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One of the Most Loved Muscle Cars Of All Time The 1966 Chevy Chevelle

One of the Most Loved Muscle Cars Of All Time The 1966 Chevy Chevelle

'66 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
By Greg Gjerdingen from Willmar, USA (66 Chevrolet Chevelle SS) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The body of the 1966 Chevelle was redone in a way that added sleeker more curvaceous lines in the design. Its front fender had a more aggressive design in which the top thrust forward to give it a more powerful look. The rear fenders were arched upwards in a way that gave the 66 Chevelle a distinctive coke-bottle look. This car’s design is considered one of the premier looks of the muscle car period.

Looking at the front of the car, it’s broad grille was a new change in the car that was very popular and certainly added to the mystique of the look. Muscle car buyers of the sixties loved it. The hardtop models had the curved side windows and “flying buttress” roof line that muscle car lovers really love. In addition, this was the year in which the hardtop Sport Sedan was included in the Malibu series. It continued to have the 300, 300 Deluxe, and Malibu trim.

Th is car was very popular in 1966. In fact, 412,155 vehicles were produced and of all the automobiles built, 72,272 were Super Sports. The demand was way higher than the 65 version.

The types of body styles included the 2 door sports coupe, 4 door sports coupe, 2 door convertible, and the 4 door station wagon. No longer in the lineup was the two-door station wagon from the prior year. Sales was low for this car as it was discontinued for the 1966 model year.

A higher performance SS 396 rolled off the assembly line with a standard 325 horsepower turbo-jet V-8 having an amazing engine displacement of 396 cubic inches. It came with special fender moldings, twin simulated hood air-intakes, and a darkened grill with very sharp looking SS 396 badges. You could also see the Super Sport script on the rear fenders. Very nice looking. This package also featured distinctive mag-type wheel covers and tires that were red striped. This rounded out the SS options. Bucket seats were optional in this vehicle. Most came with vinyl bench seats.

For the power-hungry, they could choose a powerful 360 hp, 396 cubic inch motor ready to rock and roll. The engine also had dual exhaust with a better suspension system. Overall, this car provided better performance. Using the L34 engine, the 1966 Chevelle Super Sport could go from 0 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds.

The 1966 Chevelle is a very well-liked classic muscle car. The design still looks good today and is instantly recognized by enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike as a classic muscle car.

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Unconventional Wisdom for the Collector Car Enthusiast

Unconventional Wisdom for the Collector Car Enthusiast
By Dan Morton

1968 Dodge Dart GTS Coupe
By sv1ambo (1968 Dodge Dart GTS coupe) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Just because you can’t afford a high-dollar collectible muscle car doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the fun of owning and driving a shining example of Detroit’s finest vintage iron.

Had your heart set on a 1968 Dodge Charger but can’t seem to find the $20k to $30k to buy just an average example? How about a Dart of the same year, two-door hardtop with a V8? You can still find a nice one for about $5k. Even Coronets and Monacos are still bargains, compared to the Charger. And when you’re behind the wheel of your Monaco 500, with a 440 cubic inch V8 growling at your feet, you’ll find that the Charger will be far from your thoughts. And you’ll have thousands of dollars still in your pocket. And a silly grin on your face.

Even four-doors, the red-headed stepchild of the collector car world, are fast becoming a common sight at car shows. Looking for a nice 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air two-door hardtop? Got $25K to $75K burning a hole in your bank account? How about a four-door hardtop? I’ve seen some really nice original and partially restored cars go for about $10k to $15k. They still have that classic chrome grin, and those razor-sharp fins jutting out back. Yours, for a much more affordable price tag. Do you have a hankering for a mid-sixties Chevrolet Chevelle or a Pontiac Le mans? Try a four-door hardtop. They’re much more affordable, and have close to the same clean, sexy lines as the two-doors. Don’t forget, with a four-door it’s easy for the rear seat passengers to get in and climb out. Getting passengers into and out of two-doors were definitely not priority design elements back then. And, many of the two-doors were modified by hot-rodders (and not always in a kind and sensitive way). The four-doors were mainly family haulers, and finding a nice original should be much easier (and cheaper) than locating a similar car with mere dual doors. Also, don’t discount wagons. They’re gaining in popularity and share many attributes with the four-doors – plus added cargo room and cool looks!

