American Muscle Cars

Americans love their cars and looking back over the years, you would be hard pressed to find more passion devoted to a type of car than the muscle cars of the 60’s and early 70’s. American muscle cars made a huge impact on many car enthusiasts that wanted lots of power and torque from a fairly inexpensive car. American muscle cars were not only cousins to the drag racing vehicles popular of the time, but with their great lines and interior features American muscle cars had something for everyone.

American Muscle Cars Offer Raw Power

Not just any car can be classified as a muscle car. Most car enthusiasts usually define a muscle car as a mid size car that offers exceptional performance in both speed, horsepower and torque. Most American muscle cars were developed and sold in the 1960’s and early 70’s. While there have been a handful of muscle cars that have been created in recent years, the 60’s and early 70’s are definitely the muscle car era. It should be noted that during this era, these cars were called “Supercars”, it wasn’t until the 80’s that the term “muscle car” stuck.

American muscle cars were built for speed and offered raw power at an affordable price. Most muscle cars are mid sized cars with rear wheel drive and large V-8 engines. They generally had a normal back seat or a 2 + 2 configuration. Large by today’s standards, muscle cars were gas guzzlers which closely imitated the drag racing cars on the track in those days. They were extremely fast, many reaching 120 mph+, had large amounts of torque available for quick acceleration and lots of horsepower. American muscle cars were loud and boisterous. With great styling and lots of interior/trim options available, American muscle cars could be easily customized. It should also be noted that American muscle cars were a great value, usually competitive with other cars on the market at the time.

Top American Muscle Cars

Several car manufacturers sold muscle cars including Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, Chevy, Ford and AMC. Some of the highest rated muscle cars ever created included the Pontiac GTO, Dodge Super Bee, Ford Torino Cobra 428 and Chevrolet Chevelle SS454.

1969 Pontiac GTO

The 1969 Pontiac GTO is generally regarded as the best year for GTO muscle Car. The car featured a 400 cubic inch, 370 hp Ram AIR IV engine. In addition, it included a four barrel carburetor, high flow cylinder heads, high performance aluminum intake, high lift cam shafts and much more. A 1969 Pontiac GTO could reach 0-60 mph in about 5.2 seconds, and achieve the quarter-mile time in about 11.5 seconds at 123 mph.

Dodge Super Bee

The Dodge Super Bee was sold from 1968-1971. One of the most coveted muscle cars of the time, the Dodge Super Bee was a top performer. Perhaps the best engine available for the Super Bee was the 7.0 liter 426 cubic inch Hemi V-8 that delivered a staggering 425 hp.

Ford Torino Cobra 428

The 1969 Ford Torino Cobra 428 is also known as one of the great American muscle cars. The Ford Torino Cobra 428 came equipped with the 428-4V Super Cobra Jet (SCJ) engine that produced 335 hp. The Ford Torino Cobra 428 could run the quarter mile in 15.07 seconds at 95.74 mph.

Chevrolet Chevelle SS454

The Chevrolet Chevelle SS454 came with the huge 454 cubic inch big block engine. The 1970 model is perhaps the epitome of the American muscle car. The Chevrolet Chevelle SS454 offered the LS6, with 450 hp and 500 ft·lbf of torque, which ould easily thrust the Chevelle through the 1/4 mile in low to mid-13 second times at speeds reaching 105 to 108 mph.

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