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GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/2/16 2:54 p.m.

This may seem like an insane thing to say when the Mustang, Camaro (cramit), and Dodge Charger are all in production, but I'm saying that what we call muscle cars are simply sports cars now.

Let's consider the definition of a muscle car. In its day it was a big sporty 2-door car with a big V8. In retrospect, they were big 2-door cars with a big V8 that were (relatively) quick in a straight line but couldn't turn or stop worth a damn. This has been the effective meaning of "muscle car" for decades.

All the new muscle car descendants are pretty good at turning and stopping. They're available with plenty of non-V8 engine options that are still quick. They're not all that big. Some have even have 4 doors. There are plenty of similar cars that we'd never call muscle cars (Genesis Coupe, 370Z/G37, even many Lexii and BMWs) simply because they don't carry the names of old muscle cars.

So yeah, the meaning of "Muscle Car" is now "Set nostalgia-based marketing to " '70s"...aaand ENGAGE!"

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/2/16 3:00 p.m.

So... you want a car that goes like hell in a straight line and doesn't turn or stop so well...

The big 3 all have plenty of 4 door trucks to sell you.

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/2/16 3:08 p.m.

I dare say that enough people have proven that the Mustang turns too well

rslifkin
rslifkin Dork
11/2/16 3:11 p.m.

I'd say that arguably, my Jeep was one of the last muscle cars built. They took an existing platform and shoved in a bigger motor without upgrading the suspension, brakes or tires. Sounds a lot like the muscle car formula to me...

hhaase
hhaase Reader
11/2/16 3:20 p.m.

I'd make the argument that the Camaro and Mustang were never "Muscle Car's" in the first place, they were always called "Pony Cars".

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
11/2/16 3:29 p.m.

Actually, the pony car equivalent to the Mustang and Camaro is the Challenger, not the Charger. And I think you can make the argument that the Charger Hellcat is a true muscle car because it is so undertired.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/2/16 3:37 p.m.

I would argue Pony Cars are a subset of Muscle Cars. And most of them are overall bigger and heavier than their predecessors.

https://myclassicgarage.com/social/posts/17311-comparing-the-1967-and-2014-camaro-z-28

codrus
codrus GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/2/16 3:41 p.m.

AIUI, the original formula for a "muscle car" was you take the mid-sized car and you put the big engine out of the full-sized car into it. Sure, the original muscle cars were lousy in a straight line, but that was true of most American cars in those days. They weren't any worse than the normal sedans they were based on.

I think the main reason things don't stand out as muscle cars any more is that this formula has become the default for most manufacturers. The full-sized cars (if they even make a full-sized car any more) don't get unique engines any more, they're always shared with the premium version of the mid-size.

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
11/2/16 3:45 p.m.

I don't necessarily think the charger isn't a muscle car. Take really big engine, shove in smaller chassis. You could argue that they're only made to go straight and the current ones turn too good. Contemporary for contemporary though....nothing American turned all that well back in the 60s and 70s. Corvette.....but think of the corvette then vs the corvette now. The playing field is still the same level, the players have just gotten that much better.

Edit- of course I would also argue that most of the hot sport compacts follow that method as well....take the ms3. Take truck motor, shove in small car chassis.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/2/16 3:49 p.m.

I couldn't disagree with your premise anymore than I already do.

That said, I don't care to type anymore than "You're entitled to your WRONG opinion."

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/2/16 4:45 p.m.

I thought it was a midsize car with a fullsize car's engine. Simple formula for cheap speed.

So in that respect, Focus STs are musclecars - they have engines lifted from Fusions and other larger-class cars.

But they kind of aren't musclecars because attention was paid towards being able to decelerate and go around corners as well.

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/2/16 4:48 p.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: Let's consider the definition of a muscle car. In its day it was a big sporty 2-door car with a big V8.

Let me stop you right there. That sounds exactly like the mustang, cramit, and challenger.

Nick (Bo) Comstock
Nick (Bo) Comstock UltimaDork
11/2/16 4:50 p.m.
Knurled wrote: I thought it was a midsize car with a fullsize car's engine. Simple formula for cheap speed. So in that respect, Focus STs are musclecars - they have engines lifted from Fusions and other larger-class cars. But they kind of aren't musclecars because attention was paid towards being able to decelerate and go around corners as well.

Plus they are wrong wheel drive.

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
11/2/16 4:57 p.m.

Based on the definitions above, the Challenger Hellcat is probably the last 'true' American muscle car. It's a big coupe, based on a big sedan, with a high powered V8 that's most useful for vaporizing rubber, and doesn't turn or stop worth a damn relative to its pony car contemporaries.

