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Cars > Blogs > Official Motortopia Blog > A Sheep in Muscle Car Clothing?


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Lincoln, Nebraska
United States


A Sheep in Muscle Car Clothing?

By GoldenGirl

My eight year old daily driver is starting to nickel and dime us. (Hubby would say $50 and $100 us.) The odometer reads 87,000 miles. We have cars with well over 100,000 miles on them that we haven’t put as much money into as we have in this Pontiac Grand Prix.

I love my Grand Prix. It’s the base SE 3.l six cylinder model. The color is a dark green that reminds me of the Chrysler F8 Green Metallic that went on many Dodge Chargers in the late 60s/early 70s. It gets 31 mpg on a road trip. It’s a great daily driver and I’ve never thought it was racy or ought to be.

My husband likes cars better than people. He’s been a master tech for over 25 years. So he takes it as a personal affront from General Motors that this Pontiac, that he babies like all our other cars, is starting to cost him money. When he went looking on the Honda website, I knew I was in trouble. The only thing he hates more than (in his eyes) a poorly built car is a car payment.

On our way back from a visit to the local Honda dealer (!), we stopped by the Dodge dealership. They have three nice looking Challengers. Can you see me smiling? I love the body style, old and new at the same time. However, to stay in the same ballpark price range as the Accords we saw, the six cylinder base model was the only one we could consider.

Now back in the day, as Junior would say, you wanted a muscle car in sheep’s clothing. In fact, most muscle cars were standard issue models with a few “upgrades.” Street racers optioned their cars with big motors, heavy duty transmissions and strong rears but without obvious stripes or badging in order to take other drivers by surprise.

Today the program seems reversed. Apparently a muscle car body doesn’t mean muscle car performance or that deep growl from the exhaust. Driving a Challenger or a Mustang or a Camaro with a six cylinder – well, that’s cost effective and green. If you saw the Motortopia video stream of the Camaro announcement from GM, you know the whole focus of the announcement was fuel economy and muscle car cues.

I’m pretty sure I could talk my way into having that Challenger in my driveway instead of an Accord. But coming from the age when powerhouse big blocks and mighty small blocks ruled the streets, I can’t help an uneasy feeling there’s something wrong with this picture. A muscle-car dressed vehicle with single exhaust and a half-full engine bay? A sheep in muscle car clothing?

So Motortopia crew, what is it – wolf or sheep? Is it too old school to expect muscle in your daily transportation if it has muscle car details? Or is it all about style?

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Read comments on this blog post 1 – 10 of 31

DWBChally’s Profile Photo
Jun 17, 2009 at 1:27 pm
Btw...I eat Hondas, Fords, Chevys all day in my V6...Its not the fastest but it certainly has more pep than my dads 1972 Challenger with a 318 V8 and I still get about 26/ 27 on the hwy
DWBChally’s Profile Photo
Jun 17, 2009 at 1:23 pm
the past era. Yes read it and look it up (a 318 V had 230hp and todays 3.5L V6 has 250hp). I have people staring at my Challenger all day and they think "it's a Hemi" but it's not. You should see their face when I say its a V6. Ignorance
DWBChally’s Profile Photo
Jun 17, 2009 at 1:20 pm
What I don't understand is why people are immediately turned down by a V6. Engine size was important back in the 60's and 70's when those "type" of cars needed something big and heavy to boost the car. In modern terms a V6 is cost efficient, has better MPG, has more horse power than the standard V8 of
hal101’s Profile Photo
Apr 19, 2009 at 3:23 pm
i would go with a V8
to me it just not a muscle car with out
chevy66babe’s Profile Photo
Nov 30, 2008 at 3:28 pm
V8 would still be the muscle. Most cars today are 4 cylinder I think. Babe is the big 6 inline, she has more punch than me or my Dad ever used.
challengerman72’s Profile Photo
Nov 14, 2008 at 9:09 am
On a car like this V8 all the way
KustardPie’s Profile Photo
Nov 12, 2008 at 8:21 am
A muscle car is defined by whats under the can put a six banger in a nice package, but its still a six banger!! No matter how much HP there is, a V6 will never be a muscle car! Jut my opinion, though!!! However, the new Challenger is a beautiful car if thats what you're looking for.
susie62corvette’s Profile Photo
Nov 10, 2008 at 11:28 pm
nice ..............thats all I say for now.
FlashBack’s Profile Photo
Nov 10, 2008 at 8:30 am
Challenger...great lookin ride!!
johnegun’s Profile Photo
Nov 9, 2008 at 12:45 pm
The "wolf" my friend has a 600+ HP motor that only like high R's to be happy--Low R's run like crap,and can suck down a tank of gas to the beach and back home.The "Sheep" is a runner and love the marathon runs, takes you everywhere and looks great at it also. We all like to win or be the best or at least do very well. But at what price do you what to pay and for what reason. Joe the plumber has the baddest and fastest car -- so we say I'll meet ya at the car show or at the cruise in cause he'll be doing 55 mph in the slow lane on the freeway. Ya I know new HP motors are better running and fuel wiser but it depends it you stay home most of the time or your always on the go. the Challenger is my choice

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