With current gas prices the way they are, it's nice to look back to the carefree old days. Which models from the past would you say were memorable?
I must say that of all of the old muscle to choose from that I'm suprised at your two references as I find neither of these cars that memorable.
The best of the firebird cars was the second generation 73-74 455 Super Duty cars with a very memorable black and gold TransAM made popular by the classic film Smokey and the Bandit (1977) (still frequently aired on AMC).
The best of the Javelins was the early two-seat AMXs.
Other very memorable cars to me (I wished I'd owned) were
'69 GTO Judge (actually any GTO from 64 through 74)
Dodge Daytona/Plymouth Superbird winged cars with the 426 Hemi
Boy it's hard to choose, because if you name an American manufacturer they all had some really nice machines during that 60's - 70's muscle car era...until the gas crunch made them all go away.
I had a 1978 Corvette. Does that count?
Was given a 67 427/435 hp if i recall vette. Only had it for a couple weeks.
My sister had bought it and mom said take this dang car and get rid of it,, her car insurance company wanted $600 to update the policy.
I remb street racing a cammed up hemi cuda about that era with a roundy round track cammed 66 street mustang with 456 rear gears and stickys tires ... blew his doors in for maybe 1000 feet before he shot past me like a bullet. We were just fooling around downtown.
give me the sunbeam tiger, english sports car with detroit v.8. muscle, now that was a car!
Yeah, the Tiger WAS a sleeper. I found it ironic that when Chrysler bought Sunbeam they had to guarantee the Ford 289 for 70,000 miles as that was their standard 7 year 70,000 mile warranty.
My favorite was my 1964 427 Galaxie. $3,606.25 was the sticker! (some things you just remember!) Passed anything but a gas station!
Hmmm, I thought the Mark Donohue Javelin would have been better liked. Well, you can't go wrong with a big block Chevelle!
It seems that one's favorite car is what they were brought up with. Those of the '40's like '40's those of the '60's like '60's etc. although there are exceptions to all rules. In my case I came along in the '50's and my favorite car is the '56 Chevy. I was sixteen in '56 and couldn't afford one then when they sold new for about $2600.00. Today I'm 65 and still can't afford one when they go for $30,000 plus (for a good one) so I've resorted to collecting pictures of the oldies. At this point that still works although film and/or photo paper is going up! Seriously though, I bought a great '57 Chevy when the '58's came out and had lots of fun and created many fond memories in it but I've always like the '56 the best. One last thing, from looking at e-bay and other sites it seems as if there are more tri-five Chevys (55-56-57) now than there were back then. Is this possible? Only the Shadow knows. Later Skag
I had a '66 Tiger for a few years...sold it last spring. Thing was a blast.
For those interested, the annual Woodward Auto Cruise is this Saturday in Oakland Co, MI (just north of Detroit). This is the best rolling display of "old muscle" you will likely ever get to see. Thousands of cars cruising while and estimated 2 million spectators line Woodward Avenue from 8 Mile road to Pontiac (15+ miles). Great car shows and other events happen along the route. Happens every 3rd Saturday in August, so if you can't make it this year try to plan for a future event.
i never owned a javelin but always liked them, a guy i went to college with had a mark donahue model, thats the only one i have ever seen. i had a gremlin -x in high school with a 304 and a 4spd, a very quick car. of the amc muscle, i liked the hurst s/c rambler the best.
In the early to mid 70s the AMC 401 4 bbl was one of the best motors around.
Dh had was second owner of a 1972 Cutlas supreme convertible with a factory hurst. That baby rumbled sweet. It was pearl white with a tiny red stripe, white interior with white top.
We lived in an apartment and it started needing work, we had no money. But in 6mo we would have a brand new house with a garage for her. He drained all fluids so no one could drive her away. She was parked in the lot next to everyones cars. One day she was gone. It was near 4th of July. All that remained was tire imprints where she sat. it was so hot, the old tires stuck to the street a little. We figure someone towed it away. It did not run so that was only idea.
