The 10 Best American Muscle Cars
Muscle Cars, a term that always makes us look back in time to the era of great music and raw power. Muscle cars have become an integral part of American folklore and pop culture. The simple idea of putting a large engine in a small car and to go drag racing with it has become a religion of sorts over the years. Over the decades, many iconic names have laid their claim upon the title of best muscle car out there. While almost all of them had been special and worth talking about, some of them took things to a new level. Here we have listed the 10 Best American Muscle Cars, read on to know if your favorite have made it to the list or not.
1964 Plymouth Belvedere 426 Hemi
The 1964 Belvedere was the first car from Chrysler to use the 426 Hemi engine. Since it was light weight and had a powerful engine, it was a monster on the drag strip. The Hemi proved to be so good that the car won first, second, and third at NASCAR’s 1964 Daytona race. The 426 Hemi was the ultimate street engine, putting out 519 horsepower and 540 lb-ft of torque.
1970 Ford Torino Cobra 429 Jet
Of the available Torino models, the Torino Cobra remained the no-nonsense pure performance model. It came standard with a 4-speed close ratio transmission, Hurst shifter, competition suspension, twist style exposed hood latches, and “Cobra” emblems. That is not all, it also came with 15 inch Magnum wheels and black “sports slats” for the rear window. Torino Cobra’s 429 V8 made 370bhp and it did 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds.
1968 Shelby Mustang GT500KR 428 Cobra Jet
This Mustang is considered among the greatest of Mustangs. The KR in the name stood for “King of the Road”, what else did you expect. The engine was a 428 known as the “Cobra Jet” and made 335bhp with 440 lb-ft torque. On the hood were present dual inlet hood scoops that increased ram air delivery. There were also factory hood pins, and vents to dissipate heat under the hood.
1969 Dodge Charger 500 426 Hemi
It is a fairly rare and valuable Mopar muscle car. It was more aerodynamic than the 1968 model Charger R/T which failed to beat the Ford cars on the high banking oval tracks. The result was a changed grill and the rear window flush, while the engine was a 440 Magnum. However, it was said that the 426 Hemi came as standard. Only 68 Charger 500s were built with the 426 Hemi, 27 of those were equipped with 4-Speeds and 40 with Torqueflites.
1967 Pontiac GTO:
For many purists, the muscle car era began with the 1964 Pontiac GTO. The car happened because Pontiac sneaked a 389-cubic-inch V-8 into its Tempest as an option called the GTO in 1964. It was the times of GM ban against having big engines in small cars. However, the response for the GTO was incredible enough to pave way for a series of muscle cars from GM stable. 1967 marked the first full model year of availability of ram air through a functional hood scoop on the GTO. It was a 400-cubic-inch V-8, delivering 360 horsepower.
1968 Plymouth Road Runner Hemi
Plymouth wanted a bare-knuckle, muscle-car fighter and the Plymouth Road Runner Hemi was pure explosive brawn. It’s one of the all-time great performance-car names. With a 425-horsepower, 426-cubic-inch Hemi V-8 engine, the Road Runner struck fear into the hearts of the Saturday night country-road, drag-racing crowd.
1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429
The Mustang Boss 429 is what you get when a carmaker needs to meet NASCAR regulations. Fewer than 1,400 were built between 1969 and 1970, making the Boss 429 a rare bird indeed. Its 429-cubic-inch V-8 engine delivered 375-horsepower.
1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
The current Camaro ZL1 gets its name from the legendary 1969 Camaro ZL1, and for good reason. With only 70 ever built, the ’69 ZL1 was the most powerful Chevrolet engine offered to the public for decades. Based on Chevrolet’s iconic 427 V8 engine, the ZL power plant had an aluminum block in place of the regular 427’s iron one. The engine made 430bhp, but it was aid that the engine produced much more than that.
1970 Buick GSX Stage 1
When Buick entered the muscle-car market, it was considered to be a luxurious and powerful brand. The 1970 Gran Sport 455, abandoned Buick’s traditional, more dignified branding with a rear spoiler and body striping. Of the 687 GSXs built, 488 were ordered with the Stage 1 upgrade. It made 360bhp and 510pounds-foot torque.
1970 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda
With its 4.26Ltr Hemi that made around 425bhp, the Hemi ‘Cuda was decently powerful. In fact Plymouth also gave its muscle cars a suspension tailored to heavy-metal acceleration. The Barracuda originally was based on the Valiant. But with a 1970 redesign, its design finally shifted away from the Valiant’s design. Plymouth produced a limited number of the Hemi ‘Cudas, which are highly prized today.
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454
It was the epitome of the muscle-car era. Chevrolet offered 2 versions of the 4.54Ltr V8. The LS5 generated a very impressive 360bhp, while the LS6 produced a whopping 450bhp. It’s the LS6 version, with its Holley 4-barrel carburetor, that put the SS 454 on top of this list. No other muscle car would equal the power output of the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454. It was the true super star of the muscle car era.