8
An idea which became popular in the 1940's lasting through the 1970's, although american, V-8 cars of today could technically be considered muscle cars as well. An uneducated stereotype would infer that a muscle car "Can't be fast" would be false and narrow minded. However a rebuttle stereotype that an import could not be fast is a stereotype as well. As much as muscle car owners and import owners are at each others throats, both concepts are similar. The american muscle car was founded upon the idea of taking a regular commuter car and cramming a high-output, high-horsepower engine into its unsuspecting frame. Which is EXACTLY what the modern day import was founded on. Both groups of automobiles need skill and performance parts to fulfill that idea that they were founded on. Looking at the statistics, a muscle car is no more than a standard, low-output, efficient car that was "slow" until the owner dropped the fabled V8 into the frame. Finally, the American companies (Ford, Dodge, Shelby, Pontiac, Buick, Chevy, etc.) caught onto this trend and begin putting the V8's in from the factory. Same concept applies with the modern day imports as the pioneers started with econonmy-commuter cars with high-horsepower and lightweight in mind. The Acuras/Hondas were fitted with customized turbos, DSM's (Diamond Star Motors) put out the 4G63 series (Eclipse, Talon, Laser,) both of which had great power-to-weight ratios when tuned properly, not to mention the nimble cornering abilities also due to lightweight, and even the All-Wheel drive advantage (DSM's.) Imports were designed along the same concept, and just like the domestic companies of yesterday, the import companies of today caught onto the trend and began putting out imports with high-output- high performance engines (Subaru WRX STI, Mitsubishi Evolution, Nissan Skyline, Nissan 350Z, Toyota Supra, Mazda Rx-7, etc.) The common misconception between the rivals is the cars overall purpose. Lacking modern technology, muscle cars were built with overall power and acceleration in mind. Imports were built with the full-blooded race concept in mind (to be quick on the throttle, but to handle on the corners and on the rally inspired circuits as well.) So does it make either car better than the other? Not at all. Clearly, there are muscle cars that will destroy Imports, and have a much louder, roaring approach, and there are imports that are running turbo's or just a solid NA motor that will destroy many muscle cars, and have a more fuel-efficient, all around race approach as well. In unison, there are riced out, slow, low-output ricers with near stock specs that give all imports a bad name. However, there are also, overweight, solid metal rustbucket muscle cars with near-stock V8 engines that give all muscle cars a bad name. To personally like one better than the other, its a matter of personal opinion or just sheer ignorance and narrow mindedness. All car guys and/or gear heads need to unite and realize the beauty and the personal preferences that go into building a car. A factory spec, or almost completely stock car won't get you much respect these days either, so large props go out to the "True gearheads" who vastly modify their import or muscle car to be a top competitor on the street and track. Thumbs down to the guys who cruise around in corny, cliche, overweight and common modern Mustang GT's and think they are the greatest; as well as the broke poser wannabe thugs who sport their 1.6 liter rice mobiles with an oversized muffler and simple intake/air filter. Not to mention the gaudy wheels, goofy spoilers, and unnecessary subwoofers. However, thumbs up to any and all who are truly dedicated to their project car and don't care about image. REAL men don't necessarily drive muscle cars, REAL men don't necessarily drive imports. REAL men certainly don't drive slow cars that they try to make "look" fast. Real men drive fast cars that look slow. And I suppose a real man could drive a fast car that looked fast as well, lets just take it easy with all of the stickers and cheap accessories please.
That Chevelle SS muscle car shred that '89 CRX with the upgraded air filter.

That boosted 240 just munched that blown Cobra!

Did you see that Sti and that GTO both anihilate that Ferrari?
by Ryan "Doesch" Bag April 13, 2007
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9
A nearly dead breed of predominately American cars that have the primary focus of being relatively inexpensive considering their high performance. This is achieved by ignoring most comfort oriented features seen in similarly priced cars.

They were most popular in their golden age - the 50s through the early 70s - up until the energy crisis. During that time, advances in suspension, brakes, tires, and frame consistency/rigidity had not yet been made, making the cars notorious for their rough ride, poor handling, and ineffective brakes which were made more dangerous by their high acceleration and top speed. For this reason, muscle cars have the stereotype of only being effective at straight line performance, but the few remaining muscle cars have proven otherwise.

