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 anything about american muscle cars, keep your mouth shut. If you weren't so biased and you knew what you were talking about maybe you would seem a tad more intellegent
1970 Plymouth Duster 340
A/C, AM/FM radio, vinyl buckets, auto tranny
0-60 in 6 seconds, 130mph top speed
1970 Dodge Charger R/T
Heater, AM radio, vinyl buckets, 4-speed stick
0-60 in under 6.5 seconds, ~140mph top speed
1970 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona
Dunno what options, probably leather and crap
0-60 in 6 seconds, 170mph top speed
So basically, $20k Ferrari Daytona has acceleration equal to that of a $2.5k Duster 340. The Dusters 5.6l V8 makes about 310hp, whereas the Ferrari makes 352. Nevermind that the Ferrari has 4 more cylinders, 4 cams, 6 carbs, and all that. It has 1.2-liters less displacemen. The only reason it can do 170 is 'cause of the 5-speed and really steep gears. Give it 3.91 gears like a Duster, and voila! The top speed goes down by 10mph. 0-60 acceleration would go down by about 3/10th's of a second. Git rid of the 5th gear, and in combination with the 3.91 gears, you get the same acceleratio and top speed as a Duster, only for $17k more, and with less stash space and worse fuel-economy. All for 4-wheel disc brakes. Whoop-dee do.
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's, these cars were one of the biggest, baddest muscle cars you could buy. Their incredible performance made them popular, and as american companies took notice of the rapid increase in sales, they became greedy. As the years passed, they became more sloppy, making careless mistakes. Dodge was producing chargers in mass production, not thinking about how they were ruining the car. Soon the charger went from an awesome performance monster to a crappy way for dodge to make money. This caused a rapid decrease in sales, and in 1978, it was discontinued. America's overconfidence and want for money was killing the muscle car, and this continued through the 90's and into the 21st century. Nowadays, muscle cars are crap. They don't perform or look half as good as they did 40 years ago. Current models like the GTO and Charger are examples of some of the worst muscle cars ever built. It wasn't that america could no longer build cars like they did in the past - they could still do it. But as time passed, technology advanced, and as foreign companies were keeping up with this advanced tech, americans stuck to their original muscle car "recipe". It's all because american companies lost their passion for building the high-performance muscle car, and it was replaced with the passion for money.
Muscle car enthusiasts, however, refuse to believe this. Their pride and love for the american icon is glued to their hearts. They collect and treasure muscles from years past, and continue to rebuild them and increase their performance. If only it was these people who would run american manufacturers such as Dodge, Ford, Pontiac..... . Sadly, they don't, and the people that do run these companies just want the money. America still tries to make performance cars, however - the corvette and viper, especially the corvette, have been able to compete with the new King of the Road - the Europeans. Euros these days are built with the passion to perform that america once had. Many are hand built to perfection using high-quality materials and performance parts. Now, Europe makes some of the fastest cars in the world, and lap records to almost every major track are set by euros. The corvette, although not a muscle car, is as fast as many euros and costs about half the price. This american sports car is the one of very few decent american cars that is made today. Muscle cars from the 60's and 70's remain as the most decent muscle cars ever built, and there are still some around today. But with global warming and demand for more fuel efficient vehicles, these american icons, with their loud V8's and massive power, will soon be gone forever.
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
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.
Chevelle SS, Mustang, Saleen, Camaro (Iroc-Z, Z28, SS), Firebird (Formula, Trans Am), Corvette, GTO, Charger, Shelby, etc.