The moral of the story? When contemplating your next vintage car purchase, don’t box yourself in with a conventional choice. Remember, conventional is boring! Go unconventional, and count yourself among the millions of collector car lovers, and on a budget you can live with, and able to enjoy the classic car you have always wanted.

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American Beauties – Muscle Cars

American Beauties – Muscle Cars
By Grant Pearson

American Beauties: Muscle Cars
Ford Mustang image courtesy of Pixabay

If there is one type of car that has captured the hearts and imaginations of Americans all over, both young and old, rich and poor, it’s the American muscle car. These fine cars have been the quintessential image of the American automobile industry, and have become popular icons in modern culture, appearing as the vehicles of choice for fictional protagonists, the rich and successful, and those with free spirits yearning for the open road.

Muscle cars were born in the years between the mid 60s to the mid 70s. The typical model for sale back then was equipped with a very powerful engine, and sold at an affordable price. These cars were made for the average American who wanted to quench their thirst for speed and to satisfy their love for driving. With the many different styles and models coming from many manufacturers, there’s a muscle car that can fit anyone’s style and taste.

The muscle became weak and almost died, however, when fuel prices skyrocketed and the economy began to falter, forcing many Americans to trade their muscle cars for smaller, lighter, and less powerful cars. And for a while, this trend continued.

Soon, the love for the muscle returned, and the beauties of old began to be resold, by dealers who collect and restore old cars, or owners who saved their muscle cars in near mint condition.

American muscle automobiles for sale today vary in price, quality, engineering, and performance. Restored muscle cars are ones that have been saved from junkyards and old garages, and restored to perfect condition. They can be restored to near original form, with very minimal modifications, or can be modified to have modern technology.

Then there are originals, which are cars that have not been restored or modified. They are usually in tip-top shape, with the original engine, paint, interior, tires, and wheels, making them rare collectibles and fetching very high prices. These cars are usually sought after by car collectors who are passionate about the rich history of the vehicles.

Whether restored or original, one can be sure that one of these vehicles carries with it the heritage and legacy of the American automotive industry. And owning one is certainly both a privilege, and a pleasure.

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Is Your Muscle Car Cool Enough?

Is Your Muscle Car Cool Enough?
By Robert Kibbe

AMC-AMX (Orange Julep) image by Bull-Doser (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
AMC-AMX (Orange Julep) image by Bull-Doser (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ahh, to be cool. Little kids grow up having no concept of “coolness”, and then they hit the 6th grade. From that point on, being “cool” is on the top of their to-do list. Muscle cars are perpetually cool. They’ve been cool since day #1, and their legend has grown ever since. A friend of mine (who grew up in the 1960’s) recently commented that there is nothing on the road as cool as a muscle car, and he said it in a way that that made it seem as certain as the fact that 2+2=4. The question I wonder is, how do you know if your muscle car is cool enough?

Just like the hallways of high school, one could argue that there is a pecking order of coolness when it comes to muscle cars. Being popular seemed to help make some people cool, but many cool people were never popular. Muscle cars are the same way. (As a side note I’ve seen a few of the popular kids from high school later in life…..and they don’t seem quite as cool as I remember.)

Having a popular model car (like a Mustang) gives it an instant coolness factor, while having a less popular model leaves it up to the car’s merits to determine it’s coolness. Let’s take a look at 3 muscle cars in particular and judge the Cool Factor…and then you can determine if it’s cool enough for you to drive!

Car #1 – 1st Gen Camaro (1967-1969)

1st generation (1967-1969) Camaro’s were popular the day they were unveiled. They were Chevy’s answer to the Mustang and were similar in that they were built off of an economy car (the Chevy II…where as the Mustang was built off of the Falcon). You could get one with a small block, a big block, one ready to drag race, or one ready to run the road course (Z/28 style). Just order it up and be sure to book a date for Friday night…which won’t be hard to do. They’re still popular today and are one of the most sought after by collectors and hot rodders.

