My Top Five Classic Muscle Cars Of All Time

Today the term muscle car refers for all sorts of cars with large engines and great performance. However, “back in the day” it described mid-sized automobiles that had big engines stuffed between the fender wells. Corvettes, Camaros, and Mustangs were not considered muscle cars by the purists. Even today many gear heads only consider the mid sized cars from the 1960’s as true muscle cars. Everything else is a sports car, pony car or just a plain old car.

So what was the most important of these original muscle cars? We have chosen five of the most popular cars for a retro comparison to determine the king of the hill. The selectee’s are the 1961 Chevy Impala SS, the 1964 Pontiac GTO, the 1964 Ford Fairlane, the 1966 Dodge Charger and the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner. Let the showdown begin.

1961 Chevy Impala SS

Many consider this the first true muscle car. A 409 cubic inch motor was dropped into the Chevy Impala and a legend was made. With the help of the Beach Boys and their song about the car (‘She’s so fine, my four-oh-nine’) it became an icon for the baby boomers. Chevy’s marketing for the car described it as designed “for young men on the move…(who) won’t settle for less than REAL driving excitement.”

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I digress, back to the topic of performance for these puppies…

Performance was very good for the era with Motor Trend driving one from zero to sixty on seven seconds and completing the quarter mile in 14 seconds at 98 mph. The car became a legend.

1964 Pontiac GTO

The GTO was another marketing success for General Motors. Although the car was not the fastest car on the market it quickly became successful as an all a round muscle car. It was relatively affordable, relatively fast and relatively handsome. Many consider it the first modern muscle car. Although that is debatable, it is definitely the first successful muscle car in terms of sales.

Performance was very good with Car Life and Motor Trend both measuring zero to sixty times of less than seven seconds and quarter mile times of around 14 seconds.

1964 Ford Fairlane

In 1964 the Fairlane was redesigned and the tail fins were removed. Other improvements included upgrades to the suspension in order to improve ride-quality. Interior enhancements included full carpeting for the floors and turn signals that turned themselves off after the steering wheel was turned. However, the big news for 1964 was the Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt was one of fastest dragsters ever produced by a manufacturer. Ford stuffed a heavily modified 427 cubic inch engine with two four-barrel carburetors mounted on a high-riser manifold into the relatively light weight Fairlane. The car had a ram-air induction system with air vents mounted in openings in the grill left by deleting the inboard headlights.

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Other modifications included: equal-length headers, a trunk-mounted battery, fiberglass hood, doors, fenders and front bumper, Plexiglass windows, and other lightweight options included deleting the rear door window winders, carpeting, radio, sealant, sun visors, armrests, jack, lug wrench, heater, soundproofing, and passenger side windshield wiper. Performance was amazing. Gas Ronda dominated NHRA’s 1964 World Championship by running his Thunderbolt through the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds at 124 mph. Later, the NHRA changed the rules to require 500 models of a car to be manufactured for Super Stock competition, and Ford, which had been losing $1500 to $2000 on each Thunderbolt sold at the sticker price of $3900, gave up. In the end, it was the NHRA and its ability to change the rules that stopped the Ford from dominating the drag strips for many years.

Although the Fairlane faded form Ford’s performance spotlight as the Mustang took off. It came back in 1966 and 67 as a very nice looking car. Large engines ‘encouraged’ great performance numbers also.

1966 Dodge Charger

Although it resembled a Coronet with a fastback, the production Charger carried design cues from the Charger II concept car. Both maintained the swoopy fastback that was very popular during the mid-sixties. The electric shaver grill used fully rotating headlights that when opened or closed made the grill look like one-piece. Inside, the Charger used four individual bucket seats with a full length console from front to rear. The rear seats and console pad also folded down which allowed for more cargo room inside. In the rear the full length taillights carried the Charger name.

The car was radically different than anything else on the road and when fitted with a street Hemi it was one of the fastest cars on the road. A Hemi equipped car could do zero to sixty in less than seven seconds and the quarter mile in about 14 seconds. It was a big and radically designed car. And best of al, it was fast.

1968 Plymouth Road Runner

By 1968, muscle cars had become fast, luxurious and expensive. The young people that consisted of the primary market for these types of transportation had been priced out of the market. Plymouth recognized this and exploited to its fullest potential. First, the stripped down a Belvedere to its most basic form and then gave it a large motor. Then the marketing department found a simple way to change the image of the car from that of a bare bones racer to a unique automobile. A popular cartoon character and a unique horn was all that was need to bring this car to the masses.

