Best Muscle Cars

10 Muscle Car Myths Challenged

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Since the 1964 GTO, muscle cars have had a mythical status in American culture, hallmarked in many TV shows and movies, but as time goes by, some of the myths and legends associated muscle cars, rightly or wrongly, have become skewed over the years.
Like any good storytelling, the story slightly changes with each version, so let’s look into muscle car history and their good and bad points.

A product of their time.
Even with today’s vehicles and their massive range of functionality, from engine management to a zillion car seat options, you can get faults and recalls, so imagine what the car industry was like over 50 years ago, well before the computer age and computer automation.
Any car built anywhere in the world during the late 60s and early 70s were built in an analogue age. People built cars, not automated machines. This meant you couldn’t program human to build a car the exact same way time after time, so arguably more errors could occur. It just was how it was at the time.

But taking off the rose tinted glasses, the majority of muscle cars were seen as over-powered, weak brakes, badly put together at times and terrible gas mileage, but if you look at every other car built during that period across the globe, were they that much better? The answer is, not really. muscle cars are usually singled out as they had the biggest displacement and power going to the road with zero engine management, but what they did have was tons of torque, which in an era where an 8 track tape was cutting edge, you can only expect so much from the technology of the time. with that much sheer power going to the road on late 60s and early 70s technology, what you did have was pushed to the limit.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but a terrible thing. It is basically comparing the past with the knowledge we have now, which is always a bad idea, just like in 50 years from now people will look back at the cars being built now wondering why on earth some of those features were included.
So muscle cars were products of their times with the technology they had at the time.

Compared to 1950 vintage vehicles, they were state of the art.
This leads us on to the progression of cars in general.
Compare cars from 1950 to a car built in 1970 and there is a lot of difference. It wouldn’t be right to compare a vehicle from 1950 to one built in 1970 and say that the 1950s version was so much worse. You simply love the car for what it is and when it was made, not the comparisons to other eras of car, but for some reason the muscle car does get this comparison quite regularly.

Only good for straight-line speed.
As a channel hopper, I see the argument from both sides of the fence. The admirers and the dissenters.
The dissenters say that the average muscle car has poor brakes, can’t go around a corner and is only good for straight-line speed.
Again, it’s a technology thing, but also it is a cultural thing. Europeans and the rest just like going round winding tracks (they don’t have as much room as us…), American culture is more the drag racing straight-line speed, which if you think about it is a natural human trait.
World speed records are a straight line, salt flat world records are a straight line, 0 to 60 times are in a straight line…… the list goes on. So you could argue that the muscle car mindset had a specific vision, no replacement for displacement and the fastest straight-line speed, not to be everything to every man. If you agree with this mindset or not and to be honest in the 60s and 70s world, they didn’t do too badly.

The 70s killed the Beasts
Insurance prices, sagging sales and smog-controlled engines all meant that by 1972, the extinction of the large displacement engine and fullbore muscle car was almost complete.
Although the public were still fed muscle cars, there were never the same again for many years. There were standout examples here and there, but never to capture the essence of the golden era of muscle cars.
This meant that if you had the mindset of there is no replacement the displacement and the best straight-line speed, but you have to deal with highly neutered engines, you can see why the muscle car makers lost their way.

A Muscle car can be anything you want it to be.
We humans are great at trying to make something better than it originally came out. This is one of the advantages of the muscle car. It was always a great platform to build upon. Other car types have always been retrofitted, but never to the levels and heights of culture of muscle cars. It was encouraged.
From rest o mods, to pro tourers, to one off customs, they are a simple platform to work on which means, a straightforward build which results in classic looks and modern parts. Best of both worlds.

The Muscle car is a product of its time and the stock, factory condition muscle car will need a lot more tender loving care than a more modern vehicle. But this goes with the territory and any other classic vehicle for that matter.
You love them for what they are.

Now the classic muscle car owner sees the vehicle as more of a custodian than a buy and throw away ride. they are an important part of automotive history and show how following specific vision, can work, warts an’ all.

Simply, get a muscle car, do some doughnuts, do a drag race and then see if you don’t come away with a smile on your face. There are very few classic cars which can do the same as well and make you beam from ear to ear.

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