Muscle Cars

My first ‘brush’ with any kind of muscle car was when I was pootling along in my racing green MGB feeling pretty cool and top of the heap, ahead of the game and really sexy. This particular old model (1966) had a turbo-boost switch that was usable in 3rd gear, and I loved to sneak up behind unsuspecting cars, flick the turbo boost and steam past them like they were standing still – silly me. Anyway, we are all young and stupid once, weren’t we?

1966 MCB Roadster

1966 MCB Roadster

In those days it was the style that did it really, because in all truth most family cars nowadays would simply blow it off the road – figures were something like 11.5 seconds from 0 to 60mph – not very slick at all really.

In fact the engine was quite pedestrian – it was the same 1800 work horse engine found in the Morris Oxford, for example, a big comfortable cruising family car, but it was beeefed up with twin Solex carbs, so together with the lower weight and center of gravity of the MG, all in all it felt quite nippy.

This particular day I came up behind an ordinary looking car, so thought I would pull the turbo trick for some thrills. Dropping into 3rd gear, I flipped the switch, spun the wheel and the power boost pushed me to the side of the victim ready to over take. The driver looked at me, smiled and suddenly – he was gone, as I found myself staring up a rapidly receding tail pipe. What had just happened here, I asked myself. I should have been suspicious on my approach, noticing that rear suspension seemed a little high, realizing in retrospect that it had been beefed up to handle the huge surge in acceleration – I had been thoroughly drubbed by a muscle car in disguise!

In this case it was a standard chassis with serious engine and suspension mods, turning it from a sedate cruiser into a snarling beast of a machine just waiting for drivers like myself to show them what matters most – not looks but muscle!

 


Bt apart form the home brew type of vehicle with over-sized testosterone filled engines, there have been a series of mostly American autos that truly deserve the term ‘Muscle Car’.

Try these on for size:

  • 1987 Buick GNX Turbo
  • 1971 Dodge Demon 340
  • 1964 Chevrolet Impala
  • 1969 AMX AMX 390
  • 1967 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 1969 Mercury Cougar
  • 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner
  • 1969 Ford Torino
  • 1971 Pontiac TransAm
  • 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429
  • 1970 Dodge Challenger
  • 1969 Oldsmobile Hurst
  • 1971 Plymouth Barracuda
  • 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 1968 Shelby GT500
  • 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle
  • 1969 Dodge Charger

 

I suppose it’s a matter of personal taste whichever model you prefer, but one thing is for sure – you’ll never be the same again. These days I’m pretty laid back about this kind of thing and it takes a lot to impress, but one of these babies will do it! There’s nothing quite like being pushed along by a few hundred horse-power, a bit like a kick in the small of the backĀ and then you’re moving faster than you ever thought. Of course, it not like a Formula One racing car ( 0 to 100kmh and back to 0 again in 3 seconds!) but the power rush is very evident.