The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on the outskirts of Chicago was packing some serious Mopar heat during the annual Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN). And while there was plenty of Ford and GM hardware strewn across the halls, it was the rows of Shaker E-Bodies, factory Hemi and Max Wedge Super Stock race cars, and even some rare Dodge and Plymouth oddities that were left for dead but brought back to life, stopping the crowds in their tracks. If it’s ultra rare, bizarre, or something with a sorted and interesting past, you’ll see it only at MCACN.For Mopar lovers, the MCACN event is a great way to end the car show season, and being indoors and under one roof, it’s pure sensory overload. Created by Bob and Vicki Ashton, MCACN assembles the very best muscle car samples of all the brands, not just Mopars, and celebrates certain themes and/or historical milestones of certain nameplates and even options. That’s why we love the MCACN show — … [Read more...] about Mopar Highlights from the 2017 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals
Best muscle car
Muscle Car Madness has hit Motor Trend: we need your help to determine America’s best muscle car. For the most part, the cars in the Sweet 16 have rear-wheel drive, two doors, at least four seats and cost less than $40,000. Head over to The Lohdown and, in the comments, tell us your picks for each bracket in our Sweet 16 pictured at left. Or, send your picks to [email protected] Either way, get your votes in by Monday, March 30 at 12 noon (PST). Last week, we picked a $19,098 coupe or hatchback. Many eschewed our choices, in favor of everything from a MINI Cooper to a used Chevrolet Suburban. “The [Acura] RSX Type-S comes to mind immediately,” said Harvey. Nissan_300zx had a different idea: “If I put a hard top on a MX-5 does that count?” … [Read more...] about You’re Buying WOT: $40,000 Muscle Car Madness
We’re moving on to the Elite 8 of Motor Trend’s Muscle Car Madness, in which you’ll help us determine the best muscle car for under $40,000. We may have had it a bit easy with the Sweet 16, but today it gets more difficult. Will you choose the Nissan 370Z over the Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8? Or pick the Chevy Camaro V-6 instead of the Mustang GT? Head to The Lohdown and give us your pick in each of the four brackets, but don’t wait too long: voting ends Thursday, April 2 at noon. Last week, we started with the Sweet 16 of our Muscle Car Madness, eliminating the Mazda RX-8, Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T, BMW 128i, Ford Mustang V-6, BMW 328i, Dodge Challenger V-6, Chevy Cobalt SS, and Dodge Challenger R/T. … [Read more...] about You’re Buying WOT: Elite 8 Muscle Car Madness
OK, so last night’s game turned out to be quite a shocking blowout. Hansborough and the ‘Heels easily overpowered MSU, which was a bummer, not only because our web editor Mike Floyd is a diehard Michigan State slappy, but also because Detroit and the state of Michigan could use a lift right now. But you know what, you can help!; Not to give the game away, but by playing this, the final round of Muscle Car Madness, you are guaranteed to give at least one of Detroit’s top automakers a (very) small vote of confidence.; How?; Let’s take a look at the numbers… THE FINALS BABY Like the last round, I received a ton of votes over a very short amount of time (don’t you people have better things to do over the weekend?); Apparently not, because I received even more votes for this semifinal round — a total of 85 votes in the comments section (before I closed balloting) and 27 votes via emails. Must be the fact that we’re deciding which two muscle … [Read more...] about The Lohdown: Muscle Car Madness Final Round Camaro SS vs Mustang GT
There’s nothing better than wandering around boneyards looking for diamonds in the rubble. Now imagine those diamonds are GTO Judges and Shaker hoods. And it’s real. On a recent winter trip to the East Coast, we visited Curboy’s Auto Wrecking in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and were blown away by the astonishing assortment of rare muscle on the premises. Curboy’s has been family owned for three generations and has a thriving late-model parts division. But the guys also have a soft spot for vintage tin and have been stashing it away for over four decades. Though relentless exposure to the elements has bestowed terminal rust on most, the twist is that many of these older cars are oddly unmolested. Oh sure, the drivelines are long gone, but the trinkets, patina, and original feel endure. The trick is that the forest in which these cars dwell is only navigable during the frigid winter months. During any other season, thick underbrush, poison ivy, and a variety of … [Read more...] about Rust In Peace – The Best Muscle Car Graveyard in America
