Are you a Baby Boomer who was a teenager or young adult in the 1960s? If yes, then the term muscle cars are familiar to your ears. However, this type of car is no longer as exciting nowadays, especially for Millennials and Gen Z. It is a fact that muscle cars reached their peak in the mid-1960s. Nevertheless, some still find it charming!
Do you know why this type of car is so eye-catching? Slim and attractive shape and design with enormous power make muscle cars much sought after. Usually, young people or adults who have a strong and tough look and soul drive this car. Affordable prices also make muscle cars widely used for daily transportation needs.
Do you want to know more about muscle cars? Are you curious about the current condition of the muscle cars market? And are you interested in owning and driving muscle cars? Today you are in luck! Here we present the most astonishing facts about muscle cars that will impress any automotive lover.
1. It’s Old, But It’s Still Fast! Woosh!
Muscle cars are indeed old, but their speed can still be relied on for now. Do you know the maximum speed of a typical muscle car? The astonishing fact is that a muscle car can go up to 120 miles per hour.
It’s an incredible speed for a car that is not young anymore. Some muscle cars can even go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 10 seconds. Because of this, muscle cars are often used for drag racing which demands a short acceleration time to reach its top speed. What do you think? Are muscle cars still reliable for today’s needs?
2. Be Careful! It’s Not So Easy to Handle
Muscle cars are known for their toughness, but there are things you need to pay attention to if you want to buy this car. Driving muscle cars is not like driving conventional vehicles on the market. In a nutshell, muscle cars are more challenging to control. Do you know why? The outdated design and construction of machines are the main reasons.
The good old engine provides the car with extraordinary toughness and power. However, muscle cars cannot perform extreme maneuvers. This car was not initially designed for racing cars. Thus, the handling will feel heavier and more complex. Even older muscle cars lack modern safety features. These things are the biggest challenges of muscle cars.
3. Why Do Muscle Cars Have Blowers?
Another unique fact about muscle cars is the presence of a blower on the engine. Yes, you heard right. Muscle cars have blowers to increase the cubic inches of the motor. Improvements in this section can increase torque and horsepower from low to medium scale.
Simply speaking, the working mechanism of this blower is to increase the pressure and density of the air so that the engine can get more oxygen. It is essential because you’ll need oxygen to burn the fuel. The blower will increase about 50% of the engine performance of the muscle cars.
4. It Sounds So Cool!
When you own a muscle car, you will notice a unique engine sound. The sound produced by the engine of muscle cars can attract the attention of everyone who hears it. The “Chug Chug” is the distinctive sound of a muscle car engine. Different engines do produce different sounds.
For instance, the V8 muscle car has an asymmetrical engine cylinder firing sequence. Furthermore, the combustion process in muscle cars is also different compared to conventional vehicles. The V8 engine also has a trade-off at high rpm for a long time. This causes the engine to not work properly at low rpm, thus creating a unique sound.
5. There’s One Muscle Car Worth $ 6,500,000!
Do you think a classic muscle car is not worth the market? The older and more unique a muscle car is, the more expensive it is. In fact, the 1971 Plymouth Cuda Convertible is among the most expensive muscle cars ever sold worldwide.
This most expensive muscle car still retains the original Hemi V8 engine, which features a 4-speed manual transmission. The entire interior and engine are still genuine. This muscle car is powered by 426 horsepower with a shaft ratio of 3.54. It features a Hurst pistol grip shifter to add to the toughness of the engine. The 1971 Plymouth Cuda Convertible is priced at $ 6,500,000. What a fantastic price for an old muscle car.
6. Muscle Car Present in Spectacular Film “Fast and Furious”
Muscle cars often appear in thrilling action films. Its sturdy design and construction can help actors appear more heroic and mighty. Did you know that a muscle car was present in the Fast and Furious movies?
The 1970 Dodge Charger R/T is the master muscle car driven by Vin Diesel in the film. This iconic car engages in exciting and thrilling scenes. It also performs various acrobatic maneuvers.
7. Rear Wheel Drive Makes It Lighter
The sturdy construction of the engine makes muscle cars relatively heavier. This is the basis for the origin of the name muscle car. Because of the heavyweight, it has rear-wheel drive. Muscle cars divide the load to the rear to lighten the overall weight, which is also known as the weight transfer process.
