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

By Darwin Holmstrom, Tom Glatch

A muscle automobile symbolizes freedom. It used to be freedom that introduced the muscle vehicle into lifestyles ─ the liberty of inexpensive fuel and open roads, the liberty provided by means of the postwar American dream, the liberty to move almost about wherever and just do approximately something. whilst 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 background. while these first fortunate purchasers cranked up the 360-horsepower Tri-Power 389 engines and drove their GTOs off broker plenty, these automobiles took their vendors towards event, romance, good fortune, the long run. American Muscle vehicles tells the tale of the main remarkable and fascinating autos ever to return out of Detroit. it is a tale of flat-out functionality informed at full-throttle, illustrated with appealing smooth and historic images.

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Even in this prehistory of marketing and demographic research, carmakers noted the growing number of young block V-8 ruled drag strips across buyers entering the market each year. The auto manufacturers recognized the America in 1963. Archives/TEN: The potential sales such buyers represented and began developing cars that met the Enthusiast Network Magazines, LLC. needs and desires of these young drivers. Apparently they desired power and needed speed, as witnessed by the growing popularity of racing.

Cole had a reason for this madness. Unlike McNamara, Cole didn’t feel it was his personal duty to end all forms of automotive fun, and he wasn’t hell-bent on promoting a nanny state in which government and the corporate world contrived to protect automotive enthusiasts from themselves. In fact, Cole instituted the total racing ban in an attempt to ward off the intrusive arm of the nanny state; by the early 1960s, GM had the federal government breathing down its corporate neck. The Justice Department had determined that GM was getting too large a share of the US car market.

Bottom, left: Beswick proved his skill at extracting maximum power from Pontiac engines many, many times. bottom, right: Today this car is restored to the condition it was in when Beswick raced it. of most citizens. For the most part, optimistic exuberance fueled the American psyche, exuberance reflected in the automotive industry. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Detroit experienced a period of technological explosion, a period in which the automotive industry’s best engineers perfected the overhead-valve V-8 engine.

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