Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Let's You and Me Fight! Them's Fightin' Words!

Ran across this last night (I think mopar posted it on Facebook). Half the time they're right. The other half, they're smoking crack...

15 Oldest Muscle Cars Still Being Produced
Most people define a “muscle car” as a car from the sixties or seventies with a powerful engine, and generally, two doors. Today that definition is a bit broader, but there is no question the term comes from what all of these cars have in common…powerful engines.

The gas shortage and rapidly increasing fuel prices of the early seventies started the demise of muscle cars, and many disappeared never to resurface. Others underwent drastic changes and yet others ceased production to be reincarnated later. A few others have even entered the niche along the way.
Let's run through this car-by-car, shall we?

15. Dodge Viper. Okay, this one I'll give them, although at 23 years, that's not a very long pedigree, all things considered.

14. Audi S & RS. Um, no. Not even vaguely close. Now, the S and RS are mighty fine cars, don't get me wrong. They handle well, and have plenty of get-up-and-go. But they are most emphatically not "muscle" cars. Sports cars, certainly. Muscle cars, hardly.

13. BMW M Series. Err... See above, but not quite as emphatic a denial. The "M" series offered a little more oomph to the already well-behaved 3- and 5- series Bimmers. So, not quite, but not egregious.

12. Mercedes AMG. Surprisingly, I agree with this one. Mercedes, long the standard bearer for European luxury-sport, rammed insanely large engines into their coupes, upgraded the suspension package, and turned the AMG series loose. Yeah, that's a muscle car.

11. The Pontiac Trans Am. Um, no. Pontiac the brand hasn't existed in over 4 years. The Trans Am stopped production in 2002. While I will defer to no one in my love of American muscle, particularly to the fine muscle cars that have rolled off the assembly line with the Pontiac name on them (and even owned one, a Tempest), it doesn't make the list of muscle cars still produced since the company no longer exists...

10. The Pontiac Trans Am. Um, Wat? Little editing needed here, guys. The car shown is a four door Aussie car, one of the Holden models, the GM equivalent down under. Apparently one (or more) of the Holden line has been making a somewhat muscle car for a while. Status: inconclusive.

9. The Chevrolet Camaro. Can't argue with this one. While there was the 8 year gap from '02 - '10, they brought it right back. The call stands.

8. Dodge Charger. Nope. Can't allow it. First off, there's the little matter of the gaps. '77 - '82 (and brought back as a FWD Omni? HERESY!) and then '88 - '06. Sorry, guys, that's over 20 years missing in the marque's 50 year history. There's also the little problem that from '06 to present the Charger has been a sedan. Four doors automatically disqualify muscle car, sorry.

7. The Ford Mustang. No argument whatsoever. I'm even willing to forgive the abortion called the Mustang II... About the only disagreement I'll have is the placement of the 'Stang on the list - I would have placed it closer to 2nd or maybe 3rd.

6. The Barracuda. Um, no. Ran for 10 years ('64 - '74) and then back in the line as an anticipated 2015 model does NOT qualify as "in production" guys, really.

5. Chevy Malibu. Not just no but HELL NO. The Malibu has WAY too many years either missing or as a crappy POS sedan to qualify as "in production". I'm sorry, I came perilously close to owning a 1981 or '82 Malibu wagon with the AWFUL 110 HP V6. NOPE.

4. Porsche 911. This is a tough one. I've never thought of the 911 as a muscle car. With the graceful lines, weight distribution, and lack of a V8, it's far more in the sports or performance car corner than muscle. Now, the 928 OTOH...

3. The Dodge Challenger. Rolled out in '70. Ran for four years. Came back four years later, ran for five years. Then a 25 year gap before coming back again? No, doesn't count as in production, sorry. When out of the 44 years of your model you've been out of production for 29 of those years, it doesn't count.

2. The Chrysler 300. *sigh* OGNTSA. Look, I'll give props to the original 300 as the first muscle car. I got that. But damn, the marque was gone in 1965, and wasn't revived for nearly 40 years. And then it was brought back as a sedan, and has been one for over 10 years. Not a muscle car.

1. The Chevy Corvette. Gotta agree with this one 100%, especially being in the #1 spot.

So, what cars would you have added to the list?

That is all.


ShallNotBeInfringed said...

There's a reason they call it AMERICAN muscle. Domestics only.

ShallNotBeInfringed said...

Wait...spelt dat rong.

It's actually 'MURICAN muscle. Forgot the apostrophe.

libertyman said...

A stupid list by people who don't know anything about the subject. Okay, that is different how in today's journalism?

Ted said...

Absolutely ----- Muscle Cars are strictly domestic by definition.

And Mustang , Camaro, trans-am. .... Thoose are all "Pony Cars".

The only possible candidate for the list is the "Charger". But the current car that carries the name doesn't really fit the category either.

So my vote would have to be.....

None of the above

Ted said...

........ And Corvettes are "Americas Sports Car". Also not a muscle car by diffinition.

Matt W said...

That is an AWFUL list...and stinks of content desperation.

I don't think such a list is even appropriate for all of the reasons stated above.

There are some decent cars that have been brought back to represent the muscle cars of the past... but most of them are neutered-down cream-puffed versions of their former selves, and don't deserve to be called muscle cars anymore.

Scott_S said...

As an S4 owner I hate whomever wrote this list.

It's almost like they were trolling everyone who ever loved a Nova, Chevelle, Dart or Superbird.

In fact I'm betting this is just a click bait article.

Dave H said...

Scott_S: "Click-bait" is right. The original article is a page per car.

Will said...

If it didn't require a shoehorn to get the engine into the car, it's not a muscle car. So, a big block would make a 'Vette qualify.

Tempest, with the full size car's engine installed to create the GTO, becomes the first factory muscle car.

Anonymous said...

I believe the person whom wrote this article is:

1. Trapped in NYC, and therefore doesn't get out much.

2. Smoking Crack

3. Doesn't realize how difficult it is to work on today's cars.

4. Will never, ever, understand any of the following:
a. Posi-traction
b. 4-Barrel Carb with a high performance manifold. Tweaked (not twerked) just to perfection in your own garage late on a Saturday night.
c. Muncie Shifter's
d. Performance Cams and cylinders bored just so.
e. A burn out while smoking the Michelin's.
f. Paying less than a dollar for a gallon of gas and a quart of oil.

Kids these days.

Heath J said...

That writer needs throat-punched for ever suggesting the Ghetto Bentley as #2 on a list of muscle cars.

TOTWTYTR said...

Mustang and Corvette only. The Camaro went out of production long enough that it doesn't qualify.

Even though over sized, under powered, based on a mid size sedan Mustang counts. It was marginally better than the Mustang II. Marginally.

The Viper is more sports car than muscle car, so I wouldn't count it at all.

Oh, GM recently announced that it was shutting down Holden operations in Australia. Actually every manufacturer in Australia is closing. Which tells you something about what the Australian government is doing to car manufacturers.