Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Muscle Car Retro Look

I have published this article on both this site and at The Blog for Auto Bloggers. comments…

What does everyone think of The Muscle Car Retro Look and bringing back old name plates? There a touch of an old classic muscle look with modern technology under the skin.

Examples: The Ford Mustang, Pontiac GTO, Dodge Charger, 2008 Dodge Challenger and a possible 2007 Chevrolet Camaro.

“My Take” First off, the idea of bringing back a Muscle Car retro look with an old name plate is interesting and it all depends on the vehicle’s look itself and whats under the skin that counts.

With that said, here they are….

The Ford Mustang: The Mustang doesn’t fit under this article, but I wanted to comment on it anyway. I love the new look, the style and what ford has done with it, most of the mustangs have looked great over the years including the Shelby’s and a 1968 Mustang Fastback GT as in the movie Bullitt, but the lastest model is perfect. Enough said.

The Pontiac GTO & Dodge Charger: Looking at the GTO from the outside doesn’t do it for me as a 1969 Pontiac GTO The Judge does, under the skin is great, but the outside look, looks like a Grand Prix or Grand-am, its a great sleeper car, but something I would buy. The same goes with the Dodge Charger, I have nothing against it, but the only thing I don’t like is the name plate, the name Charger doesn’t fit, plain and simple. Its a four-door sedan, not a two-door muscle car, next..

Check out this 1969 Pontiac GTO “The Judge”, damn… looks incredible or would you prefer a stock look

The Dodge Challenger Concept: This is only a concept, but the look inside and out great, now that’s a muscle car look period.

The Chevrolet Camaro: I don’t know if this sketch is what they might produce or not, but Chevrolet should bring back the camaro to compete with both Dodge and Ford & for Chevrolet lovers everywhere.

I hope I touch on this topic a little, it is something that is going on right now.

But One Thing: As a NASCAR Nextel Cup fan, I would like to see the Chevy Camaro, the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger complete, the term drive on Sunday and Sell on Monday… plus I like to see something on the track that I can buy in the showrooms, they also look more like racecars.

See Yeah!

(Note: I have moved my weblog to or just go to


Blogger Windviel said...

Auto blogger - good name!

7:46 PM  
Blogger Big Ford Fan said...

Brian, the Mustang is retro, but unlike the other 2 it was in continuous production, so while the styling is retro, the car is still evolutional.

The GTO is a fine car, performance and comfort, my friend Kevin has one. But the styling, if it can be called that, is reminiscent of the Accord not any GTO. Therefore, not much "retro" about it, execpt the name.

The Charger is a nice car, and of course the Hemi versions are real performers, but as you point out, the fact that it's a 4 door, sort of leaves the legacy in limbo.

The new Challenger and Camaro concepts, which may come to be produced are great styling exercises, especially the Challenger. But is there enough interest in this segment to support sales of all 3? While the Mustang came out in 2005, the others are looking like 2008 or 2009 models, will the market still be there for 2 more "Pony" cars?

As for seeing the Mustang/Challenger/Camaro in Nascar, that's an inspired idea. It would be a move back toward "stock" car racing, in that at least the production models would be rear wheel drive. But since none of the 3 original "Pony" cars raced in Nascar back in the old days, would it be correct?

The Charger/Fusion/MonteCarlo "stock" cars of today are a joke. In that none are 2 doors and only one is rear wheel drive, so maybe your idea would be the right way to go.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Croak said...

As a long-time Poncho fan, I think the current GTO does what the former GTO did when it was introduced in the early 60's, which was to provide a powerful engine in a modest looking package.

Of course, the ones everybody remembers now are the flamboyant Judges, but the original GTO concept is what started the whole muscle-car (and to a degree pony car) movement.

Still, Pontiac should have just let Holden Special Vehicles handle the exterior design from the start, made it DOT/EPA compliant and LHD, and called it a day.

Here's what the Aussies do with the platform:

Hell, if GM were smart, they'd just badge the damned thing a Holden over here, it would add a little spice to the model and might help the lukewarm sales of an otherwise fine car.

As much as I love me some BMW cars, the bang for the buck factor of the GTO is much higher than the current BMW M3, over $20k less expensive, more powerful, with an easy to mod and proven engine. It just doesn't look the part from the outside, and it's a bit too heavy for the kind of driving I like to do.

As for the whole retro thing, I hope it plays out soon. I don't particularly mind the recent crop of retro-styled cars, but I don't particularly care for them either. Then again, I'm old enough to have owned, driven, or at least seen most of the inspirational models back in their day, and prefer to see something new coming out of the design studios.

Retro styling is like reality TV to me. It's easy, it's cheap, and the public seems to dig it..but that's only because it's about the only damned thing out there. It feeds on itself.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Croak said...

Whoops, messed up my own URL..that should read:

8:55 PM  
Blogger carscomblogger said...

Hey guys. I was kind of waiting to post until we had our challenger shots up

I don't see why there's not a market for Mustang, camaro and challenger since when I was growing up there were Firebirds, Irocs and 5.0s and that was lame 1980s. And every kid had to have one of them. Mostly 5.0s in S. Fla.

The new Camaro, which must be built, will compete directly with the Mustang and is much more appealing to the masses. The challenger is more niche and I'm shocked at the reaction it is getting. I knew some people would like it but almost everyone loves it.

I think now that something like a corvette Z06 has as much hp as a restricted Nascar race car they should go back to real cars. Maybe do something about bumping etc. I don't know. But I'd rather see Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers racing around the track than "Fusions" "Monte Carlos" and "Chargers" I put quotes on purpose since they are nothing like the cars they're named after.

5:59 AM  
Blogger gabe said...

RE Nascar: First off I agree totally about Nascar using something more interesting than a Tauris. I had the chance of doing some laps in a Nascar last fall around the Chicago Motor Speedway and I have to say my opinion of the sport has suffered from it. To me it has become a joke due to jelly-bean shaped cars with 1960s technology underneath and stickers to identify the brand. Why not base them off of real production cars like they were from the 50's - 80's? Make the sport relevant to manufacturers and to products the public can buy.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Croak said...

It'd be nice to see the Trans Am series, or the Speed/SCCA World Challenge races become more popular.

Those are done in real-world production cars, have a lot of American drivers with names people here can spell and pronounce, and are fun to watch.

But the venues don't hold 50k+ paying spectators, the American manufacturers are just recently able to field competitive cars against the imports, and only GM seems to be interested in the series, Ford and DCX don't have a lot of direct involvement.

Mind you, I have no problem with NASCAR races, my great-uncle was on Richard Petty's crew back in the 60's, so I grew up on the stuff.

But NASCAR hasn't been North American STOCK CAR Racing in decades, and it sells more detergent and food than it does cars.

5:14 PM  

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