GTO Was NOT the first Muscle Car - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 01-10-2004, 12:50 PM
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GTO Was NOT the first Muscle Car

At least in my opinion, a muscle car is any sedan w/ a big motor to make it fast. I.E. the 1965 Plymouth Belvedere w/ a 426 Hemi. If you count a reworked tempest as a muscle car, then you can't deny this one. Which would make it earlier than the GTO.

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Old 01-10-2004, 01:29 PM
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Thats not really the case here, almost every article written, or every TV show that talks about the muscle car era calls the GTO the FIRST. Maybe the Belvedere could be considered the first by some, but The GTO coined the phrase "Muscle Car". Its fairly simple, and that would be why its called the first.


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Old 01-10-2004, 01:43 PM
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I guess that 1965 Plymouth predates a 1964 GTO somehow?
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Old 01-10-2004, 01:58 PM
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You got that right feller, and its a Hemi too! LOL


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Old 01-10-2004, 02:34 PM
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Ha ha! You beat me to it guys.
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Old 01-10-2004, 02:52 PM
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How about 62 421 Catalinas, 409 Belairs, 406 Galaxies, 413 Dodges and Plymouths?

They are the ones that brought about the muscle cars.
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Old 01-10-2004, 04:26 PM
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392 chrysler was a hot motor, you could get it up to about 400 horse I believe, and that was in the mid 50's! Now THAT is muscle!

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Old 01-10-2004, 04:53 PM
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The '64 GTO is the result of installing the "Big Car" 389 into the "intermediate" Pontiac body. Up until that time all intermediates had the smaller "intermediate" engines: 327 Chevelle, 289 Fairlane, 318 Dart, etc.....

Most will say this is the first time this was done, but some will argue, possibly correctly, that the 49 Olds 88 was the first muscle car.

In 1949 Olds took the brand new OHV Rocket 8 which was intended for Olds 98 production and installed it in the relatively lightweight Olds 76 (Chevy body) thus creating the Rocket 88.

These were the killer cars of the early 50s.

Pretty similar concept as GTO.....
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Old 01-10-2004, 05:08 PM
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chalk one up for Olds, never thought of that before, but its true.
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Old 01-10-2004, 07:31 PM
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"Everybody loves my Rocket 88"
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Old 01-10-2004, 08:11 PM
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You Betcha!!!



For the younger guys (or anyone else for that matter) who don't know what a Rocket 88 looks like, this is a 1950 model, very similar to the original '49.

I restored this car for a guy quite a few years ago.

Yeah, I know it's a "Wide Whitewall" car, but picture it with some cools whells and a bit of "stance".
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Old 01-11-2004, 04:39 AM
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I was going to throw the 57 fulie into the mix until you guys pulled the Olds out of your sleve! Can't argue about Olds!
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:26 AM
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I agree that the GTO started what we refer to as the muscle car era. Not one to shy away from a good discussion, I must contribute my opinion. Since early rodders used flatheads, were '32 Fords the first muscle cars? Ike Turner wrote, and Jackie Brenston sang the first rock and roll song which was about the Rocket 88. What about the Hudson Hornet. It tore up the tracks in stock car races. Sure, it isn't a Goat, but it does have a respectable pedigree.

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Old 01-11-2004, 11:32 AM
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You beat me to it, the "Fabulous Hudson Hornet" with it's big flat six and "Twin H" power, set many a track record back in it's day. Good argument for the predecessor to the muscle car.
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Old 01-11-2004, 12:26 PM
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32 Ford V-8 no doubt a factory hot rod and the base for many many good thing to come!

Hudsons were killer, but a little pricey for a new one at the time. Still, Twin H-Power would run!

I was just under the impression that the "Muscle Car" was the concept of combining of combining the big "production" motor in the lighter "production" body in any particular car compnay or "division" as in GM.

Another possible "early" muscle car would be the 41 Buick Century. A little before my time , but the deal was that they would take the big multi-carbed Straight Eight from the Roadmaster and install it in the considerably lighter and smaller Special body. The Specials had a straight eight, but a smaller displacement and single carb.

Supposedly the car was named Century because it was the first "mass produced" (key word) car that would go an honest 100mph out of the box.

Legend has it that some less than honest new car salesman would change the emblems from a Special onto a Century, since that was the only exterior difference. The customer would drive the car, thinking it was a Special , but actually being a Century, and be quite impressed by the performance. He would order a Special and may have been a bit dissapointed when he got the real thing.......
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