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Southernhotrods.com is the home of Southern Hot Rods, LLC. Here you will find information on my company as well as a lot of information on the American Muscle Car as well. I sell all types of Classic cars, Muscle Cars, Street Rods, Rat Rods, Jeeps, Motorcycles, and anything else that goes fast or is fun to drive, and I look forward to doing business with you as well. Please enjoy my website!
Southern Hot Rods is dedicated to the preservation, and enjoyment of all American Muscle Cars & Hot Rods. I believe that there is no substitute for cubic inches and no replacement for displacement. Welcome to a celebration of an era when the number of cubic inches was more important than the number of cup holders, and quarter mile times meant more than inches of ground clearance.
Southern Hot Rods Appling, GA
Although many believe that the Muscle Car Era started in the 1960's. True, the term was first used in the sixties, but as early as the late 1940's, America's youth were converting their automobiles into Muscle Cars.
When the war was over, many young soldiers returned home and started putting lots of cash into their cars.
In those times, and like the present, automobiles expressed the ultimate symbol of freedom and automobiles expressed the ultimate symbol of freedom and independence.
Why it happened? Who knows, there are many opinions, Rock and roll was still a long way off. Anyway, it started out quite basic and increased into full-blown chop shops and performance shops very soon after. Though these cars were usually referred to as Hot Rods because they came from the manufacturers with quite low power and speed capabilities. It is believed they could still be considered the birth of Muscle Cars in America.
The fifties was a great time for the automobile, the manufactures broke the mold and cars like the T bird, Corvette and Chevy Bel-Air were released. Studebakers, which were technologically advanced for their time, hit the market. However, the inventing of the term was still to come.
What is a muscle car and how did the phrase originate? The concept of owning a automobile for more than just transportation had been around from the 30s. Since the production of the first car, people were coming up with ways to obtain more power and speed. By the late 60's the major car manufacturers had fine-tuned that art themselves. Starting with the 64 1/2 Mustang GT, the remainder of that time in history gave birth to many incredible and awesome cars. As manufacturers competed with one another, the cars increased their power. Leading to the creation of the era of American Muscle Cars.
So totally American in many ways, the 60's Muscle cars expressed more than just a time in automobile history, which was so original, they are still sought after to this day. The phrase Muscle Car stirs memories of big block cars like the 426 Hemi Cuda, the Boss 429 Mustang, the Shelby 427 Cobra, or the 440 Roadrunner. It should, however the phrase does include other performance cars of the time with smaller blocks like the 351 Mustang Mach 1, 302 Z28 Camaro, Corvettes, Boss 302 Mustang, 340 Duster, to mention a few.
What makes a car a Muscle Car? First off the car would be a limited version of a streetcar, as like the Mach 1/GT's and the Boss 302 Mustang. Having some particular type of performance suspension created for going from 0 to 100 as fast as possible or to handle well on a track or often both, like the Barracuda AAR. Also having some type of high output motor or the largest motor that could be squeezed under the hood, as were demonstrated with the Z28 Camaro or the Boss 429 Mustang.
Why were they manufactured? Basically, as like any car, is that people will purchase it. Though this is not always completely true, as like the Boss 429, Ford lost money on every car produced. They sold them to create a better performance image for Ford and to obtain NASCAR requirements for a minimum number of the motors be produced in cars so it could qualify to be raced on the track. No better model to place the 429 engine in then than the Mustang. These Pony Cars of the mid to late 60's had a huge influence on creation of the Muscle Car era. The young baby boomer public wanted to order a car to their specific taste. Soon after the first appearance of Ford's Mustang, Chevrolet brought out the Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird, Chrysler produced the Barracuda/Cuda and Plymouth released the Duster. Creating a time when every American Car manufacturer had a Muscle car or two offered to the public. Series was introduced by the mid-60's with the new pony cars. The birth of Trans American Racing (Trans Am). American Motors even participated in Trans Am races with the Javelin AMX. Ford released a more streamline Mustang in 1969 with an improved 302 motor to compete. Coining the phrase " Win races on Sunday, Sell cars on Monday", which went on until car insurance costs and an oil crisis killed off demand for these awesome cars.
However as long as men have testosterone, the market for high performance automobiles will never go away. At worse it was stifled by the high cost of fuel and insurance. After the oil crisis of the 70's settled down, special cars appeared again that could be named Muscle cars. As like the Mustang GT/Cobra, the Viper, the Camaro and Trans Am Firebirds. The new high performance cars are in many ways better and faster cars than those classics. The later suspensions are much better, and the motors more exotic. Even the tires far superior to what was offered back then.
As far as car history goes though, the true Muscle cars came out of the 60's and early 70's.