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Old 01-13-2009, 12:32 AM   #1
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What's considered a Muscle Car?

Well I thought I'd get an opinion from you guys on this subject.

A Co-worker and I had a disagreement on what's considered a Muscle Car.. Pretty simple.. Do you guys consider the New Camaro or any other newer remake of the old Muscle Cars from the 60s and 70s a Muscle Car or a Sports Car? Do you guys think the label Muscle Cars only belong to the older models(60s/70s) of Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers, Chargers, etc..?

As for myself, I think the New V8 Camaro is still a muscle car.. just new. the lineage is there. Maybe I'm the only one who refers the new camaro to still being a muscle car?
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:38 AM   #2
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the new cars are not muscle cars they are sports cars

but i think that is because during modern times the muscle car genre was merged into the sports genre
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:40 AM   #3
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The Camaro is called a "Sporty Coupe". Muscle cars are no longer PC.

But yes, an LS3 honking Camaro is a muscle car, no matter what the newbs or PR dept. want to say.

Challenger and Mustang are muscle cars as well. Just don't tell anybody...
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:40 AM   #4
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Muscle is all about heritage. The new generation has simply been cross bred with sports cars.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:44 AM   #5
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Muscle car has nothing to do with age, its a purpose. Cars built with v8's with performance at the top of the list of attributes are muscle cars.
My opinion...I think you could definately call the new Camaro SS a Muscle Car at slightly better than 420 hp.
2010 Camaro 300 hp v6..sports car.

What is really a joke is when people call plain jane cars muscle cars.
For example, a 1969 Camaro that came with a 307 is not a muscle car.
Muscle car means "factory" not a transplanted or altered.
Conversely, a 69 Camaro SS 350 is a muscle car. A 70 Chevelle with a 350 is not a muscle car, a 70 Chevelle SS 396 is a muscle car. A 340 Dart, muscle car. 318 dart not a muscle car. 69 cougar eliminator 428 = muscle, 69 cougar 302 2bbl nope.

2008 mustang GT, sports car, not a muscle car, 2008 Shelby = muscle car. Viper = c@ck extension.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:51 AM   #6
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Better not tell that to the guy with the 400 GTO just because there was a 455 !
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:55 AM   #7
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Better not tell that to the guy with the 400 GTO just because there was a 455 !
GTO's of any engine size rate a muscle car badge. GTO was a specific performance model. kinda like all SS's could be considered muscle cars, any roadrunner..etc.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:23 AM   #8
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Muscle car has nothing to do with age, its a purpose. Cars built with v8's with performance at the top of the list of attributes are muscle cars.
My opinion...I think you could definately call the new Camaro SS a Muscle Car at slightly better than 420 hp.
2010 Camaro 300 hp v6..sports car.

What is really a joke is when people call plain jane cars muscle cars.
For example, a 1969 Camaro that came with a 307 is not a muscle car.
Muscle car means "factory" not a transplanted or altered.
Conversely, a 69 Camaro SS 350 is a muscle car. A 70 Chevelle with a 350 is not a muscle car, a 70 Chevelle SS 396 is a muscle car. A 340 Dart, muscle car. 318 dart not a muscle car. 69 cougar eliminator 428 = muscle, 69 cougar 302 2bbl nope.

2008 mustang GT, sports car, not a muscle car, 2008 Shelby = muscle car. Viper = c@ck extension.
So the Ferrari F355 is a muscle car too? Never knew that...
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:53 AM   #9
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terrible badging.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:57 AM   #10
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So the Ferrari F355 is a muscle car too? Never knew that...
Personally, I look at it like a tree.

If their main goal is performance, they get into the running.

If they focus mainly on straight line performance (cough mustang cough) then its a muscle car.

If they focus at least somewhat equally on straight line performance and handling, its a sports car.

I don't think engine size has anything to do with it, to a certain extent. I don't think a L4 could count as a muscle car, but a V6 could or a small V8.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:57 AM   #11
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im sorry but i have to disagree, sports cars are defined by thier prowess to accelerate decelerate and corner. With the degree to which new challengers, mustangs, and camaros handle they are well beyond thier muscle car heritage. Muscle cars as defined (rightfully so) by top gear (outside source for "unbiased" opinion (lol i know)) are cars with big motors and crude suspension. Sure the ss454 was fast in a straight line but i wouldn't take one around a track were i have to turn the wheel. the muscle cars of old had poor weight distributions and didn't exactly stpp on a dime.

