Muscle Car Show – American Street Machine Then and Now | Automobile Driving MuseumFollow
Automobile Driving Museum
610 Lairport Street
El Segundo, CA 90245
Time: 10:00 am ‐ 2:00 pm
- Indoor Show
Our Muscle Car Show hopes to represent all of the opinions and makes and models of Muscle Cars for a spectacular showcase of power, strength and beauty.
Bring your MUSCLE CAR to the museum for an exceptional display of this American classic!
According to Muscle Cars, a book written by Peter Henshaw, a “muscle car” is “exactly what the name implies. It is a product of the American car industry adhering to the hot rodder’s philosophy of taking a small car and putting a large-displacement engine in it. Henshaw further asserts that the muscle car was designed for straight-line speed, and did not have the “sophisticated chassis”, “engineering integrity”, or “lithe appearance” of European high-performance cars.
In the United States, lightweight cars featuring high-performance engines were termed “supercar” before the classification of muscle car became popular. From the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies, what we now think of as muscle cars were more commonly called ‘Supercars.
Opinions on the origin of the muscle car vary, but the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88, created in response to public interest in speed and power, is often cited as the first muscle car.
Other manufacturers showcased performance hardware in limited-edition models. Chrysler led the way with its 1955 C-300, an inspired blend of Hemi power and luxury-car trappings that became the new star of NASCAR.
Studebaker entered the muscle car scene in 1956 with the Golden Hawk powered by a 352 cu in (5.8 L) Packard V8 with 275 bhp (205 kW; 279 PS).
The popularity and performance of muscle cars grew in the early 1960s, as Mopar (Dodge, Plymouth, and Chrysler) and Ford battled for supremacy in drag racing. By 1964, General Motors’ lineup boasted Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, and Pontiac muscle cars, and Buick fielded a muscle car entry a year later. The Pontiac GTO was an option package that included Pontiac’s 389 cu in (6.4 L) V8 engine, floor-shifted transmission with Hurst shift linkage, and special trim. In 1966 the GTO became a model in its own right.
American Motors, though late entering the 1960s muscle car market, produced “an impressive array of performance cars in a relatively short time,” said Motor Trend. “The first stirrings of AMC performance came in 1965, when the dramatic, if ungainly, Rambler Marlin fastback was introduced to battle the Ford Mustang and Plymouth Barracuda.”