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This week’s article is a guest post from RPI Designs.
It’s pop quiz time. (Don’t worry, there are no wrong answers.)
Quick…list the big 3 American muscle cars. You probably named the Mustang, Corvette and Camaro. Some gearheads would also include the Dodge Challenger – they wouldn’t be mistaken – but for the purposes of this article, let’s look at the Ford Mustang, Chevy Corvette and Chevy Camaro.
We’re not here to necessarily proclaim King of the American Muscle Car; choosing between this trio of legendary automobiles is like picking between a caramel or hot fudge sundae – you really can’t go wrong with any option. Rather, this space will examine some interesting statistics about each type of car, including performance trends, production runs and much more.
Ready, Set, Go! When it all Started
The Corvette is the longest-running muscle car by far. The ‘Vette originally rolled off production lines way back in 1953. A dozen years later, the 1965 Mustang made its first appearance, while the Camaro followed one year later.
By the mid-1960s, the Big 3 American muscle cars were competing with each other for supremacy. And it was an all-American battle; Japanese sportscars were still a generation away from widespread production, and even European cars weren’t a prominent component of the American automobile market.
Peak Production: When Muscle Cars Ruled the Showroom
Contrary to popular belief, muscle cars didn’t reach their pinnacle production numbers in the late 1960s. The apex of American muscle car manufacturing actually arrived a decade later. 1979 included peak production figures for both the Camaro and Corvette, while nearly 370,000 Mustangs were built.
So why did muscle car manufacturing max out in the late 1970s? For one, looming emission restrictions made American automakers rethink their marketing strategies. Plus, the introduction of foreign automobiles into the United States – namely from Japan and Europe – provided some added competition.
The Latest and Greatest: Current Performance Indicators
Each of the big 3 American muscle cars have come a long way since the 1950s and 1960s. The most recent Camaro, Mustang and Corvette engine types and power output would make any mid-20th century car enthusiast do a double take.
Standard engine characteristics from present-day American muscle cars are impressive enough – but keep in mind, these figures don’t include each car’s most powerful model.
- 6th generation Camaro: 2.0 L turbo, 275 HP
- 6th generation Mustang: 2.3 L EcoBoost, 310 HP
- 7th generation Corvette: LT1 6.2 L V8, 455 HP
How Much Money for the Muscle?
For less than $3,000, you could’ve bought a 1969 Z28 Camaro Coupe. That classic muscle car’s base price was only $2,880, which is roughly eight times less than the current base Camaro.
But the Camaro isn’t the only muscle car that’s exploded in initial sticker price. Here are the entry price points for each muscle car:
- Camaro: $25,905
- Mustang: $25,185
- Corvette: $55,450
RPI Designs has been serving the American muscle car market for years, and our Corvette, Mustang and Camaro parts provide unmatched quality and exceptional value. For the best accessories and components for your muscle car, look no further than RPI Designs.
Whether you’re into late-generation hotrods or up-and-coming releases, we sell superior, custom-made parts at outstanding prices. For more information about RPI Designs and our complete line of Corvette, Camaro and Mustang accessories, please browse our website, or call our parts experts at 888.257.8515.