American Muscle Cars: A Full-Throttle History by Darwin Holmstrom, Tom Glatch

By Darwin Holmstrom, Tom Glatch

A muscle 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 through the postwar American dream, the liberty to head with reference to anyplace and just do approximately whatever. whilst Pontiac advertised its GTO to the baby-boom new release, the automobiles, the folks who drove them, and the days during which the 2 got here jointly resulted in one of many maximum tales in car historical past. whilst 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 event, romance, luck, the long run. American Muscle vehicles tells the tale of the main notable and fascinating autos ever to come back out of Detroit. it is a tale of flat-out functionality informed at full-throttle, illustrated with appealing glossy and historic images.

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After the tumult and chaos of the first half of the twentieth century, with its seemingly endless wars and police actions, most mature adults were ready for a period of relative calm. But the younger generation that came of age during the late 1950s and early 1960s hadn’t experienced the first two World Wars and the Great Depression, and this generation was genetically predisposed to racing fast cars. 32 Chevrolet’s hot 409-cubic-inch big- CHAPTER ONE Analyzing the Chevrolet V-8 “The Chevrolet Motors Division of the General Motors Corporation has at last leaped aboard the overhead valve V8 powered bandwagon and joined the other two members of the ‘Big Three’ .

Pontiac and performance became synonymous . . ” Hot Rod magazine, March, 1961 NASCAR competition, so in 1962 Pontiac made its 421-cubic-inch Super Duty engine available as an option in its Catalina and Grand Prix models. For the first time, a buyer could buy a Super Duty Pontiac without having to assemble it himself. In 1962, Pontiac won its second manufacturer’s championship. Chevrolet didn’t fare as well in NASCAR racing. While its 409 dominated the nation’s drag strips, the W-head big-block engine used an antiquated combustion chamber design in which the combustion chamber was down in a recessed pocket in the piston rather than in a dome within the cylinder head.

The biggest difference between the old and new is in the performance department and stems from a new overhead valve V8 engine. This engine represents the first V8 that Chevrolet has produced in 36 years. ” Hot Rod magazine, January, 1955 Early overhead-valve V-8 engines only graced the engine bays of luxury or near-luxury brands like Cadillac, Chrysler, and Oldsmobile. With its light, efficient small-block, Chevrolet brought overhead-valve V-8 technology to the masses. Archives/TEN: The Enthusiast Network Magazines, LLC.

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