Modern American muscle cars have some pretty distinct badges: Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, Corvette and Viper. All are high-powered and chock full of modern amenities. Vintage muscle includes those infamous badges but takes rank among many other cars that are no longer being made. Autobytel employees just can’t get enough – whether it’s old horsepower, new horsepower or something in between with simply a whole lot of horsepower, here’s a nod towards that incredible time in American car history: Detroit’s heyday.
Take the 1967 Ford Mustang that I drove in high school: it was a V6 but compared to the 2005 V6 Mustang that we use as a family car today, the ‘67 would easily get left behind at a stoplight. But it looked good. And that’s why we have the ’05 Mustang. It’s a close cousin to the original pony car, but performs a heck of a lot better.
Here are some more stories from folks at Autobytel about the American cars they love.
My friend Luci and I had rented a car to go to the Rumblers' classic car show out in Connecticut, and had reserved the cheapest econobox. We got to Hertz, and this conversation followed: Woman behind counter: "We've run out of the small economy cars today, so would it be okay if we gave you a larger car instead?" Me, in budgetary panic: "Um, I'm not sure that I can afford that sort of rental." Woman behind counter: "Well, it would be at no extra charge. --Would a Chevrolet Camaro be okay?" Me, looking at Luci incredulously: "Luci, would a Camaro be okay?" Luci: "Yes, that would be okay." Woman behind counter: "Here are the keys, your car is the red Camaro parked in the back of the garage." Best rental ever. We smiled all the way to Connecticut and back.
Back in the early 1970s, when I was a kindergartener, my Uncle Al bought a brand-new Chevy Nova SS. It was a deep purple color, with a black vinyl interior, a “4-on-the-floor” shifter, and those chrome dented dog-dish hubcaps with the bow-tie logo stamped into the middle. He offered to take my mom and I for a ride one warm summer day, and I still remember the scent of new vinyl warming in the hot summer sun, the sound of the rumbling Chevrolet V-8 engine, and the stench of burning rubber as he tore around corner after corner in our Detroit suburb, melting what surely must have been Goodyear Polyglas white-lettered tires to the pavement. These were the days before parents knew to strap children into seat belts, and before they knew not to allow their kids to ride with hooligans like my Uncle Al. I never forgot that day, sliding around in the back seat of that screaming Nova SS, giggling and laughing the entire time, and for awhile, Uncle Al was something of a personal hero. But then, after he got married and had kids, he bought a tan Renault Alliance and the hero worship evaporated, just like that.
What do I love best about my muscle car? Nobody expects a 400 horsepower Cadillac. It's fun to be under the radar.
Well, Benjamin summed that up pretty concisely! - Ed.
My 1962 (numbers matching) Chevrolet Corvette Roadster has a 327 small-block engine with 250 horsepower and a 2-speed Powerglide transmission. I also have the original hardtop. It was purchased by my parents back in 1973 for $3200. I have owned it for 25+ years.
My son Julian and I have been going out at six A.M. on Saturday mornings to drive the Pacific Coast Highway, north of San Francisco ... since he was nine years old.
This photograph was shot the day after he graduated from high school.
Over the years we have gotten to know one another in fast cars on this sinuous highway. Using the dynamics of driving as a metaphor, I've been able to convey lessons on the importance of character and responsibility to him.
These are experiences we will both remember for the rest of our lives.
Mindy is a native of Indiana who has been in Michigan now for 27 years and loves American cars. , she loves American cars. She sent me more photos of her cars over the years than just this one - including her father with an original Corvette. This Mustang was a birthday present for her husband.
I’ve loved muscle cars my whole life and when I saw the newly redesigned Challenger debut at the LA Auto Show, I literally pushed people out of the way so I could sit in it. I told my husband that day that I would someday own that car, and now I do!
She’s my pride and joy and I take care of her almost obsessively and I’m always looking for cool new ways to customize it. I have a crazy long commute so it makes my drive much more enjoyable. Since I drive so much, I tend to have road rage so my brother Joe nicknamed it “Rose Rage” and that name stuck and has been my alter-ego ever since! Now I write about my adventures on the road and share them on my Facebook fan page. I also belong to a car club (West Coast Challengers) and Ralph Gilles signed my car at a recent car show. I love my Challenger and couldn’t imagine my life without it!
The car is a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner and I drove it through the backroads of West Virginia. It may not be a delight on the twisty stuff, but the noise and power easily made the journey an exciting one. It's the ultimate cruiser, and it got serious stares everywhere we went. Plus, the meep-meep horn always gets thumbs up.
This was my first car. I got it when I was 16 for about $5500 in 1980. Girlfriend totaled it in 1982-83. Took out both fenders and front wheels, hood and bumper. Wedged it between a tree and a telephone pole! She was more devastated than I was. I managed to scrape enough money together to fix it and get it painted Midnight Blue.
This is our 1953 Buick 2-door Special.
My husband's Great-Grandmother bought this in 1955 in Long Beach.
Then it went to his Uncle for a while in Las Vegas.
They wanted to keep it in the family, so 9 years ago it showed up in our driveway.
The biggest blue car I've ever seen!
My dog loves to ride in it, so she goes to the Classic Car shows with us!