High School Equivalent: The QB of the football team. Athletic. Great looking. He can bench press….uh, a Camaro. Girls dig that.

Car #2 – 1966-67 Dodge Charger

Early generation Mopars are kind of the Apple ‘Mac’ of muscle cars. A small percentage of muscle car guys love them with utter devotion and would drive nothing else. To them, driving a Ford or Chevy would be like cheating on their wives. That being said, the ’66-’67 Charger is a very cool car just from a styling and feature standpoint – the gauges alone are awesome – but it’s not for everyone. It didn’t sell with the popularity of the ’68-’70 models (or live on eternity thanks to the Dukes of Hazzard), but it does have it’s fans and can definitely hold it’s own against the competition.

High School Equivalent: The Captain of the Drumline. Not everyone knows him, but those that do know he’s got rhythm from head to toe. He’s jammin’ on drums with his buddies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Car #3 – AMX

And then there is that other guy. American Motors cars were always kind of a fifth wheel. Some of their passenger cars were dorky looking (the Pacer, the Gremlin, the Matador, etc.), but the AMX was genuinely good looking. It was just a little different than the norm, mainly due to it’s short wheel base (VERY short) and the fact that it was a 2-seater!

High School Equivalent: That one guy that wore a leather jacket and shades. No-one knew his name. I think he’s a famous artist now.

Summary:

So just why is it that we’re trying to determine if a muscle car is cool enough for you to drive? Well, quite honestly…what other reason would you have to drive one? They’re brash, noisy, smelly, and can be hard to drive at times. They hate being driven slowly and give you feelings of sheer joy and simultaneous terror while being pushed to the limits. They need constant wrenching and “tweaking” just to stay in fighting shape. Why on earth would you put up with all of that when you could drive a nice happy Toyota Camry? You know why….because just like the Fonz, muscle cars are cool, and coolness rubs off. So, in the end, if you think your muscle car is cool – it is. That’s all that matters. It’s cool enough. Remember though, if it’s popular, it’s probably already cool, but just like high school….some of the coolest people were never popular.

Robert Kibbe
The MuscleCar Place – Great Muscle Cars for Sale
http://www.themusclecarplace.com

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Top Five Classic Muscle Cars

Top Five Classic Muscle Cars
By Brian Edwards

Top Five Muscle Cars
1966 Dodge Charger image: by Jeremy3030 [CC2.0] via Wikimedia Commons 
Today the term muscle car refers for all sorts of cars with large engines and great performance. However, “back in the day” it described mid-sized automobiles that had big engines stuffed between the fender wells. Corvettes, Camaros, and Mustangs were not considered muscle cars by the purists. Even today many gear heads only consider the mid sized cars from the 1960’s as true muscle cars. Everything else is a sports car, pony car or just a plain old car.

So what was the most important of these original muscle cars? We have chosen five of the most popular cars for a retro comparison to determine the king of the hill. The selectees are the 1961 Chevy Impala SS, the 1964 Pontiac GTO, the 1964 Ford Fairlane, the 1966 Dodge Charger and the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner. Let the showdown begin.

1961 Chevy Impala SS

Many consider this the first true muscle car. A 409 cubic inch motor was dropped into the Chevy Impala and a legend was made. With the help of the Beach Boys and their song about the car (‘She’s so fine, my four-oh-nine’) it became an icon for the baby boomers. Chevy’s marketing for the car described it as designed “for young men on the move…(who) won’t settle for less than REAL driving excitement.”

Performance was very good for the era with Motor Trend driving one from zero to sixty on seven seconds and completing the quarter mile in 14 seconds at 98 mph. The car became a legend.

1964 Pontiac GTO

The GTO was another marketing success for General Motors. Although the car was not the fastest car on the market it quickly became successful as an all a round muscle car. It was relatively affordable, relatively fast and relatively handsome. Many consider it the first modern muscle car. Although that is debatable, it is definitely the first successful muscle car in terms of sales.

