September 24 Weekly Open Thread: Non-Muscle Muscle Car Edition
Submitted for your approval. . . .or ridicule or amusement or whatever: Popular Mechanics' Ten Wimpiest Muscle Cars Ever:
There's a dead zone in the history of performance cars between the hairy-chested muscle cars of the 1960s and the rebirth of power in the mid-1980s: the 1972–82 "malaise era," when machines were so strangled by new emissions rules that their performance levels were an embarrassment to even today's compact cars. Automakers slathered flashy paint and taped racy stripes and stickers to the hoods of the cars, but these 10 just couldn't get'er done at the dragstrip.
Regular readers will recognize some of these that have had starring(?) roles here at Car Lust.
Yeah, yeah, it's hard to argue that any of these are really "muscle cars" so I suppose you might wonder why I'm bothering even linking this. Well, that's the point: Virtually none of them were muscle cars. So why call attention to them being wimpy muscle cars? Look, the muscle car era ended in 1974 or thereabouts. Between insurance costs and emissions and mileage requirements, it didn't make financial sense to build muscle cars anymore. The technology just wasn't there to satisfy enviro requirements at any kind of reasonable cost. Besides, tastes had started to change by then, with customers moving more toward smaller and sportier (and better made) imports. So they quit making them.
The Mustang II, for instance, simply wasn't meant to be a muscle car from the beginning: it was. . .well, it ended up being pulled in a dozen different directions, from traditional pony car to sporty compact to personal luxury car. . .but never a muscle car. Yeah, they dressed it up some with paint-on performance, but that was more marketing concept than design.
Like we say here, judge many of these cars by what they were, not by what we thought they should be.
As always, feel free to discuss anything else vaguely car-related. Image taken from the article.