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sport cars, muscle cars and pony cars?


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#1 Joe Werner

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 02:09 AM

what is the differnce between a sports car a muscle car and a pony car?

#2 Peter J.Heizmann

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 03:13 AM

Interesting question, Joe.

My thoughts are the advertising folks, newspaper/magazine columnist', and, the reception thereof by the consumer to accept your descriptions.

From memory, or, lack of, going back to the '60's...

--Sports Car: A secondary vehicle utilized by an above average income person to play with on weekends. (Just like a lawnmower...take it out of the shed when one feels compelled.)

--Muscle Car: Same as a Sports Car, only larger and utilized for the most part as one's "main car" and must be washed on weekends due to daily use.

--Pony Car: My best guess is advertising gimmic from Ford touting the embossed "pony (mustang)" logo on the seat backs as the marque progressed, then, everyone owning a standard Mustang used "pony" within their parlance to describe any Mustang.

Bottom line, the newspaper/magazine/manufacturers coined the titles...

Just my memories and opinion.

Regards,

Peter J. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/...mlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Peter J. Heizmann

#3 Matt Harwood

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 03:35 AM

To a lot of folks, myself included, the definitions may be a little different but sound something like these:

<span style="font-weight: bold">Sports car:</span> light weight, 2-seater vehicle designed expressly for the joy of driving with no pretentions of being practical. Often (but not always) includes folding cloth roof, manual transmission, rear-wheel drive and better than average suspension designed to go around corners. Typically affordable to average enthsiasts. Vintage examples: MG, Triumph, Austin-Healey, etc. Modern examples: Mazda Miata, Honda S2000, perhaps even Porsche Boxter and BMW Z3/Z4 roadster. Not sports cars: Audi TT (too heavy), Ford Mustang (muscle car), Ferrari Enzo (probably better classified as an exotic because of price and extreme performance).

<span style="font-weight: bold">Muscle cars:</span> mid-sized production bodies with large engines. Almost always domestically produced with 2-doors being the norm. Emphasis on horsepower with less (sometimes <span style="font-style: italic">far</span> less) emphasis on handling compared to sports cars. Can be manual or automatic, hard top or convertible. Usually rear-wheel drive, and more often than not including a solid rear axle (vs. independent suspension on sports cars). Larger engines, usually V8s (though the Buick Grand National V6 is quite potent). Vintage examples: Ford Galaxie, Chevy Chevelle, Pontiac GTO, etc. Modern examples: Ford Mustang, Pontiac GTO and, um... <span style="font-style: italic">Not muscle cars: </span>Dodge Viper, Chevrolet Corvette (both may be borderline sports cars or ???)

<span style="font-weight: bold">Pony car:</span> probably more of a marketing term, as <span style="font-weight: bold">Peter</span> suggests. I kind of think of them as the "junior" muscle cars--small block Mustangs & Camaros before the horsepower wars got out of hand. May also apply to vehicles specifically designed to compete in this segment, like the Camaro, Firebird, Barracuda and Mustang, versus vehicles like Chevelles, Cutlasses and GTOs that were simply steroid-injected garden-variety family-type cars with big motors.

Just my $0.02...

#4 Peter J.Heizmann

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 04:11 AM

Matt, thank you for the detailed response. Makes sense to me.

Regards,

Peter J. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/...mlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Peter J. Heizmann

#5 stexch

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 03:02 PM

Sports cars: Small two-door convertibles that emphasize light weight and handling over creature comfort. Must have sporting aspirations (e.g. SCCA or rally). Four or six-cylinder engines. Examples: Sunbeam Alpine, all MG&Triumph convertibles, Austin Healey, Jensen Healey, Datsun 1600&2000, BMW Z3, Mazda Miata. I tend to think of sports cars as being street legal.

Muscle Cars: American mid-size cars with big block engines. Designed for straight-line or oval track performance, with typically horrible cornering characteristics. Examples: Plymouth Hemi&440 Cuda, Dodge Hemi Charger, Big Block Chevelles&Novas, Pontiac GTO, Olds 442, Fords powered by Super Cobra Jet. The era started with the Pontiac GTO (1967?) and ended when emissions regs and insurance killed them off (1971?).

Pony Cars: Compact 1964 1/2- 1968 American cars with sporty appearance, but with six-cylinder or small-block V8 power. Ford Mustang, Chevy Camero, Pontiac Firebird, most Plymouth Barracudas. These cars were produced in large numbers, and very affordable (at least in base level trim). They sold well because they looked like high performance variants that were active in TransAm & NHRA racing.

GT: Closed small two-doors with sporty appearance, creature comforts, sporty handling, and practical engines. Examples: Datsun 240,260,&280Z, Opel GT, Saab Sonnet, Volvo P1800, MGB GT, Triumph GT6.

Exotics: High performance cars that are produced in small numbers and are expensive. State of the art handling. Examples: Ferrari, Lambourghini, Maserati, Acura NSX, Apollo GT.

I'm sure that there are some cars that won't fit easily into these categories, but I hope this is helpful.

#6 Hemiragtop

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 04:13 PM

Sports Cars: What MAtt said

Fast Muscle Cars: Dodge & Plymouth only LOL Posted Image Posted Image

Fast Pony Cars : Cuda's & Challenger's Posted Image

#7 Bob Kinker

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 04:53 PM

sports Cars; as above

Pony Cars as above

Muscle Cars The original muscle cars 62 to 65 Dodge & Plymouth!!!
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
1962 Dodge Dart 2 door sedan
1964 Plymouth Belvedere Station Wagon
1964 Plymouth Fury
1964 Plymouth Sport Fury
1964 Dodge 440 2 door sedan Max Wedge clone
1965 Dodge Dart 270 2 door hardtop
1966 Dodge A-100 pickup


AACA #472740, Plymouth Owner's Club, Tidewater Mopar Club

#8 bkazmer

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 07:09 PM

This dummy's definitions:
Sports car - goes fast crooked
Muscle car - goes fast straight




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