its a Mustang simply by looking for the emblem. The new Mustangs resemble the late 60's Mustang muscle cars quite a bit, the Camaro not so much to the original, the Challenger, like the Mustang, looks retro.
However, their engines are truly massive. the Camaro has a 550 Hp engine and sells for $45K. That is a FAR cry from a $3000 1967 Camaro. The Mustang Boss follows the Camaro with a 444 Hp and $41K tag. The Dodge Challenger goes from 0-60 in 5 seconds with its 470 Hp engine. The Mustang Facebook page has a whopping 1.5 million followers! All of the current muscle cars have a gas mileage rating from 14-26 mpg. Most of the muscle cars being sold are to those who were not around in the sixties but love the muscle car and those who are now 45-55 yrs. who could not afford them back then but can now. Both the Camaro and Mustang are still competing as they did in the sixties, both sell about 6000 cars a month.
Some things never change.