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In describing my car to someone yesterday, I used the phrase - "It's sort of a Hot Rod now." They said, no it isn't. In full disclosure, this guy owned a '69 sportsroof many years ago.

(My car is a '67 restomod coupe with a healthy crate 5.0L/302 and some other sleeper mods.)

This brings me to my question:

What makes a Hot Rod or a Muscle Car?

Is it limited to a few brands and models? (ie - Chevys for Hot Rods - :: :: according to the magazine, I guess, :D :D?) Are only specific models like Chevelles and Hemis eligible to be called a Muscle Car? Is it indicative of engine displacement? (only 375ci and above?) Are there parameters for power output? (minimum 300 RWHP?) Are Mustangs in general excluded from the terms if they don't fit the above criteria?

I used the term to describe my car because it has been changed from stock with a bigger engine and because there was work done to it to make it somewhat special. Therefore I thought it was OK to use the term Hot Rod. Anyone else have an opinion on this?
 

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I've heard muscle cars described as:

"big, ugly cars with huge engines"

Hence why the Mustang is excluded from this category ::

When i think "hot rod" images of a deuce coupe and the like spring to mind. But really, i dont see why Mustangs with big blocks cant be considered muscle cars.

Gary
 

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I despise the term "pony car" , yet that is often used to describe the Mustang and the Scuzmaro. "Restomod" is a term that many outsiders do not understand. I mjust tell people that I'm building a 68 Mustang the way I want it to be, and yes, I've used the term "Hot Rodded" to describe the project. The car is 35 years young now, so it's earned it.
 

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Tom,

I think your use of the term Hot Rod fits perfectly. The term originated in southern California to describe the modified cars that people were building at the time. They called them Hot Roadsters, then shortened the term to Hot Rod.

These were cars that were modified to achieve higher performance. Your car fits that bill to a T.

As far as the term Muscle Car, not many Mustangs fit that catagory although, like Gary said any Mustang with a big block should qualify.

However the traditional thinking on this is a big car typically a two door sedan, with a big block.
 

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Well, that's what I've read in the past, pre-war and I agree on that use.

64-71, That's the time when big engins in intermediate car bodies were packaged. Such as the 64 GTO, 442's. Before that big engines were limited to big cars, such as GM's creade. Ford didn't really have anything other then a big car for the FE's and '71 was the last year that some auto makers used high compression, like the '71 Hemi Cuda or 351 CJ.

From'72, well let's not talk about it :eek:
 

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I've always understood it as stated above...
".....muscle cars as the '64 to '70 somethings and Hot Rods as '50s stuff."
 

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Accorinding to Webster. hot rod - "an automobile rebuilt or modified for high speed and fast acceleration" (1945)

muscle car - "any of a group of American-made 2-door sports coupes with powerful engines designed for high performance driving. (1968)

So, you can buy a muscle car, but you have to build a hot rod. So, if you have modified your car to make if fast (it's relative) or should I say faster, it's a hot rod.
I modified my C-code with dual exhaust and a 4v carb, so mine is now a hot rod. LOL.
Dave
 

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I think you are pretty close. Look at the dates in my first post.
Dave
 

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Me thinks the big block Fairlanes and Torinos might fit the definition of a muscle car.

Personally I would consider the big block Mustangs to fit in the category as well. But I'd just as soon they not be lumped in with Plymouth Satellites and the like.

Now the '70 Hemi-Cuda definitely had muscle.

-BS
 

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personally....i think a hot rod is 1 of those old coupes like a high boy or ford 3 window coupe or w\e and restomodded like hell lol... like this...
http://www.thehotrodshop.net/images/rods/sm34ford_1.jpg

and a muscle car to me...would be during the late 60s and early 70s....but there were a few cars that would definently be a muscle car to me, even tho it was in the early 60s...u wouldnt think of them being muscle w\them being stock...unless u got a hemi lol....but once u saw them on the strip all tubbed out, u KNEW they were muscle underneath that paint :: today's cars...like the mustangs, camaros, firebirds, etc....i dunno what to call them...they dont seem like muscle cars to me unless u get the REALLY HIGH PERFORMANCE stuff like a cobra...ss...z06...viper...gt, stuff like that...personally i think the performance is crap for a mustang gt w\only being about 260HP...but one other thing...i think this is an american term since alot of this originate here in the states...i have no clue what ud call em in europe lol ::
 

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I agree that the term "Hot Rod" brings images of cars from the 30's, 40's and maybe the 50's that are extensively modified both mechanically and physically. Certainly, the big block Mustangs (390, 428, 429) could be regarded as Muscle Cars, but I think the average person views the Mustang somewhat differently. The term "Pony Car" leaps to mind. Mustang was the first of the breed and now the last. It's small block engines (with the exception of the Boss 302 and the two 351's) were hardly power plants that would tear up pavement. Most of our 289/302 powered cars were solid 16+ second performers as built. While many of the pony cars could have also been Muscle Cars, I think that the real Muscle would have been the Chevelles, GTO's, 442's, Buick Gran Sport's, Fairlanes with big blocks, Chargers, Roadrunners, etc. BTW, the "scuzmaro" comment noted :). Actually, the Camaro's, then and now, are some pretty potent machines. I was street racing when these two cars came out and, believe me, nobody was particularly afraid of the Mustangs at a stoplight. The Camaros were another story entirely. The 327, 396 and 427 Cammys were all tough in a quarter mile. My 2000 Z28 with an automatic transmission, 2.73 highway gears and 35,000 miles on the clock ran a best 1/4 mile of 13.44 @ 106 mph. I think that would qualify as muscle, don't you?
 

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:) Mine is a "MBFF" - Modified (to be) Better (and) Faster (than) Factory.

I really don't have anyway one term to describe my car. I usually just tell people that I've modified it so it works better than Ford designed it. That covers everything from the paint, to the engine, to the suspension.

John Harvey
 

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How 'bout this one? I saw it at the same show that had the 406, 63 Galaxie.

http://pic1.picturetrail.com/VOL106/716707/1213123/30254173.jpg
http://pic1.picturetrail.com/VOL106/716707/1213123/30254162.jpg
 

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hot rod would fit if you have taken a sawzall to the body enought o make it look different than it did originally.
 
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