According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, muscle cars are by definition, “any of a group of American-made 2-door sports coupes with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving.” They are characterized by a large V-8 engine, 2 doors, mid to full-size, and straight-line speed.
Learn what type of vehicles are classified as muscle cars, when they were most popular, and what they’re used for.
Types of Muscle Cars
Although what qualifies as a muscle car is much debated, full-size cars, compacts, and pony cars (like the Ford Mustang or Dodge Challenger) are usually included in this category.
Era of the Muscle Car
Although the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 is often cited as the first muscle car, the 1960′s and 1970′s are considered the era of the muscle. Recently, several muscle cars have been resurrected by American auto makers, but the popularity of the muscle car today has yet to match that of its height in the 60′s and 70′s.
Function of the Muscle Car
The American car industry designed muscle cars for straight-line speed (at a time when European automakers were
creating expensive high-performance vehicles). They are primarily intended for drag racing and street use.
Examples of Muscle Cars
1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
Mileage: 55,173 miles
1966 Ford Mustang Coupe
Mileage: 32,001 miles
1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass SX
Mileage: 75,306 miles