Ever since the original pony car, the Ford Mustang, made its debut in 1964, car enthusiasts have debated the question of whether such cars can be considered muscle cars. This brief guide may help to reduce confusion.
What is a pony car?
According to cardebater.com, to qualify as a pony car, a vehicle must fulfill a certain number of criteria. It must have been made in the United States, have a low basic spec but with many upgrades available, and be able to seat four people despite having only two doors. Pony cars are also usually built with ordinary, rather than specialist, parts and share distinctive styling features such as an open-mouthed front and a long, low hood.
What is a muscle car?
To qualify as a muscle car, the Muscle Car Club states that a car should be an affordable, mid-sized or larger car with a strong focus on performance and a high-capacity V8 engine. The most important of these requirements is that of high performance: a more basic automobile on which more powerful models are based is unlikely to be recognized as a muscle car.
Although there is some overlap between the strict definitions of a pony car and a muscle car, the two types are clearly distinct. Crucial differences pinpointed by Zero to 60 Times include body size: pony cars are mid-size or smaller, whereas muscle cars may be considerably larger. Pony cars also use the smaller engines in a range, rather than the outright power that muscle cars boast. Used more loosely, the term “muscle car” can include pony cars, although the same is not true in reverse.