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Don't be a blockhead; learn gearhead slang for the Cruise

Old 08-20-2007, 06:40 PM
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Default Don't be a blockhead; learn gearhead slang for the Cruise




Don't be a blockhead; learn gearhead slang for the Cruise
Scott Burgess
Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

If you haven't noticed, the cruising has already started along Woodward Avenue in anticipation of Saturday's official Dream Cruise. Cars are racing up and down the street, and police are out issuing tickets even as we write this.

While the hardcore gearheads may know the difference between headers and a head start, many car enthusiasts don't. So we're here to help.

For those who only make the cruise on the weekend, we wanted to provide you with a few tips and conversation starters along the famous strip. Don't worry about not knowing the value of the vehicles motoring along Woodward or what kind of horsepower is revving at any given light. The point of Woodward is to enjoy the scenery and take in the atmosphere.

Here are some of the things, automotive wise, you may come across.

Pony and muscle cars

These are the heart of the Woodward Dream Cruise. Most can be recognized by their long hoods, short decks (trunks) and grumbling engines from the '60s and early '70s.

But pony cars and muscle cars are not always the same vehicles.

Pony cars were considered sporty versions of more sedate daily drivers, and then evolved from there. (The 1964 Ford Mustang was built on the Ford Falcon's frame and the 1964 Plymouth Barracuda was built on the Plymouth Valiant's.) They were aimed at young buyers who wanted something more than their parents' cars.

Let's look at the three vying to make a comeback.

Ford Mustang: Early Mustang engines varied from 170-cubic inch six-cylinder to the mega powerful 429-cubic-inch Cobra Jet V-8. Ford helped rekindle the muscle car craze when it introduced its redesigned Mustang in 2004. Special edition classics include the Shelby GT-350 and GT-500, as well as the Bullitt Mustang.

Chevrolet Camaro: Chevy's answer to the Mustang, the Camaro debuted in 1967. The original Camaro design only lasted three years and has a squarer look than the second-generation model. For anyone trying to spot a 1967 model, look at the front windows. If you see the triangle piece of glass that opens out, it's a '67. If it's not there, it's a '68 or '69. The 2009 Camaro's design is based on the 1969 Camaro.

Dodge Challenger: One of the last cars to enter the pony car race, the Challenger, with its extra long hood and squared off front end, has kept its cult like following. Only 160,000 Challengers were sold between 1970 and 1974.

More muscle

Technically, any car could become a muscle car -- just put a big enough engine in it and you've got muscle.

But here are a few of the classics.

GM

Chevy Chevelle SS: Known as the SS396, the high-performance Chevelle included a sloping back, a hard chrome trim line along its side and squarer wheel wells.

Pontiac GTO: The first true muscle car, the GTO has distinctive tall fenders on the front, boxy end. The headlights are stacked and pushed to the far ends of its face. Originally, the GTO was an option package to the Pontiac LeMans

Chrysler

Dodge Charger: The 1968 Charger included a flying buttress instead of the fastback and was the first Dodge to come with an R/T (Road/Track) badge. Bo and Luke Duke made the 1969 Charger famous during their Hazzard County antics in the General Lee.

Plymouth Barracuda: The original 1964 Barracuda is easily spotted by its wrap around back window. It curves and sweeps around all of the edges. Built on the Plymouth Valient's frame, the Barracuda changed dramatically in 1967. Its longest models came in 1970, as the 'Cuda. The best performers were the 440-6 'Cuda, with a 440-cubic-inch V-8 and the other model with a 426-cubic-inch Hemi V-8.

Ford

[b]Ford Tor
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