The classic muscle car era, which began when the first Pontiac buyer checked the “GTO” box on the Pontiac Tempest option order list and ended when the last Super Duty 455 Firebird rolled off Pontiac’s assembly line in 1974, was something that should have never been. In hindsight, who can legitimately argue that giving young men lightweight cars stuffed full of big-block V-8 power, crude handling abilities for harnessing it, and virtually no braking power to bring the festivities to a halt once everything went south—which it did more often than not—was a good idea?
Even though building these cars for kids was unwise, the resulting cars were pretty damned cool. The cars might have been overpowered and poor-handling, but unless a person has driven one of these outrageous machines, he or she has never really lived.
Today the muscle-car market is stronger than ever. We have new Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers, and Chargers that will outperform the classic muscle cars in every measurable way. They are faster, better-handling, more comfortable, and safer. We have any number of performance cars that will run the quarter-mile fifty percent quicker than cars of the classic era. We have cars that will do all this while coddling the driver in as much comfort as the luxury suite of a five-star hotel. But what’s missing from our modern do-all muscle and performance cars is the visceral sense that something dangerous is going on under the hood and that we’d best proceed with all due respect.
The All-American Muscle Car tells the muscle-car story from start to finish, with essays from the top experts in the world and first-person accounts from men who were there at the time, making it all happen. It is a celebration of cars that set you back in your seat when you mash the loud pedal into the floorboards.
What more do you need?