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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.

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57 thoughts on “Classic Muscle Cars Weren’t Actually All That Fast”


  1. This may be true,,but they were too f##king cool compared to the buggies on the road today

  2. It actually took some skill to drive these cars. Especially the Corvettes. First time I hammered one from a stop after my buddy who owned the car told me to, I spun a nice donut in the middle of the street like I was on ice. From my viewpoint of having driven most of thee cars, each required some level of skill to successfully race.

    1. I always told these young kids that my 10 year old can drive these new cars. Nothing like being thrown back into your seat and knowing what your car Is capable of. Flying down the street sideways doing burnouts takes skill or you will kill someone or yourself

    2. 👍🇺🇸
      Nothing like trying to accelerate in a 69 Super Bee on a hard curve😜

  3. These were great cars and fast for there time. A P51 mustang isn’t as fast as a modern fighter jet… But like the cars the cool factor goes way beyond.

    1. not really todays American muscle car have curb weight guidelines for insurance reason. The Hellcat is over 4000lbs, even vettes weight a lot along with all mustangs. I got my roadrunner down to 2850lbs.

    2. imagine a hellcat weighing under 3000lbs, car woud be pulling high 8’s on the strip

  4. Well I couldn’t live in 2017 back in 1970 – so I guess fast for that time will just have to do.

  5. They had character and just about everyone could afford one. That’s funny they’re comparing today’s computer controlled cars with 50 year old cars. That’s like comparing a Hemi superbird to a model T. They just don’t get it.

    1. They had character and just about everyone could afford one. That’s funny they’re comparing today’s computer controlled cars with 50 year old cars. That’s like comparing a Hemi superbird to a model T. They just don’t get it.

  6. The manufactures just don’t get it. So now there comparing today’s computers on wheels with 50 year old cars. That’s like comparing a Hemi superbird to a model T. To even get these cars to sell they had to mimick the old ones.

  7. Due to the design, archaic suspension systems, brakes and steering systems (archaic by today’s standards), these cars FELT extremely powerful. And those big honking engines made loads of torque down low and lots of torque at low engine speeds is what smokes rear tires, sinks ya back into the seat back and puts that big ass grin on your face. And these old cars where chock full of that type of mojo! Plus the jaw dropping style and essence of the original muscle cars will never be duplicated.

  8. Back in the day a 13 second car was fast for its time. Slight mods with today’s tech, these cars easily run 10 11 seconds passes

  9. They more than make up for speed, with style, and class!! Back then, unlike today, every car had a different appearance, and all of them, BEAUTIFUL!!

  10. I tell people this alot and I get alot of hate. People don’t want their illusions destroyed.

  11. Most people don’t realize those old 1/4 mile times on those cars were done on skinny, bias ply tires. Put a set of modern drag radials on ANY old muscle car and your gonna knock about 2 seconds off those times

  12. Really, Would loved to still have my 1969 GTX 440-4 bbl. 727-A1 Trans. just to see what these stock factory so-called luxurious Muscles could do in the 1/4 mile.

  13. I know that sucks so bad, how shitty, give me that car I will dispose of it!

  14. Back then we could work on them without having to have a engineering degree. That was as much fun as driving them.

  15. Still a hell of a lot cooler & no electronic nanny gadgets to save your ass if you weren’t a good driver. A real connection between man & machine.

  16. Let me just say…… no power steering, just non power drum brakes, no hydraulic assisted clutch and longer then most of todays crew cab shortbed trucks….. it took skill.

  17. I guess we all need a Honda with a HUGE thing hanging out the back to make it sound bad!!!!

  18. You can’t compare, those cars , back then weigh 3x the amount of today’s cars, n still could pull front ends off. They were tanks. A now a day cop car might catch up, but I doubt they could Ram you or handle a ramming, there’s no plastic on that car

    1. I once had a chance to buy 2 super birds for 500 and did not have the money back then and did not know what they would be worth today or I would have cut my leg off to get them. 2 now I said 2 for Gods sake. Makes me sick every time I think about it. :(

    2. I know your right, I wish we had a car lot full of yours and mine old cars we be set for Life. OH well !!

    3. Yes we would. And just think of the money we lost makes me want to cry. If we would have kept one or two of them we would be set. Like you said ……. Oh well you can’t bring them back now.

    4. My son Shawn he’s 17 now and can’t believe the kinds of car’s we had. We watched fast and loud , counting car’s, he tells me that I am crazy for selling them.

    5. Well back then we didn’t know what we really had. Now days kids want the low riders that drag the ground and could not seel them at the big boy auction for much of anything. But most of that comes from Texas or California where they have to get low so they can get in them. :)

    6. Trump keeps it up and the missiles will be coming in our direction. WWIII on it’s way!!!!!

  19. They may have been powerful, but they were rather loose in the steering at high speeds. And God help you if you had to stop suddenly when many of them still had drum brakes. They were best at going in a straight line, not so much at taking on a road course with sharp curves. That’s where newer cars exceed those old muscle cars. On the flip side, the sacrifice to taking curves fast is a much stiffer ride and practically sitting on the ground.

  20. Yeah , you could say that about the early Indy cars also , comparing yesterday car’s to the ones of today doesn’t change the facts . For their days, They were fast, and yes they are muscle cars !


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Comment on Facebook

197 1 ROAD RUNNER,I OWNED ONE .WISH I HAD KEPT IT!

A diamond in the rough....

Loved my '72. would'nt stop, would'nt corner, ran like hell !!

71 RoadRunner, last year of the 383. Different grille and side marker lights than 72

Looks like a 72 Plymouth Roadrunner.

1972 or later, look at side marker lights

1972 GTX Roadrunner didn't have the 440

71 Road Runner I know because I have a 72

1971 Plymouth Road Runner

71 Plymouth roadrunner !

71 Plymouth Roadrunner (y)

1959 Nash. Lol just kidding. It's a 1971 Roadrunner

1971 Plymouth Roadrunner.

1971 Plymouth Roadrunner

1973 Plymouth road runner

Kinda brings back memories

Road runner, GTX, Satellite

1948 Tucker Torpedo.

1970 or 71 Plymouth GTX I'm guessing

Nope 72 roadrunner

71 Roadrunner

72 I believe.

1971 Plymouth Roadrunner

71 roadrunner

71 Roadrunner

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