Muscle car is a term used to refer to a variety of high-performance automobiles. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines muscle cars as "any of a group of American-made 2-door sports coupes with powerful engines designed for high-performance driving." A large V8 engine is fitted in a 2-door, rear wheel drive, family-style mid-size or full-size car designed for four or more passengers. Sold at an affordable price, muscle cars are intended for mainly street use and occasional drag racing. They are distinct from two-seat sports cars and expensive 2+2 GTs intended for high-speed touring and road racing. Developed simultaneously in their own markets, muscle cars also emerged from manufacturers in Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.
According to Muscle Cars, a book written by Peter Henshaw, a "muscle car" is "exactly what the name implies. It is a product of the American car industry adhering to the hot rodder's philosophy of taking a small car and putting a large-displacement engine in it. The Muscle Car is Charles Atlas kicking sand in the face of the 98 horsepower weakling." Henshaw further asserts that the muscle car was designed for straight-line speed, and did not have the "sophisticated chassis", "engineering integrity", or "lithe appearance" of European high-performance cars.
A station wagon, also called an estate car and an estate, is an automotive body-style variant of a sedan/saloon with its roof extended rearward over a shared passenger/cargo volume with access at the back via a third or fifth door (the liftgate or tailgate), instead of a trunk lid. The body style transforms a standard three-box design into a two-box design — to include an A, B, and C-pillar, as well as a D-pillar. Station wagons can flexibly reconfigure their interior volume via fold-down rear seats to prioritize either passenger or cargo volume.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines a station wagon as "an automobile with one or more rows of folding or removable seats behind the driver and no luggage compartment but an area behind the seats into which suitcases, parcels, etc., can be loaded through a tailgate."
A V8 engine is a V engine with eight cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of four cylinders, in most cases set at a right angle to each other but sometimes at a narrower angle, with all eight pistons driving a common crankshaft.
In its simplest form, it is basically two straight-4 engines sharing a common crankshaft. However, this simple configuration, with a single-plane crankshaft, has the same secondary dynamic imbalance problems as two straight-4s, resulting in vibrations in large engine displacements. As a result, since the 1920s most V8s have used the somewhat more complex crossplane crankshaft with heavy counterweights to eliminate the vibrations. This results in an engine which is smoother than a V6, while being considerably less expensive than a V12 engine. Most racing V8s continue to use the single plane crankshaft because it allows faster acceleration and more efficient exhaust system designs.
The Chevrolet small-block engine is a series of automobile V8 engines built by the Chevrolet Division of General Motors using the same basic small (for a V8) engine block. Retroactively referred to as the "Generation I" small-block, it is distinct from subsequent "Generation II" LT and "Generation III/IV" LS, and "Generation V" (LT/EcoTec3) engines. Engineer Ed Cole, who would later become GM President, is credited with leading the design for this engine.
Production of the original small-block began in the fall of 1954 for the 1955 model year with a displacement of 265 cu in (4.3 L), growing incrementally over time until reaching 400 cu in (6.6 L) in 1970. Several intermediate displacements appeared over the years, such as the 283 cu in (4.6 L) that was available with mechanical fuel injection, the 327 cu in (5.4 L) (5.3L), as well as the numerous 350 cu in (5.7 L) versions. Introduced as a performance engine in 1967, the 350 went on to be employed in both high- and low-output variants across the entire Chevrolet product line.
Chevrolet El Camino was a coupe utility vehicle produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors between 1959–60 and 1964-87. Introduced in the 1959–1960 model years in response to the success of the Ford Ranchero, its first run lasted only one year. Production resumed for the 1964–1977 model years based on the Chevelle platform, and continued for the 1978–1987 model years based on the GM G-body platform. Although based on corresponding Chevrolet car lines, the vehicle is classified and titled in North America as a truck. GMC's badge engineered El Camino variant, the Sprint, was introduced for the 1971 model year. Renamed Caballero in 1978, it was also produced through the 1987 model year.
In Spanish, El Camino means "the road".