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Obscure Muscle Car Garage – Time to vote them out; These are the Obscure Muscle Cars of the 50’s…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1957 Ford (Supercharged) F-Series  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 34407 PM.bmp

The Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage has been an interesting series of postings that I introduced here in April of 2013. It was my intent to expand your notion of what a Muscle Car could be, and to zero in on the more Obscure Ones you may have never known about. When this series was introduced, I always kept the option of voting in or out any of the entries profiled. Well, it is now time to make room in the Garage, and for the next six weeks, I will be providing a review of all the inductees, and sorting them by period or classification. This week, we go back and review all the cars and trucks that were profiled and built during the 1950’s, and were also voted into the Obscure Muscle Car Garage by you, our faithful readers. After this quick review, there will be a poll asking which inductee should be voted out (or maybe not…), and by the time we review all the Garage Members, we will have one final vote to see if we lose any members. Ready? Let’s begin…


Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1956-61 Dodge D-500  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 34338 PM.bmp

In July of 2013, I posed the question as to whether or not the Dodge D500 should be considered as a Muscle Car, with not just one spot reserved in the Garage, but several. You see these cars were produced in two distinct series, across multiple body styles. The early cars produced 260 to 285 HP, and were built on a relatively light body. The cars produced between 1957 and 1961 were longer, lower, wider, and heavier, and had either the famous Hemi Head V-8 or the still stonkin’ wedge head v8 engines, producing between 330 to 345 HP, with better handling due to the new Torsion Bar Suspension that was new for these big Dodges. You thought they were worthy inductees, with a resounding 63% affirmative vote.Take a look at the original article here.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1957 Ford (Supercharged) F-Series  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 34412 PM.bmp

For 1957, Ford produced a one year only NASCAR Special (The Ford F-Series), with a 300 HP Supercharged 312 Cubic Inch V-8, and then offered the engine across the entire Ford lineup, including the Thunderbird, the Ford Skyliner Retractable Hardtop Convertible, and there was even a Ford Country Sedan with this engine installed. You voted this entry in by a margin of 68%. Take a look at the original article here.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1957 Rambler Rebel  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 34238 PM.bmp

When I started writing for various web sites, a good friend of mine, Richard Truesdell, lobbied for the 1957 Rambler Rebel, stating that this was the Original Muscle Car. He had a point, as this was a rather trim package, packing a powerful 327 CID V-8 that produced 255HP. It was the fastest car for 1957, with the exception of the Corvette. 82% of you who voted agreed with Truesdell, and was an early inductee. See the original article here.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1956–58 Studebaker Golden Hawk  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 34011 PM.bmp

In March of Last Year, I highlighted the 1956 to 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk as an Obscure Muscle Car, and these cars were produced with two very distinct engines. The 1956 model was equipped with the 332 CID Packard V-8, while the 1957 ans 58 models came equipped with the 289 CID Supercharged Studebaker V-8, both producing 275 HP. These were light, stylish coupes, and fully 78% of you agreed that these were obscure muscle Cars. See the original Article here.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1957 Pontiac Bonneville  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 34038 PM.bmp

Pontiac is a name that is credited with the creation of the Muscle Car, but in the min 1950’s they were anything but… It took a new General Manager of the division to breathe new life into a brand that was seen as old fashioned, and unexciting. In comes the 1957 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible, with a Fuel Injected 347 CID V-8 that put out a conservative 310HP. And 65% of you that voted said it was an Obscure Muscle Car. See the Original Article here.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1958 Packard Hawk  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 34113 PM.bmp

The Studebaker Packard Corporation was just a bit desperate during the late 1950’s, creating Studebaker Cars badged as Packards for the 1957 and 1958 model years. And of course, this included a version of the Studebaker Golden Hawk called (what else…) the Packard Hawk. It was cobbled together for one year only, equipped with the Supercharged 289 CID Studebaker V-8, and looked unlike most anything then produced. It was fast, luxurious, and very rare, and it was voted into the Obscure Muscle Garage by a margin of 70%. See the Original Article Here.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The Fabulous Hudson Hornet  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 34147 PM.bmp