I had theft insurance and dh told me to cancel because she was not worth much at that time. I later learned from a car dealer she could have gone for 7000, but policy was canceled!
We get a call from wrecker. They found her. I did not care, we would fix her up. Then we got a ticket from CHP saying car was abandoned and we would be fined 100 if we did not claim her! Then we got charged for the tow. She was found in a vacant lot in scary part of town. It took 3 patrol cars to get her. She had a tv and weeds sticking out of trunk.
Dh goes to lot to get her. Attendant pointed her out, dh did not see her. Lady again pointed her out. It was horrible beyond any nightmare. She was barely a shell. Stipped naked to the bone. You know the rubber trim around the windows on the doors? That had been scraped off. It was old and cracked! Every thing that could possibly be removed was...except one thing. They did not take the 8track player, it was factory! So we paid the yard to dispose of her shell. It would have cost us thousands to restore her. At least we took comfort knowing that no one was driving her around, forcing her to be their wheels. She was parted out and lives on in 100 other vehicles. Sometimes I bring out her picture and we sigh when we recall that purr she put out when you reved her up. A sound one never forgets!
I told my dh that someday we will try to find an old lady who has one with 30000 miles on it. We saw an avacado green one while living in Atlanta. Maybe she would hear our sad story and part with it.
A Chevy 409 with a Hurst shifter on the floor was pretty good too.
These probably don't fall in the category of muscle cars. But I remember the cars that my dad used to drive, having a lot of muscle. 1972 Ford Thunderbird 429 4 barrel, 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire coupe, 1969 Ford Galaxie 500, 1966 Plymouth V.I.P., 1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille, and a 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III (460 365 h.p.!) These cars were huge and weighed 4-5000lbs. They were not great off the line, but could keep up with most anything on the open highway. Those days of motoring are long gone.
I am in the process of restoring my favorite car of the muscle era, 1967 Camaro RS with the hidden headlights and blacked out grille. awesome.
original 327/375 car, but I am putting an LT1 from an 95Camaro in it. I can't wait to finish it.
MONEY is the problem...
My mom gave me a green 327 RS with the hidden lights to get rid of, all black interior.. nice. Think it was 68 ..one of many of my sisters temporary cars. Most fun was the 67 427/435hp? solid lifter vette that upped moms insurance an instant $600. Take this now and sell it!!! Replaced it with a fiat coupe ;) The start of her Italian boyfriend phase ;)
She had a 63 vette, white w/red interior split window couple .. saw one of those auction for a ton of bucks. Looked just like hers.
Kick myself occasionaly for not buying a 63 AC Cobra for $3k off a shady used car lot,, same price as that 65/911 porsche, which had really really cold AC and a really really old seller.
Here's one for you. I worked with a guy that befriended an older gentleman in the late 1960's. He just liked the guy and didn't know much about what the guy had in his barn. He just liked helping out and learning some old time wisdom. Well, the guy passed on and left something in his will for Frank. A 1956 Mercedes Benz 300SL GULLWING that had been sitting in the barn. He still has it today, almost 40 years later. That car is a blast to ride in!
"They were not great off the line, but could keep up with most anything on the open highway. Those days of motoring are long gone."
Although the big boats of yesteryear are hard to come by, there are a lot of really powerful cars in the current offerings. Look at Dodge's latest hemi offerings (5.8 liters ~ 360 cu.in.) and their new Charger. The Corvette is bigger and faster than it ever was and trying to keep pace with the Viper in the HP department. Ford has the cobra and if you're real wealthy the GT-40. The new GTO is nothing to sneeze at in the performance department. A lot of these cars will smoke the best that the muscle era had to offer in the 1/4 mi. (and with the A/C on and the 10-speaker stereo playing, too.)