I also propose that the 1st z/28's werent muscle cars, but were instead Sports cars because of thier road course prowess instead of straight line ferocity.

with camaros and challangers that can pull into the .9's on a skidpad (something the ss's of old could not do) it means the SS is no longer just a big engine in a car. The camaro especially shows the finesse of a sports car without the limitations of a muscle car. Hence it is a sports car.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:27 AM   #12
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im sorry but i have to disagree, sports cars are defined by thier prowess to accelerate decelerate and corner. With the degree to which new challengers, mustangs, and camaros handle they are well beyond thier muscle car heritage. Muscle cars as defined (rightfully so) by top gear (outside source for "unbiased" opinion (lol i know)) are cars with big motors and crude suspension. Sure the ss454 was fast in a straight line but i wouldn't take one around a track were i have to turn the wheel. the muscle cars of old had poor weight distributions and didn't exactly stpp on a dime.

I also propose that the 1st z/28's werent muscle cars, but were instead Sports cars because of thier road course prowess instead of straight line ferocity.

with camaros and challangers that can pull into the .9's on a skidpad (something the ss's of old could not do) it means the SS is no longer just a big engine in a car. The camaro especially shows the finesse of a sports car without the limitations of a muscle car. Hence it is a sports car.
+1, but I'm not sure about the challenger, I think of the challenger as more of a grand tourer with alot of power. But the camaro is absolutely a modern sports car. 426 hp engine, 6spd transmissions, RWD, IRS, LSD, 4 piston Brembo discs brakes (as opposed to drums), 52/48 front/rear weight distribution. Put it this way simply take off the chevy badge and place a BMW badge on it would you call it a musle car or a sports car??
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:41 AM   #13
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It's not a BMW though.. It's a Chevy Camaro.

The way I see it is.. Technology and understanding of vehicles has greatly improved.. Therefore because of the newer models being made from the old Muscle Cars the newer versions are punished and no longer deserve the title of Muscle Car? I just don't get that.. Instead they get called Sports Cars?
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:45 AM   #14
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Punished? Sports Car or muscle car doesn't really make a difference. I call it a performance car. I really don't care what it's called as long as the driving experience is there.

You can call it a muscle car or a sports car or even a Pink Fairy Powderpuff Car; if it's fun to drive, I'll buy it.
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
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It's not a BMW though.. It's a Chevy Camaro.

The way I see it is.. Technology and understanding of vehicles has greatly improved.. Therefore because of the newer models being made from the old Muscle Cars the newer versions are punished and no longer deserve the title of Muscle Car? I just don't get that.. Instead they get called Sports Cars?
in the day muscle cars had thier place, but being a sports car means beeing a better rounded vehicle with more performance then the muscle cars of old.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:04 AM   #16
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I would just call it an updated muscle car.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:06 AM   #17
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in the day muscle cars had thier place, but being a sports car means beeing a better rounded vehicle with more performance then the muscle cars of old.
Now this new sports car will out perform that grand pappy of a muscle car I have UNDER A COVER in the garage.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:42 AM   #18
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This is a semantic argument. No real winner either way. The term means different things to different people.

On one side you have the term "muscle car" painted with a wide brush to include any fast car. Fast car = Muscle Car.

On the other side you have a more precise break down where we can subdivide into "sports cars" such as Vettes, and "pony cars" such as Camaros, Mustangs, and Challengers, and "Muscle Cars" (Intermediates with large engines) such as Chevelle SS, GTO's, Chargers and GSX's.

You can pick a side if you want to but I don't think you can officialy "win" this argument.

-Mark.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:48 AM   #19
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By most accounts a Muscle car was a car that went staight fast and was a big car. Sport cars came from the small British cars in the day that did great corning and handling but would never beat a muscle car going light to light.

Todays cars are crossovers because the can do both wheel. And the Camaro may just really turn up things since it should out corner all cars in its class. IE Mustang and the Dodge parts.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:54 AM   #20
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My opinion is that any car over 350 HP is a muscle car.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:21 AM   #21
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All muscle cars have a back seat...any 2-seat high performance vehicle wears the moniker of a sports car.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:01 AM   #22
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You can call it a muscle car or a sports car or even a Pink Fairy Powderpuff Car; if it's fun to drive, I'll buy it.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:08 AM   #23
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It has muscle car heritage but in actuality thats about it. The chassis, suspension, handling prowess, braking etc etc take it out of the musclecar category.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:29 AM   #24
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It's a muscle car to me. I understand and agree with the mixed breeding, I just don't like the sound of "sports car".
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:03 AM   #25
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muscle car = V8, RWD, 4/5 seats: camaro, charger, challenger, mustang, the old LT1 impalas......

sports car = track-minded suspension, 2 seater: corvette, viper, ford GT......
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