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Old 01-03-2013, 07:12 PM
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Default What is the difference between a Muscle and Classic car ?

I was reading an article on the difference between a Classic car and a Muscle car in a major car magazine this morning. This article made me feel like it was going in circles, never really answering the question. What is the difference between a Classic car and a Muscle car.

I always thought that most "Muscle Cars" were produced between 1967 and 1972, with a couple major exceptions, one being given to the Mustang which started production in 1964 or 1964 1/2. But there was the GTO which was introduced in 1964 (I think), and I have read that many people considered the GTO the very first Muscle car.

So what to you consider to be a Muscle Car ?

And what do you consider to be the difference between a Classic Car and a Muscle Car.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:44 PM
carpoor carpoor is offline
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Classic = pedestrian version. Muscle = image cars of that time. IMHO, the beginning of the muscle car era began when OHV V8 engines started being more common, with multiple carburetion, fi, etc. I would have to say around 1957-ish.

Even though it is a land yacht, I definitely consider an early 60's 409 SS Impala a muscle car. I feel the same way about the early 60's mopars with max wedge engines. The list goes on...

Here is a link to the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drags: http://www.purestockdrags.com/index....d=48&Itemid=53

Their definition is on that page.
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Last edited by carpoor; 01-03-2013 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:58 PM
grandsport grandsport is offline
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I consider my 418hp12 Mustang GT and my 350hp 70SS 396 muscle cars.In my opinion cars built in the 70s and older are classic cars.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:28 PM
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A Muscle Car was something that came out of the factory with performance in mind. A Classic Car could be any car over 10 years old. A Muscle Car could even be considered a Classic Car.

Last edited by hkalin; 01-04-2013 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:45 PM
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see i am torn with this topic. i think a classic car is something that is restored or preserved from the day it was bought from the dealer. muscle cars is more of cars that are modified even if it has headers and exhaust that gives it the muscle sound. i also think of my rx7 as a muscle car, since i was kicked out of a car club that was mostly imports because my car is a "muscle car"...lol
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:03 PM
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There's lots of ways to interpret the slang on this.

"Muscle car" is any mid sized car from 1964-1972 with a large car power plant. ie: A 455 typically found in a B body GM, put into an A body GM car.

"Pony car" is a unibody car designed to compete in Trans Am racing in the '60's. The term "Pony Car" was derived from the Mustang which was the first pony car produced.

"Classic car" is any car 10 years old or older, the first or last of a series, or limited edition.

"Antique car" is any vehicle 25 years old or older.

(The last two are the requirements for the Pa. DMV)

SO, muscle cars can be classics, but not all classics are muscle cars. .....but they do over lap in some cases.
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Last edited by earthquake68; 01-03-2013 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthquake68 View Post
There's lots of ways to interpret the slang on this.

"Muscle car" is any mid sized car from 1964-1972 with a large car power plant. ie: A 455 typically found in a B body GM, put into an A body GM car.

"Pony car" is a unibody car designed to compete in Trans Am racing in the '60's. The term "Pony Car" was derived from the Mustang which was the first pony car produced.

"Classic car" is any car 10 years old or older, the first or last of a series, or limited edition.

"Antique car" is any vehicle 25 years old or older.

(The last two are the requirements for the Pa. DMV)

SO, muscle cars can be classics, but not all classics are muscle cars. .....but they do over lap in some cases.
I agree with what you have said, but for me Antique is 50 years or older.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:03 AM
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I know it seems strange to say an '80-something Citation is an antique, but again, I was just going off of PA. DMV criteria. My first '64 was eligible for antique plates back in 1989. I remember I had to wait a couple years to get them, but when the time came, I went with vanity plates because the restrictions were too much on the antique plates.

I think over time people not in "the know" just refer to any car from '62-'72 as a muscle car. My definitions are what I've heard over the years that make the most sense to me. A Corvette is NOT a muscle car. ....it's a sports car. Which is another definition. "Sports car" ...an open top, two seater car design for spirited road driving. "Sports coupe" would be a two seater with a roof.
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Last edited by earthquake68; 01-04-2013 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:36 AM
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It can mean whatever you want it to mean to get your point accross. The useage will vary depending on if I'm talking to a fellow enthusiast, or if I'm talking to someone like my mother-in-law.

Typically, I don't really follow the strict "big cube engine in a mid-size car ONLY" definition. We know what the classic definitions of "sports car" "pony car" and "muscle car" are, but there's overlap between them IMHO.

A "pony car" typically had sporty handling and was more Trans-Am inspired... put a Bigblock in a Camaro, HEMI in a 'cuda, or 429 in a Mustang, and suddenly they've lost much of their sportiness, and have crossed well into "muscle car" territory.

I wouldn't discount a L79 Chevelle either... they may not have big cubes, but they've got plenty of "muscle" for their day.

As for the full-size cars, anything with a solid-lifter bigblock definitely is a "muscle car" IMHO, despite not fitting the strict definition. Other lower-HP bigblocks go into a bit of a gray-area.

The definition of "classic car" shouldn't be all-inclusive to anything over a certain age... there needs to be some collectability and desire for to actually own one in order to be a "classic". An early Dodge Caravan is old enough, but it sure as hell isn't a "classic".
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek69SS View Post
An early Dodge Caravan is old enough, but it sure as hell isn't a "classic".
Really ? Only kidding ! lol
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