Looks are often very deceiving. During the mid-1960s a “Plain Jane” Pontiac may have looked more like something your parents would drive or perhaps you assumed a low-optioned Dodge was nothing more than someone’s daily driver.
“That was until they left you in their dust at the stoplight,” explained Gilmore Car Museum spokesperson Jay Follis, “or until you got a glimpse under the hood!”
That is exactly what the Gilmore Car Museum’s special yearlong exhibit, “Born to Perform – The Era of the Muscle Car” offers along with its exclusive OPEN HOODS week running exclusively December 4 – 10, 2017.
The Museum has assembled 16 of the rarest and most sought-after muscle cars for this exhibit and displaying them with their hoods up gives guests the opportunity to see the power behind the name.
Muscle cars were typical mid-sized dealer stock vehicles of the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. They often came with very few options but had factory-installed high-performance engines in them—thus the very deceptive look of just another “Ma and Pa” type car.
Because manufacturers placed large V-8 engines into these affordable cars, it gave them incredible performance on the street— and in drag-racing competition.
Many consider John DeLorean, a maverick General Motors engineer, as the “father” of the muscle car when he conceptualized, engineered, and marketed—mostly to a young male audience—the entry-level 1964 Pontiac Tempest with a high-performance V-8 engine package known as a GTO.
Demand for the GTO set off intense competition between car companies to produce the most powerful and “extreme” street machines.
Museum guests will be able to compare the GTO to a 1965 Plymouth Belvedere (pictured left) powered by a 426 cu. in. Hemi engine as well as the 1970 Ford Torino powered by the 429 cu. in. Cobra Jet engine.
Those who may wonder just what makes an Oldsmobile 442 can marvel at the 360 hp 1966 Olds W-30 with the company’s now legendary numerical designation 4-4-2: “4” barrel carb, “4” speed transmission, and “2” (dual) exhaust.
Due to the oil crisis, stricter air pollution laws and high insurance premiums, the production of muscle car models ended by the mid-1970s. Now these cars have become highly desirable in the collector world and are bringing astonishing prices on the auction block.
Because of the heightened interest in these collector cars over the past several years the Museum is pleased to be able to offer this special exhibit with OPEN HOODS to our guests for a limited time.
So, “race” on over to the Gilmore Car Museum to check out the special muscle car exhibit running throughout 2018. However, if you want the unique opportunity to see the muscle under the hoods of these high-power machines, be sure to get there for the exclusive OPEN HOODS display December 4 – 10, 2017.
Visit GilmoreCarMuseum.org to learn more about the Museum and the nearly 400 vehicles on display; its unique exhibits featuring muscle cars, vintage trucks and two of the rarest Mercedes in existence; and the Museum’s special New Year’s Eve Celebration!
Cars featured in the special exhibit “Born to Perform – The Era of the Muscle Car”
1962 Chevrolet Bel Air 409
1964 Pontiac GTO
1965 Plymouth Belvedere
1966 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Track-Pak
1967 Shelby GT500
1969 AMC AMX
1969 Pontiac Trans Am
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6
1970 Dodge Super Bee
1970 Ford Torino 429 Cobra Jet
1971 AMC Hornet S/C 360
1971 Oldsmobile 442 W30
1971 Pontiac T37 Racer
1972 Buick Gran Sport
1974 Plymouth Road Runner
Low Resolution Photos attached: Please credit GilmoreCarMuseum.org