That sound you’ve been hearing for nearly two decades is the weeping and gnashing of teeth roused by the Chevrolet Beretta’s demise. Oh, Ford Probe, we hardly knew ye. Whither the Dodge Daytona? Let’s look at the continuing decline of an empire, formerly ruled by the American Muscle Car. (Read More…)
Tag: Muscle Cars
A few weeks a go I had the opportunity to watch part of the Barrett Jackson auction. I found myself captivated by the colorful commentary that went along with each sale. Every car had a story and the commentators spent a great deal of time telling us about them. They also discussed the cars’ performance, available options and recited the original production numbers, contrasted by telling us exactly how many of those cars survive today. It turns out that many of the cars I regularly used to see back in the 1970s are extremely rare today. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, however, after all, I had a hand in making them go away. (Read More…)
Jackie is the first girl to fawn over the Shelby GT500 once it’s in my hands. Hadn’t expected that; make no mistake, it is a dude magnet without exception and the double-X-chromosome crowd usually goes for something cuter. Jackie appears to be the exception, so far. She’ll tell you she’s a bit of a tomboy. She likes cars, long boarding, and gangsta rap. Tonight, she’s traded her usual, Ralph Lauren-catalog attire (not-so-snug pants, a button up men’s dress shirt) for a dress that can only be described as one yard of Tensor Bandage that somehow made its way out of the factory with a muted floral print.
I’m hardly complaining, though it’s clear that she’s not used to wearing this kind of garment. I tell myself that it’s all because of my strong jawline, cleft chin and thick, flowing locks, but that’s a yarn of self-deception long enough to knit Jackie a twin to the sweater I’m glad she left at home.
It’s the car.
Jackie is comfortable looking at brake calipers and superchargers, but the dress is fighting her attempts to check out the machinery tonight. “Turn around,” she tells me, “I don’t want you to see me adjusting my underwear”.
“That dress is ridiculous.” I’m trying really hard to do the gentlemanly thing and focus on the car.
A pause. I’m facing away from her, but I can imagine her eyes running along the length of the racing stripes that trace the Shelby’s sillhouette. The car isn’t running, but I can hear the crackling and pinging of the cooling drivetrain against the humid, lifeless air of the August night.
“Not as ridiculous as the car,” she replies. “How fast did you say it is?”
Last fall, the first tests of the new Chevy Caprice PPV, Dodge Charger Pursuit and Ford Taurus Interceptor generated quite a bit of interest here at TTAC and beyond, as three all-new contestants battled to replace the outgoing Crown Victoria as America’s cop car. At the time, the Caprice seemed like the clear performance favorite, but as Sajeev Mehta has pointed out, there’s more to the cop-car equation than pure speed. Although good luck trying to tell the Detroit Three that, as all three are cherry-picking performance stats in the wake of the latest round of Michigan State Police testing.
What is there to say about this chart? Mustang had a shot… it coulda been a contender… but Camaro was just too busy building momentum, en route to what should be the nameplate’s best volume year since 1995. Challenger, meanwhile, just seems stuck spinning its wheels in third place. Oh, and since this chart has little in the way of controversy, let me just add this: if Hyundai starts breaking out its Genesis Coupe sales when it launches a muscle car-inspired facelift for the model, we would love to see how that underdog story plays out. In the meantime, though, Genesis coupe and sedan combined barely touch the Challenger’s volume… at this point pony cars are still very much an American game.
When Bob Lutz came back from retirement for the umpteenth time, one of the first orders of business was to kill the Z28 Camaro. The only thing that was in high gear at the times was carmageddon, electric cars were the wave of an uncertain future, and come on, how more politically incorrect can you get than with an 8 cylinder that makes anywhere between 500 and 600 hp, while producing enough plant food to keep the world’s rainforests lush and green? Rainforests rejoice: (Read More…)
Over the long haul of the Pony Car Wars, Ford’s Mustang has set the standard to which all others aspire. Having handily outsold the old F-Body Camaros (to say nothing of the nearest import-equivalent, the Nissan Z), Ford reigned alone over the declining muscle-coupe segment for much of the last decade. But the Pony Car cannot thrive alone, and the Mustang couldn’t keep its sales from sliding ever further… it needed some competition. Now, rather than fighting for pieces of a shrinking segment, the Camaro, Challenger and Mustang have been able to grow their sales together, revitalized by the renewed Pony Car Wars. Though our simple volume projection shows the Camaro on track to take the Pony Car crown from the Mustang, the short-term trends indicate a close battle to the finish this year. Hit the jump for summer sales comparisons…