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Performance Sedans VS. Muscle Cars

louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
edited March 20 in Acura
By looking at today's HP war between the manufactures with their performance sedans reminds me of the Muscle car era. The ideas for both the muscle car and performance sedan are very similar: put a high power output engine onto a small car to make it go real fast. I think it should be really interesting to compare them on terms of their performance, technology, style, and etc...

So what are we waiting for...let's get it on guys!!!


  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Woohoo, this discussion's got a new home...
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,508
    I wonder what differentiates the two...price?
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    True, but one can't compare 70's dollar to today's dollar straight up. That'll be comparing apples to oranges.

    1 dollar in 68' = 5.83 dollars in 06'
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,508
    Well yeah, but even in adjusted dollars.

    Like my C43. It has a V8 crammed into a platform that usually held a 4cyl and was meant to be an economy model. So it sounds like a muscle car...but it cost 58K back in 1998. So what would it be called? A freakshow?
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Freakshow sound's about just right...

    I think the muscle cars were considered a freakshow as well when them were first introduced. That's why a comparison should be interesting.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,508
    It is an interesting idea to try to classify cars into each group. I don't think I can do it without some real qualifiers. Price or performance?
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Performance Sedans are better for a family guy. I guess for someone single the opposite can apply. ;) I however have always liked performance sedans over coupes. I do like 2-door convertibles though w/ 4-seats. The Chrysler 300 4-door convertible doesn't look right and IMHO is butt ugly. ;)

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Okay, let's see...

    Performance sedans:

    BMW 3's
    Infiniti G35
    Lexus IS
    Acura TL
    MB C-class
    Chrysler 300

    Muscle Cars:

    68' GTO
    68' Mustang
    69' Road Runner
    1970-1971 Dodge Challenger
    1966-1974 Dodge Charger
    1965-1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442

    (I am pretty sure I left out quite a few here but you got the idea)

    As you can see I left out the luxury performance sedans like the 5s, E and GS because those are too large and too expensive for the comparison purpose.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I agree with you that performance sedan is more practical. The best scenario for me is to have a performance sedan as my daily drive and a restored muscle car as my weekend fun car.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    That sounds like a good idea. ;)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    were mainly built to go in a straight line, a quarter mile at a time, as quickly as possible. The designers usually didn't care that much about cornering, handling, braking, top speed, fuel economy, etc.

    I'd be kinda curious though, if you took an old musclecar and made some modern upgrades to it, how it would fare by today's standards. For example...

    1) Change out the old bias-ply tires with modern, fairly low-profile radials. IMO those old bias-ply tires were the worst handicap to those old cars.

    2) Put in a transmission with an extra gear or two. Those old musclecars usually just had a 4-speed stick or a 3-speed automatic. They could either gear them for a fast 0-60/quarter mile time or high top speed, but could rarely do both. Nowadays though, with overdrive transmissions they can give the thing an aggressive axle ratio for quick takeoff, but the overdrive gear(s) of the transmission would knock the highway revs down to something a bit more civilized and economical

    3) Beef up the brakes, with at least whatever was the top option at the time. GM had a bad habit of putting 9.5" drums all around on many of its musclecars in the 60's and even early 70's. A 4000 pound '73 GTO or Grand Am with a 400 or 455 V-8 and drums off a Corvair is not an encouraging thought! However, you could get a set of decent-sized disks up front and 11" drums in the rear. At least, in the early 70's you could.

    Now you could go into other things, like swapping in a modern independent rear suspension, fuel injection, disc brakes all the way around, et al, but eventually you get to the point that it's not an old car anymore, but a new car posing as an old one.

    A modern sports sedan would still outhandle one of those old musclecars even with said improvements, but they'd at least close the gap and make the things more easy to live with on a daily basis.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I loved the show, has anybody else watched it? All the muscle cars restored in that show were using modern technologies. The owner of the shop, Barry White, calls them "Super Muscle Cars" or SMC. It'll be interesting to see how those come up against the modern stock performance sedans.

    I would love to get my hands on one of those one day.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,508
    Oh OK, I thought we were talking about modern day muscle vs modern day performance sedans, and trying to group cars into either category. I know all about old muscle cars, but it's really not apples to apples to look at cars with a 40 year gap.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    modern day muscle

    Modern day muscle cars are jokes to me...

    it's really not apples to apples to look at cars with a 40 year gap.

    True. However, it should be fun to talk about it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,508
    What qualifies as a modern day muscle car? Something powerful and bland looking like a GTO, or a hyper econobox like an Evo?

    How about performance sedans of 40 years ago? Maybe an injected Mercedes or BMW? They performed admirably for their time and often had high tech features for the day, but are blown away by generic cars today.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Well, IMO I guess in order to be a modern day muscle car first the car has to be domestic (including Chrysler though). So that pretty much eliminated most of the performance sedans and econobox freakshow like an Evo and Impressa.

    I think 'performance' and 'sedan' were mutually exclusive back then. It wasn't until recently that the performance sedans becomes a segment by itself. However, I could be wrong.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,508
    I guess a country of origin factor makes it very easy, as much as a timeframe factor.

    Would a Mercedes 6.3 be a performance sedan or a German muscle car?
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I would incline to call it a performance sedan but I guess back then it was called a luxury sedan with a very big engine.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,508
    But it was also as fast off the line as just about any muscle car from Detroit, and had a faster cruising speed.

    Can muscle cars be qualified by country ie: a German muscle car?

    Or do muscle cars really exist anymore? What's a GTO? Isn't a 300 hemi more of a performance sedan too?
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I don't consider the current GTO a muscle car. Looks more like a beefed up Civic to me. I would consider the 300 hemi and Charger as performance sedans. I think the true modern muscle car is something like the current Mustang and the upcoming Challenger and Camero.
This discussion has been closed.