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10 Classic American Muscle Cars

Maggot . . . Comments

Ah yes, Detroit muscle. American automobile ingenuity at its finest. I’m talking 1960s era Chevys, Fords, and Mopars, and I’m talking ones that go fast. Ok, I expect the typical Listverse flak about this list being “too American”, but cry me a river. If someone wants to do a European Sports Car list, more power to ya, but these machines are my idea of heaven on four wheels.

This is of course not a definitive list but before you comment, please note: you’ll find no pony-cars here, my friends. Maybe I’ll do a follow-up list of Camaros, Mustangs, etc. if this one is well received, but for this one I wanted to profile the more humble looking street machines. And sorry, I love ’em, but in my world ‘vettes are “sports cars”, not muscle cars, so that marque is likewise omitted. And so without further ado, here are ten of my favorite muscle machines, right down to specific model-years that are of special appeal to collectors and enthusiasts. And yes, they are in no particular order (well maybe slight consideration) so don’t obsess about the ranking.


1963 Impala Z11 427

1963 Impala 427 Z11

Chevrolet’s famed 409 engine was immortalized in the 1962 Beach Boys song of the same name, and was the desire of many muscle car enthusiasts in the early 60’s. In ’62 the hot set-up was to order the 409 in the lightweight “bubble-top” Bel Air 2-door hardtop. Well, kicking it up a notch in 1963, Chevrolet introduced the Z11 option package for its Impala line. The package included a modified 409 increased to 427 cid by way of a stroked crank, and had special heads, valves and a two-piece aluminum intake manifold sporting dual quads. Output was rated at 430 hp. The additional Z11 features were not limited to the engine compartment however, as the hood, fenders bumpers and other items were made of aluminum to lighten its overall curb weight. This was a RPO (regular production option) package supposedly available to the general public, but appears to have only been selectively sold to racers with the intent of furthering Chevrolet’s cause at the drag strip. No matter, the ’63 Impala SS with a standard 425 hp 409 was plenty fast for the average joe, regularly turning sub-15’s in the quarter mile. Only 50 or so (qtys vary by source) Impala Z11s were sold in 1963, and there are 7 known to be still in existence today.


1964 Ford Thunderbolt

1964 Ford Thunderbolt

Fomoco’s answer to keep pace with the lighter and faster Chevys and Mopars of the day was to cram its biggest motor, the big-block 427, into one of its smallest models, the mid-sized Fairlane 2-door coupe. Major front-end frame modifications were needed to accomplish this, as well as a large hood bulge necessary to accommodate the hi-rise manifold and twin fours, with air induction routed through dummy headlight openings in the grill. But nonetheless it was a factory-produced car available to anyone from their local dealership, listing at $3,750. Even so, it was purely designed for racing, with plexiglass windows, fiberglass body panels, and a spartan interior that lacked armrests, sun-visors, mirrors, sound-dampening insulation, and was radio- and heater-delete. Imagine those kinds of shortcuts in comfort and especially safety features being allowed in this day and age. Truth be told, the Thunderbolt was not really suitable for everyday use. Perhaps that’s why only 100 T-bolts were sold in 1964. But beware; these cars could pull down mid 11s in the quarter mile!


1969 AMC SC/Rambler

1969 Amc Sc-Rambler A Trim

It is easy to forget that muscle cars (and cars in general) in the U.S. weren’t limited to the “Big Three” automakers. In 1969 American Motors Corp. joined forces the well known parts company Hurst Performance and surprised everyone with the SC/Rambler (aka “Scrambler”). The SC stood for “stock-car”, but this was a race-ready production vehicle. Maintaining the typical small-car-big-engine strategy, AMC stuffed their 390 cid 315 hp V8 power-plant into its light-weight Rambler Rogue hardtop coupe. This car could hold court with many of the more popular machines of the day, as stock vehicles regularly turned low 14s at the strip. No options were available (except an AM radio), which kept the price below $3,000. All cars had plain grey vinyl interior with bench seats and red white and blue headrests, carpeting, and a Borg-Warner 4-speed with a Hurst shifter. But perhaps the car’s most striking feature was its bold paint scheme and a large, functional “Ram Air” induction hood scoop. The first 500 units all were a base white with a wide red side panel running the length of the car, and had a blue stripe running front to back across the top of the car. An arrow graphic pointed towards the scoop and lettering noted the engine size. Additionally striking were the blue two-toned mag wheels. When these cars quickly sold out, AMC released a second batch of 500, this time with “B” trim, which was mostly white with narrow red and blue side stripes. A third batch of 512 units was later released which are thought to have gone back to the “A” trim, though this is a source of controversy among enthusiasts, as vehicle VIN codes do not differentiate between the two paint schemes. What is known is that of the total 1,512 SC/Ramblers built, the majority of surviving examples today have the “A” trim. The SC/Rambler is perhaps one of the least remembered muscle cars from the era.


1968 Dodge Charger R/T

1968 Dodge Charger Rt

Sleek “coke-bottle” body styling and a mean-looking black-out front grill with hidden headlights sets the Dodge Charger apart from the competition. The R/T (road/track) designation is what Dodge used to denote a car equally suited for street performance or drag racing. Heavy duty suspension provided superior handling (compared to the typical muscle car), and with a powerful 375 hp 440 Magnum V-8, this car ran the quarter-mile in just under 15 seconds, and listed for about $3,500. Not good enough? R/T Chargers with a Hemi under the hood (only 475 produced) would cost you an extra $600, but dropped that quarter time down to the mid 13s. A total of 96,100 Chargers were built in 1968, with 17,000 of them having the R/T designation. Fans of the 1968 movie Bullit might recall that Steve McQueen’s nemisis drove an awesome black 440 Magnum R/T Charger in perhaps one of the best chase scenes ever put on film. You can watch it here.


1969 Ford Fairlane/Torino Cobra

1969 Ford Fairlane Cobra

Officially, these are known simply as Cobras, according to period Ford advertising and sales brochures, and more importantly, the dealer winder-sticker. Really though, these are Fairlanes, as the Torino designation was an option package for the Fairlane body-code and was not yet a separate model line in 1969. Sometimes also referred to as the Torino GT or Fairlane Cobra, this naming convention generates some debate in collector circles. This line featured two body styles: the hardtop (aka “formal roof”) and the much more common “sports roof” fastback. The Cobra performance package included as standard the 335 hp 428 Cobra Jet V-8 with a Holly 4bbl. Optional Ram Air didn’t increase horsepower, but it boosted the performance peak to 5,600 rpm. Also included was a locking rear differential, which was exclusive to Ford. Quarter mile times were typically in the 14.5 second range. Exact production figures are difficult to come by, but it is estimated that about 14,000 Cobras were sold in 1969, with the vast majority of them being the fastback version. Naturally, I prefer the rare hardtop (pictured here), which number about 3,000.


