By Darwin Holmstrom, Tom Glatch
A muscle motor vehicle symbolizes freedom. It was once freedom that introduced the muscle automobile into lifestyles ─ the liberty of inexpensive fuel and open roads, the liberty provided through the postwar American dream, the liberty to head on the subject of wherever and do exactly approximately something. while Pontiac advertised its GTO to the baby-boom iteration, the autos, the folks who drove them, and the days during which the 2 got here jointly resulted in one of many maximum tales in car heritage. whilst these first fortunate dealers cranked up the 360-horsepower Tri-Power 389 engines and drove their GTOs off broker plenty, these vehicles took their vendors towards experience, romance, luck, the longer term. American Muscle autos tells the tale of the main impressive and fascinating automobiles ever to come back out of Detroit. it is a tale of flat-out functionality instructed at full-throttle, illustrated with attractive smooth and old images.
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Additional info for American Muscle Cars: A Full-Throttle History
Our test was the Nova 400, powered by a 194-cubic-inch car weighed exactly 3400 pounds with a half tank of inline six producing 120 horsepower. This was enough fuel. This is 680 pounds less than a ’61 Plymouth we to give the sub-2,600-pound coupe adequate acceleration, but not enough to impress buyers lusting after 409 Impalas. The Chevy II sold better than the Corvair—Chevy dealers moved 325,000 tested a couple of years ago . . ” Hot Rod magazine, January, 1963 units for 1962—but not well enough to outsell the Falcon.
For 1963 it introduced a new big-block V-8: the Mark II. With a more modern combustion-chamber-in-head design, the new engine featured all the hot rod tricks of the day: lightweight valvetrain, header-style exhaust manifolds, and dual-plane aluminum high-rise intake manifolds. Chevrolet’s new big-block displaced 427 cubic inches, placing it right at the displacement limit allowed by NASCAR. Racing journalists and other racers referred to the new powerplant as the “mystery engine,” because Chevrolet erected security barriers around the garages at Daytona to prevent anyone from seeing it up close.
Originally displacing 273 cubic inches and Archives/TEN: The Enthusiast producing 180 horsepower, this new small-block engine would become one of Network Magazines, LLC. the most beloved powerplants of the classic muscle car era, powering such iconic cars as the Challenger T/A and AAR ’Cuda, but it wasn’t terribly successful when introduced. Not that there was anything wrong with the engine, nor with the Barracuda, a sporty, fastback version of the Valiant in which Chrysler mounted the mill. Chrysler designers created the fastback look by grafting a large wrap-around rear window onto the basic Valiant.
American Muscle Cars: A Full-Throttle History by Darwin Holmstrom, Tom Glatch