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Tag Archives: pony car
1969 Ford Mustang
Among the many celebrated muscle cars, and indeed cars in general, in American car history is the Ford Mustang. Classified as a pony car, this is a car which has enchanted generations of car lovers and even casual car enthusiasts, and has epitomized American automotive pride. Today, the Mustang remains a symbol of power and respect on the road, and still, millions of people around the world appreciate this head-turner. With the first generation Mustang (1964-1973) came the beginning of the muscle car era, and indeed, it signified the beginning of the American love affair with fast cars. Though Ford’s competitors also began to produce their own muscle cars, many did not stand the test of time like the Mustang.
The 1969 Plymouth ‘Cuda 440
Most people are under the impression that the era of the “pony cars” started with the introduction of the Ford Mustang in the middle of April, 1964, but they have got it all wrong. Though the term was indeed built around the incredibly popular Mustang, a car that truly changed the face of the American automotive industry, another car that wound up in the pony car category was introduced before the Mustang. The Plymouth Barracuda was actually released on April 1st of 1964, making it the first true pony car.
The 1969 Barracuda came at the end of the second generation of Plymouth’s pony car which lasted from just 1967 to 1969. Chrysler introduced the Barracuda in 1964 as sporty performance cars were really gaining popularity in the U.S. 1974 was the last year for the model. In the early ‘70s, performance cars went downhill thanks to stricter safety and emission regulations. The Barracuda was one of many casualties.
Based on the Valiant A-body, the 1969 Barracuda and the other members of the second generation came in fastback, notchback, and convertible body styles. They also received significant restyling as compared to the previous generation of models from 1964 to 1966.
The 1968 Firebird was just the second entry in Pontiac’s pony car line. Begun in 1967, the Firebird models have been popular with buyers and collectors for decades for their good looks, classic styling, performance-oriented features, and option packages, like the Trans Am. Sharing its platform with the Chevy Camaro, the Firebird at its introduction competed with the Mercury Cougar, and of course the pony car that started it all, the Ford Mustang.
1970 Camaro: When Ford came out with the Mustang in late 1964, the pony car segment was born and was destined to become an American classic. The rest of the automakers followed suit and developed similar, small, sporty, cool-looking, and performance-oriented cars. Chevy’s entry into the market was the Camaro, which first appeared in 1967. The second generation began with the 1970 Camaro.
The early Camaros were designed to compete with the Mustang, but they had a style and panache all their own. They included the long hood and short rear end that defined most pony cars, but also included unique style points and a variety of engines including high performers that had the potential to put the Camaro into the muscle car category.
Here is an example of a relatively unknown classic car for many. Its name draws question marks of all kinds-and for good reason. With only 69 copies produced, the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a rare gem indeed. Some featured a 427 cid V-8 engine, while others began with a 396 cid 375 bhp engine. As the first of it kind, this Chevy engine had an aluminum block. The 427 cid, a speed demon in its own right, boasted over 500 bhp, and according to the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide, it was the most “powerful engine Chevrolet ever offered to the public.”
Operation Mustang: Clearly there are countless different sought after classic American cars and they all carry a unique brand of history. But if you were to conduct a poll and ask classic car aficionados about their top 10 of all time, the Ford Mustang would probably be on everybody’s list.
These cars took America by storm after being introduced at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York and they have been a part of the American landscape ever since. In fact, the Mustang is still going strong and the latest models are absolute head turners.
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.
When you take a look at the changes that take place decade to decade, you generally see a rather gradual alteration of the national landscape. However, the pace of the changes that took place during the decade of the 1960s in particularly profound, and they occurred across every aspect of society. From civil rights, women’s liberation, the Viet Nam war and a shifting economy to fashion, art, and music, the sixties were a quantum leap out of the attitudes of the previous decade.