1969 Plymouth Roadrunner

1969 Plymouth Roadrunner

Mopar struck paydirt when it came up with the idea of capitalizing on the muscle car wave of popularity by offering the low-priced Roadrunner to the masses in 1968, with 1969 being a particularly stellar sales year. They were definitely marketing the younger audience with better affordbility, as well as licencing the Warner Brothers cartoon character as its namesake and mascot, including the well-known “beep-beep” sound for its horn. To keep the price down, Roadrunners were minimally appointed, but these cars weren’t toys, as performance and suspension features were not compromised. Base stickered at under $3,000, the price quickly went up when you started beefing it up with power options. Who wants the standard 383 cid mill when you could get a 390 hp 440 with a three-two “Six-pack”? Well forget even that; what you really wanted under the hood was the 426 Street Hemi. Featuring hi-po goodies such as Hemi heads, 10.25:1 compression and two fours, its rated output boosted to 425 hp at 5,000 rpm. It could run the quarter in 13.5 seconds and had a top speed of 140+ mph! Over 80,000 units of the various configurations were sold in 1969, with the “no-post” hardtops being the most desirable among collectors. But the real find today is the rag-top, of which only about 2,200 were produced.


1966 Oldsmobile 442

2007 Hot Rod Power Tour Day 5 Pictures 02 Z+1966 Olds 442+Side View

Technically, pre-1968 Olds 442s weren’t an actual model, but rather “442” was an option package available for the Oldsmobile Cutlass. The standard L78 400 cid engine incorporated a single 4bbl carburetor and was rated at 350 hp. The favored set-up for muscle car buyers was the upgraded L69, which was a one-year-only configuration that featured a hotter cam and a triple 2bbl carb “tri-power” arrangement, which helped increase the power rating by another 10 horses. Quarter-mile runs were as quick as 14.8 seconds. Rarest of the rare was the W-30 version of the tri-power motor, which also incorporated an air induction system via tubing from the front bumper. There were only 54 factory-released copies of the W-30, although another 97 were dealer-modified installations. Finding a W-30 442 today is next to impossible (at this writing, one is available on eBay for $70k!), but lacking that, the “regular” tri-power L69’s are most desired by collectors.


1969 Dodge Coronet R/T and Super Bee

1969 Dodge Coronet R-T

I’m listing both versions of the ’69 Coronet muscle car here, because they are both very similar (and very cool), but each one has its own unique advantages. The R/T option designation was available on several Dodge models starting back in 1967, and signified “road/track” performance. In 1969, many Mopar fans opted for the slightly less expensive Coronet Super Bee (boasting its unique logo in the rear-end bumble-bee striping). This was Dodge’s equivalent to the Plymouth Roadrunner, and as such, was equally minus many luxury features, making it lighter in weight as compared to the R/T. Super Bees are also much more common, especially those equipped with the base 383 cid (over 24,000 units sold), which was not even available in the R/T. A few Super Bees came with either the bigger 440 six-pack or the 426 twin-four Hemi. The R/T was only offered with the 440 Magnum or the Hemi. These burners routinely ran the quarter-mile in the mid-13s. As for the R/T being the rarer of the two models, about 6,800 R/Ts were produced in 1969, 400 of which were the R/T convertible (all Super Bees were hardtops). Ten of those rag-top R/Ts had the Hemi, and only four of those left the factory with the four-speed tranny.


1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396

1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Ss 396

Chevrolet’s “Super Sport” option package was first introduced for the 1961 Impala and soon spread to its other model offerings including the Chevelle, which began life in 1964. The 1966 model year saw the Chevelle take on what I consider to be its best looking body style, with its most-recognizable feature, the classic forward-thrusting front fenders. The Super Sport version also included special wheel covers, red-line tires, and a black-out grill which showed off the SS badging to further compliment its bold appearance. Enginewise, the 396 was basically a de-stroked big-block 409, and was available in several configurations starting with the base-rated 325 hp version. The top option was the RPO L78 which was a mid-year release. Thanks to its 11.0:1 compression ratio, a hot cam, and other tweaks, this baby generated 375 hp at 5600 rpm, could go 0-60 in about 6.5 seconds and ran 14.5 second quarters. In 1966, Chevelle SS 396s with the L78 engine option numbered only about 100 units, and accordingly are highly prized today.


1967 Pontiac GTO

1967 Pontiac Gto

Many enthusiasts consider the “Goat” to be the first muscle car, and its classic split grill front-end design is among the most recognizable features of all muscle cars. Starting life as an option package for the 1963 Pontiac LeMans, the GTO became its own model series in 1966. Model year 1967 was the last year of this first-generation look with the stacked headlight design, and is showcased here. Standard equipment included bucket seats, a walnut-grained dash panel, duel exhaust, and a beefy suspension. A look under the hood found a bigger 400 cid motor than the prior year’s 389. Pontiac also went from a tri-power (three 2bbls) carb setup to a single 4bbl for the 1967 edition. The top performance option in 1967 was the 400 HO, rated at 360 hp at 5,100 rpm. Adding the Ram Air induction option slightly increased peak rpm. These GTOs typycally ran the quarter-mile in the low 14s. Almost 82,000 GTOs were sold in 1967, 13,872 of which had the 400 HO, with Ram Air installed in only 751 of these units.


1963 Plymouth/Dodge 426 Max Wedge

1963 Plymouth Savoy 426 Max Wedge

This entry is more about an engine, rather than a specific vehicle model line, hence the entry as a bonus item (plus, I couldn’t think of any other way to squeeze it onto the list!). The 426 RB Wedge (aka Max Wedge) was introduced by Mopar in 1963 as a factory produced “racing only” engine, and was sold through 1964, until it was replaced by the more famous 426 Hemi. According to sales brochures, cars ordered with the Wedge were “not a street machine” but were “designed to be run in supervised, sanctioned drag-strip competition”. The usual combo was to order it in Plymouth’s lightest weight model, the Savoy (pictured here), but it could also be found in the more luxerious Belvedere and Sport Fury models. The Dodge equivilent was typically found in the Polara, but in both marques, it could be ordered in any model offered (including wagons and convertables). 2,130 Mopar vehicles with this motor installation were produced in 1963. Boasting dual quads and 13.5:1 compression, this power-plant produced 425 hp at 5,600 rpm. Lightweight stockers with this motor flew down the strip in a blinding 12 seconds.

  • ChemEngineer

    I think the Super Bee deserves the number 1 spot, but awesome list overall!

  • Aquila

    Hey, nice list. This seems like something you’re really interested in, so it’s nice to find out what makes jfrater ‘tick’ :P

  • nzall

    nice list, as always. although i am not that much into muscle cars.

  • rain

    muscle cars are the most handsome cars ever! better than porsche and ferrari. =D

  • m-sonic


  • ringtailroxy


    I LOVE YOU! no. i mean it. i do. maybe more than Bucslim. well…not really. but i do lovies you.

    this list was refreshing, enjoyable & for the most part, agreeable.

    the reason i fell in love?

    the fact you put the GOAT in the numero uno spot.
    yep. every since i was 14 & i saw an immaculately restored black GTO. gorgeous. screw the fact the guy driving her was a scrawny, 25 + year old grease monkey.i begged for a car ride, he opened the passenger door, & i never forgot the interior. the wood paneling, the chrome gauges, the leather seats, & that classic steering wheel that could turn the rudder on a yacht…

    oh, and for the record, any guy who just says “SURE!” to an obvious teenage nubile that winks & purrs “hey mister, can i go for a spin in your muscle car?” is a total tool & potential pedophile for even THINKING he has a chance with jailbait.

    hinestly, this is my dream car. really. if i ever get one, i promise you this-

    i will get a custom license plate that says :



  • sendo

    nice cars!

