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Sajeev
Community Manager

[Moved Post from the archived Muscle Car forum] Welcome to our Muscle Car forum!

Want to chat about muscle cars, but not specifically about a single make or model? Make a post here so the Hagerty Community can share in your experiences!

32 REPLIES 32
thibble
New Driver

Okay, I'm here.  Former owner of 67 - 70 Mopar when they were cheap (70s), now into other cars but still an old school mopar muscle lover.

Sajeev
Community Manager

Welcome!  Post some photos of the Mopars you owned sometime!  They sure have appreciated in the last 40 years, no? 

Guitar74
Technician

Definitely post some pics. I had a 69 Sport satellite back in the day. 440 w/727 slapstick auto and 3.91 gears. 

 

I now have a 68 Cougar, and a '65 Galaxie 500Xl.

Sajeev
Community Manager

My first car was a '65 LTD hardtop sedan, it was awesome in black/black but nothing special with a 352 under the hood.  I wanna see pics of your XL!!!!!!

NovaL79
Intermediate Driver

Muscle cars are my favorite cars. I now have a restored ,1966 L-79 Chevrolet Nova
Tribute , I had a real L-79 when i was young.
I like all makes of Muscle Cars!
Guitar74
Technician

Cougar and galaxie.jpg

Here you go. The XL is obviously in the background. It's actually probably my favorite. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

Oooh, I love it!  My first car was a 1965 LTD. 

Guitar74
Technician

My friends little sister's first car was a '65 LTD. Was a beautiful sky blue with a white painted top. I memory serves me correctly it had a straight six. This was in '91. I just remember her driving around in that beautiful blue Ford with those hideous pink dual blade wipers that were so popular with the young ladies back then.

Sajeev
Community Manager

Oh yes, the dual wiper blade trend of the late-80s to the mid-90s.  Hate to say it, but I am nostalgic for awful stuff like that now. 

Guitar74
Technician

A girl I dated in high school had a gorgeous '79 Firebird Formula. Tough looking car that was ruined by the rainbow flourescent sticker that said "Cruisin'" across the top of the windshield. 

It was literally. FIREBIRD Formula with dual hoodscoops? Check. Small v8? Check? Flawless factory teo tone blue finish? Check. Centerline mags? Check. Dual exhaust with glass packs? Check. Hideous wibdshield sticker at the roof line with neon colors? You get it. Just ruined it. O sometimes too get nostalgic for such things (like my dayglo orange GT Pro Performer that I mowed lawns for 10 months to buy). I should have kept the bike. The last time I checked, the frame and fork went for something astronomical like $1000.

 

baakhu1
New Driver

Hey Sajeev, Over the last couple years, I had put about $70K into building my dream truck -- a cool '69 Chevy pickup which took care of the drivetrain around 500hp / 383 stroker. To make a long story short -- the Holley carb stuck open and I ran into a brick pillar a block from my house. The truck was totaled, but the insurance company refused to total it. I lost big time...both in my heart and my wallet. I walked away from the truck at the body shop.

Sajeev
Community Manager

Very sorry to hear that!  It's never easy to walk away from a dream custom vehicle like that! 

Guitar74
Technician

Ouch!!!!That hurts. Sorry to hear that

 

DUB6
Instructor

   As I've written and shown elsewhere in The Hagerty Community, I don't have a "true" muscle car (within the normal listing of muscle cars), but I have one that fits the category by definition: a small to mid-size base-model car with a big engine.  I took a '66 Pontiac LeMans, dropped in a 455 from a '70 GTO Judge, did the cosmetic work plus a lot of resto-modding (suspension, brakes, steering, etc.), and came up with a "Faux GTO".  I mean, without looking at the VIN, 99.8% of the people wouldn't know it's not real (with the hood down).

   The 326 LeMans wasn't on any lists of "muscle cars", but looking like a Goat with 455 c.i.d. out of a real one kinda, sorta makes it close enough that I thought you guys might not kick me off the forum if I posted here.  Eh?  Maybe?

 

Jalapeno's Car Show 8-18-2019.jpg

Anyone remember the old 1966 GTO TV commercial where the tiger pops out of the engine bay upon the opening of the hood of a convertible Goat?

Rob1
Instructor

@DUB6 Sweet ride real nice👍

DUB6
Instructor

Hey, thanks, man - I appreciate it!

