By Darwin Holmstrom, Tom Glatch
A muscle motor vehicle symbolizes freedom. It used to be 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 near to at any place and just do approximately something. whilst Pontiac advertised its GTO to the baby-boom iteration, the vehicles, the folk who drove them, and the days within which the 2 got here jointly ended in one of many maximum tales in car heritage. while these first fortunate dealers cranked up the 360-horsepower Tri-Power 389 engines and drove their GTOs off broker plenty, these automobiles took their proprietors towards experience, romance, luck, the long run. American Muscle automobiles tells the tale of the main notable and fascinating autos ever to return out of Detroit. it is a tale of flat-out functionality informed at full-throttle, illustrated with appealing sleek and ancient images.
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Additional info for American Muscle Cars: A Full-Throttle History
To boomers, the fuel-efficient Rambler was as exciting as Grandma’s broken-English stories about pickling ﬁsh in the old country and as sexy as the garters holding up her support hose. To reach the younger generation, manufacturers needed to build cars that were smaller and sexy. In typical Robert McNamara fashion, Ford grasped the smaller part but couldn’t get its corporate head around the sexy part. On October 8, 1959, Ford introduced the decidedly unsexy Falcon. Basically a shrunken version of its larger sedans, the Falcon sold extremely well and earned a proﬁt for Ford, but it failed to ignite the passion of younger buyers.
Hoover’s response? Adopt hemispherical heads to the Max Wedge engine. The conversion proved no simple task. Chrysler engineers needed to design stronger connecting rods to support the massive Hemi pistons and the entire head had to be rotated inward toward the engine to provide clearance for the exhaust pushrods to clear the head gaskets. Chrysler’s 426 Hemi engine revolutionized motorsports in America. Although rated at the same 425 horsepower as its Max Wedge predecessor, true output topped 500 ponies, and when mounted in lightweight drag racing specials, the new powerplant dominated the drag strip.
Driving Super Duty– ultimate. To be sure, the injection equipped cars as intended also led to problems; after cleaning the tires system is not only the ﬁrst to appear and blasting down the drag strip, the engines produced enough heat to on an American production car; it is melt the aluminum intake manifolds, necessitating a cool-down period a deﬁnite (but costly) improvement before driving back to the pits. When Pontiac speciﬁed Super Duty parts over the conventional carburetor. “for racing purposes only,” it wasn’t joking.