Muscle Car 101There is no definitive list of “muscle cars” and “non-muscle cars.” And as the years have gone by, some of the lines that traditionally separated sports cars from muscle cars have begun to blur. For our purposes though, we’ll focus on a few features that set muscle cars apart from the rest of the pack.
- Power –– The first and most important element of a “true” muscle car is a power-packed engine. Think V8 and up. Muscle car engines are big and bulky, and they deliver an impact that the typical sports car engine simply can’t match. That’s one reason why the handling and feel of a muscle car is so distinct from other vehicles.
- Bulk and Body –– Since a muscle car has to house a thunderous engine, the body has to be big enough to support it. What’s more, the traditional look of a muscle car conveys a sense of the car’s potency; if you’ve ever seen a car that looks like it’s about to burst from the seams, it was probably a muscle car.
- American-Made –– Yes, muscle cars are a uniquely American invention. Sure, it’s possible for an overseas company to manufacture a muscle car –– but it doesn’t happen very often. A lot of it has to do with terrain. Put simply, the American landscape (particularly the West, and Southwest) lends itself to the unique capabilities of muscle cars.