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Hiya everybody, I've often wondered why the aptly named " Muscle Car Era " is so often reserved to so few years as the mid-to-late ' 60's, & sometimes into the very early ' 70's ? How many times have we looked at the same coverages of cars seen over & over again ? I'm now 65, but I have pondered this question a long time. Whenever I tell people about my folk's ' 58 Golden Commando Fury, & all its very cool attributes-not to mention its speed, they look at me like I'm from Mars. Well, maybe I am, but I think this is the fault of the car media, maybe some other venues too. The history of cars that used so many inovations in their developments is astounding in their own rights. I've told folks that the Fury line started in ' 56, & they're incredulous- no knowledge of the cars that contributed so much. The folks sold ours, shortly after I reached 15 1/2 & could get my driver's permit age-much to my discontent ! I had gotten to drive it a very few times, but enough to know, for the 1st time, the addiction to speed & the sound of sheer horsepower. Once, while on a Saturday drive in the desert, my dad told me to ' Go ahead & pass the slower cars & the semi & ' punch it ' ! OKAY DAD ! With the dual quads at wide open, I felt the thrust in my back of the seat, heard the huge vaccum of air being digested, & literally watched the fuel gauge needle sink twards ' Empty ' ! While all this was going on, the speedo jumped from just below 50, to 85, then in no time it went way up to 115, & seemed to be waiting for more input, when my Dad broke in on my grin & my rush to say ' I think it's time to pull back into the lane & slow 'er down some ' ! My responce ? " HUH ?!, Oh Yeah ! " . I'd never forget that car as long as I've lived. Years later, when I had spotted a ' 57 ,same type, I asked good ol' Dad what he thought it was worth;' I dunno,2 or 3 thousand ' (!) When I told him I'd seen one in Hemmings for 23 large, he looked sick. I do wish he'd stuck it into a warehouse somewhere & just sat on it, but it'd prob'ly fell apart & been in worse shape. They were beautiful cars. Ours was a ' special build '. There was an engraved, gold anodized plate with the car's type & name & the name of the original owner, on the trans hump. It was ordered by a Plymouth dealer in town; ' Earl ' sumthin'. Anyways, I think the ' Muscle Heads ' are missing the opportunity to present a lot of history to the younger generation who seem to nothing of origins of various things that exist today. This does a disservice to all the engineers, racers, & enthusiasts who developed the cars that raced the way forward & pushed the technology along with it. I would sure like to see a ' Muscle Head ' magazine do articles that show where our sport & interest came from, especially Mopar oriented magazines ! ( There ! I finally said it ! ) Thanks , Makadoodler
 

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DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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I think that the muscle car era, as usually defined, is based in part on the powerful cars being youth-affordable and specifically appealing to youth, both as brand new cars. The powerful cars of the fifties and early sixties seemingly were tailored toward responsible, moderately well-off adults, and didn't seem to have as much youth appeal on the face of it.

I'm too young to have experienced that era, but given those that I've talked to this is my impression. If it's any consolation I saw a 55 Chrysler in need of restoration and it did strongly appeal to me, even though I knew that I wouldn't be able to take it on.
 

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Muscle cars evolved from the early "powerful" cars. The true muscle car was mostly defined as a bare bones 2 door hardtop with a huge engine and beefed up drivetrain, and big brakes. In the world of Chrysler it is really just the "police" package. The earlier cars were still more works of art than bare bones muscle. They certainly had the power for their day, but they were heavy, and had poor acceleration compared to their later counterparts. They had big time power, but the transmissions were less than spectacular, exhaust was restrictive, and heads didn't generally flow as well as later powerplants. The cars of the mid 60' and into the early 70's have their roots in the mid to late 50's and very early 60's. It was a natural progression. There are so many names for eras, like the pre war, post war, forward look, slab side, muscle car, fuselage, smog, tons of names. In my opinion one of the best looking and cars of all time was the 57 DeSoto firedome and adventurer. They just were a thing of beauty.
 