The boom of the 90s saw a bit of resurgence with American muscle cars and even some foreign competitors, but their impracticality has kept them from being at the forefront of the public eye's desire or automakers' concerns.
The 1968 GTX Roadrunner with a 426 cubic inch engine had 425hp and 490lb-ft, was capable of a quarter mile in 13.4 seconds - a feat rarely obtained by today's cars. It had upgraded handling and other essentials, but had a spartan interior, even lacking carpets.

The 2002 Camaro SS had handling that rivaled and acceleration that beat nearly every car costing under $60,000. It even got 28mpg on the highway thanks to its high torque and six speed transmission. But it was 2-doors only, had mediocre leg room in both front and back, and sub par creature comforts considering that it cost over $30,000.

Modern day examples of foreign attempts at the single-minded goal of a car with high performance above all else (muscle cars) are include the: Subaru WRX STi, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Nissan 350z, Honda S2000, and Toyota Supra.
by Steven Willmy - Owns you October 09, 2008
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10
A car that should be respected by all americans even if they drive ricers.

A car that will go 0-60 in 5 seconds but will guzzle gas 20x faster than a honda
Hey man did you see that muscle car beat that civic? Ya man but look he's at the gas staition again.
by n wangster d October 09, 2003
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11
A muscle car is a mid-sized, generally American car from the early 1950s mid 1970s. Muscle cars are generally blessed with V8s, high horsepower, alot of tourqe and a great power-to-weight ratio. Some of the most popular models are the Corvette, Mustang, El Camino, Thunderbird, Firebird and Chevelle. The original muscle cars were genrally lower priced but when they returned in the 1980s and 90s, they were more expensive and sometimes less powerful. Anyway, most muscle cars do not need modification to reach high preformance but if they are modified, they will kick ass. The astetics of the car is ussually left stock, but if it is changed, it will be througgh decals and paint only, almost never a body-kit.
Muscle Car vs. Ricer
Joe: I got a pimped out tricked out Civic can go real fast, I bet i could beat you.
Doug: Hell no, my 35 year old Charger will chew you up, it's got a Hemi.
Joe: well mine looks pimp
Doug: I didn't know pink bumpers with a Boeing 747's wing on the back.
by northendwhitetrash May 20, 2007
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12
Requirements:
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!)

And 12-13mpg.
by KickOutTheJamsMotherF*ckers March 14, 2006
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13
Any of a number of powerful automobiles with front engines and rear wheel drive produced from the early '60s until the present. To be considered a true muscle car requires around at least a 1hp/10lbs ratio, generally speaking. Some lighter muscle cars - especially those from the late 60's - are better described as 'Ponycars', because they were very compact and light, similar in design to Ford's Mustang. There were a lot of very powerful but heavy musclecars, and debate exists over which one was the 'first'. Some would say that the old Chrysler 300 qualifies, while others say that the Pontiac GTO was the first true musclecar. The Australians even had a few 6-cylinder cars with blistering performance back in the 60's that also qualify, so the term 'muscle car' doesn't just just refer to V-8 vehicles. Regardless, most people would not consider any 4-cylinder high performance vehicle to be a muscle car; they are more accurately described as sports cars usually.
1964 Pontiac GTO, 1967 Mercury Cougar, 1969 Javelin, 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle, 1967 Dodge Charger

- note - There were many different engines available for these cars. Some of those engines lacked the performance to make even these specific models 'muscle cars'. A stock 6-cylinder Chevelle would not be considered a muscle car, for example.
by Technomancer June 18, 2006
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14
A group of American made cars that were produced between the late-50's and early-80's. The engines were usually high horsepower and high torque and when tuned correctly, got between 15 and 30 mpg. Typically, they ran 11 to 14 seconds on the quarter mile and speed up to 160mph, stock. Most weighed between 2500lbs and 4500lbs (Many were a bit lighter than todays cars) Even though considered obsolete by todays standards, A restored muscle car would be worth $10,000 - $150,000, and some muscle cars have sold for upwards of $3 million at auctions.
" Contrary to popular belief, not all American cars made in the 60's and 70's were considered a muscle car "
by Peiceofpaper February 07, 2006
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