04.20.17 - Oldsmobile 442

So You Think You Know Your Muscle Cars

In General by Nathan Ehinger

If you’re a fan of the American Muscle cars of the days gone by in the 1960s and early 1970s you might think you know everything there is to know about these cars. This was a time in automotive history when we had cars that were powered by massive V8 engines and had the quality we wanted to enjoy on the street or at the track. The movies depicting this time in history showed cruising nights on the weekend and drag races that left us with the feeling of speed and power that we loved. You may feel like you’re an expert on these cars, but let’s see if you know these facts.

1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 – You may know all the specs and have an idea to the awesome power and prestige of this car, but did you know the 1967 model used Mercury Cougar tail lights while the 1968 model used the same tail lights that were found in the 1966 Ford Thunderbird?

1984 Chevy Corvette – This was the first year of the C4 Corvette, but did you know there wasn’t a 1983 Corvette ever produced? The last year for the C3 was 1982 and all but one of the 1983 Corvette prototypes was ordered to be destroyed. This lone survivor lives in the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.

1969 Dodge Charger DaytonaThis car has been admired for its singular looks, but was the large wing really necessary and so far away from the trunklid? Actually the drag of this car was 0.28 which is still an impressive number but the huge wing wasn’t needed to achieve this number and the only reason it was built this way was to allow the lid to fully open underneath it.

1970 Oldsmobile 442 – Here is a car that we loved to drive and it was the sibling to the Pontiac GTO and Chevelle SS of the time. Did you know this car was raced by James Garner in the NORRA Mexico 1000 and it placed second in that race? This is a car that has been legendary over the years and that particular one found an impressive place in history.

1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – This is one of the most iconic cars on the road thanks to the Smokey and the Bandit movies. The T-top roof hatches first became an option in 1976 and were made by Hurst, but they leaked. GM turned to Fisher body division to recreate this top and midway through 1978 changed the tops which leaves some of that year with the Hurst Hatches and others with the new Fisher ones.

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 – Did you know there were three different 429 engines that were installed in this car between 1969 and 1970? The S-Code was installed on earlier cars that had race parts but this engine had warranty issues which led to the T-Code engine and then later to the A-Code engine which became the final version of the engine used in this car.

1970 Chevy Chevelle LS6 – It was understood that no other car could be in the Chevy lineup with more power than the Corvette, but that seems to have been a relaxed rule for 1970. This car showed up with 450 horsepower which was more than the LS5 of the same year which only had 390 horsepower under the hood.

1969 Pontiac GTO Judge – Did you know the Judge was one of the first cars ever featured in a music video? The TV commercial for this car showed Paul Revere and the Raiders singing a song about the GTO which was written by Make Lindsay for the car. Until this time, this advertising was unheard of and certainly the Judge was worthy of the song.

1969 COPO Camaro – This was one of the cars of the day that didn’t show off what it had under the hood with the badges. The ZL-1 427 V8 engine of this car was a racing engine that was offered to the masses. This engine was originally built for the Chaparral racing team to be used in Cam Am racing and there aren’t any badges to let you know this power is present.

1987 Buick GNX – While this car doesn’t fit in the decades of the rest of the cars, this is a car worth mentioning. When the production of this car ended there were several of the turbocharged V6 engines left over which Pontiac used in the 20th Anniversary edition of the Trans AM for us to enjoy and admire one more great muscle car.