  • Mr. Plow

    Not my thing…but still kinda cool.

    How many comments before this thread gets derailed into an anti auto/envorionmental/capitalist vs socialist/left vs right/US vs the world kinda thread?


  • loop

    Oddly enough, my high school in California used a trio of #7s as “driver training” cars!

  • rocknopera

    I find it’s always helpful to start the day with a nice bowl of envy… Thanks for the list.

  • supernauts

    coolio list

  • Scott

    Umm…. Mustang???? The Mustang IS muscle car. How could it possibly not be on the list? This list is completely meaningless without it. Like making a most influential rock band list without the Beatles

    • ttoney

      the mustang is a pony car dumbass

  • Geng1s

    Has anyone complained about how this list only features american cars and wah wah wah blah blah blah………i cant be bothered readin the comments to find out, im sure itll happen eventually.

  • Phender_Bender

    ’69 Camaro?
    I agree with number 1 though.
    Good list!

    • ttoney

      the camaro and mustang are pony cars.. not muscle

  • Phender_Bender

    @#13 Geng1s
    No, the list titled “10 Classic American Muscle Cars” didn’t contain any european cars…

  • necro_penguin

    i’m not much into cars (or know much about them), but i love those old muscle cars.


    Great list..But I WAS hoping that The Mustang or a Corvette would make the list. But great list anyway! Great job.

  • Matt1224

    Why would a rock band be driving a little German car?

  • arkz

    oh those are so pretty… i mean i love muscles cars the sound the smell they are wonderful.. granted they aren’t the best for the earth but sometimes i want to say screw the earth and rev that engine than floor it… better than any rice burner any day

  • Matt1224

    Nice list, but I’m sure you’ll be inundated with, “What about the 196X ……..” I, for one, have several suggestions. HOWEVER, I acknoweldge it’s your list Maggot.
    Good job. Were you USMC?

  • dunfire

    Great list, but I would take exception to the description of the 1966 Chevelle engine, the 396 was not a destroked 409 but a completely different engine that became in later years the 427 and 454 big block engines.

  • arkz

    @Phender_Bender (15):
    @Scott (12):
    well the reason they wern’t on there was that they are technicly not muscle cars

    they are pony cars… while the corvette is i do believe a sports car

    the mustang chevelle and the camaro[my fav] are pony cars… very close to muscle cars but smaller…

    1969 camaro z28 … seriously if anybody has one i would do anything for one of those

  • slipstick

    I was hoping to see a Buick Stage One. It may have looked like a granny car, but it would blow the doors off of most anything else.

    I guess growing up a stone’s throw from Buick City has tinted my vision. lol

  • IkeTurner

    To all those complaining about mustangs and vettes not being on he list… maybe you should try reading… it states why they aren’t here in the beginning…

    Besides… Mustangs and vettes are highly overrated… except for the Mach 1… that’s just about perfection.

  • the dude

    awesome list. like seriously. i only wish my generation made cars that were this great.

  • flgh

    If Ford had made the Seattleite it’d be the #1

  • totalstranger


  • oouchan

    Cool list, Maggot! I am happy that you included my favorite the Fairlane.
    I also love how some of the commentors are not reading the intro about why certain cars didn’t make the list. Classic!

  • saber25

    My grandfather had a Dodge Charger once, and he just liked to brag about the car that he tried the speed on the open road and, you know what would happen to any 40 year old car, engine blown up and all. Got straight to the ‘yard.

  • saber25

    Oh and yeah to Scott @13. How the fuck would Beatles be related to cars?

  • Cath

    Say what you will about the Mustang being a pony car, but the Boss 302 was definitely NOT just a pony car. That is, was and always will be a muscle car! The definition of a street machine!

  • Chineapplepunkg

    I like the look of the Dodge at #7 even though I don’t like muscle cars. But then again I liked the list because it was simplified for someone like me to understand!!!

  • Arsenal

    @saber25 (30):
    amazing. U can read but cant understand.

  • LordCalvert

    My first car was a ’69 GTO. Never lost a race to a Mustang or Camaro. Damn she was a beauty.

  • Aug15

    Boss 429

  • gabi319

    pshaw! my car could TOTALLY take on any of these muscle cars any day!! …of course, my car is also a four cylinder something something that everyone’s first reaction to it is “Awww! It’s so cute!”. My sister’s reaction was “Where’s the rest of it?” lol.

    That said…in high school, I used to go to the annual classic car show down the road. I never learned a great deal about them but I loved the GTO because to me it looked gorgeous. … Felt the same way about my classmate’s older brother who had worked on that car :-D

  • Matt1224

    One must applaud the discipline of our European friends.
    Brits too, as they unequivocally state they are not European. These cars are not meant to negotiate scissor type turns. Our roads are wide and straight, ergo these cars have
    heavy HP and little else. I love them. Why maneuver if you don’t have to? Is sociovehicular a word?

  • Stevie C

    Jeez, what a boring list

  • deepthinker

    I was hoping to see a ’69 Chevy Nova… cool list.

  • Ms_Design_Geek

    Mmm. This list has my favorite make of Chevy & Mopar muscle. Love, love love me a good-lookin’ Charger. :)

    I’m very lucky, I suppose, that my boss is a muscle car freak. So, I know about each & every local car show should I be able to attend. :)

  • Randallphobia

    MY father had a number 5 when I was little (he rolled it & it’s remains became a dunebuggy), & my uncle had a number 7.
    I had a neighbor that had a number 7, number 10, & 3 corvettes from the 50s & 60s all at the same time.

  • ?

    wheres the 1966 ford boss mustang

  • Paul V

    Sweet list! Now I want to see your list of pony cars! A nice ride down memory lane – filed with fond memories of Fairlanes, Satellites, Furys, and Chargers.

  • gabi319

    @? (42):

    Check minus for reading comprehension.

  • rashid

    What about the Challenger?

  • Brad

    Uh, Buick Grand National? It kills most of these.

  • Elsa

    Great List…My close friend/big brother restores muscle cars.he’s going to has his Torino featured in Hot Rod magazine in the near future. They’ve already done the interview and photos. He travels the “Hot Rod” circut with a number of his restored cars, but the Torino always gets special notice.It’s a very rare Torino convertable that was just a rust bucket when he began working on it. All the cars he works on are the high end collectables, but his personal cars are a true labor of love. His specilaty plate on the Torino is “INOTGTO”.

    He’s also got a sweeeeeeet El Camino that’s been in a tons of car magazines.

    Very proud of him.He started doing this when he retired and has a wait list of clients a mile long. He’s always been a Motorhead.He was US champion in Motorcycle presision performance as a young man.

    You could eat off the floor in his garage.This guy is SERIOUS about his muscle cars.

  • the tantalizer

    1969 Ford Shelby GT Cherry Red

  • foo

    Pontiac GTO had “duel exhaust”?

    Some sort of Mad Max -type add-on to fight against rival drivers?

  • Ralph GreNader

    This list became irrelevant the second you chose to leave off a single mention of the Mustang series. Why even bother?

  • Ralph GreNader

    And BTW I read the opening paragraph….and I dont care. The fact that you left the 60’s and 70’s Mustangs off this list makes it irrelevant.

