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Thread: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    Have you owned (or at least driven) classic-era muscle car? Here are some I've owned... or had a chance to drive:

    * 1976 455 4-speed Trans-Am 50th Anniversary (owned)
    * 1971 Plymouth GTX 440 4-barrel (driven)
    * 1969 Chevy Chevelle SS 396/auto (driven)
    * 1979 Trans-Am 400 4-speed (driven)
    * 1972 'Cuda 383 4-speed (driven)

    And, of course, my current car - '76 Trans-Am (originally a 400/automatic but now a 455 automatic)

    How about you?

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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    Here's my top ten Muscle Cars I driven that left an impression on me (I might remember a few others after thinking about it):

    (1) SRT8 Grand Cherokee - Drove this SUV, nothing short of very fast, in fact its the fastest SUV ever produced. When a 4,800 lbs SUV does the 1/4 in low 13 second range, its the Shelby 427 Cobra of SUVs. And with it being all wheel drive this SUV always gets the power to the pavement.

    (2) 1967 Pontiac GTO - 400 - fast car with classic styling

    (3) 2006 Corvette LS2 - fast car and lots of fun to drive

    (4) 1970 Ram Air III 400 - Firebird Formula (a great motor)

    (5) 1970 Ram Air III 400 - GTO (366 horsepower)

    (6) 1970 Chevelle SS LS5 Convertible - (though not an LS6 it still has 390 horsepower - though factory rated it at 365 horsepower).

    (7) 1979 Trans Am W72 400 - (car left such an impression on me I bought one and still own it).

    (8 ) 1965 Mustang Fastback K-code 289 (270 horsepower) - fast small block Ford V8 especially in the light Mustang, same motor powered the Shelby 289 Cobra.

    (9) 1987 Grand National - needs no explaination

    (10) 2006 Lancer EVO MR - this car caught me by surprise, it's such a blast to drive and its a powerhouse. It's light but has a lot of power from its turbo charged 4 banger and it's got standard all wheel drive so the traction is excellent in almost any conditions. This car is capable in stock form low 13 second 1/4 mile times, and there is no turbo lag, the power is available everywhere in the rpm range. I'd have to say I am sold on this car once I drove it. If I put ear plugs in my ears and drove the car, I would think there was a powerful V8 under the hood not a turbo 4.






  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    Hi Pete,

    Good list!

    Here be some comments... .

    (1) SRT8 Grand Cherokee - Drove this SUV, nothing short of very fast, in fact its the fastest SUV ever produced. When a 4,800 lbs SUV does the 1/4 in low 13 second range, its the Shelby 427 Cobra of SUVs. And with it being all wheel drive this SUV always gets the power to the pavement.

    I agree this sucker is quick and pulls like a freight train of death; but I would not consider it a muscle car - in part because the power (as with any modern performance car) is so controllable. Part of the thrill of the old muscle cars (for me) was their wildness... . They could be scary - and not everyone could drive one fast. With a new performance machine like the SRT8 anyone can punch it and turn in a 13 second 1/4 mile time. Much harder to do that in an old GTO...

    (2) 1967 Pontiac GTO - 400 - fast car with classic styling

    Amen!

    (3) 2006 Corvette LS2 - fast car and lots of fun to drive

    Agreed - but I'd call the 'Vette a sports car/exotic - not a muscle car!

    (4) 1970 Ram Air III 400 - Firebird Formula (a great motor)

    Yes - and I forgot to add that one to my own list (I am guessing we drove the same car!)

    (5) 1970 Ram Air III 400 - GTO (366 horsepower)

    Amen again!

    (6) 1970 Chevelle SS LS5 Convertible - (though not an LS6 it still has 390 horsepower - though factory rated it at 365 horsepower).

    See above!

    (7) 1979 Trans Am W72 400 - (car left such an impression on me I bought one and still own it).

    No question; arguably the last "authentic" muscle car... big engine, no electronic controls, easy to get sideways!

    (8 ) 1965 Mustang Fastback K-code 289 (270 horsepower) - fast small block Ford V8 especially in the light Mustang, same motor powered the Shelby 289 Cobra.

    Hmmm... stradles the lines. I'd call it a pony car; a Mustang 390 would be a muscle car in my book...

    (9) 1987 Grand National - needs no explaination

    Same deal as w/Corvette; wonderful car - but is it a muscle car?

