The American Muscle Car has always been the pride of the United States. With it’s no-nonsense straight line speed and aggressive looks, the concept was said to have originated back in prohibition time with the Bootleggers need for speed abling them to outrun the law.
As prohibition ended, these rudimentary fast road cars were used for more recreational activities such as street racing and drag racing events which became very popular drawing crowds far and wide. This soon inspired what is said to be the first American Muscle Car, the Oldsmobile Rocket 88.
As the American Muscle Car industry started to take off in the fifties Oldsmobile’s Rocket was soon surrounded by competition from the likes of Chrysler and Chevrolet and it was decided, the muscle car was here to stay.
The sixties became known as the Golden Age of the American muscle car with drag racing as popular as ever, manufacturers were producing ever more powerful cars. The Pontiac GTO was launched in 1964 and is considered to have revitalised the trend so much so that other U.S Manufacturers soon followed suit offering their own versions.
Ford produced the iconic Mustang around the same time as Pontiacs GTO. This started a whole new breed of car for the American Market, now known as the Pony Car named after Fords Horse emblem still used today on the Mustang model. The Pony Car tends to be defined as a compact and affordable highly styled car with a sporty, performance related image. Where as a Muscle Car’s definition is an American made two door sports coupe with a powerful engine designed for high performance driving.
These descriptions are plausible if you take the Pontiac GTO, Ford Mustang comparison. The GTO is all about power with its V8 engine developing 325 bhp, where as the Mustang although no slouch is well presented with style in mind.
The American Muscle Car Industry was at its peak in the late sixties with glorious examples of pure power such as Plymouth’s Road Runner, named after the famous cartoon character proving very popular and Camaro’s Super Sport becoming one of the decades leading symbols of the American Muscle Car. Not to be out done in 1967 Ford upgraded the Mustang replacing the small-block to the more powerful big-block engine ensuring its popularity in the industry and who can forget the Pontiac Fire-bird another truly iconic muscle car of the era.
The Seventies was a trying time for these proud gas guzzlers with new Government Standards in place limiting performance and restricting emissions. By 1975 with such low demand many of the muscle cars had become discontinued and the ones that had survived had become more focused on style rather than performance. Having said that Chevrolets Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird remained as did the Ford Mustang although this had become fat and lazy in its evolution.
It seemed as though this was the end of an era, although manufacturers still sold cars under the Muscle Car guise, they were more like stylish compacts with added luxury and many optional extras to entice custom. And so the hay-day had gone, but it had left behind great memories of iconic cars like classic Hollywood film stars from over the pond. Raw and powerful the American Muscle Car will always be with us as a reminder of great times gone buy.
Do you own an American Classic Car?
If so, why not call Heritage Classic Car Insurance on 0121 248 9229 for a free quotation from your very own Personal Client Manager who will handle all your requirements professionally.
Here is a typical example of how much you could expect to pay with Heritage Classic Car insurance. Annual premium – £128.27 with a £100 accidental damage excess*
Quotations are based on fully comprehensive cover, Ford Mustang 4950cc 1970, insured only to drive age 45. The vehicle being garaged overnight. Accident, claim and conviction free and a limited mileage of 3000 per annum with full use of a main car daily.
Are you a member of an American Classic Car Club?
We offer great savings on your classic car insurance simply by joining a classic car club. Please take a look at these recommended websites:
*All information is correct as of 18/09/15, but are subject to criteria.