  • brian256

    I have a 1969 Pontiac GTO Convertible with 650 horsepower. 20K was invested to upgrade the engine, trans, rear & exhaust. Just got married & selling the car for 37K if any are interested. Apex, NC, USA[email protected]/


  • Rolo Tomasi

    This guy where I used to live had a Chevelle with that exact same color. But this clown “hooked it up” with Dubs, tints, some stupid spoiler, and some other needless accesories. He definitely ruined the car

  • brian256

    oh yea …. email [email protected]

  • Shagrat

    what can I say?
    10. crap
    9. crap
    8. crap
    7. crap
    6. crap
    5. crap
    4. crap
    3. crap
    2. crap
    1. crap
    Bonus crap

    Like I said; what can I say – if it’s motorised and has got more than two wheels – – – it’s crap and only fit for getting you from A to B – two wheels will do that too; but with style and panache!

  • Nobkin

    love muscle cars, great list man!

  • mom424

    Agreed – How can you have a muscle car list with no ‘Stang? Mine is a little newer – but still. Mustang is what muscle car means. Like a salmon can with a giant motor – great on the straights, but watch the corners.
    I have a fox body Mustang. I can make that sucker twist and actually leap from the starting line. I like nothing better than some young whipper snapper in his rice rocket meeting me at the lights.

    BTW I owned the Buick version of that Chevelle – my first car and what a POS it was. Went really well as long as you weren’t on a hill; Had a dodge dart bench seat in it – had to hook your toes under the dash to prevent it tipping you into the back seat.

  • mom424

    @Shagrat (55): Don’t love to drive obviously. You can’t be on my friend list.

  • Hughman Lover

    As a native Detroiter I love this list. I’m a little surprised the Camaro and Mustang are not on this list but I can’t argue with #1. The GOAT ruled the street!

  • stunty

    European here, and I like muscle cars. I expected Plymouth Cuda to be on the list.

  • Aaron

    Not having a mustang on here is possibly the most un-american thing to do to this list, are you not from america, if so i understand.

  • bigski

    My first car was a 66 Chevelle Malibu. It was equipped with a 327 cid,4bbl Holly,2 speed powerglide. Looks just like #2 on the list. The top ten dumb thing I done in life was sell it before I went in the Navy.

    Outstanding list Maggott. Brought back memories of back in the day.

    Shagrat that`s a lot of typing to get a point across. You sound like a real tool.

  • frushka

    @gabi319 (44): LOL!!!! check minus!

    Way cool list Maggot. My best friend Leslie picked me up for school every morning in her 1970 torino cobra. I’d hear her rumbling into the driveway at 7:30am, and we’d go to school in style. Good times.

    Great. Now I’m gonna be singing beach boy songs all day.
    We always take my car cause it’s never been beat
    And we’ve never missed yet with the girls we meet
    Wah! Wah-ooo!

  • betterthantheoriginalwally

    Haters please.

    You are too ugly and too dumb. Please no more comments about Mustangs – read the intro.

    Awesome list maggot, well researched and obviously one of your loves is fear-inducing motor vehicles.

    Dodge Charger R/T and Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396 are sick, sick cars that would shatter the ovaries.

    Shagrat, you are a moron. That might explain the “moron” tattoo you have on your forehead.

  • Diamond_Dragon

    #7 1968 Dodge Charger R/T
    “You can watch it here.”

    No I can’t.

  • undaunted warrior

    Nice list, I had a Ford Fairlane many years ago it was a matallic bronz with a white leather top.

    Sitting in that car was like relaxing in your lounge at home it was huge, and that “Hollie” carb. was very thirsty.

    Well done Maggot.


    i dunno about you guys, but this cars look ugly to me

  • Mtatazela

    Car list’s will always divide opinions.
    Although few of the cars featured reached Europe or other countries
    I still believe that possible the first and best looking of the muscle cars
    were the 1964 Studebaker ‘Super Lark’
    Excellent researched list

  • Mtatazela

    @Aquila (2):
    Nope…mr.Frater’s a Mercedes man !

  • erikasoup

    boooring… well, for me…

  • ImElvis666

    American cars are generally the best looking cars. I love the mean look of those muscle cars. As regards to quality, Japan absolutely destroys the U.S.

  • ringtailroxy

    @brian256 (52):
    HOLY HELL! why, oh why, are you selling her? and why is it that men always sell their toys when they get married?

    i could never imagine my guy getting rid of his toys on account of marrying me…if that ever happens!


  • ABrutalKind

    Thank you for the great list showing us why American automakers have gone bankrupt. The focus on pure muscle and lack of emphasis on everything else is why Japan and Europe outperform the US in the US. It is true these cars may look beautiful and can go pretty fast, but for anything else that might actually benefit a consumer who owns the car, they are complete failures. Sorry for the hate but this is my opinion and I wanted to share it today.

  • ringtailroxy

    @CHAOS (67):
    you, my dear, must be under the age of puberty…

    either that or born after 1995…

    not that it’s a muscle car, but on the way home from work this morning, i saw the sweetest 1972 SS Monte Carlo…
    granted, it had lots of bondo & more than a few dings, but it had the original front end & was pleasure to see driving home form a 10 hour shift!


  • muscarius

    outside USA, the only known car of this list is the Dodge Charger, thanks to The Dukes of Hazzard.

  • mongo

    Incomplete list!!! Mustang and Camaro should be there!!!

  • brian256

    I got into serious debt getting this car mint. Spent +45K! Gas is too expensive (6 miles to the gallon). This car is street legal but the idle will set off car alarms. This is a neat car for a young guy wanting too much power in a car. It will smoke the tires even when you are already moving 30 mph. A serious car that I wish I had left stock. It’s like driving NASCAR to work. I had to bolt the ashtray closed because it kept flying out of the car.

  • archangel

    I’d like to see the sports car list after this yes! Great list nonetheless… Vroom!

  • Dan in Gig Harbor

    #7 1968 Dodge Charger R/T
    “You can watch it here.”

  • Dan in Gig Harbor

    #7 1968 Dodge Charger R/T
    “You can watch it here.”

    It doesn’t come up for my FireFox browser…

  • carlos1963

    Great list, surprised not to see the Baracuda absent. My uncle had one and it was sweet. My first car was a 1971 Mustang Mach 1 with a 429 Super Cobra Jet, and Cal air induction. (I read the intro) It was much faster than “SHAGRAT’s” bike.


    how about Top ten free pornsites? that’ll be a better idea for a list than these mundane Westerncentric bullshit..

  • undaunted warrior

    [email protected] married bliss cost more than adrinalin pumping cars

  • Crocoduck

    Hey, all you bitchers, if a list doesn’t interest you, then don’t read the damn thing. Nobody’s forcing you. And as for you, #67, they’re not supposed to be pretty. They’re supposed to run on testosterone, looks are purely a secondary thing.

  • Pwnstar

    Chevy Nova, cmon that thing deserved to be on here!My dad built one that was featured on Super Chevy :D

  • Balderdash

    These are all great cars, but uh ::cough:: I think the 1969 Hurst AMX deserves a spot. Then again, I might be a little biased towards it…

  • FenFen

    I am in love with that Oldsmobile.
    Great list, I always appreciate when someone posts a well thought out and researched list about something they love. I would love if someone made a great list about cars outside the USA too.