    (10) 2006 Lancer EVO MR - this car caught me by surprise, it's such a blast to drive and its a powerhouse. It's light but has a lot of power from its turbo charged 4 banger and it's got standard all wheel drive so the traction is excellent in almost any conditions. This car is capable in stock form low 13 second 1/4 mile times, and there is no turbo lag, the power is available everywhere in the rpm range. I'd have to say I am sold on this car once I drove it. If I put ear plugs in my ears and drove the car, I would think there was a powerful V8 under the hood not a turbo 4.

    I'm also a fan - of the performance. But its styling leaves me flat. Your TA or my TA might not be as quick (and definitely can't match its handling) but as far as curb appeal.... no contest!






    [/quote]

  4. #4
    MikeHalloran
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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    Pale yellow '66 Galaxie 2 dr hardtop, 390 4bbl, top-loader 4 speed, bench seats, and air conditioning.

    Drove it for 160,000 miles.

    There was a lot to like:
    - I got an insurance discount because it had 'only' 325HP. Those were the days.
    - Carried full size skis ... in the trunk.
    - Carried a pre-hung door home from the lumberyard ... inside, resting on the dash and the package shelf.

    A neighbor stopped me one day and said, "I don't even like cars, but I love the sound that one makes."

    I did, too. I always rolled down the windows in tunnels.




  5. #5
    mrblanche
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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    The problem I have is that when muscle cars were common, I saw lots of them, but I couldn't even afford to pay attention, let alone car payments.

    I DID have a girlfriend in college whose brother had a black 1968 Charger with a 440. I saw him wreck it; he was T-boned in the only significant intersection in town as he was on his way to a volunteer fire call. No injuries, just tears.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran
    Pale yellow '66 Galaxie 2 dr hardtop, 390 4bbl, top-loader 4 speed, bench seats, and air conditioning.

    Drove it for 160,000 miles.

    There was a lot to like:
    - I got an insurance discount because it had 'only' 325HP. Those were the days.
    - Carried full size skis ... in the trunk.
    - Carried a pre-hung door home from the lumberyard ... inside, resting on the dash and the package shelf.

    A neighbor stopped me one day and said, "I don't even like cars, but I love the sound that one makes."

    I did, too. I always rolled down the windows in tunnels.

    Beautiful car!

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    The problem I have is that when muscle cars were common, I saw lots of them, but I couldn't even afford to pay attention, let alone car payments.

    I DID have a girlfriend in college whose brother had a black 1968 Charger with a 440. I saw him wreck it; he was T-boned in the only significant intersection in town as he was on his way to a volunteer fire call. No injuries, just tears.
    Very sad end for the Charger...

    When I was in High School in the early '80s, there were still lots of '70s (and even '60s) era muscle cars being driven around every day; many were ratty - most were just considered old gas hogs/used cars. You could pick up a primered Chevelle/Nova/Camaro, etc. for $1,500 or less. I still remember seeing much nicer examples on consignment lots (often in the second or third row) for not much more.

    Prices began to go up - and get crazy - toward the latter end of the '80s...

    I paid $5,100 for my '76 Trans-Am in 1991, incidentally. This for a one-owner car with 48,000 original miles in extremely nice condition.


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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    MikeHalloran,

    Those 1966 Galaxie, two door hard tops were pretty sharp. And since you had the 390 that was also a nice bonus. Great thing about those cars is they had good looking lines, plenty of power, they fit 5 - 6 people comfortably, and they had large capcity trunks. Unlike a 1966 Mustang, you could take the whole family on vacation and load up the trunk.

    mrblanche,

    What a pity about the '68 Charger, so many muscle cars were lost in similar type accidents.


    Eric,

    You got a great deal on your '76 T/A. Your post got me thinking about that era in the 1980s and early 1990s when those corner used car lots, (most have which have bit the dust to the big dealers and CarMax) used to be full of so many great used muscle cars. These lots looked like the one that the main character's father in the movie "Breaking Away" owned. Remember in the movie when some frat boy wanted his money back on a classic mid 1960s stingray in good condition that did not run right (he bought the car for peanuts, and probably only the carb needed to be rebuilt). Now that car would be the deal of the century paying what the frat boy paid for the malfunctioning Corvette.

    Getting back to the old used car lots, if you would stop off at one, there would be a (mobile home) trailer sales office in the center of the lot, surrounded by used cars, about 20 - 30% of which were nice muscle cars. If I had a time machine and about $500 K to spend, I would got back and buy the best of them off the different lots, then I would have the best muscle car collection going. ;D


  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    "... If I had a time machine and about $500 K to spend, I would got back and buy the best of them off the different lots, then I would have the best muscle car collection going. ;D "

    I'd be content to be allowed to teleport back to late '75 with $15,000 in cash.. which I'd use to order two brand-new '76 Trans-Ams.. one Carousel Red, the other Goldenrod Yellow. Each with the 455, 4-speed, AC and rear consoles. Then I'd seal them tight in secure and climate-controlled storage - and have myself sent back to the future!

