Brief History And Evolution Of American Muscle Cars
Muscle cars, whether we are a fan of them or not, have been part of American culture and history. Muscle cars represent power and style. Those high-speed car chases we see in the movies, those hulky cars we see in the racetrack, or those with a vintage look can be classified as muscle cars. However, the definition of a muscle car varies.
Over the years, muscle cars have meant different meanings to different people. Not all high-performance vehicles are considered muscle cars. A “muscle” car’s most important part is the V8 (eight-valve) engines. To make a muscle car look sporty and sleek, it has only two doors. Moreover, it must be a rear-wheel drive as not to lose power and control when turning.
Brief History Of American Muscle Cars
The history of muscle cars can be traced back to 1949. It is believed the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 changed the car industry by being the first muscle car introduced in the market. Eventually, manufacturers such as Chrysler and Chevrolet caught on, and the race to be the number one American muscle car manufacturer started.
By the 1950s, muscle cars from different manufacturers started popping out. The 1950s saw the development of the muscle cars, while the 1960s was the golden era of classic muscle cars. It is worth noting the American muscle cars became popular at a period of a strong economy and cheap fuel. Owning a muscle car pertains to a certain social status.
However, as fast as it bloomed, the American muscle car industry soon met its downfall. The fall of the production of American muscle cars started in the 1970s. The muscle car industry was affected by several factors. Fuel prices began to rise, muscle car insurance started to increase, and there were air pollution issues which forced the production decline of muscle cars.
Modern American Muscle Cars
The muscle cars of today are not affordable for everyone, but they still carry the same stance. Modern muscle cars are mainly improvements of the old models. Introduction of computers and technology into the car industry changed the game of the muscle cars of today.
Modern American muscle cars are more advanced than classic American muscle cars mainly because of technology. From just 300 horsepower of the old muscle car, a muscle car nowadays ranges from 500 to 700 horsepower. Today’s muscle cars are faster than ever, and they are considered as performance cars. The braking system and safety control of the modern muscle car is more equipped than ever.
All in all, the first muscle cars weren’t the most comfortable cars. Most don’t have power brakes or power steering, and headrests weren’t popular. On the other hand, muscle cars today boast of customized seats and touchscreen displays, and they are mostly equipped with advanced safety features. The driving experience also improved in the case of modern muscle cars. At the end of the day, both classic and modern muscle cars deserve appreciation.
Classic muscle cars have become part of the collection of some car enthusiasts. Some vintage muscle cars are even featured in museums. The classic American muscle cars were and are still a big part of the world’s car industry until today.
Some people would say muscle cars are dead while some would say it is still relevant today. However, we couldn’t argue how American muscle cars defined an era and an attitude. Car enthusiasts should be thankful for the muscle car era because if not for them, we wouldn’t be able to see authentic vintage beauty. Owning a muscle car even today brings an air of social status. So go and rediscover the American muscle car’s timeless style and prestige for yourself.