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Makadoodler said:
Hiya everybody, I've often wondered why the aptly named " Muscle Car Era " is so often reserved to so few years as the mid-to-late ' 60's, & sometimes into the very early ' 70's ? How many times have we looked at the same coverages of cars seen over & over again ? I'm now 65, but I have pondered this question a long time. Whenever I tell people about my folk's ' 58 Golden Commando Fury, & all its very cool attributes-not to mention its speed, they look at me like I'm from Mars. Well, maybe I am, but I think this is the fault of the car media, maybe some other venues too. The history of cars that used so many inovations in their developments is astounding in their own rights. I've told folks that the Fury line started in ' 56, & they're incredulous- no knowledge of the cars that contributed so much. The folks sold ours, shortly after I reached 15 1/2 & could get my driver's permit age-much to my discontent ! I had gotten to drive it a very few times, but enough to know, for the 1st time, the addiction to speed & the sound of sheer horsepower. Once, while on a Saturday drive in the desert, my dad told me to ' Go ahead & pass the slower cars & the semi & ' punch it ' ! OKAY DAD ! With the dual quads at wide open, I felt the thrust in my back of the seat, heard the huge vaccum of air being digested, & literally watched the fuel gauge needle sink twards ' Empty ' ! While all this was going on, the speedo jumped from just below 50, to 85, then in no time it went way up to 115, & seemed to be waiting for more input, when my Dad broke in on my grin & my rush to say ' I think it's time to pull back into the lane & slow 'er down some ' ! My responce ? " HUH ?!, Oh Yeah ! " . I'd never forget that car as long as I've lived. Years later, when I had spotted a ' 57 ,same type, I asked good ol' Dad what he thought it was worth;' I dunno,2 or 3 thousand ' (!) When I told him I'd seen one in Hemmings for 23 large, he looked sick. I do wish he'd stuck it into a warehouse somewhere & just sat on it, but it'd prob'ly fell apart & been in worse shape. They were beautiful cars. Ours was a ' special build '. There was an engraved, gold anodized plate with the car's type & name & the name of the original owner, on the trans hump. It was ordered by a Plymouth dealer in town; ' Earl ' sumthin'. Anyways, I think the ' Muscle Heads ' are missing the opportunity to present a lot of history to the younger generation who seem to nothing of origins of various things that exist today. This does a disservice to all the engineers, racers, & enthusiasts who developed the cars that raced the way forward & pushed the technology along with it. I would sure like to see a ' Muscle Head ' magazine do articles that show where our sport & interest came from, especially Mopar oriented magazines ! ( There ! I finally said it ! ) Thanks , Makadoodler
A very interesting and thought provoking post. I too am from that "era." Luckier, perhaps because grandpa and Dad were the "dealer" of the entire zone. ( :thumbsup: :thumbsup: we were sorta the "Earl sumthin' guys) I got to see most of it. The cars, the engines, the ads, the deals. Saw and met some very influential people from Detroit. Got some articles I wrote on here that might start to answer where you would like to go. You are probably never going to get a definitive answer of what, who, when, why concerning the so called "muscle car" craze actually started. A lot of enthusiast magazine rags like to point to John Z. DeLoren sticking a 389 V-8 into the 1964 Tempest body over at Pontiac as the beginning of the "muscle car" story. However, I can tell you that a 1964 plain jane Plymouth Savoy with a 383 V-8 and a Torgueflite would take that oddly named Pontiac "GTO" (Gasoline, Tires, Oil) leaving it with an empty lunch bag! And Dodge and Plymouth had been offering their highest performance engines in the lowest priced, lightest bodied cars since 1956 (Dodge) and 1957 (Plymouth). Those stock off the show room cars made the Ford (Really NOWHERE as fast as legend has them) and stock Chevrolet wonder where the "yellow went" in any comparison. OK so Chevrolet in 1957 offered a 283 engine with fuel injection in the light bodied 210 2 door. BUT........it cost an extra $575.00 to get it. Whereas the 1957 Plymouth Savoy 2 door could be ordered with the engine (318 Fury @ 290 HP) for *** [INSERTED from ALLPAR.COM Page] The Fury V-800 engine option, which could be had in any body style, added $245 to the price of the car. Unlike "power packages" offered by Chevrolet, Ford, or even Dodge, the buyer got more than just a hot engine; the package including a heavy-duty transmission (either manual or TorqueFlite), heavy-duty torsion bars, springs, shocks, and 14x6 inch wheels. Plymouth also offered an "uninstalled engine high-performance package" for 277 and 303 engines-what some considered to be an update for last year's Fury. Retailing for $243.45, this package included a dual-quad intake manifold with carburetors, linkage, air cleaners, special tappets and camshaft, gaskets, and a hand choke.

Check it out! Muscle car era?? Chrysler answered that call in 1950 when it introduced the 331 Hemi in the 1951 model cars.

I think, personally, that my "HEY, WAKE UP" call came after the State Police bought their first Plymouths in 1957. After 40 years (YES - 4 Zero...FORTY Years) of Fords, coming off a 1956 Ford 4 Door sedan with the 312 ci V-8 with 4V and stick shift (no ps, pb, radio) and going into a Plymouth with 301 V-8 a 4V and dual exhaust Savoy 4 door sedan with torgueflite, power brakes, *** [Inserted from ALLPAR.COM page] Pumping out 215hp in standard form, an additional $36.20 would add a Fury 301 Quad package consisting of a four-barrel carburetor, special distributor, and dual exhausts, raising horsepower to 235 at 4400 rpm. Adding some confusion to this engine was the use of the term “Fury.” The Fury 301 V-8 could be had in all car lines except the Fury itself, which came with the 318 as its only powerplant.

Troopers who I got to see and talk too were stunned and amazed at the differences! 1956 Ford......cop car package with a top speed of 105 mph as tested! 1957 Plymouth 301 with the cop car package, 120 miles an hour, and quicker by far to get there! Like Dad said of them......"more powerful than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound." "But that noise you hear in the driveway at night are the damn things rusting!" OUCH!

But.......... I want to mull over your post some more. Gonna copy it and study it for awhile if you don't mind.

Curtis :1st: :1st:
 
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