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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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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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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 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 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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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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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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