I not trying to say that feel of a strong carbureted V-8, the sound and smell of spinning tires that can't hook up and the shake and shimmy while your launching isn't a blast but you can't deny that technology has advanced and if you want the thrill of a powerful car it is still available over the counter.
all true, but how do those new cars look? gas milage and areodynamics sure do kill the looks of a sports car.
'The Corvette is bigger and faster than it ever was and trying to keep pace with the Viper in the HP department.'
Actually I think a C-6 is smaller than the C-3 through C-5's were, thats from 1968 forward. Might even be smaller than the earlier ones too. They do have bigger engines than they used to, 400 hp if I remember correctly, faster than they ever were, and still gets 25 mpg or better. With changes in suspension, hp, and gearing, I think they're trying to be more competitive with exotic cars, and still be cheep in price by comparison.
FWIW, I worked at an AMC shop in the 70's. AMX or Pacer, same quality. They were #4 out of the BIG 3 for a reason. Factory hot rods included.
"They were not great off the line, but could keep up with almost anything on the open highway. Those days of motoring are long gone."
The cost of gas, puchase investment on new auto, and simplicity of life are all the things that make those days of motoring long gone.
"Actually I think a C-6 is smaller than the C-3 through C-5's were, thats from 1968 forward. Might even be smaller than the earlier ones too."
You sparked my curiousity, so I did a little web search. based on o/a exterior dimension '91 through '96 (C4) were a hair smaller (1in. length/.5 inch width) than '97 through '04 (C5) with '05 (C6) being essentially the same as C5. The only earlier one I found was a '66 which was
was 4.6in shorther and 4in more narrow that the '04/05"
"They do have bigger engines than they used to, 400 hp if I remember correctly"
I believe that since ~75-76 all corvettes are 350 cu.in. including the current cars. Prior to this engines were available in various configurations up to 454 cu.in.
Extremely rare, but in 68/69 very expensive RPO's were the Zl-1 and L-88 with published HP output of ~450 and true output of >500 hp.
"With changes in suspension, hp, and gearing, I think they're trying to be more competitive with exotic cars, and still be cheep in price by comparison."
I believe that comparison of corvette's offerings to thier exotic (i.e. foreign) competition at any point in time (except maybe the late 70'-80's when GM was asleep) will show they have always been pretty competitive and for considerably less money.
I was more refering to weight and hp more than physical size. I have an earlier c-4, my sister in law has a later model c-5. Both look about the same side by side. A c-6 appears smaller. Might be an optical allusion, but I do believe they are lighter. Currant engine sizes for the corvette are 6.0 and 7.0. Don't know what that is in CID, but I believe a 350 is 5.1 or something. At a top speed of 180 mph+, there's never been a faster vette. I remember the big block vettes of the early 70's. My c-4 has just a wimpy 240 hp 350 CID engine. I'd say the old big blocks would beat mine off the line, but from about 70 mph up I think I'd have them beat. I have a feeling that the new 7.0 500 hp vette would beat any other USA factory hot rod ever built before.
This is my baby, I finished it a couple of years ago. A 1972 Buick GS 350 drop top. Green on Green, one of 39. What a nice ride!!!
I didn't realize the general was putting anything larger than a 5.7L (350) in any passenger cars. FWIW 6.0L~366ci and 7.0~427ci. It appears displacements are not quite back to the 454ci (7.4L), but given technology advances I'm sure output certainly is. My observation is that starting with the C5 the car just looks massive. Again, it's probably and optical illusion but the wide flat stance with those enormous tires makes the outside dimensions of the car look huge for a two seat sports car. also, they increased the wheelbase substantially over the earlier versions. no doubt that the 7.0L is a bonafide race car and, like you said, with the gearing it has one scary top end. Exciting stuff!! just wish I could afford it.
Yeah, they look big untill you park it next to a nissan something or another...just a car...and all of a sudden the vette looks small! I think being so low profile makes them look extra wide or something.
Wish they'd drop the metric stuff. Means nothing to me. Of coarse if they called the 6.0 a 366, I'd think it was a big block truck engine.