Performance was very good with Car Life and Motor Trend both measuring zero to sixty times of less than seven seconds and quarter mile times of around 14 seconds.

1964 Ford Fairlane

In 1964 the Fairlane was redesigned and the tail fins were removed. Other improvements included upgrades to the suspension in order to improve ride-quality. Interior enhancements included full carpeting for the floors and turn signals that turned themselves off after the steering wheel was turned. However, the big news for 1964 was the Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt was one of fastest dragsters ever produced by a manufacturer. Ford stuffed a heavily modified 427 cubic inch engine with two four-barrel carburetors mounted on a high-riser manifold into the relatively light weight Fairlane. The car had a ram-air induction system with air vents mounted in openings in the grill left by deleting the inboard headlights.

Other modifications included: equal-length headers, a trunk-mounted battery, fiberglass hood, doors, fenders and front bumper, Plexiglass windows, and other lightweight options included deleting the rear door window winders, carpeting, radio, sealant, sun visors, armrests, jack, lug wrench, heater, soundproofing, and passenger side windshield wiper. Performance was amazing.

Gas Ronda dominated NHRA’s 1964 World Championship by running his Thunderbolt through the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds at 124 mph. Later, the NHRA changed the rules to require 500 models of a car to be manufactured for Super Stock competition, and Ford, which had been losing $1500 to $2000 on each Thunderbolt sold at the sticker price of $3900, gave up. In the end, it was the NHRA and its ability to change the rules that stopped the Ford from dominating the drag strips for many years.

Although the Fairlane faded form Ford’s performance spotlight as the Mustang took off. It came back in 1966 and 67 as a very nice looking car. Large engines ‘encouraged’ great performance numbers also.

1966 Dodge Charger

Although it resembled a Coronet with a fastback, the production Charger carried design cues from the Charger II concept car. Both maintained the swoopy fastback that was very popular during the mid-sixties. The electric shaver grill used fully rotating headlights that when opened or closed made the grill look like one-piece. Inside, the Charger used four individual bucket seats with a full length console from front to rear. The rear seats and console pad also folded down which allowed for more cargo room inside. In the rear the full length taillights carried the Charger name.

The car was radically different than anything else on the road and when fitted with a street Hemi it was one of the fastest cars on the road. A Hemi equipped car could do zero to sixty in less than seven seconds and the quarter mile in about 14 seconds. It was a big and radically designed car. And best of al, it was fast.

1968 Plymouth Road Runner

By 1968, muscle cars had become fast, luxurious and expensive. The young people that consisted of the primary market for these types of transportation had been priced out of the market. Plymouth recognized this and exploited to its fullest potential. First, the stripped down a Belvedere to its most basic form and then gave it a large motor. Then the marketing department found a simple way to change the image of the car from that of a bare bones racer to a unique automobile. A popular cartoon character and a unique horn was all that was need to bring this car to the masses.

The Road runner was an instant success. The combination of affordability plus outstanding performance had won the day again. Performance was remarkable with 13 second times for the Hemi and 15 second times for the base engine in the quarter mile.

The Winner

All five of these muscle cars were trend setters in their day. But the one that appeals to this author as the greatest of the early muscle cars is the 1966 Dodge Charger. It was a radical departure from the past with its fast back design and the four passenger bucket seats. It just looked like a muscle car. Performance was strong and the price was reasonable. The 1961 Chevy Impala Super Sport is a close second and if more had been made it may have actually won this little compression.

Read more about these great muscle cars at Muscle Cars [http://musclecarfacts.net/]

Muscle Cars [http://musclecarfacts.net/] is dedicated to providing information on all the great muscle cars of the past.

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History of Muscle Cars in America

History of Muscle Cars in AmericaHistory of Muscle Cars in America
By David Urmann and Wasim Ahmad

History of Muscle Cars in America
GTO image courtesy of Pixabay

A “muscle car” is a term referring to the high performance variety of automobiles. This term usually refers to Australian, South African and American automobile models. It is generally a 2-door mid-sized vehicle with a rear wheel drive. It also has a powerfully large V8 engine and sold at a very low price.