The Road runner was an instant success. The combination of affordability plus outstanding performance had won the day again. Performance was remarkable with 13 second times for the Hemi and 15 second times for the base engine in the quarter mile.

The Winner

All five of these muscle cars were trend setters in their day. But the one that appeals to this author as the greatest of the early muscle cars is the 1966 Dodge Charger. It was a radical departure from the past with its fast back design and the four passenger bucket seats. It just looked like a muscle car. Performance was strong and the price was reasonable. The 1961 Chevy Impala Super Sport is a close second and if more had been made it may have actually won this little competition.

Read more about these great muscle cars at Muscle Cars [http://musclecarfacts.net/]

Muscle Cars [http://musclecarfacts.net/] is dedicated to providing information on all the great muscle cars of the past.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Brian_Edwards/8408

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Going Car Shopping Soon? Try These Tips

Shopping for a car is stressful if you’;re not sure what you are doing. Getting a good deal, and getting a car that’;s in good shape are what you’;re probably looking for. This guide will teach you the basics of car shopping. Read below and learn what you can do to make the experience go smoothly.

Think about buying a used car instead of a new car. When you buy a new car it loses thousands of dollars of value the minute you drive it off the lot, but a used car has already lost that value. So if you buy a used car it will be worth what you pay for it.

Plan to buy at the end of the year if you can. This is the time when the best deals are available; not only is the calendar changing over, but new vehicles are rolling on to the lot. Begin shopping in October, although keep in mind that December might be the best month to get a low price.

If you are trading in an automobile, visit your local library and find out the value of your car. You can also look this information up online in several different locations. By having the trade-in value of your car and the retail value of your car you can negotiate better.

Before going car shopping, clean all personal items out of your car. Doing this one thing will save you considerable time at the dealership. This will also ensure that you do not leave behind important documents such as insurance papers. Nothing is worse than getting home and realizing the you left something in the car you just traded in.

When negotiating terms on a car note, think about your budget seriously. Don’;t max out your budget with a car payment or settle for what you can afford. Undershoot the payment, so you can pay more each month, saving yourself on interest and paying the car off much faster.

Get every offer, including fees, rebates, financing and terms, in writing and then compare them all. This lets you compare apples to apples, viewing the options on paper side by side. If you don’;t get it in writing, you may not be able to hold them to their offer later either.

Shop around for a lender before you finance your car’;s purchase. In many cases, the best financing deals are not found at the dealership. By shopping with local banks and your credit union, you can feel confident that you are getting the best deal when it comes to your interest rate and terms.

Never purchase a car the same day that you find it. A rule of thumb is to sleep on the decision. That way you have time to think about the pros and cons of the car and how much you think the car is for you. Do not worry that the car will be sold in the meantime as there are many more out there.

Now that you know what all you need to do when you go car shopping, you should feel more comfortable. Don’;t allow the car of your dreams to slip away! Put this guide to use and you’;ll find that you’re able to get the car you want with less effort.

Do Luxury Cars Really Attract And Impress Women?

There seems to be a general feeling that women are generally impressed by guys who drive expensive cars. Some guys even seem to believe that they have a better chance of scoring a date if they drive an exotic or expensive car.

Personally, I have NEVER thought to myself “Wow, that guy driving the 7-series must be loaded! Let me go get some of that!” The feelings I generally get when seeing a guy in a super expensive car such as a Lamborghini or Bentley run anywhere from apathy to envy to motivation. Let me explain further…

Apathy – Most of the time I could care less if a guy drives a $200,000 car. When I DO LOOK, it’s to check out the car and not the guy. Personally, I find no glory in dating a guy driving an expensive car. I am extremely ambitious I would rather work hard enough in order to BUY a $200,000 car myself. What do you gain from sitting in the passenger seat of an expensive car? Absolutely nothing. I would rather be the owner of the car; that’s where the real glory lies. Also, it makes no difference to me if another person can afford an expensive car; it doesn’t affect me personally. I have no interest in being with someone for their wealth; I’d rather have my own wealth.

Envy – Seeing someone in a really nice car will sometimes bring out the green eyed monster in me. It can make me a just a bit sad seeing how someone else has so much while I don’t… However, that’s not a very healthy way of thinking because there will always be someone richer and wealthier… or prettier… or skinnier… or more successful… That’s just the way of the world.

