Video: Forgotten Power: Cool Muscle Cars You & Nbsp; & Nbsp; You Might Not & Nbsp; Know
Born in America in the 60s, muscle cars … Well, they didn't change the world like the Ford T or VW Beetle, but they still had a great impact on the automotive culture. They were stern, under their hoods the most powerful engines of their time raged, and many of them went down in history forever. Dodge Charger, Pontiac GTO, Chevrolet Chevelle - everyone who is interested in cars knows these names.
But many models stayed away from world fame - and not at all because they were unsuccessful. For example, a car Cinderella named Chevrolet Nov in the late sixties also boasted remarkable strength: a titanic 6.5-liter Big Block, dynamics at the level of modern BMW M2 and Porsche Boxster - that was serious. In the United States, they loved the car, but the rest of the world knows it mainly for its role in Tarantino in Death Proof. We drove this one and tell its story in the video. And underneath you can read the stories of other undeservedly forgotten cars.
Pontiac 2 + 2
The leader of all muscle cars, the Pontiac GTO was essentially an obscenely powerful version of the Tempest / Le Mans mid-size model. But few people remember that in parallel, Pontiac tried to pull off the same trick, only a class higher! They took a huge - 5.5 meters from nose to tail - Catalina coupe as a basis. And, of course, they gave him the coolest motors. Starting in 1964 with 335 horsepower and 6.4 liters of displacement, very soon this yacht could boast of seven liters under the hood and a return of 381 horsepower. Even more powerful than the GTO!
True, the weight and dimensions made themselves felt: the Pontiac 2 + 2 did not set records on drag strips and remained, albeit a fast, but still imposing dreadnought. In addition to the engine, it differed from the original Catalina in a different design, reinforced suspension, modified exhaust and redesigned interior, including "buckets" as they were presented in the sixties. But in the eyes of buyers, the correct picture did not work out: 2 + 2 was produced for only four years and did not gain fame.
AMC Rebel Machine
We have already talked about the small, proud and free-thinking company AMC, and at that time we mentioned the main muscle cars in its history - Javelin and AMX. But American Motors also had other models: for example, the modest Rebel coupe in 1970 received a charged version with one of the coolest names in the world - The Machine. No, just listen to how it all sounds in total! A rebel nicknamed "The Machine" from the American Automobile Corporation. Come one at a time!
And all this was not empty bravado, because the 6.4-liter V8 developed 345 horsepower here - 15 more than the AMX of the same year. And to whom it was not enough, for a surcharge, he could get a factory boost to more than four hundred and, plus, an ultra-short gearbox with a lock and a wild gear ratio of 5: 1. Such a "Machine" in drag for a quarter of a mile quietly left in 13 seconds, but even if you did not chase the speed as such, you had powerful brakes and the maximum clamped suspension at your service - judging by the articles of those years, AMC engineers succeeded in an excellent symbiosis of oil car and sports car. Oh yeah, and just look at this white-blue-red livery!
Mercury Comet Cyclone
Does the Ford Falcon platform, striking design and powerful engine resemble anything? That's right, it was this formula that was used to create the Ford Mustang, but today few people remember its cousin, the Mercury Comet Cyclone. But the car was very interesting! If the Comet itself was a more expensive and prestigious version of the Falcon, then the charged version of the Cyclone could well be considered a real muscle car.
Indeed, in 1965, it had the same power unit as the top Mustang - a 4.7-liter V8 in the most forced version of the Hi-Po (275 horsepower), a four-speed manual transmission and a differential with a lock. This is among other improvements to the chassis and steering.Only now, the audience, captivated by the beauty of the Ford superstar, simply did not notice the offer from Mercury: yes, the Cyclone will last in production for several years, it will even be equipped with super-powerful 335-horsepower CobrJet engines, but it will not become popular. But now the cars of 1965, produced in a circulation of only four hundred copies, are becoming desirable prey for collectors.
Dodge Dart Demon / Plymouth Duster
Familiar names, aren't they? Of course, the little old Plymouth has nothing to do with the Renault crossover, but the history of its appearance is quite curious. The Chrysler concern had to respond with something to General Motors: charged versions of Chevrolet Nov were gaining popularity at that time, so even in the popular segment a serious battle for reputation was brewing. Plymouth had its own low-cost Valiant model, but instead of just shoving a large motor in there, it was treated outside the box: the front end was left untouched, but everything else was redesigned for a more compact and athletic design. Well, the engines have not been forgotten either: the coolest was the Duster 340 with a 5.6-liter V8 developing 280 horsepower.
After making sure that the concept works, a year later Chrysler releases a similar model under the Dodge brand - the car is called the Dart Demon and is essentially a Duster with a redesigned front end. At the same time, there is practically nothing in common with the usual Dodge Dart sedan. Both compact muscle cars successfully cope with the role of the younger brothers Challenger and Barracuda, after which they also go down in history with the beginning of the fuel crisis. However, fate will divide them further: the Plymouth brand will die at the beginning of the XXI century, but the Demon name will return today - like a nameplate on the insane 840-horsepower version of the revived Challenger. If you want, consider this a story about how the younger brother ended up helping the older one.
Oldsmobile VistCruiser 442
Okay, okay, agree - small cars with big motors look pretty monotonous and are already starting to get bored. Let's change the topic! For example, how do you like a muscle car in the guise of a giant station wagon? Oldsmobile VistCruiser is the embodiment of everything we know about American family leisure: 5.5 meters in length, three rows of seats (or two - and a dimensionless trunk in addition), glass sections in the roof, so that it would be more interesting for children to gaze around … In general, a textbook option for Saturday nature outings anywhere in Oregon.
