Muscle Cars You Should Know: Lingenfelter ’97 Hurst/Pontiac Firebird
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Many people cite the 2005 Mustang as the car that birthed the modern muscle car craze, and while it may be true as far as retro styling is concerned, we think the theme of ‘60s heritage started roughly ten years earlier, when Ford brought back the Cobra Mustang, Chevy released the Camaro and Impala SS models, and once again Pontiac had bolted a factory Ram Air package onto its Firebird – something that had been missing in action since the early ‘70s.
Even Dodge started tagging their haloed R/T logo onto Neons, Stealths, Vipers, Durangos, and Dakotas. Around the same time, Chrysler also released the Plymouth Prowler and eventually, the Chrysler PT Cruiser.
These cars would later evolve into the factory-built, mega-horsepower cars that we have today with reborn Shelby and BOSS Mustangs, HEMI Mopars, ZL1 Camaros, and ZR1 Corvettes developing as much as 638hp, along with outsourcing tuning companies like Hennesey looking to turn already lethal monsters into something truly frightening. But this isn’t something that just started happening lately.
If we look back at the decade that opened the door for today’s muscle cars, we can find a car that started out in life as a LT1-equipped Formula WS6; the Hurst Firebird.