The very first one that came out was produced between 1960s and 1970s. In most cases, the two main purposes of muscle cars are for racing and street use. They are different from GTs and sports cars. These have two seats or 2+2, intended for touring and road racing. These are different from the muscles cars because of the small size, special nature and high cost. There are varied opinions as to whether compacts, high-performance cars as well as pony cars qualify as classic muscle cars.

The country of origin and age of a car determines if it is a classic muscle car or not. The use of the term “muscle car” occurred only after the end of the vehicle’s production. During the time when the production of muscle cars is still at its peak, the American media regard them as “super cars.”

History of American Muscle Cars

Some say that the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 from 1949 was the very first breed of muscle car. It aroused the public interest for its power and speed. It featured a powerful and innovative engine, consequentially America’s very first high-compression overhead valve or V8. This engine is present in the earlier Oldsmobile body. A magazine for muscle cars said that putting a V8 engine in the hood of a typical car and running faster like a sports car belongs to the Oldsmobile.

Some manufacturers showcased a performance of limited edition and flashy models. Chrysler is among the first ones that led such vehicles to become popular. An inspired mixture of Hemi luxury car trappings and power found in Chrysler’s 1955 C-300 became the newest attraction of NASCAR. This particular model became “America’s Most Powerful Vehicle” due to its 224 kW or 300 horsepower.

The model is also one of the best selling cars of its century. The C-300 has the ability to accelerate from 0 up to 60 miles per hour or 97 kilometers per hour within 9.8 seconds. The car can reach up to 120 miles per hour or 200 kilometers per hour. After two years, another fast car became available in the market. This honor belongs to the Rambler Rebel. As said by Motor Trend, Rambler Rebel is the fastest American sedan.

Muscle cars gained popularity in the 1960s. It happened when major companies such as Plymouth, Chrysler, Ford and Dodge battled in drag racing. The Dodge 1962 Dart Max Wedge, for instance, can run a quarter of a mile drag strip with just 13 seconds. This 1962 Dart Max Wedge can run more than 110 miles per hour or 170 kilometers per hour.

Muscle car productions from other manufacturers such as Pontiac, Chevrolet and Oldsmobile occurred in 1964. Between the years 1964 and 1965, Mopar introduced its 7-liter or 426 cubic inches V8 engine, special trim and sift linkage with shifted transmission. Ford released its Thunderbolts model in the same year.

We still see these vehicles today but the owners seldom use them. They have a second car which they use to go to work everyday. Meanwhile, the muscle car is stored in a safe place in their garage, kept as a collection.

For more information on American Muscle Cars and Types of Muscle Cars please visit our website.

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Professional Muscle Car Restoration Versus Do It Yourself Restoration

Professional Muscle Car Restoration Versus Do It Yourself RestorationProfessional Muscle Car Restoration Versus Do It Yourself Restoration
By Lamar Burns

Facts About Restoring Muscle Cars
Impala image courtesy of Pixabay

Are you the owner of a muscle car? If so, would you like to have that muscle car restored? Muscle car restoration is a great way to get the car of your dreams, while restoring your car’s original beauty. If you are interested in having your car restored, you have a number of different options. Those options involve doing your own restoration work or hiring a professional to do it for you. If you have yet to make a decision, it might be a good idea to examine the advantages and disadvantages of each.

When it comes to do it yourself muscle car restoration, the main benefit is that will get to have your car restored exactly the way that you wanted it to be. Since you know what you want, there won’t be any miscommunication or other problems that could result in something other than your original desires. Although this is a major benefit to do it your car muscle restoration, you will find that it is one of the few. There tends to be more disadvantages to do it yourself muscle car restoration than there are advantages.

One of the biggest disadvantages to do it yourself muscle car restoration is experience. How many muscle cars have you restored in the past? Although it is possible to learn, do you want your first learning experience to be on your “baby?” If you have your heart set on restoring your own muscle car, it is best if you first undergo some training, such as a course offered at a local college or restoration shop. A poor quality restoration job can have a negative impact on your car, both with its appearance and its value, which is why it is advised that you do not attempt your own muscle car restoration without the proper training, experience, and knowledge first.

