1. First and foremost, it must be made in AMERICA! Fuck yeah!
2. Rear drive only!
3. Must have a V8 95% of the time, with some domestic turbo 6s counted (Grand National, anniversary Firebird turbo, etc.)
4. Must have 2 doors 95% of the time, except in cases of old hotrod wagons or, barely, the new Charger Hemi.
Things automatically barring a car from being a muscle car:
1. Being made in Asia or Europe, or by a foreign country in the US.
2. Being front- or 4-wheel drive.
3. Having an engine with less than 6 or more than 8 cylinders, and must have forced induction if a 6.
4. Having more than 4 doors.
Muscle Car Timeline:
1949 - Olds introduces the Rocket 88, featuring cool styling, and a Kettering-designed OHV V8 producing 135hp from 303ci and a 7.5:1cr.
1955 - Chrysler introduces the Hemi-powered C300 luxury car. It's advanced 300hp powerplant gives it a top speed of 130mph, making it, at the time, the fastest production car in the world.
1957 - The hideous but fast AMC Rambler Rebel was made this year, featuring a 327ci engine.
1964 - Not since the 50s had their been a performance car this popular. Approved for production by John Delorean, the GTO was truely incredible for its time, with the optional 348hp Tri-Carb engine (and proper gearing) launching it to 60mph in 6 seconds; that's on 6"-wide tires! Unfortuneatly, no disc brakes were available. :(
1964-65 - In just a year or so, several prominent muscle cars were introduced by GM and Ford.
1968 - ChryCo brings out the infamous Road Runner and SuperBee models, favoring low options and big engines for incredible performance. Indeed, a 69 Hemi RR was capable of 0-60 sprints in the low 5-second range, all while driving on bias-ply tires (read: shitty) measuring about 7"-wide.
1971 - Facing raising gas prices and increasing insurance payments, manufacturers were forced to reduce compression on their engines, dropping power in large amounts.
1974 - Import econoboxes take over as the oil embargo swells and the last of the muscle cars die off, mere shells of their former glory.
Examples of Muscle Cars:
- AMC Javelin and AMX
- Buick GS models
- Chevy SS models
- Dodge R/T models
- Ford GT and XR models
- Plymouth Cudas, Dusters, RR/GTXs, and more
- Pontiac GTO and Firebird models
The average muscle car was capable of:
5.5 to 6.5s 0-60 sprints
12 to 14s 0-100 sprints
120-140mph top speeds
.80g skidpad #s (not bad for 18:1 steering and 7" tires)
58-63mph slalom speeds (see above parenthesis)
70-0 braking distances in the range of 120-135ft. (thats even good today!)