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Discussion Starter #1
Hot Rod or Muscle Car? I think first we should start with an agreement on what each is.

To me, the first hot rods were Model Ts with the fenders pulled off and a couple of performance parts from the Sears & Roebuck catalog. Then guys started dropping Lincoln engines into them and painting flames on them. If you left the fenders on it was a “sleeper”.

A Muscle Car is a factory made hot rod. What the factories make these days would be better described as sports-cars (or sports-trucks). However, you always will be able to build your own hot-rod. Therefore the term “hot-rod” will never become obsolete.
 

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Muscle car tends to bring to mind factory high performance cars. The stuff coming out today seems, like their prices, to be in a different catagory.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
tfeverfred said:
Muscle car tends to bring to mind factory high performance cars. The stuff coming out today seems, like their prices, to be in a different catagory.
Well, you can take a factory passenger car and make it into a hot-rod. But if you start with a high-performance car, like a Corvette, and hot rod it, isn't it still a sports car? (Although I guess you could refer to it as your "Hot rod Corvette").
 

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I'm assuming you're only referring to American made cars-
What about the "tuner" crowd? I've seen the term Sport Compacts used, how would that be classified?
(Ricer comes to mind)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Camarofiend73 said:
I'm assuming you're only referring to American made cars-
What about the "tuner" crowd? I've seen the term Sport Compacts used, how would that be classified?
(Ricer comes to mind)
I believe the term "hot rod" is American, although I wouldn't argue that the iron has to be American. I've never seen the term "Sport Compact", although I have seen these lowered primer-gray foreign jobs around - usually driven by a guy with his cap on backwards. They sound like a riding mower with no muffler, typically, but I would still call them "hot rods". Otherwise it's stock.
 

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leeinsac said:
I believe the term "hot rod" is American, although I wouldn't argue that the iron has to be American. I've never seen the term "Sport Compact", although I have seen these lowered primer-gray foreign jobs around - usually driven by a guy with his cap on backwards. They sound like a riding mower with no muffler, typically, but I would still call them "hot rods". Otherwise it's stock.
A good example of the "Sport Compact" term is to look at the back of a Summit catalog, there's a section devoted to this group. Just do a google search, I believe there is a magazine with that title.
As for the lowered & primered wannabe tuners, yeah, they're around- I see'em everyday as I pass by the local H.S.- that's the Fast & Furious crowd succumbing to the latest fad.

Those guys either try to race me or don't do squat when I pull up next to them in my '73 Camaro-I don't even acknowledge them.
However, a good example of a "Sport Compact" would be the Subaru WRX STI- those little cars are nasty from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Camarofiend73 said:
A good example of the "Sport Compact" term is to look at the back of a Summit catalog, there's a section devoted to this group. Just do a google search, I believe there is a magazine with that title.
As for the lowered & primered wannabe tuners, yeah, they're around- I see'em everyday as I pass by the local H.S.- that's the Fast & Furious crowd succumbing to the latest fad.

Those guys either try to race me or don't do squat when I pull up next to them in my '73 Camaro-I don't even acknowledge them.
However, a good example of a "Sport Compact" would be the Subaru WRX STI- those little cars are nasty from the factory.
Point taken. Some guys would classify your ride as a "pony car". I guess if you modify your vehicle in order to increase it's performance, it's "hot-rodding". If the modifications are noticeable then you have a "hot rod". A shiny new set of wheel covers or primer-grey paint job do NOT count!
 

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leeinsac said:
Hot Rod or Muscle Car? I think first we should start with an agreement on what each is.

To me, the first hot rods were Model Ts with the fenders pulled off and a couple of performance parts from the Sears & Roebuck catalog. Then guys started dropping Lincoln engines into them and painting flames on them. If you left the fenders on it was a ?sleeper?.

A Muscle Car is a factory made hot rod. What the factories make these days would be better described as sports-cars (or sports-trucks). However, you always will be able to build your own hot-rod. Therefore the term ?hot-rod? will never become obsolete.
With this kind of definition it would be impossible to categorize most cars.

You now have, (not my terms but in general use)
Hot Rod
Muscle Car
Clones
Resto Mod
Grand Touring
Pro touring
Cruisers
Sleds
Modified (covers everything else I guess)

Probably a few more but mainly dealing with Older American Iron.

Lets say you take a 6 cyl Malibu and give it a 396 4 speed, is it now a resto-mod? Muscle car? Modified?
If all these categories are going to exist some automotive force needs to define them better. Not sure who that would be, but Peterson publishes most of the rags now and has the museum, maybe they could?
 

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428ho said:
Lets say you take a 6 cyl Malibu and give it a 396 4 speed, is it now a resto-mod? Muscle car? Modified?
Modified Production. Classify them as they were back when drag racing was heads-up... :pain:

A production car that has been modified by the owner in the attempt to increase acceleration and top end speed. Although the term can be applied to any modified car, it is usually reserved for vehicles produced from 1930 to 1940's.

