By Paul Hinkle | Contributed
If you have been thinking about getting more involved in the local car scene but don’t have the time or desire to restore and work on a car, there is a solution – the modern American Muscle Car. Muscle cars came onto the automotive scene in the late 60s, quickly becoming popular because of their style, performance and affordability. Those reasons are why they are gaining popularity once again. Today’s Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers are better looking than ever and are a great way enjoy the car hobby. You can enter any of them into a local car show, join a car club or just take it on a spirited drive around the valley. Owning a new muscle car also has other advantages like reliability, five-star crash ratings and a factory warranty. And with dozens of trim levels and performance packages, it is easy to customize one to your own taste.
The 2017 Mustang ranges in price from 27k-40k depending on the options you choose. Ford even offers a new GT350 package starting at 70k, it is equipped with a 5.2 liter V8 and 6-speed manual transmission putting out 526 hp and 429 ft lb of torque. The more affordable versions are the GT with the traditional 5-liter V8 putting out 435 hp, the EcoBoost 3.7-liter V6 putting out 300 hp and the 2.3-liter turbo 4-cylinder delivering 310hp and getting the best gas milage out of the group with 25 mpg combined. Ford offers options like line lock and launch control or a soft top for those who like convertibles. The best package in my opinion is the Performance EcoBoost package which includes 19-inch wheels, summer tires, shorter gearing, tuned suspension, sports tuned steering and bigger brakes.
2017 is the 50th anniversary of the Camaro. The biggest changes that Chevrolet is making for next year is the performance packages offered. The new ZL1 will be equipped with a 6.2 liter supercharged V8 making 640 hp and 640 ft lb torque. You will have an option of a 6-speed manual or a paddle-shift 10 speed transmission. Designed with track performance in mind, it will have magnetic ride suspension, electronic differential, traction management, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels and 6 piston Brembo brakes. In 2017, the SS V8 and LT V6 models will also be offered with the 1LE performance package. It offers tighter suspension, 20-inch wheels, enhanced cooling, Brembo brakes, a limited slip differential, dual mode exhaust, front splitter and rear spoiler. This is expected to be a $3,500 option which means if you add it to a V6 1LT model, you can have a very fast a capable track day car for around 30K. The 2-liter turbocharged 4 cylinder will continue to be offered. It is an affordable option that produces 275 hp and 0-60 mph times under 6 seconds all while getting 30 mpg highway.
The 2017 Dodge Challengers will range in price from 28k-48k and the 707 hp Hellcat will remain around 65K. The biggest news for next year is the new Challenge T/A performance model. Standard trim will be offered with a 5.7 liter Hemi V8 putting out 375 hp and the 392 trim will have a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 putting out 485 hp. Both are available with a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic. The T/A models will also have an upgraded leather and houndstooth interior and several available retro paint schemes. The standard Challenger model will be offered with a 3.6 liter producing 305 hp, a 5.7-liter producing 375 hp and a 6.4-liter producing 485hp. The entire line of Challengers will have a redesigned interior that is wider and roomier and offered in 15 different color combinations.
Regardless of your brand preference you can’t go wrong the 2017 Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. All of them have excellent safety ratings, unbelievable performance numbers and styling that will turn heads on the street and attract attention at car shows. Muscle Cars have come along way over the past few years, if you haven’t sat in an American made car lately I recommend visiting a local dealer a taking a test drive.
September 23rd – Clovis Missionary Baptist Church Car Gathering
September 24th – 7th Annual Thru the Decades Car Truck & Bike Show
September 24th- The Chowchilla Chamber Classic & Custom Car Show
September 25th – OLPH 6th Annual Car Show Clovis
September 25th – British Car Roundup Clovis
September 30th – Clovis Missionary Baptist Church Car Gathering
October 1st – Central Valley Fallen Heroes Car Show
October 1st & 2nd – Eagle Field Hot Rod Gathering
October 8th – Immanuel Lutheran Church 15th Annual Car Show
October 8th – San Joaquin Valley MOPAR 23 rd Annual Fall Finale Car Show
October 14th ,15th & 16th – Mariposa Yosemite Cruise, Hot Rod Custom Car Show & Drags
October 15th – Hanford American Graffiti Tribute Car Show
If your club or organization is putting on a car show or motorsports event we are always looking for interesting cars, people and events to share. You can reach Paul Hinkle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (559) 970-2274 or Eric Hinkle at email@example.com.
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