Motivation – Seeing someone in an expensive car like a Bentley mostly serves as motivation and inspiration. It reminds me of what is achievable in life if you work hard and never give up. If anything, it makes me want to work harder and not slack off so that one day I may achieve that level of wealth and success.

With all this talk about luxury cars, it’s still important to keep in mind that it’s important to live within your means. Dealerships such as GMC Dealer Columbus and Buick Dealer Columbus sell cars that are affordable and reliable. After all; it’s not very impressive to drive an exotic car while living in a tiny apartment. Not to mention the fact that a car is a depreciating liability and not an asset.

In conclusion, there are many women out there who are impressed by the type of cars guys drive and are easily impressed by them. However, to me that is “broke thinking”. Why be content sitting in the passenger seat when you can be the driver and have the wealth and power for yourself? An exorbitantly expensive car doesn’t make a guy more attractive to me; it only serves to make me want to compete with them and win. Since I am competitive, guys in expensive cars inspire me to become more successful in life… it serves as fuel to make me work even harder.

Trust me, when you are 90 years old and lying on your deathbed you do not want to think about your life and think “Wow, the highlight of my life was dating that guy in the Lamborghini”… Much better to be able to look back and think “What a great life I’ve had; I made millions of dollars, achieved things others can only dream about, owned and enjoyed the best exotic cars and luxury goods that money could buy and lived my life with no regrets… “

Which Do You Prefer – British Classics or American Muscle?

I never really understood why Americans developed such a love for our British Sportcars. For Brits of my generation it is obvious as we grew up with them. In the late 50s and early 60s there were very few foreign cars on UK roads, a few Renaults and Citroens and the inevitable VW Beetles. Japanese cars didn’t start getting imported until 1965 and it was only in the 1970s and 1980s when a combination of strong unions, bad management and bad quality saw them really have an impact on the UK manufacturers. For a while there were probably as many American cars in the UK as German, as we had a lot of US bases all over the country and many GIs imported US cars.

I have known for years that about 75% of production of Austin Healey, Jaguar, MG and Triumph went to the US but it is only now that I own two American classics that I think I understand why British cars are loved so much.

To illustrate this I think it is worthwhile doing a straight comparison with a couple of the classics that I have owned and driven. My favourite car by a long way is my 1970 Jaguar SII E-Type. I am now on my 3rd E-Type having progressed up the value chain from a SII 2+2, the least desirable version, to a SII coupe and now to a SII Roadster. 1964 saw the S1 E-Types evolving from the original design with the 4.2 litre engine replacing the 3.8, a Jaguar gearbox replacing the appalling Moss one, brakes being upgraded and a decent servo installed and good supportive seats replacing the original bucket ones. 1964 saw the launch of the Ford Mustang in the US and my 1st American Muscle Car is a 1965 Mustang Fastback GT, so I believe it is fair to compare these two.

I will ignore the fact that the Ford Mustang is a 2+2 v the 2 seater E-Type and concentrate on the technology and driving. Both cars have similar power outputs – Mustang 250 bhp, E-Type 265 bhp, both have 4 speed manual gearboxes and the weights are pretty close. There the similarities end. The Mustang has a solid rear axle on good old fashioned cart springs and single Macpherson strut suspension for each front wheel. The E-Type has double wishbone front suspension and fully independent rear suspension. Ford offered various braking options: drums all round; drums plus a servo or drums on the rear and disks on the front – which ours has. For some inexplicable reason Ford didn’t think the driver would need disks and a servo. E-Types have disk brakes on all four wheels and a servo as standard – right from their launch in 1961.

It is this combination of fully independent suspension and decent brakes that make the E-Type completely outclass the Mustang, which is pretty fast in a straight line with 0-60 being only 1 second slower than the E-Type. Sadly the myth that American muscle cars were not designed to go round corners seems fairly accurate. The basic suspension is responsible for a soft ride and lots of body roll, speed really needs to be scrubbed off to get round even the gentlest of bends. The E-Type will easily leave the Mustang standing on any winding country road.

Over the years technology improved a bit so it is worth comparing our 1974 Triumph TR6 with my 2nd American muscle car – a 1978 C3 Corvette Special Edition Indy Pace Car. The TR6 develops 125 bhp from its Lucas injected 6 cylinder 2.5 litre engine while the Vette develops 220 bhp from its V8 which is more than twice the size at 5.7 litres (350 ci). This engine has to drag along about 50% more weight than the TR6 – 3,624 lbs v 2,410 lbs but does manage to carry it to 60 mph about 1½ seconds quicker. Top speed of the Vette is only 5 mph faster than the TR6. Not a huge difference for all that extra horse power and fuel consumption.

