Back in the late 1960s and early ’70s, I owned three cars equipped for performance. First was a ’63 Ford Galaxie 500XL 2-door fastback with a 390-cubic-inch V-8 and four-speed manual transmission. It was with this car that I received my first speeding ticket, courtesy of the Chicago Police Department.
Next was a ’65 Corvair Corsa convertible with a 180-horsepower, turbocharged flat six and four-speed manual transmission. This was more of a sports car than a muscle car, although when that turbocharger kicked in, it was a real rush.
After that, I owned a ’67 Firebird 400 convertible with automatic transmission. This was by far the fastest car I had owned. The 400-cubic-inch Pontiac V-8 in the relatively lightweight Firebird made for some wickedly fast driving, and even a couple of speeding tickets. Imagine that!
I own an ’02 Trans Am which would absolutely run circles around any of my previous muscle machines.
Bill Harding, Evans
My first muscle car was a 1962 Chevy Impala Super Sport I had in high school in 1967. It had a factory 409 with 409 horsepower, two four-barrel carburetors, four-speed transmission and a 4:11 Positraction rear end. It was painted Honduras maroon from the factory with a saddle-tan interior and Cragar S/S mags. Just beautiful!
In the short time I owned this beast, I managed to destroy about four or five rear-end ring gears and pinions. A high-rpm power shift from first to second gear would do it quite easily. I’m sure the larger nonstock rear tires (they were known as cheater slicks back then) contributed highly to that.
The parts guy at the Chevy dealership started keeping replacement parts under the counter and would pull them out anytime I walked in. I sold it before graduation that year, deeply regretting that moment ever since.
Rick Farris, Augusta