Strict Definition of a Muscle Car:
Perhaps the most common question people have is what exactly is a muscle car. The term
wasn't even used until the late 1970s, in the 1960s there were often called "Super
Cars" if called anything at all. Therefore, the actual definition of a muscle car, or
which models were muscle cars, is a topic that is often disputed.
A muscle car, by the strictest definition, is an intermediate sized, performance oriented model, powered by a large V8 engine, at an affordable price. Most of these models were based on "regular" production vehicles. These vehicles are generally not considered muscle cars, even when equipped with large V8s. If there was a high performance version available, it gets the credit, and not the vehicle that it was based on.
Examples: Buick GS, Chevrolete Chevelle SS, Dodge Charger R/T, Ford Torino/Cobra, Plymouth GTX, Plymouth Road Runner, Oldsmobile 442, Pontiac GTO
Fullsize Muscle Car:
The strict definition only includes intermediate size vehicles. In reality, performance
oriented intermediate size vehicles didn't appear until 1964. Before then, manufacturers
took existing fullsize vehicles and added extra performance to them. Because of this, the
early fullsize performance vehicles are generally considered muscle cars.
Examples: Chevrolet Impala (SS only), Ford Galaxie (with 390 + cid engines only), Dodge Coronet (R/Ts only), etc.
Pony Cars and Compact Cars:
Personal Luxury Cars and Luxury Cars:
Two Seat Sports Cars: