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An automotive vehicle from the 40's, 50's, 60's, or 70's characterized by big displacement V-8s, big tires, chrome wheels, dual exhuast, racing stripes or flames, blowers, and speed.
"In a 15 year bloom, before tightening emission regulations and rocketing gas prices stamped extinct on an entire breed of cars in the '70s, America's automobile industry produced the most memorable cars built anywhere, anytime: "The American Muscle Car." While today's modern squeaky clean cars may approach the performance numbers put up 35 years ago, they will never duplicate the rush generated by 400-plus cubic inches fighting for tracion through period bias-ply tires. Pity today's car enthusiasts who think variable valve timing is the hot setup."
-Bruce Armstrong
by Wicked76 September 28, 2003
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2
An American performance car from the early 60's to the early 70's. They were generally an upgraded varient of a less powerful family car. Companies such as Chevy, Ford, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Dodge, and Plymouth joined the game. They all followed the same basic rules. 1.there is no replacement for displacement 2. there is no subsatute for cubic inches 3.horsepower sells motors, but torque wins races. The basic idea was to get the biggest engine and stick it in the smallest car avaliable at the time. The muscle car era was killed by inflating gas prices, emissions, and the cracking down of insurance companys.
Buick GSX, Olds 442, Chevy Nova, Plymouth Cuda, Dodge Charger etc.
by Derty July 12, 2004
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American manufactured cars from a bygone era. Started as a marketing war between American automakers in the early '60s typically identified as mid-sized "A" body cars with large displacement engines that produced high horsepower and higher than normal torque. Most muscle cars were produced from 1964 thru 1972. Quarter mile speed and acceleration was the theme of the era along with styling. Not much else mattered to the targeted consumer. These cars are radically different than today's technologically advanced "rice-burners" and sub-compacts but their appeal lies in their history and styling. Many uscle cars command high prices due to their rarity. If you want to see them all, attend the Woodward Ave. Cruise in Detroit, Michigan ...usually the 3rd weekend in August. 40,000 of them
Notable muscle cars include the Chevrolet Chevelle & Camaro, Ford Mustang, Buick Skylark, Pontiac GTO & Firebird, Dodge Charger & Challenger and Plymouth Roadrunner, to name a few
by Ballsy29 July 24, 2005
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American built car usually made from 1964 to 1974. These cars were typically low-cost, midsized family cars with larger engines taken from full size performance cars from 1960-1963. These cars are fast, durable, and easy to repair/modify. Typically seen winning drag races. Some cars that don't meet all these criteria can be considered muscle cars (such as the 1963 Ford Galaxie... expensive, full-size car, made before the "muscle car" era, but has a muscle engine and a long history of racing success)
Ford Fairlane, Ford Torino, Ford Mustang (only when equipped with 390+ cubic inch engines), Mercury Cyclone, Chevy II Nova, Chevy Chevelle, Pontiac GTO, Dodge Dart, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger
by Lee March 25, 2005
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A mid-sized American performance car with a ground-pounding, 400-plus cubic inch, 400 plus horspower big-block with enough torque to sustain the earths rotation on the crankshaft. Usually seen stomping techno-wonder Imports and over-priced super cars. Can be fixed or modified by the average joe that doesnt have mommy\daddy to buy things for them for getting a good mark in school.Loud, proud, rude and crude, these are real mens cars.
Dodge Charger RT, Chevellle SS 454, Hemi 'Cuda, Camaro SS, Olds 442, 427 Corvette etc.Muscle car

So what if you have more horspower per liter, i have more horspower PERIOD.
a weak motor does not make up for a light car
my lug nuts require more torque than your engine makes
by Roseau November 29, 2005
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6
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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7
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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