  • blw866

    Sweet list indeed! Thank you for starting my day out right! Hopefully there will be a pony car follow up, and a lesser known muscle car list. Thank you again!

  • Love the list but I suppose the title could have been more specific toward the exact subject. Top 10 Classic American Muscle Cars is vague and sounds more like the most popular or well known cars. Based solely on the title, I would have liked to see a Mustang, and a Corvette. Regardless, I enjoyed it!

    I always say that, when I win the lottery, I’ll choose a 60’s muscle car over any current “cool” sports car. I haven’t decide which one yet, but damn they are all so beautiful.

  • Maggot

    Thanks for the comments everyone. I figured the lack of Mustangs and Camaros would freak a number of folks! I had entries written up for these, but decided to hold them back. Just gives me an excuse to do a follow-up list! :-)

    Here’s a few replies to some of your comments:

    @ringtailroxy (6): I LOVE YOU!

    Right back atcha, girlfriend! (um, perhaps we shouldn’t tell my wife)

    i will get a custom license plate that says : “MAGGOT”

    lol, promise? Now that’s something I’d like to see.

    @Matt1224 (20): Were you USMC?

    Sorry, no. Why do you ask?

    @dunfire (21): the 396 was not a destroked 409 but a completely different engine

    Hmm my bad, I thought they were the same block. Thanks for pointing that out.

    @slipstick (23): I was hoping to see a Buick Stage One. It may have looked like a granny car…

    Yeah I wanted to put a Buick on there. I’d considered including the earlier Skylark Gran Sport, but I thought GM was already well represented on the list so I pulled it. If you didn’t notice from most of my entries, I actually prefer the so-called granny look…nothing sweeter than idling up alongside some hotrod in a total “sleeper” and then watching them eat your dust.

    @saber25 (29): My grandfather had a Dodge Charger once…

    I drove a ’70 Charger in high school. It was nothing special (base 383, mostly stock), but it served its purpose – an effective chick-magnet during Fri/Sat night boulevard cruizing. Stupidly I sold it to buy a truck when I got into 4-wheeling. The idiot buyer totalled it within 6 months too.

    @rashid (45): What about the Challenger?

    Pony. (great car though!)

    @Shagrat (55): two wheels

    So do a bike list. Wus. ;-)

    @Aug15 (35): Boss 429 LS1

    If you’re gonna go Mustang, that’s the one, baby.

    @Diamond_Dragon (65): “You can watch it here.” No I can’t.

    Yeah bummer, my original submission included an embedded Youtube link on the word “here”. Perhaps Jamie can put that back in…

  • chuchu353

    “Little GTO, you’re really lookin’ fine
    Three deuces and a four-speed and a 389
    Listen to her tachin’ up now, listen to her whiiiine
    C’mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out

  • ShadowFlame

    What about the lovely 1967 Impala? If you’ve seen the show Supernatural, you know what I’m talking about.

  • Andres

    To me the sexiest muscle car ever was the 1970/1971 Dodge Challenger. And I’m not the only one who thinks it was an unforgettable classic–it wasn’t used as an inspiration for a new-millennium muscle car for nothing.

    However, I perfectly understand why you didn’t include the Challenger or the Camaro or the Mustang (all three enjoying high popularity lately), because the list is titled “Ten Classic American Muscle Cars,” not “Best Classic…” or “10 Most Popular Classic…”

  • undaunted warrior

    Muscle cars are great – Ive put a chev corvair engine into a 3 wheeler , flat six air cooled, but the best I have ever seen over a drag race is a nissan ldv with a rotory engine, something like 10.989 sec.

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    This list is tits! At first I was kind of pissed there were no mustangs, but on second thought it makes sense because those are the only muscle cars a lot of people know about, this list will open their eyes.

  • Andres

    Wait, but how is the 70/1 Challenger a pony car, and the 69 Charger isn’t?

  • Nelia

    I don’t know a damn thing about cars, but I enjoyed looking at the pretty :) #3 and #1 are my favorites. My husband is always waxing poetic about #7, maybe someday, if we win the lottery.

  • B

    I don’t know what classifies as a pony car, but I would kill for a 1969 Trans Am or a GTO.

    And I think a guy at my boyfriends shop has #8, and it’s painted with the Columbian (I think) flag colors.

  • stokessd

    “American automobile ingenuity at its finest.”

    Apparently American ingenuity doesn’t involve corners. I’ve ridden and driven several of these cars on the list (my best friend in high school had a roadrunner), and sure they were fast in a straight line, but god help you if the road turns. Solid axles, really marginal suspension, woefully inadequate brakes, etc. They were about as unbalanced as a car can get.

    Like the mustangs and early vettes, muscle car is a good name for them. Sports car is not appropriate and a higher life form than these things. A sports car strives for balance, handling, and poise as well as power. Sadly these things only have one.

    Given the condition of the American auto industry, you may be right that this is American ingenuity at it’s finest.


  • trfan

    So that’s what a 409 is. With that song, my mind has been forever corrupted by the commercial for the cleaner of the same name. (I wasn’t around in the car’s heyday, either, I was born in 1978.) I’ve been wondering what the heck the 409 was every time I heard the song on the radio, and was fairly sure the artist wasn’t singing about a cleaner originally.

  • Maggot

    @Andres (97): Wait, but how is the 70/1 Challenger a pony car, and the 69 Charger isn’t?

    I wonder that too, as the Charger body style seems to fit the generally held pony description of “long hood, short rear deck”. But, also an important distinction is the fact that, as established by the trend setting Mustang, pony cars were more purposely geared towards the younger market, with a less expensive base price, and in cases such as the Challenger, wilder color options. The Charger does not fit either of those “qualifiers”, and truthfully I haven’t ever seen it classified as a pony. But I agree, the difference between pony and non-pony can be somewhat nebulous at times.

    Additionally, someone earlier mentioned the AMX. That’s a “sports car” IMO, because it is a two-seater. It’s 4-seater equivalent is the Javelin, a pony car.

  • xyzgon

    How is it possible to make a list like this without having the Ford Mustang. I believe someone else has mentioned this, they said it’d be like making a most influential rock bands list without the Beatles. They are right, the first thing I think when I think “American Muscle Car” is the Mustang. It’s probably the most high-profile muscle car ever made, so how do you just leave it out? I mean, it’s hard to excuse considering this is 10 CLASSIC American Muscle Cars. Mustang is absolutely classic, more so than a few of these. OK, Mustang rant over. Nice list overall.

  • Identiaetlos

    Great list. Lots of beautiful machines in here. If you do a pony car list, I’ll be interested to read :-D

  • andres2007

    @100 – God, here we go. You don’t understand a thing about what muscle/pony cars are all about, do you? It’s all about the looks and the raw power. We honestly couldn’t care less about corners. If you want a well-rounded car, go elsewhere for the love of Mike, but don’t come here whining about the lack of cornering ability of muscle cars. It sickens me when people naively complain about that. It’s like an American going to England and saying the Queen and her family are an unnecessary expense. It may or it may not be true but you just DON’T say it because you do NOT know what you’re talking about.

    And, by the way, I’d much rather have a sexy pony car that can barely go around corners than a soulless machine that practically drives for me. That’s just me, though.

