By Darwin Holmstrom, Tom Glatch
A muscle vehicle symbolizes freedom. It was once freedom that introduced the muscle automobile into life ─ the liberty of inexpensive fuel and open roads, the liberty provided by means of the postwar American dream, the liberty to move with regards to anyplace and do exactly approximately whatever. while Pontiac advertised its GTO to the baby-boom iteration, the automobiles, the folk who drove them, and the days during which the 2 got here jointly resulted in one of many maximum tales in car historical past. while these first fortunate dealers cranked up the 360-horsepower Tri-Power 389 engines and drove their GTOs off broker plenty, these vehicles took their vendors towards experience, romance, good fortune, the longer term. American Muscle autos tells the tale of the main remarkable and fascinating automobiles ever to come back out of Detroit. it is a tale of flat-out functionality advised at full-throttle, illustrated with appealing smooth and old images.
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Extra info for American Muscle Cars: A Full-Throttle History
Hot Rod magazine, December, 1956 country. Chevrolet needed to respond, and respond it did, in the form of a W-head engine punched out to 409 cubic inches. Introduced late in the 1961 model year, this stroked-and-bored engine provided inspirational performance. In base four-barrel form, the new 409 produced 360 horsepower and a massive 409 lb-ft of torque. Mounted in the engine bay of a stunning new Super Sport Impala Sport Coupe, a base 409 with proper gearing could run through the quarter-mile traps in under 15 seconds.
Instead of a Pontiac, there was a good chance he’d buy a Chevy. Hot Rod magazine, July, 1956 Thus if a Chevrolet whipped a Pontiac on the drag strip, it meant that Chevys would whip Pontiacs on the sales charts. It was in each manufacturer’s best interest to develop cars that would whip the cars built by the other manufacturers, and with the then-current technology, the surest path to success was excess. The late 1950s saw most auto manufacturers developing big-inch engines with which to pummel their competition into submission.
Detroit began producing increasingly powerful engines to propel their cars to NASCAR winner’s circles. In many ways, NASCAR racing drove V-8 engine development even more than did drag racing. 42 CHAPTER ONE By the late 1950s, Pontiacs performed extremely well in NASCAR racing, thanks to Division Manager Bunkie Knudsen’s blatant disregard for the 1957 AMA ban on racing. Pontiac’s Super Duty line of performance parts meant that a racer could purchase anything he needed to build a competitive stock car from the same dealership that sold him the car.
American Muscle Cars: A Full-Throttle History by Darwin Holmstrom, Tom Glatch