You cannot name the X factor appeal of classic American muscle cars, but you certainly feel it every time you hear the engine roaring. They guzzle gas, eat up tires in a blink and are notorious for handling, but does that matter when you run your hands over their curves or when you fire them up? No, of course not. Maybe it’s the trail-blazing, stoplight-racing horsepower that nails your heart to them.
In any case, have a look at this selection of classic all-American auto beasts and tell us in the comments if you agree.
1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88
Many say this is where it all started – the original hot-rodding ride. Its creators were quick to recognize the increasing practice of souping up old autos with vicious engines in order to achieve a light and incredibly powerful car. Olds’ designers came up with Rocket 88 to accommodate those who didn’t have a hot rod, but not for a lack of wanting.
1955 Chrysler C-300
This monster broke the ground with its ridiculous 300hp at the time when most autos fell short of 200. It’s also the source for Chrysler’s trademark “Hemi” as its 5.4L engine introduced a hemispherical combustion chamber.
1963 Dodge Dart Ramcharger
A few years after Chrysler C-300 came out, its horsepower swelled up to choking 425. Keep in mind that this was years before the pinnacle of horsepower wars. This was a wolf in sheep’s clothing – its unpretentious appearance could have fooled someone who didn’t see it on the dragstrip, but ’63 Dodge blew numberless competitors away.
1964 Pontiac GTO
Definition of badass. Based on a modest car such as Pontiac Tempest (the same way Chrysler C-300 was built on the New Yorker). Pontiac GTO was a trouble-maker and a rule-breaker right away. Its engine was 389 ci, whereas General Motors’ limit for medium-sized cars was 330. This ride also pinched the name from Ferrari GTO. Today, we see that Pontiac GTO is the essence of an American muscle car – a two-door hardtop with a ferocious V8.
1970 Plymouth Belvedere GTX
Horsepower wars were in climax in those 70’s and GTX didn’t stand back. Plymouth Belvedere had the ripping horsepower of 390 in its 440 ci V8, but it wasn’t just that which earned it popularity. The thing is, when you ordered it, you could choose from a broad range of wacky colors to give it the ultimate personal stamp: Lime Light, In Violet, Vitamin C Orange…
1970 Buick GSX
An engine giant born in the horsepower wars – a 455ci V8 with a “tepid” 360hp. It consumed 7.5L of fuel – something an eco-friendly Californian couldn’t live with now. It also produced a massive amount of torque: 690Nm. Did they have to replace the tires and the gas at the same time?
1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429
In its seventh year of existence, Mustang rolled out “Boss Nine”. The car had to be adapted to make room for the beefy 375 hp engine that was originally intended for NASCAR. As there were only 859 of these produced ever, this is a treasurable car to have today.
1970 Chevy Chevelle 454
Originally intended as a racing car, 454 was based on the remarkably successful 427 used in the notoriously underregulated Can-Am racing. 454 was made to win with its cheek-wobbling, pants-wetting 450hp. Sounds preposterous? Well, you have to consider things in the context of time.
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