Sixteen days ago I posed a simple question, “What is America’s favorite muscle car?” Four rounds, five blogs and hundreds of votes later, this question has finally been answered. Your winner of the 2009 Muscle Car Madness is, drum roll please…; ;The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS. As the score below indicates, it was massive win for the Camaro. The SS dispatched its rival, the Ford Mustang GT, not in scrappy, buzzer beating fashion — but by blowing it completely out of the water. Take a look at the numbers: Chevrolet Camaro SS: ; ; 135Ford Mustang GT: ; ; ; 51 ; Though the battle was between America’s two mightiest car companies, pitting two of their most fabled vehicles against; each another, this one wasn’t even close. No Coke vs Pepsi, blondes vs brunettes, or even MSU vs UNC battles here. This was more like Sitting Bull vs. General Custer.; To put the bloodshed in sharper relief, switch the score to percentages — fully 73% of voters … [Read more...] about The Lohdown: Muscle Car Madness – Americas Champion is…
V8 muscle cars 2
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… The new Camaro ZL1. Yes, we’ve reached that point in the Camaro model cycle. The one where it’s time for Chevrolet to roll out the big guns at the top of the range. We already know these sixth-gen cars are from a different planet compared with the gen fives – not just in terms of performance, but build quality, detailing and desirability, too – with the bargain of the year 1LE V8 being our pick of the range right now. But we’ve been waiting for the ZL1 to see what this car can really handle. Now we know. What’s new on it? Other than losing nearly 100kg of ballast, it gains the Corvette Z06’s supercharged 6.2-litre 650bhp/650lbft – not a slightly detuned version, as originally reported – V8 LT4 motor with a wet sump plus a ten-speed gearbox – developed with Ford and which we first tried in the new Raptor. It also uses the big … [Read more...] about Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 review: 650bhp muscle-car tested
Sounding every bit as superficial as the redneck poseur he portrayed, the expression on actor Warren Oates’ face as he uttered those words in the 1971 cult classic “Two-Lane Blacktop” spoke volumes about what a muscle car was and what it was built for.As his right foot slammed through the firewall and the big ’70 Judge GTO lunged forward, the contrast between Oates’ character and the two car-obsessed drifters he raced across the U.S. couldn’t have been starker: his brand-new orange Pontiac was a mean machine, but their beat-up primer-gray ’55 Chevy was the real deal.In a recent blog, Motor Trend’s Angus MacKenzie pontificated about the fate of the muscle car. Mainly, he opined as to the engines and body styles it might possess in the not-so-V8-friendly future.No offense, but I think Angus bypassed an important point. His view of what will happen to the muscle car and how it must change assumes that the concept’s … [Read more...] about Muscle Car Writing Contest Finalist #2: Don Gammil Wants You to Color Him Gone
Easy (Warm-Up for TTAC’s Best and Brightest) 1. Major Anthony Nelson on I Dream of Jeannie drove a convertible of what 1960s muscle car?A. Chevrolet Chevelle SS396B. Buick Skylark GTXC. Pontiac G.T.O.D. Oldsmobile 442 2. Starsky and Hutch patrolled the streets in Starsky’s?A. 1974 Ford Grand TorinoB. 1975 Ford Grand TorinoC. 1969 Mercury CycloneD. 1975 Ford Thunderbird … [Read more...] about Ask the Best and Brightest: What Muscle Car did Major Nelson Drive in “I Dream of Jeannie”?
Looks like Farago and I inadvertently kicked open a can of worms yesterday when discussing the new/maybe one day Camaro. Robert maintained that Bob Lutz is an "Idiot" for even suggesting a 4-banger muscle car. For my part I defended Lutz (dirty, i feel so dirty), because I happen to love the engine he's talking about. See, the 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled EcoTec I4 puts out a robust 260 horsepower and a rotund 260 lb-ft of torque. And that's currently. Rumor has it that Chevy will be boring the EcoTec out to 2.5-liters, which could easily net the engine 50 more hp, meaning that the base Camaro would have more juice than the 4th gen V8 F-body. Of course, if you need more, get the LS3-powered range topper. Point is, does cylinder count matter? Really? … [Read more...] about Question of the Day: Do Muscle Cars Need a V8?
