We’ve created this Top 10 list of the best classic American muscle cars, in our opinion, as a tribute to some of the most inspiring vehicles ever built in the USA. Unlike the cars of today, true muscle cars built between the 60’s and late 70’s were meant for the everyday American who spent somewhere between $500 to a couple of grand for one simple feature… raw power. These unique vehicles require only the best protection such as the options available from 21st Century Insurance.
Cars like the 1968 L88 Corvette, the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C, 1967 & 1964 427 Fairlane, 1971 Plymouth GTX, 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, or the Oldsmobile 442 are not in this top but are worth mentioning as being among the most representative of their kind.
10. 1965 Pontiac Tempest GTO
“The Goat” or the 1965 Pontiac Tempest GTO featured racing car options that remained inspirational for other muscle cars that followed. With its 335HP engine, dual exhausts, and a 3-speed manual transmission, it sprinted from 0 to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds. This muscle car was available in both hard-top and convertible versions.
9. 1970 Buick ‘GSX’ Stage 1
The Stage 1 ‘GSX’ performance package had 360HP under the bonnet and some of its tweaks included a hotter cam, even larger valves with stronger springs, ported heads, and revised carburetor jetting. This supercar also included a Positraction 3.64:1 axle and performance modifications to the available three-speed or four-speed manuals and the automatic. It sprinted from 0 to 100km/h in 6,5 seconds and it was available in only two colors – Apollo White or Saturn Yellow.
8. 1969 Ford Mustang ‘Boss 429’
The ‘Boss 429’ 1969 Ford Mustang was known for long-haul racing capabilities and smooth handling. Under the bonnet, it boasted a semi-hemi 429 engine that produced around 375 HP and 450 Nm of torque. It did the 0 to 100km/h sprint in 6.8 seconds and the quarter mile in 14 seconds. The Boss 429 was born out of Ford’s ambition to qualify 500 examples of its new racing engine for NASCAR. Only 858 units were built and the base price for one was $4,798.
7. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
The 1969 Z28 Camaro wasn’t the fastest muscle car but it was among the most desirable z28 of all time. Under the bonnet it had a shy 290 HP V8 that propelled the ride from 0 to 100km/h in 7.4 seconds. The Chevy was noted for its Hurst-shifted close-ratio four-speed, its great handling, optional positraction and power steering.
6. 1969 Chevrolet Nova
The Chevrolet Nova had the very limited Yenko Nova 427 under the bonnet. These engines were not factory installed, instead, Yenko ordered Nova Super Sport’s with the 375HP V8 and later installed the 425 HP Chevy 427 engines at the dealership. The Nova 427 did the 0 to 100km/h sprint in 5.9 seconds and it was available with either the close-ratio Muncie four speed with Hurst linkage or a Turbo Hydra-matic with Hurst Dual-Gate shifter. Built in both 1968 and 1969, they were extremely rare with only 37 units built in 1969.
5. 1970 Plymouth Hemi-Cuda
The Barracuda may have looked like a harmless ride but the merciless 425 HP 426 Hemi V8 was not even close to harmless. This muscle car sprinted from a standstill to 100km/h in 5.6 seconds and was known to have a Hurst pistol-grip four-speed transmission or Slap-Stik TorqueFlite and an extra-heavy duty Dana axle. Only 666 units were built and its engine earned it the reputation of a badass.
4. 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner
The Plymouth Road Runner was built between 1968 and 1980. Under the bonnet was Mopar’s V8, built with parts from the big, bad 440 Magnum. The result was a 335 HP engine that pushed the vehicle from 0 to 100km/h in 7.1 seconds and did the quarter mile in 15 seconds. The Roadrunner’s price tag was around $3000 and it quickly outpaced the upscale and lower volume GTX, with which it was often confused.
3. 1969 427 COPO Chevelle
The 1969 427 COPO Chevelle was limited to about 320 cars. Under the bonnet it packed a 450 HP L72 427-cid V8 engine that accelerated the vehicle from 0 to 100km/h in 5.1 seconds. The 427 COPO Chevelle had a price tag of less than $4000 and was made and distributed with Chevelle’s strongest regular four-speed, or the Rock Crusher manual, as well as a fortified Turbo Hydra-matic.
2. 1970 454 Chevelle SS
The 1970 Super Sport package Chevelle featured a 450HP 454-cid V8 engine, power frontdiscs, F41 suspension, Polyglas F70x14s, and a domed hood. This car quickly became one of the most popular and most powerful stock cars anyone could purchase and with a 0 to 100km/h time of just 6.1 seconds, it was the average muscle car lover’s dream.
1. 1969 ZL1 Camaro
The 1969 ZL1 Camaro was one of the rarest cars ever built. Only 69 units left the factory, all of which had the first production Chevy V8 engine to also have an aluminum block. The car boasted a mind-blowing 500 HP that made it accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in about 5.3 seconds. The car had a price tag of around $7,200 and over time, most of the 69 Camaro’s, found their way into drag-racing.