Alternatively, I would argue that the Mercedes AMG E63 Coupe would also meet most of the same criteria.

fireball123
fireball123 Reader
11/2/16 5:17 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: I dare say that enough people have proven that the Mustang turns too well

Example

racerdave600
racerdave600 SuperDork
11/2/16 5:36 p.m.
Ian F wrote: So... you want a car that goes like hell in a straight line and doesn't turn or stop so well... The big 3 all have plenty of 4 door trucks to sell you.

Have you driven a new truck lately? They drive pretty damn good. Our F150 at work drove better than my Mustang, and my son just bought a new F150 that almost is a sports car.

Will
Will UltraDork
11/2/16 5:39 p.m.

I'm gonna go ahead and say that the Charger Hellcat is a muscle car, not a sports car.

pres589
pres589 UberDork
11/2/16 6:04 p.m.

2016 Camry V6 runs the quarter mile in ~14.5 seconds with a trap speed of 98mph. The 1969 Chevelle with the SS396 package ran it in ~14.5 seconds at about 100. 0-60 times seem to favor the Camry.

Watch how people drive; how often do you see people basically tip-toe along an on-ramp then stand on it to merge with 65 or 70 mph traffic? And it works for them.

We've got muscle cars out the wazoo, right now, today.

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
11/2/16 6:25 p.m.

A muscle car is anything from the late '60s and very early '70s that the auctioneer is trying to get some tool dressed up like Macho Man Randy Savage to bid on.

They are the most over-rated and underwhelming vehicles ever produced in this country. Unless you count AMF Harleys. Or the Cadillac Cimmeron. And maybe any product offered by AMC/Eagle. And I should know as half owne of a '70 Chevelle SS that everyone oogles over when we take it out. If you ever wanted to pick up dudes in their 60's who still carry a comb in their back pocket - this is the car to bait the trap with. It's truly a horrible car in every single way possible. I'm not sure how anyone remembers it otherwise.

pres589
pres589 UberDork
11/2/16 6:29 p.m.
Huckleberry wrote: blah blah blah They are the most over-rated and underwhelming vehicles ever produced in this country. blah blah And maybe any product offered by AMC/Eagle.

Blasphemy and lies! Totally wrong!

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/2/16 7:17 p.m.
Nick (Bo) Comstock wrote:
Knurled wrote: I thought it was a midsize car with a fullsize car's engine. Simple formula for cheap speed. So in that respect, Focus STs are musclecars - they have engines lifted from Fusions and other larger-class cars. But they kind of aren't musclecars because attention was paid towards being able to decelerate and go around corners as well.
Plus they are wrong wheel drive.

They're also only available with manual transmissions, but that doesn't deter people either

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
11/2/16 7:19 p.m.

There are plenty of muscle cars, they just got better. Just like our sports cars, economy cars, and everything.

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
11/2/16 8:04 p.m.
Huckleberry wrote: . If you ever wanted to pick up dudes in their 60's who still carry a comb in their back pocket - this is the car to bait the trap with. It's truly a horrible car in every single way possible. I'm not sure how anyone remembers it otherwise.

quoted for posterity, and for my buddy who has a Chevelle SS and has (to my knowledge) never had a woman show the slightest amount of interest in it...

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/2/16 8:18 p.m.
racerdave600 wrote:
Ian F wrote: So... you want a car that goes like hell in a straight line and doesn't turn or stop so well... The big 3 all have plenty of 4 door trucks to sell you.
Have you driven a new truck lately? They drive pretty damn good. Our F150 at work drove better than my Mustang, and my son just bought a new F150 that almost is a sports car.

Of course. I'd wager any modern truck would out-perform a 60's muscle car in every category.

Also amusing about the OP is how there's a huge cottage industry geared toward making "muscle cars" from the 60's actually turn and stop to match their straight line performance. I test drove a 69 Charger many years ago and I remember vividly how other than the straight line performance it drove like sh!t compared to my '82 Subaru wagon.

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/2/16 8:25 p.m.
Huckleberry wrote: It's truly a horrible car in every single way possible. I'm not sure how anyone remembers it otherwise.

I drove an immaculately restored '71 SS454 today. When they are new, good, and tight, they are fine vehicles. The problem is, ever since about 1973, it got extremely hard to find one that was new, good, and tight

That's one of the things I don't like about my job... it's making me like driving GMs more than I like Fords and Mopars. I'm a Mopar guy who got stuck with Fords because even in the late 90s, you had to have a ton of cash lying around to get a Mopar.

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