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet, specifically equipped with the Twin-H Flathead Six Cylinder Engine, is arguably one of the prototypical Muscle Cars of it’s day, and was dominate in the very early years of NASCAR Racing. By 1953, the Twin-H Powerplant was producing as much as 220HP, and figure unheard of in most engines, let alone a flathead six. It all came to an end after the merger with Nash in 1954, and the step down Hudsons were no more. You voted in these Hudsons by a margin of 71%. See the original article here.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1959 Dodge Silver Challenger  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 33923 PM.bmp

One of the more Obscure Cars I highlighted was the 1959 Dodge Silver Challenger, something I never really knew about until recently. This is a nameplate that has gone on to great heights, and is currently in use today. The Silver Challenger could be equipped with a six, or with the Red Ram 326 CID V-8. This was the lightest body style available, so with this engine, it was a true performer. And 67% of you that voted agreed. See the original Article here.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1956-61 Dodge D-500  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 34326 PM.bmp

So, those are inductees from the 1950’s. It is now time for you to vote one of these out…or not. Once I run the entire review, which should take 7 weeks, we will see how many of the vehicles will be thrown out of the Garage. Remember, you can make a difference here, so continue to follow this series, and tell me how much you seem to like it (or not…)

Which of these fantastic Obscure Muscle Cars of the 1950's should be given the boot?

View Results

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Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1957 Ford (Supercharged) F-Series  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 34421 PM.bmp

Please Note: All Images are screen grabs from around the web. If you want credit for any image, please let me know in the comments section. Thank You…

  • Sjalabais

    I am one of those who are more often inclined to vote a sedan or luxury ship out than in, but let me say that this is a fantastic series that has expanded my car knowledge significantly.

    Very hard to decide on the vote above…I will take my time.

    • crank_case

      Likewise, really enjoyed these. Can't really pick one either, I can't really say if they're muscle cars, but they're all sort of awesome in their own way.

  • Colonel Panik

    If you are getting rid of any of these hoopties just park them by my house.

  • Slow_Joe_Crow

    I considered voting to toss the Studebaker Hawk since it is more Grand Tourer than muscle but I have a soft spot for Studebakers. Also please keep the Ford F-series no matter what because a supercharged station wagon is totally hoontastic.

  • hubba

    If there's a space limit, I think only one S-P Hawk is needed. I think the Golden Hawk is prettier than the Packard Hawk.

  • Krash Kadillak

    Didn't catch that Silver Challenger Dodge the first time around. I'd have to vote 'no' on that one, Jim. Not enough of an engine in that package.

  • To the extent that I'm prepared to acknowledge the concept of a '50s muscle car (mumble, grumble, purity of language…), I think the F-Code supercharged '57 Fords should be joined by their E-Code dual-four-barrel counterparts:

    <img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5203/5313967297_c542fe8887.jpg&quot; width="500">

  • BlackIce_GTS

    While I believe the Hawks both Golden and Pyrite are much more aptly classified as personal luxury, or grand tourers, or whatever; I voted to boot the Studebaker. I felt being a badge swap (and/or questionable restyle) of something else is a very 'muscle car' attribute, so the Packard gets to stay. (also the paint on the pictured example is really nice)

  • DClan

    Long before I was even a twinkle in the old man's eye, he owned a definite piece of history. He had a 1957 Ford Fairlane Sunliner convertible with the Thunderbird Special, a 312 Y-block with dual four barrels, a factory installed Isky E-2 cam and springs, and a three speed trans with overdrive- all done in Gunmetal Gray w/ black trim and red leather interior. He said he had to sell it to help buy a house after my mom became pregnant. All I could do was cry, I would have traded my brother for a car like that. He bought it new in '57 and sold it in '62 with 31k on the odometer.