Muscle cars have always had two things in common: King of the Road engines stuffed into a lightweight chassis, matched with the biggest wheels and fattest tires that would fit. It’s an explosive mixture that has given us some of the most legendary cars in history. And it has been the inspiration behind Huntington Wheels, made especially and specifically for the muscle cars of today.
The History of Muscle Cars? Give the credit to the kids, the drivers, the Rebels Without a Cause who would turn Main Street into a smokin’, screechin’ drag race every Saturday night. Detroit noticed. Any by the 60s cars were coming off the assembly line like the compact Dodge Dart, stuffed with 413 cubic inch Max Wedge, or the Ford Thunderbolt, a stripped down Fairlane with an ultra light fiberglass body. Chevy offered the drag racer for the masses though, the Impala Super Sport with a 409 cubic inch engine. (‘She’s real fine, my 409…”)
Pontiac blew the doors off with the introduction in 1964 of the legendary GTO. Following the classic muscle car formula, the GTO was built on the mid-size LeMans platform with a 389 cubic inch engine and a 0-60 time of 7.7 seconds, eclipsing a ¼ mile in just 15.8 seconds.
Ford got the bright idea that the Muscle Car market ought to be big enough for dedicated model, not a re-tooled granny car with a huge engine. The result changed the car landscape profoundly and permanently: The Mustang. The Mustang wasn’t just the first Pony Car. It was a brilliant combination of good looks, a great price and performance that was just exciting enough to capture the crown.
Other manufacturers rushed to respond to the huge impact the Mustang was having on the emerging “youth market” of Baby Boomers with driver’s licenses. Plymouth rushed their new Barracuda to market, actually going on sale weeks before the Mustang. General Motors quickly added the Chevelle Super Sport, the Buick Gran Sport and the Olds 442 to its muscle car lineup. Ford’s competitors raced furiously to introduce pony cars of their own. By 1967 GM rocked the muscle car world with their own iconic Chevy Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird. Muscle cars, generally speaking, were far too powerful for the cheapo OEM tires Detroit slapped on nearly every model. In the search for aftermarket tires, the aftermarket wheel market was born, a market Huntington Wheels would proudly step into three decades later.
If the 70’s started with Muscle Cars on top, the downhill ride was swift. Insurance companies figured out that huge horsepower in young hands was too often a recipe for disaster, and rates rose precipitously. The first oil embargo sent fuel prices skyrocketing and smaller engines soared in demand. By mid decade, all the former Muscle Cars were “repurposed”. The only cars to continue the tradition were the Firebird and the Camaro.
The demand for muscle cars tanked as quickly it had risen a decade before. GM even stopped production of the Camaro and Firebird in 2002. Then, just as it had thirty years earlier, Ford rewrote the rules on Muscle cars with the introduction of the retro yet fresh 2005 Mustang. The category was revived. Chrysler developed a new line of rear wheel drive rides and the Charger with an optional HEMI engine rolled out, followed by the retro Challenger and Magnum. In Spring 2009, Chevrolet introduced the fifth-generation Camaro, after a seven-year hiatus. The cars are all more refined, more powerful and every bit as exciting as their predecessors. The Muscle Car is, once again, King of the Road.
Huntington Wheels took its cue from this Muscle Car renaissance, created specifically to deliver high performance aftermarket Mustang wheels, Camaro wheels, Dodge Charger wheels, Dodge Challenger wheels and Dodge Magnum Wheels, precision engineered to provide a perfect fitment for these reborn Muscle Cars.