I actually had an "official" muscle car back in the early '70's.  I stumbled across a '66 Chevelle SS396 for $900.  4-speed car with power steering, power brakes, and A/C.  It was the beginning of the gas crunch, and insurance rates on big HP cars with 3 pedals were skyrocketing.  I had just gotten home from the service, was just married, and was renting two rooms from the relative of a friend.  All great reasons to stick with the '64 Chevelle wagon I was driving.  Spending money wasn't the brightest idea, but I couldn't pass up a deal like that.  I truly loved that car - kept it for many years, repainted it, and sold it for $3700 cash.  Now, true, if I still had it today, it might be worth more than 10x that amount, but I was sure happy at the time.

Rob1
Instructor

@DUB6 A official muscle car...... a 66 Poncho with a 455  in it in my mind is a Muscle car just because GM didn't produce it meaningless true hotrodding there, DeLorean would be proud  i remember coming home one late night and on the horizon was a Vega I blew past this guy at the next intersection he pulled up and wasted my butt it was the first V8 conversion in our area we stopped and chatted yep he had built himself a muscle car I was impressed and was the start of some sweet pro street vehicles to come.R

DUB6
Instructor

It's kinda funny how some owners of "other cars" want to horn in on the love for muscle cars.  I have a friend with a 1964 Thunderbird - a car which I see as a personal luxury automobile (with a touch of sportiness thrown in, as they hadn't yet developed into the pretentious boats that they kind of became).  I was talking about examples of muscle cars and he claimed that I had left T-Birds off the list.  I replied that I didn't ever remember them being marketed or touted as such back in the day.  He claimed that since they had had some success in stock car racing, they qualified.  So I'm curious: anyone out there who has ever classified Thunderbirds as muscle cars?

Guitar74
Technician

No. They were first marketed as a two seater sports car and over time developed into a personal luxury car. They were NEVER marketed as a muscle car. As an owner of a T-Bird ( a '79 Town Landau), and also an '87 5.0 "bird", and a 3.8 "bird", I can tell that NONE of them were muscle cars. The 5.0 bird was still a luxury car. It was pretty quick for the time, but not "muscular".

Sajeev
Community Manager

For most folks, every car with a V8 and rear wheel drive is considered a muscle car these days. Sad, but true. 

Guitar74
Technician

I know. But that would be like calling my Galaxie a muscle car. It just isn't. I love that car, but it IS a two door luxury land yacht. My Cougar on the other hand.....Well....It's more of a pony car. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

It's true, but it seems to have gotten lost in the sauce...I am tired of trying to correct people when they say cars like Mustangs or Monte Carlos are muscle cars. At some point you have to give up for the sake of your own sanity!!!

Guitar74
Technician

I agree. I had to explain to a couple who were older than me what my Cougar was when I first got it. I'm thinking, "Did you two live under a rock back then?"

Sajeev
Community Manager

They just weren't enthusiasts. Reminds me of the time I had to explain to a couple of Boomers that the '67 Cougar wasn't "just a Mustang with different bumpers" which, in turn, made for an awkward silence in the line at the United Airlines ticketing desk at the airport. 

 

It was totally worth it, I was happy to be a younger person correcting older folks from spewing ignorance. 

Guitar74
Technician

I hear you. I do at times wish it was little more than a gentleman's Mustang when I have to buy the Cougar specific parts.

DUB6
Instructor

   There has absolutely been a lot of blurring of the lines.  Example: Pony Cars were absolutely a definite "thing" to me back in the day.  But - just to pick one out - the Mustang came with both straight sixes and V-8s.  And after a few years, they came with BIG V-8s.  So did some of the Mustangs jump from Pony Car to Muscle Car just by virtue of engine option?  For instance, if you look elsewhere in these forums, you'll see that a Firebird won a competition in a Muscle Car posting, and several Camaros and Cougars (even your, I think) were mentioned in that string.  So... Pony or Muscle?

   And then, while I'm still pondering the question of Thunderbirds as Muscles, I', considering your response that they were marketed as 2-seater Sports Cars at first.  However, were they not created in response to the Corvette?  And wasn't the Corvette a 2-seater Sports Car?  And yet, in 1967 when Chevy stuffed a 427 into the little plastic auto - didn't that make it pretty doggone "muscular"?  So was the Corvette a Sports Car that became a Muscle Car by virtue of cubic inches on the build sheet?  I mean, now, of course, it's a Super Car, so is it now neither Sports or Muscle?

