I don't honestly know that they were all that fast, especially compared to some of the stuff today. Most stock "muscle cars" would run 14's, some even 15's (without slicks).A little work, headers, slicks, etc. could get 12's.
The thing was that they had "IT". They looked mean, they sounded mean, and each one had its own personality. Drivers could identify with a certain car make or model....hell, most of them had their own songs. Cars of today are pretty hum-drum by comparison.....hard to tell one from another.
Look at the engine in a big block NOVA or a tri-power GTO. It's impressive! Now look at the engine (well, try to find the engine) in most any of these tuner cars. You can't even see many of them for all the jumble of hoses, wires, and gobbeldy-gook running everywhere.
It was just a different deal altogether. Gas was cheap; insurance was cheap.
I had a '63 Plymouth Belvedere with the 426 Ramcharger engine, manual-shift torqueflite, 4.56 posi, and stock appearing. Had a real "THUMP" to it idling with the solid lifter cam. Driving down the street, you had to use the pushbuttons to shift. Take off at any more than an idle and when you'd hit the next gear, it would chirp the tires. That thing was a ride, for sure. Only time I ever had it on the strip, with a pair of used cheater slicks and closed headers (just off the street) it ran 13.02 at 109. Today, it would cost a fortune to drive....6 or 7 miles per gallon, and you had to run 100+ octane; back in those days it was 260 Sunoco, Pure Firebird Super, or Super Shell. In 1971, this stuff was about 45 CENTS A GALLON! Can you imagine?
And of course, stupid kid me, just married, in the service; I couldn't afford to keep the car (payments) so I sold it (I'm not going to reveal just HOW stupid I was by telling you what I sold it for). But, please believe me that I've kicked myself in the *** at least once a month ever since then for getting rid of that piece of muscle car history.....and I don't even want to think about what it would be worth today.
How things have changed! I now drive a 2004 Dodge SRT-4, a turbocharged 4 cylinder, that will run on crap gas, start everyday (even run thru water), get 30 + miles per gallon........and run high 13's to low 14's on the strip. It's a fun car to drive (even tho I'm not a front wheel drive lover), but there's just something missing. That thump; the way the car shudders as it idles; I don't know. I guess there was an "animal" aspect to cars back then that's missing today. I love my little SRT; but I'd give a body part to have my old Ramcharger back.
Last edited by dalesy; 08-19-2008 at 06:01 PM.