Cars designed (usually) with big or small-block V8s. Today, mostly small-block. American muscle cars are commonly found to have high amounts of torque, and moderate to high horsepower WITHOUT tuning. Oftentimes, they aren't quite as expensive as their well-known nemesis, the import tuner (or rice rocket
), which commonly features a four-cylinder engine, built up with all kinds of "technology" (i.e. turbo chargers, nitrous, etc.) to make up for its shortcomings to any American muscle car.
American muscle is sometimes found equipped with a "supercharger," which can give them far more horsepower and torque than their counterpart, the turbocharger, commonly used by imports, which can cost even more than a supercharger, and is also known to be nowhere nearly as reliable.
It should also be noted: American muscle is very easy to spot (and hear) on the highway. It is often associated with a deep, rumbling exhaust sound, as opposed to the annoying, high-pitched wail commonly produced by the imports' four-bangers
. American muscle is also noted for not needing any sort of body modifications (i.e. tail lights, body kits, huge aluminum spoilers, etc.) to make it look fast and aggressive.
When properly modified and built, an American muscle car will easily match or outperform any tuned import. It's also worth noting that bone stock American muscle cars can often outrun highly modified import cars, and have even been known to ruin highly sought-after imports such as Lancer Evo9s and Subaru WRX-STIs.
Many myths surround American muscle cars, which can commonly be dismissed. One example is the theory that American muscle is a poor-handling vehicle. While this may have been true in the early years of muscle, this is a common misconception now, as many of the modern American muscle cars, such as the late Pontiac Trans Am have a wide stance, and a stiff, sport-tuned suspension, which stops excessive roll, allowing for a well-balanced turn when driven PROPERLY.
Another common misconception is that American muscle is the only gas-guzzling vehicle around. This is to the contrary, as a twin turboed four-banger import will do just as badly on gas mileage due to the excess draw on gas to pull more power from the weak four cylinder engine.
Also to note is gear ratios: many imports have very small gear ratios, which allow for high acceleration, but no top-end speed. Many American muscle cars on the other hand, have large gear ratios, which allow for decent acceleration, and a very high top-end speed.
These large gear ratios are possible due to the high amounts of horsepower and torque produced by an American muscle car's engine. On the contrary, many imports have small gear ratios in order to accelerate without any torque or horsepower to boot.
Finally, to drive an American muscle car, one must be truly experienced at driving. Any scrawny, acne-ridden teenage kid can jump behind the wheel of his Eclipse and pretend he can drive. However, with some talent and driving practice, any American muscle car can be taken to the next level, and prove for good which car is truly the top choice.
True American Muscle:
Chevelle SS, Mustang, Saleen, Camaro (Iroc-Z, Z28, SS), Firebird (Formula, Trans Am), Corvette, GTO, Charger, Shelby, etc.
Cars that were built in America by American companies from the late 50's until 1972 during the oil crisis where they all sucked, they in the 80's they began to pick up again with the fox body mustang, mercury capri, iroc camaro, monte carlo ss, and buick grand national. They are popularly mistaken as having. Common misconceptions of muscle cars are as follows, poor handling, poor fuel effeciency, poor suspension, and chassis. But take a step back 30 years and compare them to other cars of the time. You may notice that they are some of the fastest best handling cars of there time. And yes they are heavy, but so were most cars of the time, no matter who manufactured them. Today muscle cars basically destroy any other cars on the track, take Le manns for example where the corvette wins basically every race. Again they are becoming popular for racing, with turns, as pointed out in the past few issues of hot rod magazine which featured a camaro and a chevelle, both from the 60's, which destroy european cars on the track.
poor handling is often attributed to muslce cars which is usually true since most muscle cars are set up by their owners for the drag strip, where of course, they also dominate. Seriously, do you expect a car with 20 inch wide tires in the back and 3 inch wide tires in the front, and a big block v8 engines in between the front wheels to beat anyone in a turn?
I drive a volkswagen, and I am deeply into european cars, but seriously if you don't know...
Overpriced? In 1969, your average 17 year-old American kid who just finished high-school and works full-time at a hamburger stand could afford a Plymouth Road Runner. Even with insurance, gas, and tires, he could afford. This is an actual fact, BTW. A '69 383-powered RR, with cold-air induction, a 4-speed, and good weather could do 0-60 in 6 seconds a pull all the way to 130mph on 60's tech bias-ply tires. Complete with an unsilenced air cleaner and low-restriction dual exhaust, a special performance cam and high-flow cylinder heads.For an extra $714 he could get his/herself a 426 Hemi, with state-of-the-art (at least, at the time)techonology. Starting with dual quads flowing about 1300cfm total, mounted on an aluminum intake manifold, with a cast-iron block and cast-iron cylinder heads. Everything was shot-peened and magnafluxed, and when the whole thing was hand-assembled by expert mechanics, it was also fully balanced-and-blueprinted. Header-like exhaust manifolds were used, with 2.5" tubing. Mandrel bends? Sorry, the technology for that didn't exist in the late '60s, whether it was a cheap economical Ford, or a $20k Ferrari. BTW, Race Hemi's had single 4-bbl. carbs mounted on magnesium intakes, with aluminum heads and 12.5:1 (vs. 10.25:1) compression pistons. It is estimated that an A-990 426c.i. Race Hemi produced about 600hp & 550ft-lbs of torque at the crank. This is gross, however since there was no emmissions equipment, no A/C, power steering, and 95% of the time,...more...
THE definition of what cars were and always will be in that era...and what cars should be today.
All hail the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T
Dude, did you see that '69 Charger R/T with that big-ass 426 Hemi? That shit puts out 425 horsepower
Truly the Cars of the gods, More Based on Torque than HP, More on Performance than looks, Car that every true auto fan should have. They are loud but that shows how strong it is. Cons are it a gas chugger.
"all Japanese cars and Euro's don't stand a chance against american Muscle"
American muscle cars were known for their massive V8's, powerful engine roar, and for destroying their competition on the drag strip. These cars were very popular during the 60's and 70's, especially in america. Many people have their opinions and likes/dislikes about certain cars, but everyone can agree that the 60's and 70's were owned by the muscle car. These V8 monsters were the best performing cars in the world, and their foreign competition, including the European exotics, couldn't match the performance of the american muscle. Not only were they powerful, but they were loud - you could hear them coming from miles away. Muscle cars were built with passion to outperform its competitors, and it was successful at doing so. They were known as King of the Road, and it was this that made muscles such a popular american icon.
But as the muscle car era neared the 80's and 90's, something changed. There was something different about how american manufacturers were making their vehicles. Their cars didn't perform or look half as good as their earlier models, and they became more.....sloppy. Not only did they go down in performance and looks, american companies became greedy and started selling muscle cars in mass production, not giving a care if the car looked or performed well. The countless victories and success of the muscle car seemed to have made america cocky and greedy, and they were building cars only to make money. Take the Dodge Charger, for example. In the 60's-70...
I beg to difer that american muscle is rubbish.....yes they would be beaten but that is duw to the fact that the 69 mustang corvette etc are 35 years old.
a muscle car...if tuned correctly can sometmes excede 2000 bhp at the crank.
If you have ever seen a proo street muscle car you would understand that it is not driven to beat civics....the car of ricers but to destroy everything on the street
that muscle car is truly sweet