   All I'm saying is that it might not only be "subjective", but it might also be "elusive".  I don't know that anyone has written out a definitive "this is what a muscle car is" rule, because as Sajeev alludes to, it's kind of a "perceptional" thing.  Maybe my buddy thinks his T-Bird is a mid-sized car with a bit engine (390), and therefor he gets to wear a M/C patch.  I mean, if a Chevelle with a 396 gets the patch, why not?

   I'm not arguing any one point-of-view, honestly, I'm just presenting some of the confusion factors that - if they aren't completely clear to me, a guy who thought he knew what a Muscle Car was - then maybe we can understand why someone in line at the airport or talking to us at a show 'n' shine haven't got a complete grasp of it.

   And let's not even start on the true definition of a "Classic Car"!!! 😁

Guitar74
Technician

The term Muscle car referred to the biggest engine stuffed into an intermediate chassis. The vette has and always will be a sports car. It would be like calling a Ferrari a a muscle car. Why do I bring up Ferrari? Because The Corvette is taking aim at European sports cars. Big block, small block, it's still a sports car. Mustang? Pony car. 1st gen Cougar? Gentleman's pony car. Firebird, Camaro. Pony cars. Challenger and Cuda? Pony cars made to compete with the Camaro and Mustang? No real line blurring. Just because a 340 Duster with a 3.91 gear and a good driver behind the wheel could give a lot of big blocks a run for their money, if not take them in a quarter mile doesn't mean it's a muscle car. It was considered an economy car back in the day regardless of the engine.

 

Jus the opposite with the Thunderbird, Galaxie, and many other full size cars. I am building a 434 high deck Cleveland engine for my wife's '79 thunderbird. That does not change the fact that it is still a full size, big chassis, personal luxury car. It just means that it's a sleeper in the form of a 70s pimp mobile. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

As a fan of late 70s Fords, please keep us updated on the progress on the motor swap! Sounds awesome. 

Guitar74
Technician

Gonna be a minute. Have the internals ordered from T. Meyer. It's not gonna set the world on fire, but it WILL make the Thunder chicken a lot more fun when you hit the loud pedal. I'm gonna go ahead and beef up the C6 for the added torque. The 9" will handle it just fine. And it already has a limited slip differential.

DUB6
Instructor

Sajeev and Julie - obviously, you need to go back and clean up this posting: Show us your '60s muscle cars - The Hagerty Community

It's chock full of "muscle cars" that aren't "muscle cars", according to Guitar74's non-blurred lines of definition!  😀

Guitar74
Technician

Sorry, but as an owner of three full size, it is exactly the reason I didn't post any pics of my '65 Galaxie. It has a V8 and rear wheel drive. That doesn't make it a muscle car. Neither does a 413 in a Chrysler 300. The long ram intakes were great for mid range grunt, but terrible above 4,000 rpms. Hence, personal luxury car. In the case of the 413, the short ram intake were the muscle car equipment. The MAX Wedge was the muscle engine. Didn't mean to offend or pick a fight, but the definition of muscle car has been what it has been for decades.

 

Which Bullet car would you call the muscle car? The getaway Charger or McQueen's Mustang. If you answered McQueens 390 Gt, then (buzzer sound), you go to the back of the line.

DUB6
Instructor

Dear Guitar74

   Hey man, I'm not disagreeing with you or challenging your definitions!  I'm merely trying to point out that there is a lot of confusion and disagreement out there.  It's great that you have it set firmly in your mind, but not every other single person in the universe does - and it's obvious that when I say that, you're gonna think I'm telling you that that means you're wrong.  I'm not saying you are wrong!  In fact, I agree with 99.9% of all of your statements - but not everyone else agrees with either you or me.

   Watch this: https://youtu.be/6cIDqAfOpwA?list=TLPQMTYwNDIwMjGD2JNcOGZtFQ

Look at the way this guy titled his video, then listen to when he says, "We're now entering the Muscle Car section" and immediately shows a bunch of 'Vettes.  All I am saying is that the lines are blurred by a LOT of people.  So you have your lines firmly drawn - that's fine.  Now all you have to do is get several million (maybe billion) people to see it the same way.  But you can quit trying to convince me - I'm ON YOUR SIDE!

(and no, I wouldn't pick the Mustang - I know it was the Charger...😃)

00:13 - Corvettes00:52 - AMCs & Juliano Duster01:13 - Mopars!03:23 - Chevys04:14 Buick & Olds05:19 - The other building "drivers"07:04 - More Mopars07:54 - R...