The 1960s was the era of rebellion, and manufacturers clearly marketed towards this, because the evidence is clear in the design of their cars. 1960s cars needed to have a lot of attractions to appeal to the mid-sixties consumer, and companies such as Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Ford were the first to give a variety of options on their beginning muscle cars to appeal to consumers, and they ended up selling more than they thought they would. These factors made the 1960’s the golden age of muscle and pony cars.
These extra features or options are some modern car luxuries that we take for granted today. Power seats and windows, and air conditioning were many interior options for 1960s cars. Options such as bigger engines, power steering, automatic transmissions, and power brakes could be found on muscle and standard cars in this era.
Pony cars first came around in the 1960s, starting first with the Ford Mustang. Ford produced the Mustang to compete with other muscle cars in 1964-65, before they decided it deserved its own specific class. Chevrolet tried to compete with the Mustang with the belated introduction of the Camaro.
Each manufacturer strived for each type of car in their ranks, to appeal to consumers who wanted one or the other, or both. Ford had the Torino as its muscle, and the Mustang as its pony. Chevrolet had the Camaro as its pony, and the Chevelle as its muscle car. Dodge has the Charger and Challenger respectively as their muscle-to-pony choices. Manufacturers did this to get as many vehicles as they could sold and on the roads.
Another category for muscle cars was created when Plymouth manufactured the Road Runner, which was a muscle-car at a very cheap price. This created the category of “budget muscle” car which appealed to consumers who wanted the muscle-car, but didn’t want to break the bank when buying one.
These 1960s cars are now being restored. The golden age of muscle cars is being relived once again because of these owners and their restored cars.