The weight is transferred to the rear when the muscle cars accelerate, creating more total propulsion. While the front-wheel-drive is penalized for its transfer. Plus, muscle cars already have torque-driven steering at the front wheels.
8. The Hidden Benefits of Hood Pins on Muscle Cars
If you look at the muscle cars released in the 1960s and early 1970s, hood pins were a typical ornament. The hood pins on muscle cars are made of metal or fiberglass, giving them an incredibly cool appearance. These hood pins are similar to those pinned on race cars.
This hood pin has various functions that not many people know about. For example, the hood pins on the 1970 Challenger muscle cars serve only as gimmicks and appearance sweeteners.
However, the four hood pins on the Dodge Coronet Super Bee 440 muscle car will keep the hood panel locked at high speeds. This is intended to prevent driver’s view obstruction if the hood is open. That way, accidents can be avoided.
9. The Manufacture of Muscle Cars was Stopped at a Certain Time
The manufacture of muscle cars was halted in 1974. Even then, muscle cars’ popularity does not go down. There cars’ production was hampered by various factors.
That year, an oil embargo and new federal regulations prevented producers from complying with the requirements. Manufacturers cannot produce large block muscle cars that can pass the federal emissions tests. This is the main reason why muscle cars have been discontinued
10. Do Muscle Cars Still Exist?
Is the popularity of muscle cars from 60 years ago still exist? Can the legendary period of muscle cars be repeated? The answer is uplifting! In fact, recently, several auto manufacturers from Japan and Europe have been trying to reinvent muscle cars by pairing the iconic and powerful V8 engine.
However, this recycled technology costs a lot of money and research time. The only muscle cars still on the market are the Camaro et Dodge Challenger from Chevrolet and the Mustang owned by Ford. Both modern muscle cars are powered by a V8 engine featuring a turbo four-cylinder with about 2 to 3 liters. This car is specifically designed to take part in drag racing events and not be driven on the road.
11. Wasteful in Fuel Consumption
In addition to complex handling, it turns out that muscle cars also have other serious problems. Can you guess the shortfall? Yes, that’s right! The fuel consumption of muscle cars is higher than your typical vehicles.
Muscle car engines are designed to produce substantial power. Hence, it will consume large amounts of fuel. Furthermore, the heavyweight of muscle cars is why the machine must have a more powerful lift and thrust. Thus, carbon emissions from muscle cars are also much higher.
12. Ever Been Banned at the NASCAR Race
Muscle cars have continued to gain popularity since participating in NASCAR racing events. Thanks to the toughness and a reliable level of acceleration, muscle cars often become the favorite to win races.
However, did you know that muscle car were banned by NASCAR? This happened in the 1971 season. The Plymouth Superbird and Dodge Daytona are the two banned muscle cars. This is because the aerodynamic systems of these two muscle cars are too extreme and can set outstanding speed records. This was unfair to other NASCAR race cars.
13. Known as the American Performance Generation
According to an automotive historian and researcher Robert Tate, the era of muscle cars is one of the most successful automotive eras in the United States. This period occurred between the 1960s and 1970s. In this period, muscle cars reached the peak of their glory. Sturdy car bodies with powerful engines make muscle cars popular among various groups of people in the US.
The period was also dubbed “America’s Performance Generation.” In addition to a formidable engine, muscle cars at that time came in a bright and striking color. For example, orange became a unique color pinned to the Plymouth muscle car in 1969. Meanwhile, the bright red was identic to the muscle cars made by Chevrolet.
14. If Impeccably Maintained, Muscle Car Can Still Be Driven
The most significant consideration when buying an old car is the engine’s condition. After all, it is like the heart of a vehicle. Muscle cars that have been released for a long time definitely have some drawbacks that you should pay attention to.
But if old muscle cars are cared for properly, they can still be driven. It costs a lot of money to maintain the machine to keep it in top condition. If it is taken care of properly, muscle cars can provide comfort in driving.
15. Is It Safe to Drive Muscle Cars?
The safety factor is one of the main concerns in driving a car. Several studies show a correlation between fast driving and fatal accidents. Muscle cars typically have high speed and allow accidents to occur.
However, an exhibition shows that the 2016 Ford Mustang is the safest muscle car from the small overlap front test. This muscle car can overcome the strength absorption test on collisions. The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro and 2016 Dodge Challenger followed in second and third, respectively.
And so, those are the 15 most fascinating facts about muscle cars that not many people know. In your opinion, which point is the most impressive?