TTAC reader Richard Murdocco submits his tale of doing the unthinkable…willingly buying a V6 muscle car. While TTAC has been a proponent of the most recent V6 Mustang, few are so enlightened to its performance potential.It was early 2011, and my last car, a 2003 Infiniti I30, became intimate with a Dodge minivan. I was just starting out my professional career, and I needed a car. Weeks prior I walked the lot of a Ford dealer on Long Island, and saw it there…a 2011 Kona Blue Ford Mustang, with the tech package, brown saddle leather seats and white stripes down the rocker panels. It was beautiful. It is a V6… *Gasp!*I read the reviews before going shopping- despite the non-muscle car reputation of a V6 Mustang, everything on paper told me that Ford’s latest offering was nasty. A game changer. The 3.7 engine produces 305 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque and gets around 30 mpg on the highway (I’ve found that with my driving, it’s roughly … [Read more...] about Ur-Turn: Confessions of a V6 Muscle Car Owner
That sound you’ve been hearing for nearly two decades is the weeping and gnashing of teeth roused by the Chevrolet Beretta’s demise. Oh, Ford Probe, we hardly knew ye. Whither the Dodge Daytona? Let’s look at the continuing decline of an empire, formerly ruled by the American Muscle Car.At Chevrolet, SS is not the oft-used badge that AMG is at Mercedes-Benz. Ford’s ST and SVT branding aren’t used to form an overwhelming BMW M-like presence. You can buy big V8-engined Chryslers, but many of Chrysler’s higher-volume products – 200, Avenger, Dart, Journey, Wrangler – go without sporting iterations. Detroit’s three automakers don’t even sell coupe versions of their mainstream sedans these days.There is plenty of sporting heritage present in GM, Ford, and Chrysler showrooms, of course. Iconic nameplates sell at a level normally associated with moderately successful midsize cars. And even in 2013, a year in which muscle car sales … [Read more...] about Muscle Cars Weak, Challenger Dodges The Trend
A few months ago, I promised the B&B they would never see American muscle cars in this Ace of Base series. Why? Well, it’s my firm belief the likes of Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger should be permanently equipped with a V8 engine and its accompanying sultry exhaust note.I am here before you today not to break my promise, but — as I’ve said to my wife on occasion — to creatively keep my promise. Let’s find out what shoppers get for their cash in a no-option, V8-equipped example of the hairy-chested coupes hawked by the Detroit Three.The muscle car wars is a feud as intense as the Hatfields and McCoys, and has been going on for nearly the same amount of time. It used to involve a few more players – AMC, for starters – but is now pared down to three manufacturers: Ford, Chevy, and Dodge. Generally, most folks are in one camp or another, with no in-between and bitter hatred for rivals. This assures my conclusions will summarily anger … [Read more...] about Ace of Base: American V8 Muscle
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
As the heady 1950s horsepower race transitioned into the far-out 1960s pony and muscle car wars, buyers were able to gorge themselves on a buffet of choices. The only question needing an answer was: how wild do you want it?If there’s money in your pocket, well, step right up to more horsepower and brawn than you can ever hope to handle, young man.Seemingly overnight, Detroit felt the urgent need to muscle car all the things. Compact economy car? Better drop a 340 or 383 cubic incher in that light, skinny-tired sucker. Plush, gargantuan family sedan with soft springs? Meh, that thing can probably be made to haul ass. Add some cubes!Budding environmentalists clutched their chests and reached for their puffers. Still, amid the smorgasbord of tire-shredding excess, some models made you wonder: was this really necessary?Okay, there’s several ways of looking at this. First, there are the models that could claim some performance bona fides, but just didn’t seem right for the … [Read more...] about QOTD: What Muscle Car Couldn’t Pull It Off?