What was the best era of Muscle Cars in America? Many car enthusiasts consider the golden age to be the 60’s and 70’s for muscle cars that offers the power, prowess and stature that so many were searching for during that era. During that time cars were coming into their own and gaining advanced innovations and a dynamic ability to pull more and more power out of engines to offer some of the greatest Muscle Cars that have prowled the streets of the American landscape.
Here are ten of the top Muscle Cars from that era to bring back thoughts of yesteryear and pull out memories of a time when gas was cheap and powerful cars ruled the world.
1964 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake
No matter what angle you look at this car, it’s amazing and simply awesome. With one of the sleekest designs and a truly powerful engine this car was flying past most others on the road and tearing up the quarter mile for several years. Owning one of these beauties was difficult as a limited number of the Super Snakes were ever made and they are regarded as one of the rarest Muscle Coupes in American history. Those who did or still do own them have a treasure that can only truly be appreciated on the open road.
1969 Ford Mustang 428 Cobra Jet
This was a Mustang that looked, acted and performed like a Mustang should. This version was much more powerful than previous models with the 428-cid V8 engine rocketing this beast down the road. The hood scoop helped bring air into the engine to allow it to breathe fire and produce even more power than other cars that were similarly equipped. The ’69 Mustang was certainly a thing of beauty and offered room for five to enjoy the exciting ride.
At the time this was the king of the Muscle Cars and was known to be the fastest and most powerful muscle car of the age. This car offered the sleek design when looking at it from the rear and a powerful front end that appears to be angry and ready to cause trouble for other cars. This Camaro was capable of reaching sixty mph in 5.3 seconds, much faster than most other cars of the age and certainly carried in more power and acceleration than most other muscle cars.
The looks of the 1968 version can still be seen for the most part on the Chargers offered today, but at the time this was one beast that would brawl with anyone. With a large hood scoop, the air flowed freely to the engine, giving it all the breathing it needed to take off down the road. As one of the first cars fitted with a Hemi engine, the Charger was a great example of power and acceleration and a favorite among muscle car lovers of that time and the times of today.
Yes, the heydays of Muscle Cars did involve almost every brand name including Plymouth with their Hemi Road Runner. This awesome machine touted a 383-cid V8 engine that brought in more than 335 horsepower to ensure a surge of power would be felt not only by those inside the vehicle, but also by those who were around and near the vehicle. The Road Runner made a great choice and those who still have them are holding on to a piece of true Americana to be treasured and enjoyed on the open road.
The idea behind the GTO was so simple it was almost crazy; build a car with the lightest body and the largest engine. Because of this pairing of weight and power in the GTO, it became the premier Muscle Car for many years and still holds a place in the history and lore of the era when the GTO was king of the road and all others simply got out of the way. Pontiac is another example of a brand name that has now been done away with, making the few that are still roaming the earth very special to muscle car lovers everywhere.
1971 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda Convertible
The Barracuda from Plymouth was always thought of as one of the greatest muscle cars on the road and the 1971 Hemi powered convertible version was one of the rarest. This beast of the blacktop was powered by a 425-cid V8 engine and coughed out 425 horsepower to rocket this top down version past many of the competition. This Barracuda is another example of an American icon that was treasured and still brings up memories of fast, powerful cars that just wanted to push the very limits of their abilities.
During the 1980’s the Chevelle fell on less than favorable times, becoming another sedan that no longer resembles its Muscle Car roots, but the 1970 version was one of the most popular cars of the time and was thought of by Chevrolet experts to be the ultimate muscle car, even though the Camaro generally carries that title. The Chevelle was powered by a big block V8 engine full of anger and offers a serious Muscle Car profile that is still iconic today. Unfortunately the Chevelle and the Camaro did not both make it out of the ‘80’s, leaving the Chevelle to be a collector’s item today.
This was one of the first examples of a mixture of American Muscle and Italian engineering brought together. The car was designed by the Argentinian race driver, Alejandro De Tomaso and was powered by a 351-cid V8 engine with 330 horsepower. The look carried over to many sports cars that came later with a sleek, low and aerodynamic profile and a large spoiler in the back that made onlookers feel as if this car was going to take off and fly away.
There is no way to ever leave this car out of the conversation of amazing muscle cars from the 60’s and 70’s. As the best example of an upgraded car, the Shelby GT350 helped launch the partnership between Ford and Carroll Shelby that is still evident today. This was another very rare and very powerful car with only 500 of them left in existence, owning one is like owning a piece of history that should be put on display. Of course the display area needs to be the open road of America, not some stodgy car museum where the power never gets let out to play.
Ten awesome cars from several different years of the 60’s and 70’s, all made to be the beast of the road at the time and show others their taillights. Which one was actually the fastest? What car was the best of the times? That conversation has already been going on for over fifty years and will certainly continue for several more as car enthusiasts everywhere think back to a time when a tank of gas cost a lot less, there were fewer emissions regulations, and powerful cars was the name of the game.
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