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The New Golden Age Of Muscle Cars

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By Dave Ashton

People look back on the late 1960s to early 70s as the golden era of the muscle car, but it is now where we are experiencing the next wave where muscle cars are becoming evermore dominant. CEO of Hagerty over at states, ‘We’ve been in this strange golden age of muscle,’ he said. ‘People think the muscle car era was the ’60s, early ’70s. But arguably, the Chargers, Challengers, Demons and even some of the high-horsepower Camaros of today — they are track-worthy.’ ‘You’ve never been able to buy more horsepower and reliability cheaper than you can right now.’

There’s going to be a lot of lumping categories together here with muscle and pony cars, especially from the big three makers, but that’s simply because the ranges isn’t as broad as it was back in the day. However, today’s muscle cars don’t just have the big displacements and power, they also have the handling capability and modern luxuries.

Just like the Mr. Olympia top contenders, Dodge are in the most muscular category with the Charger and Challenger. The Dodge Charger took a break from 1987 to 2006 and the Challenger 1983 to 2008 but they’re back with a vengeance. From the SXT, R/T, GT all wheel drive, T/A, 392, Hellcat and soon to come Hellcat Redeye you have power, going from a 305-HP 3.6L Pentastar V6 up to what will be the Hellcat Redeye 797 hp for $70,000. That’s keeping to the muscle car tradition of the most horsepower for your money. The recent limited edition Dodge Demon has a ridiculous 840HP and 770 pound-feet of torque. More muscle than Ronnie Coleman after a pump up session.

Ford have the ubiquitous Mustang which will shortly come out with the GT500 showing off an expected 700HP+. There will also be a limited edition ‘Bullitt’ version with a 5.0-litre 475bhp V8, along with the current GT, 2015 Shelby GT350, 2017 Shelby GT350R and 2012 Boss 302. The Mustang is also arguably the only dedicated right-hand drive pony/muscle car built for where they drive on the other side, such as Europe. In 2016 a report posted in this news article said the Mustang proved such a hit that it was outselling the Audi TT, Porsche, Mercedes and BMW at the time.

Chevrolet have the Camaro and Corvette, with the Camaro going from the 2014 Z28, current LS/LT, 2LT, 1SS, 2SS and ZL1 having a supercharged 6.2 L V8 with 650 HP 650lbs. ft. of torque for $61,500. The Corvette peaks with the ZR1 with a 6.2L LT5 supercharged V8 having 755HP and 715lb. ft. of torque.

Clearly, the want for more makes and models is present with some custom makers producing their own variations and aftermarket kits. Equus created a stir back in 2014 with their own interpretation of a modern muscle car housing a supercharged 6.2-litre LS9 V8 640bhp engine. Trans Am worldwide can make you a modern day Pontiac Trans Am complete with screaming chicken details. You will can also do a quick Google search to find some modern interpretation renderings of what some of the old classics will look like now. The Plymouth ‘Cuda is always in the rumor mill of being the next one to be resurrected and has plenty of renderings made by creative types of what it should look like.


On another note, an interesting article over at by Helen Raleigh outlines how muscle cars owned by women in oppressive regimes give them a taste of freedom. One remark from the article pretty much sums up the message, ‘Muscle cars are a piece of Americana. They are the cowboys of the car world: daring and uncompromising. Only in the land of the free can muscle cars be built.’ One of the original ideas for the motor car was to give more freedom to human beings. If muscle cars are heading this concept even today, isn’t that a good thing?

Muscle cars have always been here, but it’s now where they are hitting their stride proving that you can have your displacement and eat it….cake and eat it…..type thing, ahem!

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