When the Dodge Challenger got its rebirth back in 2008, many muscle car enthusiasts heralded the era as the 70′s era reborn. The roads were teeming with new Mustangs, new Camaros, and now the new Challengers, but did they stack up to their 70′s era grandpas?
With the automotive aftermarket scrambling to provide parts, muscle cars can easily look Gone in Sixty Seconds or just as easily, Tron. Companies like Retro USA make custom body kits and chrome to replicate the classic blue-collar working man cars of old, while T-Rex grilles pump up the bling factor. Appearance is not an issue, but what about the guts?
Yesteryear’s muscle cars were thirsty, pared-down machines with no bells or whistles. The new Challengers and Mustangs are anything but. With the decades of corporate shuffling, environmental concerns, and tech innovation, muscle cars today are more like powerful spaceships. They still drink heavily, but at around 27 mpg, the number is more a trade-off between economy and performance. We might get better mileage with a Civic, but a Mustang kicks like an American. Full of Mercedes chassis parts and other tech, these rides do not buck, they trot comfortably to every tune on your iPhone. More importantly, the price remains blue-collar, leaving more dough for, what else, aftermarket accessories.