    @103 – Remember, he’s excluding pony cars ;)

  • Kittymama

    Ooooohhhh, while I drove around downtown Phoenix this a.m. I was just thinking about how much I love not just the muscle cars but the big old sedans, too. Not so green to drive but I would use one as living-room furniture — they’re so solid and roomy and just exude fun.

  • redcaboose

    Nice list, Maggot. Your love for these cars shines through. I was in high school when these cars first came out. The hot cars then were the chevys for the late fiftys, and ford with an OHC, and and the original chrysler hemis. Vettes were dream cars that were way out of reach. Of course there were a lot of older cars that we like to hop up, especially the 32 ford coupe.

    When the muscle cars hit the market, there was a lot of drooling. But these cars were not priced that high, and a few guys could get them. My favorite was the 66 dodge coronet 500, with the 426 hemi and a hurst shifter. It smoked rubber in 3 gears, and was a huge sleeper. People would laugh at it until you smoked them.

    Mustangs were hot once Shelby got his hands on them. Sure would like to see the list of poney cars. That were almost as sweet as muscle.

  • segues

    Taking a break from working on my web site and looked in on LV only to run across your fantastic list! I have to tell you, Magg’s, my very first car, given to me to drive by my parents when I was 16 was a 67 GTO! Cherry Red with white leather interior. That car just tore up the road! The Hollywood Fwy was putting in an extension in the San Fernando Valley, and when it was nearly ready to open, but not yet inspected, I would sneak onto it in the middle of the night and crank that thing until it topped out. The highest number on the speedometer was 120, but the car continued to accelerate far past that.
    It’s the kind of thing you can only think you can get away with at 16 (luckily, I did get away with it, but do you realize how stupid that was?). Also, being a girl, the cops tended to go light on me…I never got a ticket (though I deserved many).
    Thanks, Maggot, for the memories.
    Over and out.

  • asdf

    Pontiac GTO more like Pontiac FTFO am I right?

  • tripsyman

    Without a doubt some beautiful machines here but for truly great cars you have to look to europe. Doesn’t matter what era the Europeans have always made the best motors :)

  • stokessd

    “It’s all about the looks and the raw power. We honestly couldn’t care less about corners. ”

    So you are saying that as a car, it’s pretty worthless… Unless you live in the midwest where corners are serious hazards.

    I grew up with those cars, so it’s not like I’m living in a vacuum. For lots of people life is longer and more interesting than 1/4 mile of straight boring asphalt.

  • what no..?… What about..?

    My turbo 95′ M3 will blow the doors off of any of these fugly ass tanks, straightaway or track, leaving the driver holding his baby dick while crying on the phone to his mom, telling her how much money he wasted on a stale dinosaur. I got a bill riding on Carano tonight. That bitch is bad.

  • macph

    not my kind of thing but it’s interesting..
    A for effort.. ;)

  • Phender_Bender

    You’re right, I completely forgot!
    I didn’t think the Chevelle was a pony car though…
    Just semantics though, am I right?

  • Phender_Bender

    You mean technology has improved in 30 years?
    Also you’re forgetting that muscle cars were to bring power for cheap, not 70k+ that a good M3 will cost.

  • Aier

    Hell yea! No one makes a car as good as Detroit!!

    Right in time for the dream cruise too

  • aprilweather

    I had a 1965 Ford Galaxy 500 with a 390 interceptor engine that would have sucked any of these cars up it’s twin pipes–(And did most of them)


    @74 ringtailroxy

    Just because i don’t like the same cars you like, it doesn’t mean i’m a toddler. If you can’t put up with other people’s opinions, them i’m figuring you might be the child.

  • Sofar

    Let’s have more automotive-themed lists in general. More people are interested in cars than you realize, even out of my almost entirely gay circle of friends half of us are car nuts.

  • Sask

    This is great. Why don’t you do more lists featuring cars?

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    @what no..?… What about..? (111): Truth about Carano. She is the only hot fighter too. Just the icing on the cake.

  • deeeekay

    Super awesome list Maggot! I know very little about cars, and I would say your list is spot on. (I do know enough to know that Mustangs are too small to be “muscle” cars though).

    My fiance (who knows LOTS about cars, especially of this era!) on the other hand also approved of your list and says “yeah, I like that guy.” He mentioned also, that some of the pony cars weren’t full frame (instead had sub-frames like the Camaro), and that feels like a requirement for a muscle car.

  • deeeekay

    Oh! wanted to add too, that I simply LOVE old Mustangs, they are beautiful cars, and I’ve always wanted a 60’s era Mustang, so it’s not that I’m against Mustang, it’s that I don’t consider them Muscle Cars…

  • Matt1224

    Maggot, (#90)
    Thought you were Marine because of the list and you call
    yourself Maggot. I too, was a Maggot at Paris Island back in 1979. Great list by the way. The comments have educated me as most do….Thanks.

  • darkman

    A 1971 CUDA……….

  • James

    Great list! Would love to see some Mustang’s and Camaro’s. I agree that vette’s are not muscle cars but what about the ’57 Chevy Nomad?

  • Anonymous

    That’s why European cars are so much BETTER!

  • Oskiewewe

    wicked list. Poncho should be #1 being that it started the muscle cars in 64. I sure wish i was around in those days, Fast cars and cool music, what else do you need… oh yeah, the babes.

  • suzi

    My boyfriend when I was a teen had one of these Cobras. Lots of room. Just sayin’.

  • ricky

    ahh.. at last a list about cars!:D thanks for putting it together

    i thought the javelin would make it to the list..

  • slipstick

    My friend owned the first car he ever bought out of high-school. A 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge. I’ve heard tales of him being stopped by the cops going over 100 mph… after spotting the cops and slamming the brakes. lol

    I recall reading (years may be off by a couple) back in about 1996 or so Popular Mechanics doing a list where it was the best of Detroit now vs. the best of Detroit then. They took 6 or so of the classics and 5 or so of the modern cars to see who out-performed who. Taking top honors was the Dodge Viper, followed by a 1985 Buick Grand National, then a 1969 Buick Stage One. The newer cars were all near the bottom of the list after those first two.

    Of course most of the cars from the era that we’re looking at here the fuel economy is listed as “Gallons per mile” instead of vice-versa.

  • saber25

    @ Arsenal (33):
    Oh and about that I meant that rock couldn’t be related to cars.

  • DenzeLL

    they basically look the same

  • Princess

    I don’t know cars, but I know what I like – and those are all beautiful looking cars :) Interesting list today.

  • Shagrat

    Maggot – couldn’t do a list – I’d get lynched because I’m not a big fan of Harley Davidsons (Best looking and sounding bike in the world – but a brute to control under 40mph – plus the motor resonance sets off my Meniere’s Disease for some reason: truly)

    But some of my favourites are:
    1970 Honda CBR 750-Four K1 (owned one)
    Triumph Bonneville – any year you care to name
    Triumph Thunderbird – pre-resurrection models
    BSA Bantam
    Ariel Square Four
    Indian – Chief, Scout, etc any and all
    1972/3 Kawasaki Z900
    Triumph Bonneville American (post ‘resurrection bike)
    Norton Commando – 750 or 850; both are good
    Vincent Black Shadow: the bike by which all others are judged

    Bonus Bikes
    Ducati – any
    Harley Davidson – because they’re Harley Davidson; why else? Except those gross, f**k-ugly “hamburgers with the lot” – the HD Electra Glide

    Worst Bikes:

    ANY Electra Glide from any era
    Any Honda Gold Wing post 1970-ish
    Any Harley Look-alikes

    Mom424 – Sorry darlin’ I’ve never been a 4-wheel fan. If I had to own a high-end performance vehicle, I’d probably prefer something like an Aston Martin Vanquish

  • slipstick


    My dad’s friend is a bike nut and in one of the magazines he read, they had an article about what causes the vibration and the distinct sound in a Harley. The next issue a reader wrote in saying how it was a very informative article, “…but I ride a Gold Wing. What’s vibration?” rofl

  • Al

    But they all look the same?

