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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a fairly basic question but surly will get different answers, but I'm looking for the majority of peoples thoughts.
Considering all makes of cars, what years do you consider is the cut off of a musclecar?
Example; 61-72 or 57-74 or 64-72, 1910-2008??? Please if you could give me an example it would be much appreciated.
Is a 57 FI Chevy a muscle car?
Is a cosworth vega? Is a 58 Pontiac?
What about a 59 Thunderbird or a 75 Duster 360?
Just what in Webers'D defines a MUSCLECAR and where do you draw the line????????
 

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2002, the year the Firebird and Camaro will be laid to rest.

Mike
2002 Firebird TA WS6 (320 HP RAM Air Package) Pewter
Built 09-10-2001
ETA 10-03-01

[This message has been edited by elcamino (edited 09-26-2001).]
 

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My guess is that the most popular opinion would be 64-72. After all, muscle cars are generally thought of as a mid size car with a big engine, and the GTO, 442, and the SS Chevelle came out in 1964. (Not to say that the Impala SS wasn't a great car!) 1972 would be considered the end due to the fact that most cars had EGR valves in 1973.

Mike
 

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I personaly define a MUSCLECAR as a factory large CI and high HP car, but one that originaly came with it, Not a Shoehorn job like a vega. 55 chevys are not what i consider a muscle car but more in the line of a street machine

64-72 chevelles
chevy IIs and Novas until 70
340 dusters
Challangers
Chargers
Older Camaros 67-69
442s
Old Stangs
Mercury Cyclones

These are off the top of my head but many more i am sure

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I would say the muscle era started about the time the impala SS came out ['61] and definitly ended in 1972.
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Brett
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You are absolutely correct, you will probably get MANY answers/opinions.

In the world of auto enthusiasts, it has always been generally considered that the term "Musclecar" began/originated with the 64 GTO, a mid-size body with a large displacement performance engine.

ABSOLUTELY, there were performance cars long before the GTO was even thought of. You will NOT get any argument about that.
So, to answer your question, the "MUSCLECAR ERA" is mostly considered to be 64-72.

Cars such as the Corvette WERE NOT included in the Musclecar catagory, NOT because they were not a performance car, but because they didn't fit the mold-------------mid-size body/big engine.

Was a 57 Chevy with 2x4 carbs or FI a "musclecar", was a 58 Pontiac with 3x2 carbs a "mucclecar", was a 59 Impala, with 3x2/348, 4sp and positrack a "musclecar", was a 63 Dodge with a Max Wedge 426, a "musclecar", was a 62 Vette with the FI 327 a "musclecar"---------------------YES!!!!!!! ALL OF THEM WERE-----------------but, they were NOT in the 64-72 time frame. There were SO MANY cars before and AFTER the 64-72 time frame that are without question performance, or, musclecars. ABSOLUTELY the latest Z-28s and TransAms are outstanding performance (or muscle) cars. And what about the new ZZ6 Vette???? Killer!
And, just for the heck of it, how about a 57 T-bird with 2x4s or the supercharged engine and 3sp OD?

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Unclepennybags:
My guess is that the most popular opinion would be 64-72.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My sentiments exactly.




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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I found this interesting.....
Note the date of entry! 1969.....

DEFIINITION: MUSCLE CAR
Merriam-Webster Dictonary Online.

One entry found for muscle car.
Main Entry: muscle car
Pronunciation: "muh-sel kär"
Function: noun
Date: 1969
: any of a group of American-made 2-door sports coupes with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving ..............


"Someone needs to fine tune this definition!"
 

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As the above, midsize 64 - 72. Those seem to be the years that the cars were hyped as such - per era advertising I have seen. An all-purpose (put the groceries in the trunk and kids in the back), somewhat economical (cheaper than the big cars/vette, yet better than the base econo eg Nova) and lots of power (eg big block).

It would be easy to find a bunch of exceptions ...(409 Impala, SD T/A)
Just my 2¢.