We’re looking for the best muscle cars in the country to duke it out on the track. Have you got what it takes to win “The Jacket”? We’re looking for a few good cars for our annual Muscle Car Of The Year competition, which will take place Monday, July 15 at our secret test location in central Ohio. We did this last year, and it was a blast for all involved! If we select you, you’ll have the opportunity to strut your stuff in front of our cameras in three test regimes: the drag strip, the speed-stop challenge, and a high-speed autocross. The car with the smallest combined elapsed time in all three events will be declared the Muscle Car Of The Year on the cover of our December 2013 issue—and you’ll get a really cool custom embroidered winner’s jacket! If you’ve got a rear-wheel drive domestic muscle car that is well versed in all-around performance, we’d like to hear from you! We’re looking for a wide selection of pro and … [Read more...] about Muscle Car Of The Year
It was over, Johnny. The muscle car thing had run its fun, psychedelic course by the early 1970s. Rising insurance rates, falling compression ratios, and looming federal regulations effectively killed the fun like your junior high principal turning on the gymnasium lights at the end of the eighth-grade dance. Time to go. Pontiac lingered as long as possible, and the Super Duty 455 engine was the final song they got the DJ to play as everyone shuffled off the floor. That the SD-455 was produced at all was a miracle, given how quickly high-performance became politically incorrect by the early 1970s. Installing it in the Firebird was another challenge because the F-Body line was very nearly canceled after 1972. Sales for ponycars dropped precipitously as younger buyers sought more fuel-efficient cars. Consequently, Firebird sales plunged more than 56 percent between 1971 and 1972, to less than 30,000. Only 1,286 of them were Trans Ams. Fortunately Pontiac was filled with passionate … [Read more...] about Pontiac Trans Am SD-455: Did Pontiac Save its Best Muscle Car for Last?
In 1967, muscle cars had become mainstream. Drag racing was a favorite pastime in America, evidenced by the packed stands at local dragstrips. The rebellious generation of the 1960s blended muscle cars into their raucous lifestyle. The muscle cars introduced in 1967 could be characterized as fast but somewhat subdued. Stripes and scoops were beginning to blossom but wouldn’t reach full bloom until 1970. One of the biggest movies of 1967 was Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman. Newman’s Luke Jackson, a nonconformist loner who fights against authority and an evil warden, becomes a rebel-hero among his fellow prisoners, quietly maintaining an unbreakable spirit with a smile. The subdued 1967 muscle cars with their high power levels and minimal exterior bravado are reminiscent of Newman’s subtle coolness. Blending simplicity of design with killer big-block performance, the G.T. 500, SS396, GTO, and GTX gathered here properly represent the persona of the 1967 crop of … [Read more...] about MCACN 2017 Preview! Check Out These Muscle Car Heroes
Two doors. 390 horsepower. 8 cylinders. Two seats. Just a hair under $25k. Sound too good to be true? It might be one of the best muscle car deals going, as long as you’re willing to drive a pickup.While perusing the Ram website for someone looking to buy a pickup, I came across the Ram Express; with a regular 6’4″ bed and rear-drive, it can be had with a 5.7L Hemi engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission for just $24,825. Next year, the 8-speed automatic will be the sole option. For those of us in the snowbelt, four-wheel drive will bump the cost up closer to $28,000, which makes it less of a value proposition. Note that in Canada, the Express starts at a mere $22,395 for a 4×2 single cab – the sole option is four-wheel drive, and a bigger cab is not available.The V6 Mustang is rightly touted as the muscle car bargain of the century, but the Ram Express offers its own proposition. No, it won’t handle like a V6 ‘Stang, nor will it return the … [Read more...] about Is This The Best Muscle Car Deal That Nobody Knows About?
By 1966, muscle cars were hitting peak stride. But some argued they had become too expensive and strayed too far from the original concept. As performance models had grown in displacement and technology, some crossed into premium pricing territory. Pontiac’s GTO, for example, could easily exceed $4,000 with a handful of options when the average cost of an American automobile was closer to $2,750.Enter Jack Smith.Plymouth had fallen into the pricing pitfall like most other manufacturers. Smith, who owned a souped-up Belvedere II, had recently been promoted to head of the company’s mid-sized car planning division. He wagered the public might enjoy a car like his and Plymouth introduced the GTX in 1967 to compete with the GTO. But it was still too expensive, especially for a budget brand like Plymouth, and garnered a lukewarm sales response — which gave Jack an idea. With muscle cars getting progressively more costly, Smith figured the … [Read more...] about In Memoriam: Jack Smith, a Mopar Muscle Car Maestro