The TR6 has a 4 speed manual gearbox with overdrive giving it 6 gears while the Vette has a 3 speed auto box which doesn’t rev very high, even with the accelerator flat on the floor.

Both the Vette and TR6 have independent rear suspension so the road holding on both is better than the 1965 Mustang but not as good as the E-Type. The Vette has disk brakes on all four wheels and a servo v the TR6 front disks and servo. To help handle the weight of the cast engine V8 engine block our Vette has power steering which while it makes life really easy loses all feedback to the driver.

We take our cars on track when possible on a classic car tour and our Etype would leave the Mustang standing. I haven’t yet taken the Corvette on track and while it will be quick off the line I am sure that the TR6 will see it off in the corners as it is much lighter and more nimble.

The two American muscle cars do have a few things going for them: that unique V8 burble, straight line speed and their ability to attract attention. There is also no doubt that the success of the Mustang (1 Million cars sold in 18 months) is unlikely ever to be matched again and Ford with their huge options list did more to push the idea of the ‘personal car’ than anyone else.

But our TR6 and Etype are much better driver’s cars, better road holding, better braking, more nimble and much more fun.

This can all be summarised by the split in the age range of who appreciates which car. The American cars tend to attract the attention of 30 somethings who have grown up with American films like Grease and High School Musical. The E-Type and TR6 tend to attract the attention of 40 and 50 somethings who grew up with them in the UK.

It would interesting to see a remake of Grease with ‘Greased Lightning’ being based on an E-Type!

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Combining his 20 year background in sales and marketing with his knowledge of the classic car hire industry, in early 2008 Tony launched a new web portal Classic Car Hire World – listing classic and sports car hire companies around the world. Within three months of its launch this site achieved a Google PageRank of 4/10 and was showing on the first page of Google.com when users searched for ‘classic car hire’.

Upgrading the Radiator and Cooling Fan on a 1969 MGB Roadster

In all the 18+ years of ownership of our 1969 MGB Roadster it has never overheated, but a minor leak from the radiator in 2016 necessitated its change so I decided it was the right time to upgrade the cooling system in preparation for the next 18 years.

While checking on prices for a new radiator I came across a company in The Netherlands offering an aluminium radiator for not much more than a standard one, so ordering was a no brainer. Fortunately I ordered this about one month before the British voted to leave the EU and the Pound plummeted against the Euro.

As the whole cooling system had to come apart I thought I would also replace the engine driven radiator fan with an electric one. I have fitted Kenlowe fans to my cars in the past and while they worked perfectly well I had two issues with them. Firstly fitting with their universal fitting kit was never that accurate and always looked a bit untidy and secondly the sensor was an odd bulb arrangement which fitted in the head of the radiator and slotted into an extra seal, which I found difficult to make watertight.

This time I opted for a Revotec fan as it fixed both these problems. Each fan comes with a laser cut aluminium frame which fits onto long bolts in place of the normal ones and the sensor is embedded into a special section of aluminium tube which along with two short hoses replaces the normal convoluted top hose. The Revotec came complete with a good set of instructions and all necessary wires, connectors, and even a set of cable ties to tidy up the wiring.

Inevitably my work involved in replacing the cooling system doesn’t stop there as while this was removed from the engine compartment I cleaned it up as much as possible. The radiator surround and expansion tank, I had previously fitted, were removed and painted with black Smoothrite and the water pump hub in yellow. The inner wings were cleaned, a few areas touched in and all polished. I replaced the lower radiator hose, crankcase breather and oil cooler grommets at the same time while I had easy access.

Everything was installed relatively smoothly and with no problems. I wired in the fan and controller loosely to make sure everything worked properly, before I committed to cutting the wires to size and fixing it as tidily as possible.

The MGB all fired up first time and amazingly there were no leaks from anywhere. The controller worked well and after allowing the engine to heat up and the fan cut in OK. It took a few cycles to set it at about the right operating temperature. A good road test in varied conditions also proved successful, still without leaking. The Revotec works really well generating a huge airflow which cools the radiator very quickly and cuts in and out smoothly. My only criticism of Revotec is that nowhere in the instructions did it say what ampage fuse was needed to the fan supply. A quick Google search found this on the Revotec website. So why on earth don’t they include it in the printed instructions?