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Ron Cook TC Gold Member #1276
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1964-72 were the Zenith years for sure.
But there were some before,and some late after.
Muscle cars are the hi-perf A-bodies/B-bodies/F-bodies/X-bodies.
Super Cars are COPO/Yenko/Dealer mod types.

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Rick Peters
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[This message has been edited by mr70 (edited 09-26-2001).]
 

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Well, to play off a little bit of what has been said above, I defy you to go back to any magazine "of the day" and find muscle car used in description of any car from '64 to '72.

"Supercar" was the prefered term, and it was used quite liberally to describe any high powered car.

However, most automotive historians will agree on the '64 to '72 period as the "Musclecar Era" of American cars.

I find the different catogories of cars to be quite entertaining - how a few words can sum up an automotive era.

Everyone is familiar with "Horseless Carriage" to describe cars of the first two decades of the 1900's, but here are a few others for your consideration (none of which I made up, all are from other automotive writers):
Olympic Class = The grand of scale coach built cars of the later 20's into the '30's.
Bubble Cars = Those wacky small and bizzare cars from Europe and Asia.
Wurlitzer Era = The American cars of massive chrome trim from the later '50's to the very early '60's.
Disco Era = Donna Summer, need I say more?
There are many others, those are just a few that came to mind.

No matter what the year, there have almost always been fast,powerful cars built - American cars from the '60's do not have a lock on acceleration or speed capability.

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Since the term wasn't even coined until after the release of the 64 GTO, how can you be something that hasn't been defined yet? Agree that 72 was the final year since government regulations and rising insurance costs caused the factories to detune most of the models. I think all mid sized, big engined cars fit this category since it was insurance companies that defined it.

Not to say that early full size Chevy's, MoPars, and even Fords weren't quick/fast with big engines, but not in the Muscle Car era.

Early Chevys/Fords, i.e., 55-57 era...NIMHO. What about the 49 Olds V-8? Or the 32 Ford V-8 flathead? Probably quicker than their counterparts of the time, but Muscle Cars?

Mid 80's Grand Nationals? I had an 85 GN and for a boulevard cruiser with air and very mild manners, it was a screamer. Where would NMRA be today if they limited themselves to true Muscle Cars? I guess if John Force can call his Funny Car a "Hot Rod", you can strech anything that makes you feel good.

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The muscle car era began and ended with Pontiacs. The 64 GTO was the first muscle car and the 74 Trans Am 455 SD was the last muscle car.
 

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Darn it. I read down through all the posts and I already knew what I was going to say, but then I got to the one about the Pontiacs and realized that somebody beat me to it.

A 1973 or 1974 Pontiac Trans Am 455 Super Duty would have to be the last of the great muscle cars.
Yes there have been many "high dollar" muscle machines as of late, but I have to revert back to the day when they were very affordable and commonplace on the dealers lots. I would suspect that the fast, high dollar cars being sold today, are not being sold in the same numbers as they were in 1974 and earlier.(proportional to population). I imagine that only the elite few are able to own a $40-50,000.00-+ muscle car of today !!

Nate

[This message has been edited by SS3964N8 (edited 09-26-2001).]
 

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I believe that the '96 Impala SS was the last great musclecar. They were the last full frame, rear wheel drive V8 car that could be directly linked to the '60's cars of old. Everything now (including the now canceled Camaro and Firebird) is a modern rendition of what a musclecar is. Why do i think this? My father ownes a 1995 Impala SS, and it more than anything modern, reminds me of what American musclecars were: big, powerful, and full of attitude!

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i think about 61-71,72 would be good.in my opinion those are all the years i tend to like.Anything under that would be considered a street machine which is also in my opinion Bad a$$ and would love to have but they are somewhat hard to find.i have a 68 chevelle 383 which i hope to drop in the zz502 or 540 maybe after i come back from the gulf..then i will have a real muscle car!!!
ohhhhhhh yeahhhhhh
 
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