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  #1  
Old 01-24-2017, 09:20 PM
MagicMan MagicMan is offline
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Default Do You guy's Agree or DisAgree...???

The 58-60 was the BiG 3 that decided to embark into the MuscleCar era...
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:00 AM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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Interesting question.

I've recenty enjoyed this article: https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/mu...ained-history/

I always thought of the 1964 Pontiac Tempest as the first muscle car. But in fact the '49 Olds was. That era ended because of deadly race accidents.

So the early 60's was really the second wave of muscle cars. That ended due to insurance concerns plus environmental regulations.

I believe that we are currently witnessing the 3rd.
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Old 01-25-2017, 10:07 AM
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DKheld DKheld is offline
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First printed use of the term "Muscle Car" (Jan '64) was describing one of my favorites - the 1964 Land Rover.





Now doesn't that look muscular?

Next printing was in Oct '65 describing the Dodge Coronet.


DODGE CORONET becomes "muscle car" with Hemi-426 engine, but relies on drum brakes only. Rally suspension makes car remarkably well-balanced and good-handling. *

My opinion has always been that 40's - 50's factory performance cars are "Super Cars". That was the term used for the cars at the time.

Not to be confused with other cars in the 40's and 50's known as "Sports Cars". I consider the baby birds to fall in the Sports Car category. The Corvette of that time was considered a Sports Car and comparing it to what was on the market I'd agree.

The 60's and maybe through to a few in the late 80's is what I consider the "Muscle Car" era and as Steve mentions - it appears the Muscle Car is back. There were a few thrown in on occasion between the 80's and now.

I consider the Retro Birds and the baby birds a sports car - the Battle Bird included. All other Tbirds are - to me - "Personal Luxury" cars as Ford promoted. I've never considered any Thunderbird a Muscle Car - even the Super Coupes although they seem to come the closest to the criteria of a muscle car.

And we can modify any year car from the teens up - I consider that a "Hot Rod" or "Rod".

Of course - you can turn a Squarebird into a Muscle Car - Greg Deburg's car is an example I would consider as a Muscle Car or possibly a Rod.

Greg - what do you consider you car to be?

But then the exceptions creap in - like the factory built MGB with an aluminum block 215 V8. Is that a factory muscle car or still a sports car on steroids?

Don't think there was a particular year that represents the turning point though......


My 2 cents.

Eric



*(ref - http://english.stackexchange.com/que...cars-called-so)
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Old 01-25-2017, 01:26 PM
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Dakota Boy Dakota Boy is offline
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I suppose my car would be classified as a Franken-mobile
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Old 01-25-2017, 06:56 PM
bird 60 bird 60 is offline
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Bonny & Clyde's 1934 Ford would have been classed as a Muscle Car for its time. In my opinion there's two categories in Muscle Cars. The ones that have been worked on after leaving the Factory, & the Factory ones starting in the Mid to Late 60s.

Chris......From OZ.
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Old 01-25-2017, 10:34 PM
MagicMan MagicMan is offline
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Thanks for the reply's fellas, I was just thinking about a old muscle car history book I had as a teenager. The book talked about how people would modify their cars for drag races in the 50's and how the BiG 3 started to cater to the market in the 60's.

When I think about the 58-60 Tbird the concept has Muscle Car all over it IMO, of course I know it is not officially considered a Muscle Car.
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Old 01-26-2017, 11:02 AM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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I think that the most accepted definition of "factory muscle car" is stuffing their most powerful engine into one of their smaller vehicle models. Since the TBirds of this era are big cars, they don't meet this definition. But the engines that powered them were definitely used in the factory muscle cars of the same era.

In fact, although I don't know when the practice started and ended, but the "Thunderbird" engine was an available option for several other models.
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Old 01-26-2017, 11:13 AM
Joe Johnston Joe Johnston is offline
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Quote:
In fact, although I don't know when the practice started and ended, but the "Thunderbird" engine was an available option for several other models.

Without doing any research my opinion would be it started with the Y-Block engines as "Thunderbird Special" Y-Blocks were in the passenger cars. Have to do a bit of reading to narrow it down to 55 or 56.

Edit: A quick look in the Standard Catalog of American cars mentions the Thunderbird engine as a 292 available for 55 as well as 56, and also Thunderbird Special as a 312 beginning in 56.

Last edited by Joe Johnston : 01-26-2017 at 11:26 AM. Reason: update
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Old 01-26-2017, 01:42 PM
Deanj Deanj is offline
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There are a lot of cars with muscle starting with the '49 Olds to the '62 Catalina Super Duty. I was a kid, but it seems no one referred to these as Muscle Cars at the time. I would agree the 1964 GTO would be the first officially since it was an intermediate with a "big block" 389.

Dean
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Old 01-26-2017, 03:05 PM
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sidewalkman sidewalkman is offline
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I always think of a purpose built car, simply for going fast most often in a straight line.

Old school big block Catalinas and Chevs make the cut, you could order them with no power options and they had giant 421 and 409s all with six packs and 4 speeds, they to me at least better fit the mold.

Even the tri 5 Chevy's don't fit into the Muscle Car category, but putting a T-Bird in is like saying a Caddy or Lincoln is a Muscle Card because they shoe horned a big block in. But the weren't built for speed, that defines it to me!
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