The First True Muscle Car – Pontiac’s 1964 GTO


1964 Pontiac GTO pic

1964 Pontiac GTO

A New Hampshire-based senior financial consultant, Edward (“Ed”) Marsi is responsible for providing numerous services that help clients meet their financial goals. In his free time, Edward Marsi maintains an interest in muscle cars.

According to many, the first true muscle car was the 1964 Pontiac GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato), which was designed by Russell Gee, an engine specialist; chassis engineer Bill Collins; and John DeLorean, Pontiac’s chief engineer. These engineers took a block 389 engine from the Pontiac Bonneville/Catalina line and put it inside of a Pontiac Tempest. On top of that, they upgraded the Tempest’s wheels, tires, and suspension.

The vehicle was a hit right away, in part due to Jim Wangers’ idea to market the car based heavily on racing and performance. Pontiac sold it as an option package for the Pontiac Tempest, which normally had a 326 engine. Car owners could also have additional features installed in the GTO, including a two-speed automatic transmission and heavy-duty cooling. With all the accessories added, upgrading to the GTO cost about $4,500 more.


Upcoming Muscle Cars – Shelby GT500


The Emergence of the Muscle Car on the American Scene

Muscle Carpic

Muscle Car

Edward “Ed” Marsi is a respected Manchester, New Hampshire, financial professional who holds a senior position with TD Ameritrade. A martial arts enthusiast, Edward Marsi enjoys activities such as sports and working on muscle cars in his free time.

The muscle car evolved after World War II, as demand increased among the public for vehicles that maximized power and speed. The first car on the market built specifically to meet these criteria was the Oldsmobile Rocket 88, which contained a pioneering 303-cubic-inch V8 under the hood and achieved eight out of 10 victories in NASCAR competition that year.

The next major evolution occurred in 1955, with the introduction of the NASCAR-dominating Chrysler C-300. This led to a full-out horsepower “arms race” between Plymouth, Dodge, and Chrysler, with the 1962 Dodge Dart able to complete a quarter mile in 13 seconds, behind a 413-cubic-inch engine. With the introduction of the Pontiac GTO, Dodge Polara 500, and Chevrolet SS in 1964, the era of ubiquitous muscle cars had truly begun.

Modern Muscle Cars that Combine Performance and Value


Nissan R35 GT-Rpic

Nissan R35 GT-R

A Manchester, New Hampshire financial professional, Edward (Ed) Marsi engages closely with high net worth clients in defining results-driven retirement strategies. Outside his consulting work, Edward Marsi enjoys activities such as cooking and martial arts, and he has a longstanding passion for muscle cars.

Emerging in the 1960s, muscle cars have evolved over the years and now come in a variety of contours and high performance models, not all of which break into six figures. As selected by Car & Driver, noteworthy contemporary muscle cars include the BMW 1-Series M Coupe. With only 6,300 of this 335-hp twin-turbo model produced in 2011, the $47,000 MSRP version is strictly for driving enthusiasts and incorporates a six-speed manual and is without power steering. Acquiring one of these sought-after cars will cost at least $60,000 today if it’s in good condition.

Another muscle car contender is the Nissan R35 GT-R, which debuted at $70,000 and outperformed Lamborghinis and Porsche 911 Turbos in Car & Driver tests by going from 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds and braking from 70 to 0 within 145 feet. With its early dual-clutch transmission issues resolved and the MSRP now above $100,000, the R35 GT-R still offers real value to supercar aficionados who want to attain the performance associated with significantly more expensive models.