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Thread: Who made, makes the best muscle cars?

  1. #1
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    Question Who made, makes the best muscle cars?

    There are some new ones around right now (new Camaro, Challenger, reborn retro Mustang), so which company made the best ones in the old days, and today?

    Of the old skool ones I like the AM Javelin/AMX, of the new cars I think the Camaro because the GM cars are better handlers than the current Mustang, new Challenger.



    GM F body

  2. #2
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    I've always liked the Dodge Viper. I don't know too much about older muscle cars, but I always liked the old Mustang fastbacks.

  3. #3
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    My favorite...

    ...was the '64 GTO Pontiac...the first production muscle car.

    Pure sex on wheels!

  4. #4
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    There are probably differences of opinion on just what a "muscle car" actually is, mainly in that some don't consider "pony cars" like Mustangs/Camaros to be muscle cars. The true muscle cars were the mid size, big engine cars like the GTO, Chevelle, Fairlane, Plymouth GTX, Roadrunner, etc. I guess today's GTO might qualify, but I don't think they're selling well. (did they discontinue them yet?)

    If the main consideration is easy horsepower, GM (Chevrolet) will win in most polls everytime. If a more overall criteria is included, it gets more difficult. By the late 60's, Ford had the toughest rear axles and 4 speed transmissions by far.

    I've always been a Ford guy, but of all the GM's, I did really like the 64 -67 GTO's, especially the convertibles. And the Plymouth Roadrunners - plain jane, with power! Ford has always hooked me with their style (and quality, in my experiences) and the right person building their engines can wake them up!
    Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc9000 View Post
    There are probably differences of opinion on just what a "muscle car" actually is, mainly in that some don't consider "pony cars" like Mustangs/Camaros to be muscle cars. The true muscle cars were the mid size, big engine cars like the GTO, Chevelle, Fairlane, Plymouth GTX, Roadrunner, etc. I guess today's GTO might qualify, but I don't think they're selling well. (did they discontinue them yet?)

    If the main consideration is easy horsepower, GM (Chevrolet) will win in most polls everytime. If a more overall criteria is included, it gets more difficult. By the late 60's, Ford had the toughest rear axles and 4 speed transmissions by far.

    I've always been a Ford guy, but of all the GM's, I did really like the 64 -67 GTO's, especially the convertibles. And the Plymouth Roadrunners - plain jane, with power! Ford has always hooked me with their style (and quality, in my experiences) and the right person building their engines can wake them up!
    Yup, these days the term muscle car is one of convenience, it's even common to call Corvettes muscle cars. Today it coves anything rear drive with a big V8 that isn't like a Camry, so even the modest Marauder with its 4.6 V8 would make the grade.

    Interesting thing about the Dodge Viper was that the Chrysler 360ci V8 motor was the starting point for developing the original 8 liter V10. In the old days I believe AMC holds the record for the only production small block over 400 cubes (their 401 ci of 1971-74).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by trey View Post
    Yup, these days the term muscle car is one of convenience, it's even common to call Corvettes muscle cars. Today it coves anything rear drive with a big V8 that isn't like a Camry, so even the modest Marauder with its 4.6 V8 would make the grade.
    That is true, and shows how times have changed, in view of the GTO being considered the first muscle car. Some early 60's (61?, 62 Chevs had 409's, and some 63 1/2 Galaxies had 427's!

    Interesting thing about the Dodge Viper was that the Chrysler 360ci V8 motor was the starting point for developing the original 8 liter V10. In the old days I believe AMC holds the record for the only production small block over 400 cubes (their 401 ci of 1971-74).
    AMC made some sharp cars in the early seventies. Considering some of what we're seeing today (Pontiac Aztec / Honda Element, others) I can even appreciate the Gremlin! I remember a Javelin that did well at my local dragstrip back in the day. U.S. auto history from the early 50's to mid 70's is interesting stuff.
    Last edited by marc9000; 02-20-2009 at 05:05 PM.
    Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?

  7. #7
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    If you allow Corvette to be included in the muscle car family then the argument is over. Old: 1965 Stingray, 1963 split window. New: latest and greatest vette (they keep getting better).

    If we don't include the Vette then the playing field becomes a bit more level. Old: 1968 Camaro, 1970 Chevelle SS, 1970 340 Dodge Demon. New: Dodge Challenger, Chevy Camaro. New list never to include charger or mustang.

    My opinion

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurch907 View Post
    If you allow Corvette to be included in the muscle car family then the argument is over. Old: 1965 Stingray, 1963 split window. New: latest and greatest vette (they keep getting better).

    If we don't include the Vette then the playing field becomes a bit more level. Old: 1968 Camaro, 1970 Chevelle SS, 1970 340 Dodge Demon. New: Dodge Challenger, Chevy Camaro. New list never to include charger or mustang.

    My opinion
    I consider the Corvette to be a high performance sports car. The Camaro is a pony car (I wish I was a big horse muscle car). I don't remember the Dodge Demon.

    To me, muscle cars are the mid-sized cars with too much motor for grandma to handle. Camaro and Mustang do not belong in the group.

    My opinion, too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by isly ilwott View Post
    I consider the Corvette to be a high performance sports car. The Camaro is a pony car (I wish I was a big horse muscle car). I don't remember the Dodge Demon.

    To me, muscle cars are the mid-sized cars with too much motor for grandma to handle. Camaro and Mustang do not belong in the group.

    My opinion, too.
    The Dodge Demon was an interesting car. It had a cartoon decal of a devil with a pitchfork and in ads a guy in a Devil outfit carried the pitchfork. I believe that conservative church groups weren't too pleased about the name and the ads. However, the real reason the model was dropped probably had more to do with rising insurance premiums and falling speedy car sales.

    Chrysler really let one out of the bag in 1955 with the 300C, startling peformance from the Hemi V8 (1 hp per ci). Great engineering in combining overhead valve with a hemispherical layout. That design made Mopar king of the dragstrip and it's a motor that is still with us today, and hopefully into the future.


  10. #10
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    Pacer X 401, an underestimated muscle car.

    Flying Fishbowl

  11. #11
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    The C1 Corvette, 1959 Impala & El Camino could all have the Fuelie 283ci 315 HP 4 speed power team. I guess that "Hot One" small block V8 cemented Chevy's place in musclecar folklore for decades to come.





    El Camino cartoon

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