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The Muscle Car Era

Updated on June 30, 2014

My Family History And Interests

My grandfather purchased his first General Motors franchise in 1918 when he was 18. He ended up owning four franchises, which his four sons eventually helped him run. He owned the Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and GMC truck franchises in the Brainerd lakes area of Minnesota. It was a very fun family to grow up in, and the sixties and seventies era muscle cars were my all time favorite.

A Muscle car refers to a variety of high-performance automobiles. They are American-made 2-door sports coupes with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving.

My number one all time favorite was the 1970's Pontiac Trans Am. I was madly in love with the black "Smokey And The Bandit Trans AM" from that movie. I also loved the Pontiac GTO which they introduced in 1964.

The 1964 Pontiac GTO


Life In The Muscle Car Era

When Pontiac created the 1964 GTO, the official race to create the perfect most powerful muscle car was started. I found this picture of a1964 GTO on Top Car. This has to be the most beautiful one every made. The GTO was a violation of GM policy because it had a 389 in³ (6.4 L) Pontiac V8 engine.

1969 Pontiac Judge GTO With Paul Revere And The Raiders

I remember in 1969 when Pontiac introduced the Pontiac GTO Judge with this commercial with "Paul Revere And The Raiders". This was my most favorite commercial at the time. I was very excited when my dad told me about the new car and the commercial as the Raiders were my favorite group at the time.The GTO called the “Judge" was inspired by a skit from Laugh In.The name GTO stands for Grand Turismo Omologato I remember being very exciting the night that I saw the commercial. the Judge GTO was more expensive than a standard GTO, and included the Ram Air III engine, Rally II wheels without trim rings, Hurst shifter, wider tires, various decals, and a rear spoiler.

Smokey & the Bandit Trans Am

The 1970,s Muscle Cars

This clip from the 1977 movie "Smokey And The Bandit" shows the speed and ease of handling of this amazing muscle car. This was the Black and Gold Special Edition Trans Am, with new quad rectangular headlamps and an " aggressive" grille. This gave a lot of extra attention to this particular Trans Am. I still enjoy watching this movie and enjoying the amazing stunts performed with this great car! In 1970, Car & Driver tested a Pontiac Firebird Formula 400, which had a 330 gross hp rating and was equipped with a fairly tall 3.07 axle ratio. They recorded a 14.78-second ET at 98.9 mph. A 1970 Trans Am with the same engine, but with a 4-speed and a 3.55 axle ratio, was tested by Muscle Car Review magazine in 1995. That car burned the quarter-mile in 14.68 sec. at 97.17 mph, quite close to the C&D test 25 years before. Pontiac gave that engine a 255 net hp rating for 1971.

Trans Am Burnout

I Love BurnOut's

This is the most beautiful burnout that I have ever seen! I love the smoke and also the noise that these powerful engines make!


1983 Brainerd International Raceway Pacecar

I remember all 83 of these Brainerd International Raceway Pace Cars Limited Edition. Full power, t-top, color keyed aluminum wheels. They were delivered to my families dealerships as a part of a promotion. After the race dealers from the state where going to drive one back home. I remember being very excited as I rode with my dad to check them out. Imagine! 83 of these beauties all in a row. It was just amazing!


The "Muscle Car Era" was a great time to be growing up. Thanks to my family I had many memorable moments with these fabulous cars. I love to watch the clips of the burnouts that people do with these cars. There still seems to be a huge muscle car following which includes me. I will always remember the excitement that occurred when a new trans am would be delivered. The mechanics would always take the car out and test it for speed. They would come back and tell my dad how fast the car had gone.


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