  • shamzahm

    I went to the Woodward Dream cruise yesterday. Be jealous. All of you.

  • k1w1taxi

    For all the where’s the Mustang brigade. The Mustang, and all its knock off competitors are not Muscle cars. That is why they are not on this list. The reason they are not Muscle cars is because a Muscle car is an Intermediate bodied car with a full size engine, while the Mustang etc are based on Compact cars (Falcon in the Mustang’s case)

    Oskiewewe (127) Actually the progenitor of the Muscle Car is the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88, while the generally accepted first Musclew Car is the Chrysler 300 of 1955.

    ? (42) 66 Boss Mustang? New One on me!

    Shagrat (134) What no love for the Kwaka Z900 :)


  • RvsFlash

    No mention of the 1963 Pontiac Tempest. It was actually the car that started the muscle car era. It was like the bonus car, setup strictly for dragracing. it wasn’t available to the public until 1964.

  • bill

    i think its funny that the author didnt say what GTO stands for, Gran Turismo Omologato…

  • Blacknimbus

    Seems ignorance and arrogance usually go hand in hand.

    Love the car list, btw. Spot on and consistent.

  • The Grey GOAT

    Nice list. Some really badass cars on here!

  • Eire

    Kinda all look the same. No imagination went into any of these designs. build a one ton heap of metal and strap on a huge engine.

  • shamzahm

    Eire, thats the point of a muscle car… Costs were kept low so they could be affordable. These arent sleek sports cars, they’re muscle cars.

  • John

    Great list… thing, the 396 was not a derivative of the 409. It was a completely new engine that the 427 and the 454 were bigger versions of.

  • 288GTO

    ’70 Chevelle 454 SS should be here. Cuda 440 as well. Next list should be classic European sports cars

  • Corey

    143. Eire – If you know nothing about cars, don’t comment on the list.

  • DJ

    It’s so sad that these are going to be museum pieces by the time my kids are old enough to drive. Back in the day, Detroit muscle was the best. How far things have fallen. So sad.

  • scottiebass

    ….will you whiners please give it a rest about “ Mustangs, Camaros, Vettes ….. waaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!!
    That stuff’s a dime-a-dozen… have your mommies wipe your noses already !
    This list are the long-gone classics, so great work !!

  • Eire

    147, Corey. I dont claim to know alot about cars. Just giving my opinion that they all look generic. big car, big engine, no imagination. Just my opinion

  • millsy

    Yep, nothing like a car where you can drain the gas tank just by pulling out of the driveway…

  • Mellafabulous

    I would so have sex with a GTO Judge.

    Mmmmm muscle cars.

  • Randall

    One of the best lists EVER to appear on List Universe.

    But what about the Barracuda? :-)

  • jacko

    Are you kidding me? No Ford Mustang? That’s the most famous American muscle car ever.

  • JD

    i agree with you corvettes and mustangs dont belong, and humble generally is better. however in my personal opinion 67 chevelle is better than 66 and would have been nice to see the 70 chevelle LS6, but if you want to be technical the 70 el camino LS6 would be better oddly enough its got better weight distribution than the same year chevelle and more humble, again my personal opinion

  • someone

    I am no muscle car enthusiast so I probably don’t have a credible opinion but should this list not include a Camaro, Corvette or Mustang?


    What about the brand new Mercedes S-Class? Any Ferraris? Whoever made this list needs to get a clue.

  • k1w1taxi

    @DOUCHEBAG (157): What is the title of the list again? DUH!


  • saber25

    And to all whiny bitch assholes here, Can’t you understand? This is classic man! ANd it’s pure muscle, no sports cars.
    So i repeat to all whiny bitch assholes here, no Ferraris, no Mercedes, absolutely no Camaros, and definitely no FORDS!

  • stockyzeus

    i personally believe the charger r/t should have deserved a spot in the top 3. but i was also surprised to not see the corvette stingray.

  • Mtatazela

    10 Classic American Muscle Cars
    This good list have once and for all confirmed after reading the comments that mr. average can’t read !

  • InfearNO

    @#55 Shagrat

    Yeah mate any more than 2 wheels is a waste but I’d add to that, its gotta be a 2 stroke. Give me an RD350YPVS, a bored and tuned RS250 or (drool) an RG500 Gamma

  • Lord Nick

    Alright…let’s get this straight, everyone who complained bout the lack of rustangs an Camaros( of which I’m a huge fan, love Chevy since I can remember, an loved camaros for almost as long) READ THE INTRO PARAGRAPH!!!!! He said ‘you’l find no pony cars here, my friends…an I love ’em, but ‘stangs are ‘sports cars”.

    An to all da fools complainin bout the lack of imports, they can’t hold a candle to the raw awesome that is American Muscle!!!

    Maggot, great list, super ballsy puttin out a list like this, knowin how strongly car fans feel bout their cars…I like the Impala an Chevelle the most!! An I do hope you put out a Pony Car list or sumpthing

  • kennypo65

    Sell the car before you marry? Might as well, you already lost your balls! Also no Barricuda?

  • 63kiwi


  • 63kiwi

    cool list ,good to see the #1 spot is the way a true 63 imp should , not roughed up like the homeboys around the world are doing in this day and age …have some respect for ya gramps and pops , there bits are probbley dragging along the ground but doesnt mean there cars should be ;P

  • Nick

    Nice list!!!!!!!!! I actually completely agree with all the choices you made =P

  • 67 442

    The picture you have posted of the 1966 442 is a 1967 442
    a 1966 442 has a different front end from a 1967 442

  • Maggot

    @67 442 (168): The picture you have posted of the 1966 442 is a 1967 442, a 1966 442 has a different front end from a 1967 442

    Doh, you’re right. The site I plucked that pic from had it mislabeled. But that’s no excuse, I shoulda noticed. The most obvious difference is the ’67 has the small turn-signal light between the two headlights (as in this pic), whereas the ’66 does not. For anyone who is interested, here’s a good side-by-side look at the two model years:

  • moe

    What no mustang?

  • InfearNO


    I have to admit that if you made me pick a cager (biker for car) it would be a Hemi-Cuda but maggot said himself, no pony cars.

  • Mosca

    My first car was a Ford Fairlane LTD V8, it had a monster under the hood.

    Good list.

  • someone

    This list is pretty terrible. You really need to do your homework. What about Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Mercedes Benzs, McLarens, Bugattis? Ha? Any top ten list needs these classic American muscle cars on it. Besides, they are way faster for a start.

  • someone

    Oops, I forgot to change my name to Douchebag lol.

