Photo credit: Richard Taylor (Flickr)
In the mid 20th century, muscle cars became huge in America. Most people know this, but what a lot don't know is that Australia is also known for going through a period of time when fast cars and big engines were very popular. The first muscle car was the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 released in 1949.
Large cars with huge engines may have been popular due to the fact the price of oil and gasoline at the time were low. When oil prices went up as the finite resource became more scarce, cars and engines got smaller and more fuel efficient, effectively killing the muscle car scene for some.
Three major companies were responsible for producing Australian muscle cars in the late 20th century. Ford Australia, Holden Dealer Team (GM), and Chrysler Australia all had cars on the market that had large engines that went very fast. Most consider the 1967 Ford Falcon GTXR the first muscle car in mass production in the country. This was followed by many other models with super strong engines.
By 1972, muscle cars were banned by law in Australia because of some serious accidents at very high speeds. However, starting in the 21st century, Holden and Ford both began producing high performance machines once again. Next is a look at the current Australian muscle car revival happening.
Holden is producing a SSV Commodore and SS Commodore. A limited edition HSV W427 Commodore has a V8 engine that was originally found in the Corvette produced in 2008 and 2009. They're not the only ones with a new fast car. Ford has the new Ford Falcon FPV that is high performance whatever definition you use.
While the rules of the road still apply in Australia, many people are still purchasing souped up versions of cars and utility vehicles. Whether this trend will continue or not remains to be seen, but one thing is certain - many Australians want powerful vehicles. Even with petrol prices rising all the time, the ability to say you have one of the fastest cars around means something to many people.
What's next for muscle cars in Australia? Who knows. I'm still waiting on hover-cars like the landspeeder seen in Star Wars in the late 20th century. Whatever happens, there's sure to be a small and dedicated group of people who like speed, power and performance vehicles. And because of that, muscle cars will live on in Australia and throughout the world.
What's your favorite muscle car of all time? Leave a comment below and let us know what you would buy if money wasn't a problem.
Sheila kurdinger loves going fast and the fact that a little money in Australia can go a long way when wanting to get a muscle car. When not racing around the track, she's writing about advanced cosmetic surgeries as well, to share her experiences with the rest of the world.