Everyone here at Timeless Muscle can trace their roots back to their youth, where we grew up working on musclecars from the ’60s and ’70s. From first-gen Camaros and Mustangs to mid-size muscle like Chargers and Chevelles, all of us can certainly identify with the original classics, as well as decipher what is and isn’t a “real” musclecar.
Full-sized coupes technically don’t fall into the category, although there have been exceptions to the rule, such as the Impala SS 427 or a Hurst/Chrysler 300. But what about a Monaco? You could probably make a case for the ’74 cop car used in 1980’s Blues Brothers, with its “cop motor, cop tires, cop suspension…” but that car was never really considered a musclecar. It had four doors, for one.
However, thanks to the aftermarket and ever-changing ideas from hot-rodders and the OEs alike, many are starting to consider larger (and even 4-door) vehicles that have been infused with power, performance or cosmetic flair as musclecars. Whether you agree with the notion that car vehicle can be transformed into a musclecar after its left the factory or not is entirely your opinion, but it begs the question.
Recently, Mike Musto over at Big Muscle took a ’72 Dodge Monaco for a spin. A full-sized coupe with massive curb weight, plenty of girth and a very mild 360ci. Chrysler small-block, on the face of it, many would be hard pressed to consider this a legitimate example of iconic Detroit iron.
But once you dig a little deeper and find out that the 360 has been warmed over a little, a Shaker scoop borrowed from a ‘Cuda has been slid into place and the wheels, tires and brakes have been beefed up using modern components from the aftermarket, the Monaco takes on a whole new personality. Is it fast? No. However, it has an attitude that’s part Charger R/T and part tinted-out Chrysler Imperial. It’s a blend of muscle meets luxury and Mike’s totally digging it.
Now that we think about it, so are we… So can a boat like a ’72 Monaco coupe ever fall into the “muscle” category? We’ll let you decide…
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of Timeless Muscle Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.