However, if you had a family before you lost your zest for life, Oldsmobile catalogs offered something special just for that occasion. The VistCruiser could be ordered with a motor from the famous Oldsmobile 4-4-2 oil car - which meant that, in addition to household members, your car was inhabited by as many as 355 "horses" taken out of a volume of 6.6 liters. Madness? Just a warm-up! After all, there were also versions with the most powerful engines of their era - the Rocket 455. That, for a second, seven and a half liters and four hundred and six horsepower. Yes, exactly in words so that you can feel it. Alas, only two of these station wagons have survived to this day, but now you know for sure that the Audi RS 2 was not the first of its kind.
However, the oil station wagon is the story of the late sixties and early seventies, and those who followed the work of Oldsmobile were not surprised by anything by that time. Indeed, back in 1965, the Toronado model was revealed to the world - a luxurious, stately coupe with one small feature: the drive axle was located in the front. So that you understand, after the death of Cord in 1937, the US industry completely denied this layout: the Toronado became the first American front-wheel drive in almost thirty years!
And yes, it was also a muscle car with the coolest engines at that time - 7.0 and 7.5 liters, at 385 and 406 horsepower, respectively. Add to this the unusual design: the front suspension was torsion bar, and besides, it was mounted on a separate subframe, and at the same time, the simplest beam suspended from springs was used at the rear - simply because the engineers concentrated all their efforts on the development of the front end! And the most paradoxical here is that the Toronado handled well, sold quite successfully and eventually became the basis for the last five generations of the Cadillac Eldorado, which were produced from 1967 to 2002.
Studebaker Avanti R3
The compact, lightweight Avanti coupe with an incredibly sleek fiberglass body has become the Studebaker swan song. The once glorious brand was drowning in financial problems, and the new model came too late to fix the situation.Production began in June 1962, but in December 1963, the main Studebaker factory in South Bend, Indiana was closed.
And yet Avanti managed to shine. The standard 4.7-liter V8 engine already developed 243 horsepower, which was more than enough for 1400 kg of curb weight. And in addition, the engineers built compressor versions R2 and R3 - and in the latter case, the return exceeded 400 forces! Note that all of this happened a couple of years before muscle cars became fashionable. In general, in the end, Studebaker Avanti took and broke 29 speed records at once - in particular, developing an incredible 286 km / h on Lake Bonneville. A total of nine copies were made in the R3 version, and their auction value today exceeds one hundred thousand dollars.
GMC Syclone / Typhoon
Another Cyclone in our selection - although if you cover this pickup with a lid, you get a whole Typhoon. Don't ask why (for nerds: the platform models S15 and Jimmy were actually taken as a basis). After all, the most interesting thing here is different: what does this thing do among muscle cars? Yes, about the same as the modern Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk: it declares that the class frames in this matter have a purely recommendatory function.
True, you can't find a multi-liter V8 under the hood here either: like the daring Buick GNX, which appeared a couple of years earlier, the charged GMC trucks relied on a turbocharged six. And what to do - in the courtyard of the early nineties, a rather gloomy time for the American car industry. Therefore, the very fact of rebellion is important here: engineers removed 280 horsepower from a working volume of 4.3 liters. Maybe not a record, but brothers Cyclone and Typhoon were not at all embarrassed by this, because they had a four-wheel drive!
The result is a 0-100 sprint in less than five seconds and an epic victory over the Ferrari 348 in a quarter mile race hosted by Car & Driver magazine. No, no one says these feisty GMCs were faster than Ferraris. But ask if they were cooler - and we will think about it. And we will certainly ask you to unconditionally admit that modern supercrossovers have really glorious forerunners.
He's not your pickup truck! This is a real modern Ut - the heir to the famous Chevrolet El Camino and Ford Ranchero. The Americans have long cooled to this type of body, which cannot be said about the Australians: Holden and Ford Australi continued to produce Utes based on the Commodore and Falcon models of their own design until the latter. Alas, now in general all production on the Green Continent has been phased out, and next year General Motors will abolish the Holden brand itself.
We will have time to be sad about this, but for now it is better to look at how the Australians decided to say goodbye to their beloved brainchild (scroll through the pictures!). This is the HSV Maloo R8 LS from Holden Special Vehicles. It has a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that develops 557 horsepower, a feisty supercar-looking body kit, powerful AP Racing brakes and a host of other features that make this Maloo the most frantic ute ever made.
Oh yes, you could also buy it with a manual gearbox - and with it the driver got the launch control function, which allowed this beast to get to a hundred in 4.6 seconds. If this is not a car that embodies the original essence of a muscle car, then what?
Yes, this is also a muscle car! Let the Jensen Interceptor be produced in the UK, and for its design you need to thank the Italian body shop CarrozzeriTouring, this handsome man's heart was truly American. More precisely, in different years, Chrysler engines with a volume of 6.3 to 7.2 liters were placed under the hood: the most powerful version of the Interceptor with a six-chamber carburetor developed as much as 390 horsepower, traveled from seven seconds to a hundred and could accelerate to 235 kilometers in hour! Speech, for a second, about the late sixties and the first half of the seventies.
It also became the basis for the Jensen FF, an insane engineering experiment years ahead of its time. Indeed, in 1966, a British sports car was equipped with an all-wheel drive system! The AMC Eagle is still 13 years away, the Audi Quattro is 14, and even the Subaru Leone, which many call the first four-wheel drive car, will appear five years later. And if this is not enough for you, then know that the Jensen FF is also equipped with anti-lock braking system - a first for a road car.
De tomaso pantera
What, and this is a muscle car? In a sense, yes! Despite the mid-engined layout and emphasized European style, the Panther was equipped with Ford V8 engines and was generally focused primarily on the American market. But we, perhaps, will tell this story separately - and on the example of a real living car. Very, very soon.
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