Best Muscle Cars

Star-spangled American Muscle Cars That Set The standard

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By Dave Ashton

American muscle and sports cars are still some of the most renowned on the planet. Some may say they are big, bold and brash but this is also one of their main selling points. Here we have some standout vehicles which defined the American muscle and Sports car world.

1953 Chevrolet C1 Corvette
1953 Chevrolet C1 Corvette-867

The fibreglass bodied Chevrolet Corvette was rushed into production, intended to compete against the likes of the Nash Healey. The first Corvettes had a straight six engine with 150 HP. Today, still revered as a classic American vehicle.

1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Turbo Jetfire
1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Turbo Jetfire

The first turbo powered vehicle may be seen by many as the 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo, but General Motors were actually the first. The car had a 3.52L/215cu. turbo V8 with water and methanol injection. It was early days for the turbo car and only 4000 were sold. GM may have put turbos on hold for another 10 years, but it didn’t stop everyone else being influenced by the setup.

1964 Pontiac GTO
1964 Pontiac GTO

The 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 and the Chrysler 300-C are often cited as the original American muscle cars, but it’s really the 1964 Pontiac GTO that takes the crown for having a large displacement V8 engine, two-door, affordable price and the ability to easily hot rod. The GTO had a 389-cubic inch (6.4-litre) V8 with 325hp, three speed manual transmission and was offered in various options which included a Tri-Power carburettor increasing power to 350HP.

1966 Ford GT40 Mk2

The GT40 was born out of the initial letdown of Enzo Ferrari not so selling out to Ford, so the GT 40 was born to win at the Le Mans 24 Hours race.
Armed with a 427cu./7 litre V8 engine and developed with Carroll Shelby, the car went onto win at Le Mans in 1966 and three more times, cementing the car in racing history. It’s maybe a good thing Ferrari didn’t sell in the end.

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

Along with the Plymouth Superbird, the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona was built for NASCAR racing and although they didn’t sell well on the street, they performed as designed on the track. The cars had 23 inch tall rear wings, powered by a 426cu. V8 Hemi engine, with street versions also having a 440 engine. These cars are highly collectable today.

1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda

The Plymouth Barracuda is still one of the most iconic muscle cars from its golden era of the late 60s and early 70s. Most collectable today is arguably the ’71 version with a 440cu. (7.2-litre) Hemi V8.
Rare options of the vehicle, which include color schemes such as Vitamin C orange fetch the most money today.

1996 Dodge Viper GTS
There wasn’t much happening in the world of muscle cars in the mid-90s and although it’s a sports car, the Dodge Viper brought attention back to American cars in general due to it’s amazing looks and power.
The huge 8L 10 cylinder engine made 450hp and 490lb-ft of torque with all the attention back to American vehicles in one foul swoop.

2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang

The Ford Mustang has been produced consistently since 1964, but it’s not until recent years that it along with the other muscle car fraternity has started to make a comeback. The GT350 and variations have equal merit, but it is the fifth generation GT 500 that hit the 200 mph mark with its 5.8-litre supercharged V8 engine and 662hp and 631lb-ft of torque that made a mark.

The Mustang is now back stronger than ever and now with versions available in Europe and beyond, it looks like the Mustang shows no signs of slowing down, literally.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Demon

The Dodge Challenger SRT hellcat and the upcoming Demon are both as near as back to the old muscle car ways as possible.
The Hellcat came out first with its 707hp supercharged V8 engine, but it’s now the Dodge Demon that is causing all the fuss with its huge 840HP Power output, along with having firsts in many categories, not just for muscle cars. It will be the world’s fastest production car, 0 to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds, the world’s fastest quarter-mile production car in 9.65 seconds and the first production vehicle to build to lift its front wheels on takeoff.
The car will be limited to only 3300 vehicles, but it will show the world how the American muscle car has completely evolved.

Not to forget other standout American cars such as the Camaro and its variations, the American muscle on pony car now is not just a straight line monster, but equally viable on the track.

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