I belive the ZR1 had a top speed of 225MPH, it completed the 24hour sustained top speed average including stops for fuel and such at 179MPH in 1989, and it's 5.7L 350HP had a top of about 420HP from the general. still not topped in hp. it's a 32valve V8 Hemi chambered motor from hell. it weighed a ton with all the timing chains and cams and valves even though it was an all aluminum block and heads. I owned the 90 and the 91 and they sure were sweet. I think I would rather drive a L88 solid lifter Mule anyday though, on the strip that is, the roadster will never compare to the ride of my ZR1!, and those REAL HP ratings of the past were at the flywheel, not the rear wheels like they rate them now. the transmission and A/C sure can eat up the ponies.
Seems ZR1/LT5 at about a $30,000 price adder was a Lotus design motor and actually manufactured and assembled by Mercury Marine produced 375 hp, topped out 175 mph did the quarter in 13.4 sec - actually was a boat anchor.
I doubt that the cars circling some tire track had stock motors while doing that circle for 24hrs averaging around 170mph.
I've owned quite a few various "Muscle" cars of the 60s' & 70s'. I currently have a 70 Chevelle SS 454 and just finshed my 69 Camaro with the Original DZ-302 Eng.
Friend had a 302 Camaro, think factory Hurst shifter. Not sure of year but right before the new body change about 69 or whenever that was. I was every weekend at dragstrip with several cars at that time ... That Camaro , always adjusting its valves, playing with tire pressures, occasionally adjusting shifter... he would develop a nervous missAgear habit for the win run, he always was running the final for the class trophy,,, too many of them lost with grind grind.
Was a nice car that Rev's so well it got a new rocker or two frequently as one here or there would wear through. Seemed to have plenty of oil splashing.
Goofing around on the street next to him one day he pulled one front tire off the ground. Pure Stock.
the way today's cars smoke tires and stay level no matter what you do to them, it sure is hard to imagine the old cars and the way massive HP could pull up a wheel. those 302's sure could rev!!! too bad the transmissions couldn't shift well. today's syncros in all gears sure are easy by comparison.
and toploader shifters sure beat linkage anyday.
but wow could they pull.
The answer to all of this is simple: 1967 GTO, H.O. big block 400...held the stock drag championship for something like five straight years, while being the heaviest car out there. By the way, this post has several references to the high cost of gasoline. If you can afford any of the cars we've listed, then you can afford the $3.00 a gallon it takes to cruise up and down the strip once a week!
We used to know what the letters "GTO" REALLY MEANT! Get the Tools Out!
Someone mentioned Sunbeam Tigers. I still have one and put about 300 miles on it today. My girlfriend has one of those souped up Subarus and still prefers to drive the Tiger. Her comment today while driving was, "My car is pretty speedy, but I can feel the power in this one (she meant the torque). What amazes her is the low down power. She made a mistake today and left a stop sign in 3rd gear and didn't seem to notice the difference.
Now old Hemi's.....they were something else. They weren't especially fast off the line, but get anything up beside it at about 70-80 MPH and the Hemi would walk away from them at that point. Took a trip with a friend who had one and he wouldn't let any car go by him on the interstate. He used to love to get Vet's trying to pass. I never saw a car get by that Hemi on the interstate. Now gas mileage in one...wow. I agreed to split the gas cost with him on one trip. The way he drove we averged about 6 miles per gallon. of course we were only paying about 35 cents per gallon. Take the air cleaners off, rev it up and there were 8 jets each flowing a stream the size of a pencil. You can see why it would suck up the gas. As far as I'm concerned, there was never anything like.
But, if you want some fun at a decent price and with decent mileage, look into getting yourself a Tiger. If it's not enough for you, buy a Ford 302 crate engine of 340 Hp and in that 2300 lb car, you will have all that you would ever want....and still probably get over 20 mpg especially if you also drop in a 5 speed with overdrive.