Classic Muscle Cars Weren’t Actually All That Fast
At least, not when you compare them to the speed standards of today.
When we look back on the glory days of American classic muscle cars, images of speed, power, and flashy performance come to mind. Many people insist that the muscle cars of the ’60s and ’70s will never be surpassed by modern technology. But the shortcomings of old cars, from their less-than-perfect safety standards to their mediocre speeds and power, are often overlooked.
In the heyday of high-performance cars new models were mass-produced and shipped out as quickly as possible, resulting in easy-to-build engines that didn’t perform as well as they could have.
Almost all 60’s and 70’s muscle cars took more than 7 seconds to accelerate 0- 60, which pales in comparison to today’s 3 to 4-second performance. Hardly any of these classic cars could even beat 130 mph.
The 1970 Dodge Coronet, hailed as a speedy, high-performance car for its time, only accelerates 0-60 in 6.7 seconds and sprints a quarter-mile in an unimpressive 14 seconds. This was okay for its era; the technology to speed this number up did exist at the time. Many companies lowered their performance standards to produce as many cars as they could, as fast as possible.
Classic muscle cars are undeniably awesome. But don’t sell yourself short- if you want a car that doesn’t burn out after 50,000 miles, or tops out past 150mph, go with a newer model.