As you likely assumed, there are a large number of advantages to having your muscle car professionally restored. One of those benefits is experience. If you take your car to a muscle car restoration shop, there is a good chance that your car will be worked on by highly trained and qualified individuals. Even with this good chance, it may be best to ask about previous work experience or even request to see photograph samples of other recently restored muscle cars.

Muscle car restoration parts are another benefit of having your muscle car professionally restored. Although it is possible to find your own muscle car restoration parts, it can sometimes be difficult to do, especially if you are looking for unique parts for a unique car. In most cases, it is easier for a professional muscle car restoration expert or business to find muscle car restoration parts. This is because most have developed relationships with restoration part sellers or scouts. Not having to find your own muscle car restoration parts may be able to save you a considerable amount of time and money.

Of course, there are also a few disadvantages to having your muscle car professionally restored. One of those benefits is the cost. A professional muscle car restoration does not come cheap. The amount of money will vary, depending on who you choose to do business with, as well as the amount of work you are having done on your car. Despite a relatively high price, it is almost always worth it in the end. In addition to getting the car of your dreams, you car may also seen a slight increase in value.

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of each of your options, you may be better prepared to make a decision. No matter which decision you make, you will likely be pleased with your initial decision, to have your muscle car restored in the first place.

Lamar Burns is a writer for Finished Dreams where you can find accurate information about Muscle Car Restoration [http://www.finisheddreams.com/muscle-car-restoration.php] and other related information.

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Muscle Car Restoration: What It Can Do For You

Muscle Car Restoration: What It Can Do For You
By Lamar Burns

Muscle Car Restoration
Ford Mustang image courtesy of Pixabay

Are you a muscle car owner? If so, how long have you owned your vehicle? If you have owned it for quite some time now, you may be looking for a change. This change doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go out and buy a new vehicle, but it may mean changing the car that you have. If you have a well-known and popular type of muscle car, you may not want to change your car too much. In fact, you may want to think about restoring it back to its original beauty. This process is known as muscle car restoration. If you have yet to think about muscle car restoration, you are advised to do so. After a close examination, you will learn that there are a number of things that restoration can do for you and your car.

Perhaps, the best thing that muscle car restoration can do for you is give you that change, which you may have been looking for. It is no secret that car owners often become bored with the vehicles they have, even if those cars are muscle cars or considered their owner’s “baby.” It is also important to note that muscle car restoration projects come in all different sizes. If you want, you can have a specific portion of your muscle car restored or all of your muscle car restored; the decision is yours to make. This means that you can essentially decide how much you would like to spend on having your muscle car restored, as well as how much of a change it would take to make you happy again.

Muscle car restoration can give your dream car. Although there is a good chance that you take great pride in your muscle car, it might not necessarily be the car of your dreams. There are many car owners, even muscle car owners, who wish that one thing or another was different with their cars. Muscle car restoration can allow you to get the car of your dreams. Although muscle car restoration often involves restoring a car back to its original state, there is another popular form of restoration. This type of restoration is often referred to as “resto-modification.” “Resto-modification,” involves restoring a car, while modernizing it at the same time. For example, if you would like to add in a navigation system, this is still, in a way, considered a form of muscle car restoration. “Resto-modification,” gives you your dream car, without altering it too much.

Although it is most important to examine what muscle car restoration can do for you, it is also important to examine what it can do for your car. Muscle car restoration may be able to increase the value of your car. Of course, for this to happen, the work needs to be professionally done. That is why it is important that you know who you are dealing with when you hire another individual or company to restore your muscle car for you. A poor quality restoration job might not increase the value of your car, but it might decrease it!

As stated above, muscle car restoration can give your dream car and possibly increase the value of your muscle car. If you like what muscle car restoration can do for you, you are advised to speak with a muscle car restoration expert for additional information, including information on the many benefits of having your muscle car restored.

Lamar Burns is a writer for Finished Dreams where you can find accurate information about Muscle Car Restoration and other related information.

