Tag Archives: Cougar

Defining the Gentleman’s Muscle Car

Defining the Gentleman’s Muscle Car

1968 Plymouth GTXIf you have ever looked for information about the Plymouth GTX, odds are that you have seen the car named as the “Gentleman’s Muscle Car.” This left me wondering what a gentleman’s muscle car is and what type of men should be driving the other muscle cars.

According to my research, a gentleman’s muscle car is a refined muscle car with sleek design. This is in contrast to the rugged muscle cars that were for the drivers who did not need to go to work in their business attire. The original Plymouth GTX was created in 1967 under the Belvedere brand. A belvedere is an architectural feature that is designed to look upon a pleasant view, which seems fitting for the original name of the muscle car designed for gentlemen.

The Landau Roof

The Landau Roof

 Plymouth BarracudaIn the 1970s and the 1980s, the landau top was a popular, yet confusing design style. But, the original use of the word landau is quite different. It was originally a reference to a carriage and the term is still used in the United Kingdom when referencing the royal carriages. In the 1950s, the Nash Rambler actually came with a removeable landau top that slid back from the windshield and stowed away in the trunk. If you drove past the Rambler with the landau removed, you might not even notice because of the unusual look. Later, the landau was a style design that took the place of the C-pillars in the rear of the car. In the 1970s and 1980s, the landau top became synonymous with a fake convertible. These were some of the cars that wore the landau top with some sort of pride:

True Pony Cars

Many believe that era of the pony car began with the introduction of the Ford Mustang, and of course the Mustang did inspire the term that was coined by the editor of Car Life magazine back then, Dennis Shattuck. Its stunning popularity also catapulted the concept into the public consciousness, so it can be said that the Mustang was the most important of the cars that went on to be considered pony cars. But it was not the first. The Mustang was offered to the public on April Fool’s Day in 1964, but the Plymouth Barracuda, which is also considered to be a pony car, was released a couple of weeks prior to the Mustang.