    It's a small request... who do I need to talk with to set it up?




    ;D

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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Then I'd seal them tight in secure and climate-controlled storage - and have myself sent back to the future!
    Don't give them to the same people who sealed up the '57 Plymouth Belvedere.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Then I'd seal them tight in secure and climate-controlled storage - and have myself sent back to the future!
    Don't give them to the same people who sealed up the '57 Plymouth Belvedere.

    Chip H.
    You've got that right!

    That Plymouth would have survived the 50 years' storage better just parked in someone's garage... it would probably still be driveable - and at the very least, restorable.

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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    I'd be content to be allowed to teleport back to late '75 with $15,000 in cash.. which I'd use to order two brand-new '76 Trans-Ams.. one Carousel Red, the other Goldenrod Yellow. Each with the 455, 4-speed, AC and rear consoles. Then I'd seal them tight in secure and climate-controlled storage - and have myself sent back to the future!
    Amen. Great idea, I'd do the same but try to go back with $24,000 and add a 50th anniversary edition SE 455 T/A to the list of one Carousel Red and one Goldenrod Yellow.

    The '76 T/A was one sharp looking car, the '70 - '73 T/A looked good, the '74 to '75 T/A was attractive but not as much as the '70 - '73 T/A, because the '74 and '75 had the black bumpers to meet the new federal standards (of course this bumper looked much better than the ghastly bumper on the '74 Camaro which looked like it came off a Caprice). The '74 - '75 T/As looked like they had a front overbite. The '76 with its new body-colored front and rear bumpers looked so good and matched up with the single (one on each side) headlights, large dual front grilles which would never be that big again, the car just looked great and had for the first time an aerodynamic front end that swept back nicely. In my opinion the '76 looked much better than even the '70 to '73 T/As. And add to that the new dual chrome splitter exhaust along with having the colors combos: Carousel Red, Goldenrod Yellow, Firethorn Red, and the black/gold 50th anniversary SE - the 1976 T/A making the '76 T/A nothing short of a winner. 1976 was the first year for the optional Formula Decal package. I'd take a L78 powered Carousel Red or Goldenrod Yellow decal package Formula any day.





    As a side note there was a guy who posted (back in 2000) on Steve B's old 2nd generation Trans Am forum board. This guy had bought a Golden Rod yellow L75 455 4-speed '76 Trans Am new back in 1976, right off the dealer lot. He drove the car for 10 years and then sold it. He was trying to locate the car he once owned or another Golden Rod Yellow L75 455 T/A just like it, he did not realize how rare his former Trans Am was. He only posted for 6 months and then disappeared off the board, so I don't know if he ever found one.



    chiph,

    That '57 Belvedere was in bad straights, what a dumb idea it was to bury it. Reminds me of the story I heard a few years back of a guy who bought an original Hemi car that had languished in someones back yard for years and over time had sunk into the ground where the bottom of the car was a few inches deep embedded into the ground. When the buyer pulled the car out of the mud the frame snapped in half in the middle of the car since it was so rotten from exposure to the moisture in the ground over the years.

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    Re: Muscle cars you've owned (or at least driven)

    Eric,

    I agree with your accessment on the 301 turbo T/A

    The appeal of the '80 - '81 turbo cars was they had many different color options, had the neat looking offset hood bulge, they were loaded with options (rarely will you see a stipper turbo T/A) including the upgraded interiors and many came with T-tops, great aerodynamic exterior styling, etc.

    The Indy pace car edition Trans Am was nothing short of a masterpiece. The '81 Daytona Pace Car edition was also a great looking car especially the red/black interior with Recaro seats. I also would not mind owning one.

    A few years back there was a guy who had a web page where he had pictures of his '79 Atlantis Blue W72 Trans Am which he was restoring. He also had a '79 TATA and a '80 Carousel Red Turbo Trans Am which had the delete option that substituted the 15x8" turbo wheels with the standard 15x7" snowflake wheels. His parents had bought the car new in 1980. Wow it was a neat car, a very rare too. To this day I have never seen a Carousel Red '80 Trans Am in person.

    Note: Somehow when I replied to your message, my message text overlaped over your message (deleting your text), so I had to delete the message. I don't think it was anything I did. I'll watch carefully to see if this happens again. Sorry for any problems or confusion this may cause.

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