In theory removing the engine driven fan should also release a few extra bhp but no-one ever said how much. But as the MGB was originally only 95 bhp, and presumably over the years this has dropped a bit, even only a few bhp could make a 5% difference although there wasn’t any noticeable difference during my road test.

The new aluminium radiator and Revotec fan should serve the car well for a long time and it gave me the excuse to clean up the engine bay.

How Do You Know Which Car Fits Your Lifestyle?

There are hundreds of cars, SUVs, trucks and minivans to choose from when purchasing a vehicle. To make the right choice you must first consider all functions a car provides you. Yes its main function is to get you from point A to point B (and sometimes to C, D & E) but what else do you need it to do for you? Whether you know it or not, there are dozens of criteria a car must have to fit your lifestyle.

For example, if you have children you would need a certain type of vehicle, right? However, that vehicle may change if you have 4 children versus 2. Also, if you have a long commute to work and gas prices are a significant factor in your monthly budget, that could change the search of vehicles that would work for you as well. Maybe you want an electric car… that’s fun, right? Make sure you have access at home to a charging station… Some condos, especially older ones, don’t have this and they can’t be added without spending thousands of dollars. Also, batteries need to be replaced on those after a certain number of miles which can cost the same amount as a car engine.

Maybe you already have 2 family cars and want something fun and sporty for the weekends like a convertible. This may affect your budget as it’s now a 3rd car you have to purchase and maintain. Beware the auto insurance can significantly increase when making 3rd car purchases especially if they are sports cars. That is something you will want to factor in when planning your budget. You don’t want to get hit with an $85 monthly insurance increase on top of the 3rd car payment. Call your insurance company in advance of making the vehicle purchase to be sure it’s within your comfortable range.

All these factors are relevant when deciding which car fits your lifestyle. There are hundreds of cars to choose from and you want to make sure you make the right choice. We recommend using a car buying service that help perspective buyers make the perfect choice and not get hit with hidden (or junk) fees at the table. Most of the time, they are even able to negotiate so much off the car that their fee is technically free, even though you have to pay it up front. It’s the way to go.

Fender Flares – Its Importance and Reasons to Buy It for Your Vehicle

Ruff-Riderz

Fender flares is one of the aftermarket parts often bought by vehicle owners. It is called as “fender” in American English and”wing” in British English. It is an aftermarket automotive accessory available to most vehicles, may it be a car, SUV or a truck.

Benefits

You can get a lot of benefits from using fender flares for your vehicle. The primary purpose of fender flare is to prevent the rotating tires to throw particles such as mud, rocks, sand, liquids, and other road substances into the air. For aesthetic purpose, you can customize the look of your vehicle with this part. You can install it in your stock truck to add style.

Another benefit of using fender flare is, it becomes an extension of your vehicle especially when you plan to put on bigger tires. It is fitted directly over the wheel well and contoured to match the same body lines of the vehicle. It is also used tohide rust or body damage around the wheel well. These are typically made to be rigid and paired up with flexible mud flaps.

Styles

Fender flares are legally required if you’re planning to put on larger tires. You need to determine what set of fender flares you want or need. Finding the style that fits with your vehicle will depend on your preference and your personality. There are different brands that offer fender flares in various color, shapes and sizes, but it can be categorized into one of 4 styles:

  • OE Style

This style will give an added style on the basic stock look on your vehicle. This is also preferred by those who just want to hide a small amount of body rust or damage in their vehicle. Take note that some OE style fender flares does not use the same factory holes and may require drilling.

  • Street Style

Street Flares provides protection around the wheel well and fenders, plus an added style and low-profile appearance on the vehicle. It has a smaller profile compared to OE style fender flares. You can usually see this on showroom style trucks.

  • Pocket / Bolt Style

The Pocket / Bolt Style provide protection while giving an extremely rugged and tough look on your ride. It’s a no-drill installation, unlike the OE style that requires drilling. It is created with a bolt set in each number of pockets which gives bolt-on appearance.

  • Extended Style

If you want your vehicle to look tougher but needs a serious extension, then you have to put on the extended style fender flares. These are usually seen on heavy duty-looking vehicles but not as aggressive as the looks you can get from the bolted style.

Fender flares are available in different styles, colors, and even textures to match the look of your vehicle. It also provides additional coverage for oversized wheels and tires. Take note that this aftermarket vehicle part can even help retain resale value since it keeps rocks and debris away from the vehicle’s body.

Have you decided what fender flare style you want to put on your vehicle?