Typically the engine is modified, and some body panels removed. Many were painted with a design of flames behind the front wheels to give the appearance that this vehicle was "hot" thus the name.

www.roddingroundtable.com/tech/articles/verbage2.html
 

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The way that I look at it, Muscle Cars were thev result of the "Big 3" watching what the hot rodding industry was doing. They saw all these guys modifying their cars with big engines etc, and wanted in on the action.................Simple as that. Of course, the government had to go and spoil it all.
 

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poncho62 said:
The way that I look at it, Muscle Cars were thev result of the "Big 3" watching what the hot rodding industry was doing. They saw all these guys modifying their cars with big engines etc, and wanted in on the action.................Simple as that.
Correct (IMO). The MUSCLE CAR ERA began in 1964 with the GOAT. It ended in 1973 with government regulation (smog-safety), oil shortages (high price of fuel) and the insurance industry. MUSCLE CAR is defined (IMO) as OEM stuffing ten pounds of crap into a five pund bag... :thumbup:

Street Machine - Usually refers to a hot rodded car built after 1949.

Street Rod - Usually refers to a hot rodded car built before 1949.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
KULTULZ said:
Correct (IMO). The MUSCLE CAR ERA began in 1964 with the GOAT. It ended in 1973 with government regulation (smog-safety), oil shortages (high price of fuel) and the insurance industry. MUSCLE CAR is defined (IMO) as OEM stuffing ten pounds of crap into a five pund bag... :thumbup:
Wow - so the famed Muscle Car Era only lasted 9 years! Well, given that the Hot Rod Era was born well before then and lives on now, I guess we could classify Muscle Cars as a kind of hot-rod (a performance enhanced passenger car) although I would still define a hot-rod as one which has been modified by the individual owner.
 

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poncho62 said:
The way that I look at it, Muscle Cars were thev result of the "Big 3" watching what the hot rodding industry was doing. They saw all these guys modifying their cars with big engines etc, and wanted in on the action.................Simple as that. Of course, the government had to go and spoil it all.
Come on now, you are leaving out the Ramblers (AMC) :D
 

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428ho said:
Lets say you take a 6 cyl Malibu and give it a 396 4 speed, is it now a resto-mod? Muscle car? Modified?
If all these categories are going to exist some automotive force needs to define them better. Not sure who that would be, but Peterson publishes most of the rags now and has the museum, maybe they could?
My '69 Camaro came from the factory with a 307 2bbl., white wall's, hub cap's single exhaust etc.
I would have considered it a Pony car back then. Any performance package (SS-Z/28 etc.) I would consider a muscle car.

It's been modified with a built 350, aftermarket cam, big stall, headers, duals, Custom Eagle alloy wheel's and drag radials etc. etc........
I would now classify it as a 'Street Machine'. I do however occasionally refer to it as a Hot Rod.

A modified muscle car with a blower and wheelie bar's I would also call a 'Street Machine'.

John Force call's his funny car a Hot Rod.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think "Hot Rod" is the model T and other similar early day car's.
I think "Hot Rod" (model-t's etc.) was the first category for modified car's and the sub-catagory's are for anything afterwards.
Although the term Hot Rod is universal for all modified category's.

Hope that makes sense.
 

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Didn't Henry Ford put a V8 in the 32 for performance? I know it does not fall into the "Muscle Car Era" but it was one of the first light weight, power to weight ratio, factory efforts. There were many big motored luxury barges (meaning big cars), but this was the first High Performance car for the masses. I like to think that the V8 Duece is what got a lot more people into that pucker factor arena. You know, mash the gas and hang on.

So in my book, a 1932 V8 was the first Factory Muscle Car.

Question: Could you even get a 32 with any other motor? If so why would you?
 

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1ownerT said:
Come on now, you are leaving out the Ramblers (AMC) :D
Nothing funny here. Still remember the 390 Javelin that left me at a stop light one night and his girlfriend smiling at me through the passenger glass... :pain:
 

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The 32s also came with 4s - they were called B models and differed from the 'A's by having the ignition advance in the dissy - not on the column. I drove a restored 'improved' A (1930) 3 weeks ago and had to re-learn the advance lever. BTW if ricers are mostly primered- what is a rat rod? whether made here or in the US?
 

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IanRiordan said:
BTW if ricers are mostly primered- what is a rat rod? whether made here or in the US?
The "Rat-Rod" is an evolution of the "'jalopy", which is a dilapidated antique car that appears uncared for or neglected. The Rat-Rod is the same idea, the bodywork is made to look dilapidated, or even completely derelict, whilst the underpinnings, i.e. engine, transmission and braking systems are sometimes upgraded.
-FURTHER THEOLOGICAL DISCUSSION of THE TERM-
 

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The "Rat-Rod" is an evolution of the "'jalopy"...

Reminds me of the Jan and Dean song, "Schlock Rod" . 1948 Lime green Buick.
 

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I don't care for ricers and they should be neglected.

Sorry, this whole ricer thing sorta reminds me of the 70s van craze - bad paint, knock shop interior and braggin on horsepower they didn't have.

Rat rods? Some blokes spend more on a pair of carbs than a whole car cost in the 50s yet they call it low buck 'cause it looks cheap. I have friends here with rat rods but they just don't make sense as 'high buck', 'low buck' cars.

If it's fast, race it. If it's slow, show it. If it's grungy, part it out.
 
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