History on Muscle Cars

History on Muscle Cars

Although the age of muscle cars was short-lived, it still defines a generation in America and has offered us some of the most collectible cars in automotive history today. With the muscular appearance, piercing lines, wide silhouettes, these cars looked mean.

The definition of a muscle car is a mid-sized car, with a V8 engine, usually manufactured between 1965 and 1973. Most of these muscle cars were already mid-sized models being created by car manufacturers, and they added special trims, a bigger V8 engine, and typically better performance and handling options such as braking, suspensions, etc.

The era of muscle cars overlapped with the baby boom generation. With World War II coming to an end, soldiers came home and there were children everywhere! Cars during this era and after were conservative in their speed and style. Performance and chop shops appeared after the war and the hot rod was born. Unfortunately, this was not efficient for most people as it cost a lot of money and took demanding work to modify a car.

Price is what made the muscle car successful with the baby boomers era. Factory performance was a lot more economical, but the models shorted speed and power. In 1964, this all changed with the Pontiac Tempest. The GTO package on this vehicle added floor-shifted suspension, GTO badges, special trims and a 289 V8 engine. The GM Corporate policy disallowed anything other than full-size models to have anything bigger than a 330 Cid engine. Engineers at Pontiac Tempest worked around this and offered 389 Cid engines as a choice, instead of manufacturing a new model for it. Pontiac strategized on selling around 5000 GTO’s that year, 32 450 were sold that year and started the American muscle car race.


If you are interested in purchasing or selling your muscle or classic vehicle, or simply looking for spares, visit The V8 Shoppe. We are specialized importers and distributors of American V8 Classics, Muscles, Hot Rods, engines and spare parts. Visit our website for more information today!


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