Article Source: Muscle Car Restoration: What It Can Do For You

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1968 Plymouth Road Runner Specs

The B-body 1968 Plymouth Road Runner is from Plymouth’s first generation Road Runner line which was based on the Belvedere and ran from 1967 to 1970.

1968 Plymouth Rad Runner Specs

By: Laure Justice

1968 Plymouth Road Runner Muscle Car
By sv1ambo (1968 Plymouth Road Runner convertible) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1968 Plymouth Road Runner Information

Body Style: The earliest ’68 Road Runners were only offered as a 2-door B-pillared coupe, meaning there was a pillar positioned between the front and rear windows; but later in 1968, Plymouth started to offer a pillarless hardtop model.

Engine: The 1968 Road Runner was offered with a 383 cubic inch displacement (CID) V-8 that had been enhanced with the addition of high-performance 440 Magnum/Super Commando cylinder heads; the one engine option offered on the 1968 Road Runner was the 426 Hemi.

Transmission: The standard package’s transmission for the ’68 Road Runner was a manual four-speed, with different gear ratios for the 383 and the 426 Hemi, but the three-speed TorqueFlite A727 automatic was available as an option; note that the TorqueFlight was a column-shift unit to accommodate the bench seat.

1968 Plymouth Road Runner Dashboard
By sv1ambo (1968 Plymouth Road Runner convertible) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The 1968 Road Runner as a Muscle Car

The 3475-pound total body weight 1968 Road Runner was a muscle car, designed for performance and fun over comfort, with rubber floor mats instead of carpeting and a bench seat.

The Road Runner was built for speed in a time when fuel efficiency wasn’t a major consideration for car buyers and it only got about 10.2 miles per gallon; but what it lacked in fuel efficiency, it made up for in power with a top speed of about 137 miles per hour.

The stock 383 CID/335 hp Road Runner could go from 0-60 miles per hour in 7.1 seconds. from the 383 – 335 hp and 426 Hemi / 425 hp could go from 0-60 in a mere 5.3 seconds.

Plymouth purchased licensing rights for the cartoon’s road runner likeness, name, and beep-beep sound to name and promote this sleek, mid-sized performance car.

Sources:

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Muscle Cars 101

Since you’re here on this site, chances are you already know what muscle cars are – and you probably even have a favorite muscle car or two in mind (right?) but I just want to throw this basic introduction to muscle cars out there.

Muscle Cars 101

By: Laure Justice

68 Yenko Camaro: Muscle Car
By Dana Hurt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What Are Muscle Cars?

Rather than toss my own definition of a muscle car at you, I’m just going to pull out a couple of dictionary definitions.

According to Merriam-Webster, a muscle car is “any of a group of American-made 2-door sports coupes with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving.”

The definition from Encarta Dictionaries is a bit plainer, Encarta defines a muscle car as “a flashy car with a big engine, designed to look like a sports car.”

The First Muscle Car

While the majority of popular muscle cars came out of the 1960s and 1970s, there are cars as far back as the pre-war 1936 Buick Century or the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 that are cited as the earliest cars of this genre.

1936 Buick Series 60 Century: First Muscle Car
1936 Buick Century Muscle Car image courtesy of Sicnag

Popular Muscle Cars

I searched and searched for the most popular muscle car, and while there were numerous models that came up again and again, there was no single clear winner, so I compiled the lists from multiple sites and I’m going to share the models that came up the most often.

While there was an unreal number of cars that turned up in my research, there were only five that made multiple lists:

  • 1968-1970 Road Runner
  • 1967-1969 Camaro ZL-1
  • 1966-1970 Chevelle SS
  • 1968-1969 Nova SS
  • 1969 Mustang
Muscle Car Source Book
Click here to buy this book!

Some of my personal favorites didn’t come up in multiple “most popular muscle car” lists from my research, so I’m bummed that they didn’t make the cut for this particular article, but they are still popular and will be turning up in future articles here on the site.

How about you, was your favorite muscle car covered in this short list?

Stop by the classified ads section to browse through listings of classic cars for sale, or to place your own free ad.

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