Classic performance-based muscle cars have been the source of affection for countless vehicle enthusiasts and collectors for over half a century. The 1960's started this time-honored American standard for high-power V-8 engines integrated into sleek and attractive designs.
Some of these models are very rare and sought after with collectors worldwide. When popularity began to sore every major automobile manufacturer seemed to be producing luxury vehicles in a fashion that would appeal to the muscle car audience.
These performance driven classic cars were a step above their predecessors. Companies were opting out of the traditional economy models and jumping onto the torque, speed, and decadence of the next generation. The young working class across the nation were saving every penny to drive one off the lot in record numbers. If you were lucky enough to afford one during the golden age of automobiles it was an outward representation of unrivaled personal expression.
Favorite Features of Muscle Cars
There are specific features a majority of muscle cars have that set them apart from other automobiles of their time. Most muscle cars are built with very fast acceleration in mind. They include mostly large V-8 engines that feature two sets of 4 cylinders each that power a single crankshaft. They are called V-8 engines because of the iconic "V" shape of their slanted heads.
These cars featured lightweight frames with pronounced front-end engine bays that made maintenance a breeze. The makeup of these powerhouses gained favor in small-scale racing leagues and aided in the rise of suburban street racing. Flashy color schemes and racing stripes were often included as a selling point. Many makes had rich leather interiors. The engine setups were meant to be loud and attention-grabbing with little emphasis on emissions control. They truly were mechanical-muscles rolling and roaming down every highway.
Popular Muscle Cars Of History
There are several models that fans may hold as their favorite, but here as some of the most collectible and accessible muscle cars that ever came off of the line. If you ever get your hands on one of these don't let it go!
- 1964 Pontiac GTO Tri-Power - With an estimated 348 horsepower as well as 428 ft-lbs of torque, this model is regarded as one of the most iconic and sought after muscle cars ever made. It featured ground breaking mechanical design and a breath-taking body.
- 1971 Buick GSX - Specifically, this is the Stage-1 Performance Pack version. The specs are set to 360 horsepower with 510 ft-lbs torque. Buick spent years creating this masterpiece with the latest high-power technology that was available at the time.
- 1970 Ford Mustang - This classic Ford Mustang quickly became one of the greatest models available. The best version from 1970 was the boss 302. It has 290 horsepower and a surprisingly similar numerically 290 ft-lbs of torque. It's also known as the "Mustang 290", but don't let its lower power fool you. This car packs a heavy punch on the road because of its highly-tuned acceleration. It is the car of choice for any dragster.
- 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 - The SS 454 is regarded as the epitome of Chevy performance cars. This model has an estimated 360 horsepower with an overwhelming 500 ft-lbs of torque. It's known for its massive sound and smooth shifting.
- 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda - The Cuda is decked out with a genuine Hemi engine that boasts 425 horsepower and 490 ft-lbs of torque. It would be akin to driving a jetliner through your neighborhood. The Cuda falls heavy as the measuring stick of innovation in muscle cars and sports cars alike.
- 1969 Dodge Charger R/T-SE - Dodge is well established because of its reliable dependency with muscle cars and daily-drivers. If you've ever seen "The Dukes Of Hazzard" TV show, then you've seen just how bad of a beating these cars can take. It's amazingly well-built and extraordinarily distinguishable from other automobiles due to the publicity it has gained. The total production for this year was 89,199 units of which only 260 had built-in sunroofs.
- 1969 Pontiac Firebird 400 Coupe - Originally Pontiac wanted to released a two-door sports car modeled after its Banshee concept car but compromised by releasing the Firebird in its place. From 1969 up until the early 2000's Pontiac offered the Firebird as a hardtop and as a convertible. The 400 Coupe packed 330 horsepower with 430 ft-lbs of torque. Exactly 87,808 1969 models were manufactured.