Engine For Muscle Car

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(as of Dec 10,2023 17:25:12 UTC – Details)


In 1970, the American muscle car was as fast and outrageous as it would ever get. But the end was nigh, and 1970 Maximum Muscle dives head-first into the storm before the calm.

Wherever you mark the beginning of the muscle car era—Oldsmobile’s 1949 Rocket 88, Chrysler’s 1951 FirePower engines, the 1964 Pontiac GTO—one thing is certain: in 1970, the era that had witnessed a parade of gloriously powerful, stylish, and brawny cars apt to make the hearts of even the most dispassionate squares go pitter-patter was sucking fumes. Gasoline shortages, skyrocketing fuel prices, insurance-industry bean counters, rising ecological concerns, and new, more fuel-efficient imports all conspired to consign the American muscle car to an ugly and unseemly denouement. Yet 1970 saw the actual zenith of the cars themselves, the year manufacturers pulled out all the stops and produced the most powerful and stunning machines the automotive world had ever seen.

1970 Maximum Muscle not only explores the factors that led to the decline of the most exciting era in the American automotive industry, it details some of the new models and model options that arguably made 1970 the climax of the muscle car era from engineering, styling, and cultural standpoints. As the war among GM, Ford, Chrysler, and AMC played out at dealerships, dragstrips, and drive-ins, ready-and-willing gearheads drove off dealer lots in potent behemoths like the Buick GSX, Oldsmobile 4-4-2, and Ford Torino Cobra. Muscle car stalwarts like the SS Chevelle, Pontiac GTO, and Plymouth ’Cuda became available with optional LS-6, Stage 1, and Hemi engines, respectively. Manufacturers ratcheted up the advertising hyperbole at the same time, offering performance packages with names like “Six-Pack,” “Ram Air,” and “Cobra Jet,” while spoilers, scoops, hood tachometers, and decal packages were de rigueur. Meanwhile, on the popular SCCA Trans Am circuit, top drivers campaigned more nimble muscle off-the-rack cars like the Camaro Z/28 and Boss 302 Mustang. 

1970 Maximum Muscle is an entertaining and rollicking look at the muscle car’s peak year!

From the Publisher

The back of a Mercury Cougar Eliminator parked by a dock.

The back of a Mercury Cougar Eliminator parked by a dock.

Mercury Cougar Eliminator

MANY MUSTANG AND MIDSIZE TORINO OFFERINGS had corresponding models from Ford’s sister division, Mercury. Most notable were the Cougar Eliminator models in 1969 and 1970, available with the Trans-Am–inspired Boss 302 engine as well as the 390 and 428 big blocks. Although mentioned in Mercury marketing materials at the time, the Boss 429 single-overhead-cam engine was never produced for street versions of the Cougar. Today the 428-equipped cars get most of the attention, but anyone who has driven the Cougar Eliminator Boss 302 will tell you that the lighter, small-block 302 over the Cougar’s front wheels makes for one of the best-balanced pony cars of the era and a formidable sleeper on a winding road.

The Cougar was extensively restyled for 1969, gaining a crisply upmarket, even European exterior that boldly distinguished it from the Mustang. With its subtle front grille treatment, the 1969 edition may be the best-styled Cougar from the classic 1967–1973 era.

1970 Muscle Climax

The interior driver

The interior driver

The 1970 Rebel Machine’s Hurst shifter.

The 1970 Rebel Machine’s Hurst shifter.

The engine compartment of a 1968–1970 B-body Mopars.

The engine compartment of a 1968–1970 B-body Mopars.

Under the hood of a Ford Mustang.

Under the hood of a Ford Mustang.

The Chevelle dash was finished in low glare, matte black finish with deeply recessed gauges. The tachometer was redlined at 6,500 rpm for the LS6 450-horsepower 454.

The 1970 Rebel Machine’s Hurst shifter retained the factory round ball and not the more hip, formed T-handle.

The engine compartment of the 1968–1970 B-body Mopars was designed from the start to accommodate the 440 big-block V-8s.

For 1970, Ford found homes for 499 Boss 429 Mustangs. Ford likely lost money on every Boss 429 Mustang it sold to the general public.

A 429 mill is lowered into a 1969 Mustang on the Kar Kraft assembly line.

A 429 mill is lowered into a 1969 Mustang on the Kar Kraft assembly line.

FORD BIG-BLOCK ENGINE HISTORY

In 1962 Ford introduced the 406 FE block casting, which moved the bores further apart than on the 390 V-8 but over time exhibited a weak bottom end. Ford reduced this issue by improving the strength with a cross-bolt design. The 427 was developed from a stroked 406 and was the engine that eventually went to and won Le Mans.

Ford was still running the 427 engine for NASCAR when the second-generation Chrysler 426 Hemi engine was introduced to the public at Daytona in 1964. Street versions of the Hemi appeared in very limited numbers for the 1966 model year. Due to the 427’s restrictive valve design, Ford was not able to compete with the Hemi. Its solution was to build an overhead cam 427 engine rated at 685 horsepower. Ford built five hundred 427-cubic-inch overhead-cam motors but never put one in a car body offered to the public, even though it was capable of being detuned for practical street driving.

Pontiac GTO Ram Air and 455

A hood-mounted tach.

A hood-mounted tach.

Interior of a Pontiac GTO.

Interior of a Pontiac GTO.

An underdash eight-track player.

An underdash eight-track player.

A four-barrel Rochester carburetor.

A four-barrel Rochester carburetor.

As with many other 1970s muscle car makers, Pontiac offered a hood-mounted tach for the GTO.

This Pontiac GTO is equipped with a four-speed manual gearbox. The engine turned trim on the dash offers a pop in an interior expanse of black vinyl.

Like other GM cars for 1970, Pontiac offered an underdash eight-track that could be fully integrated into the optional AM/FM four-speaker stereo.

With its air cleaner removed, this 1970 Pontiac GTO is powered by Pontiac’s fabled 455-cubic-inch V-8, exposing the four-barrel Rochester carburetor.

ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08XNXN1XB
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Motorbooks (March 16, 2021)
Publication date ‏ : ‎ March 16, 2021
Language ‏ : ‎ English
File size ‏ : ‎ 19377 KB
Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
Print length ‏ : ‎ 183 pages
Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0760366780

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