  • someone

    Oops, I forgot to change my name to Douchebag.

  • someone

    I admire these cars for the sound that they make. That classic growl that comes from underneath the hood. The other thing that makes them amazing is their design. They look sooooooooooo freakin’ cool. Absolute classics. The vintage insides look sick as to. Sick means awesome here in Oz by the way lol. They aren’t really that fast compared to modern cars or the modern muscle classic, The Dodge Viper, but who cares.

  • Carl

    Great list! To all the naysayers… Do your own lists! If you don’t like cars, go to another blog/website! That being said, again great list, but, slightly different than what I would have picked. My personal 10 favorite musclecars would be:

    10- 1970 Plymouth Cuda (AAR)
    9 – 1970 Ford Ranchero (429 SCJ)
    8 – 1969 AMC ScRambler
    7 – 1969 Ford Cobra (SportsRoof model)
    6 – 1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustang
    5 – 1970 Plymouth Superbird
    4 – 1969 Dodge Daytona
    3 – 1964 Ford Thunderbolt
    2 – 1969 Mercury Spoiler II
    1 – 1969 Ford Talladega

  • Carl

    My apologies, I just realized that pony cars (and I assume pickups) are off limits for this list. My revised list reads:

    10- 1969 Dodge Charger 500
    9 – 1963 Galaxy 500 Fastback (427 FE with dual 4s)
    8 – 1969 Buick GS Stage 2
    7 – 1969 AMC ScRambler
    6 – 1969 Ford (Fairlane) Cobra (SportsRoof model)
    5 – 1970 Plymouth Superbird
    4 – 1969 Dodge Daytona
    3 – 1964 Ford Thunderbolt
    2 – 1969 Mercury Spoiler II
    1 – 1969 Ford Talladega

  • Kennoth

    Ugly cars, fucking boring list

  • Justme

    Nice list, but the picture of number 4 is a a 67, not a 66.

  • whore

    your all whores

  • john

    great list but where is the 1968 chevy comaro, you shuold lookinto it.

  • Shane

    71 Cuda =P

  • Mort

    I emailed this list to a friend. He responded,

    “Some really good vehicles here. I wonder who wrote this article? There are quite a few incorrect statements made in the text. Example #1 is the SC / Rambler. SC did not stand for stock car. It actually meant Super Car. The Dodge R/T’s signified Rapid Transit not Road and Track. The 396 in the Chevelle SS is not a de-stroked 409. The 396 was an entirely different engine that was first released in 1964. The GTO option was not available in 1963. Hell everyone knows it was 1964 and John Delorean was the man behind it. As far as the Max Wedge Plymouth at the bottom of the page, there are so many incorrect statements about that I won’t even bore you to death with all of them. Now that I am done bashing the author, he did pick some damn good stuff for the article!”

  • k1w1taxi

    Not sure where your friend got his R/T info from as 40 years of car obsession I have never heard that as the reason for the designation. Whether the source is other Mopar fans, contemporary magazines, classic mags, Mopar histories they have all been in agreement with Road/Track as the meaning.


  • Maggot

    @Mort (184): There are quite a few incorrect statements made in the text. Example #1 is the SC / Rambler. SC did not stand for stock car. It actually meant Super Car.

    I will admit to getting that “stock car” tidbit from Wiki, for which I am as aware as anyone that it can’t be trusted. HOWEVER, for the life of me, I can’t find anything anywhere that “officially” says what SC actually stands for. If you or your expert friend has something, I would love to see it. The closest thing that I have been able to come across that directly supports your claim is the following sentence, from a car club website (it’s not even an AMC-specific club btw):
    Excerpt: “The Rambler Super Car was born.”

    It should be noted that “supercar” was a generic term used during that era as another word synonymous with “muscle car”. I found another one or two mentions of this word in conjunction with the SC/Rambler on a couple of other websites, but none were directly attributed as being the true SC definition. More so they just seemed to be used as generalized descriptive phrasing.

    What I did find was a glaring LACK of definitive evidence or proof that AMC meant for it to mean “Super Car”. Here are some links to period advertizing brochures, magazine articles, a press release from AMC’s PR Dept., and even a letter to AMC dealers from Hurst Performance Research, Inc. that describes various sales strategies for the dealers to use when displaying the SC/Rambler in their showrooms:

    Interestingly, NOT ONE of the ads, nor the Hurst letter or the press release, mentions the word “supercar” anywhere. I do see it used in one of the magazine articles, but again it is not being referred to as a direct link to the “SC” badge designation.

    So I think the jury is still out on this one. I wouldn’t think it a huge stretch to surmise that the term “supercar” inspired the idea of the SC lettering, but if so I’m very curious as to why it was never promoted as such by AMC or Hurst. They do promote their intent for this car to qualify for NHRA super-stock class, but likewise a direct SC link to “stock car” or “stock class” is not mentioned anywhere either. I’m guessing that over time, “Super Car” is what has become the POPULAR definition by enthusiasts, but it sure didn’t start out with this meaning on any officially AMC-documented basis that I could find. I would think that if this was actually true, it would show up more readily in examples of sales literature and the like. Why wouldn’t it?

    The Dodge R/T’s signified Rapid Transit not Road and Track.

    Your friend is mistaken. He might be confusing it with the Rapid Transit System, which was a 1970 Plymouth ad campaign kicked off in conjunction with the very successful Dodge Scat Pack promo, where their stable of performance cars were grouped into a “club” of sorts:
    Excerpt: “When nearly 100,000 Chargers were sold, Plymouth realized that Dodge was onto something and did the same thing – gathering up a series of cars into a “club.” The Rapid Transit System was presumably based on the R/T (Road and Track) title, though perhaps it was simply a clever bit of wordplay.”

    But if you want more direct evidence, here’s some period ad copy for the ’67 R/T Coronet, showing a direct reference to “Road” and “Track” right next to the R/T logo:

    Another reference:
    Excerpt: “The first R/T which stands for “Road and Track” was a Hi-performance version of the 1967 Dodge Coronet.”

    The 396 in the Chevelle SS is not a de-stroked 409.

    Yeah, I blew this one, and I acknowledged that in an earlier comment. Fwiw, I actually have a source for this statement: a book titled “Standard Guide to American Muscle Cars”, Krause Publications 2002, 3rd edition, page 52. But alas, it appears to be incorrect and I should’ve researched that one further (it’s a very good book otherwise).

    The GTO option was not available in 1963. Hell everyone knows it was 1964

    Ugh. Yep you’re correct. I am aware of this, and even looking back over my reference material, everything of course says “1964”, so it’s not like I can even point to an erroneous source as an excuse. I must’ve just made a typo there. As many times as I had re-read this list before submitting it, until now I hadn’t ever noticed that one…my bad.

    As far as the Max Wedge Plymouth at the bottom of the page, there are so many incorrect statements about that I won’t even bore you to death with all of them.

    I’m aware that there are several versions of the Wedge. This list is intended to be a brief overview mind you, but I am primarily talking about the so-called Stage II 425 hp 426 cid motor. Not sure what specifically you are taking issue with in this one, but most of the info that I listed is corroborated as follows:
    To wit: the 426 started in 1963, available in all models, compression and HP data, 12 second quarter time, etc.

    However I did come across a reference that the 426 was offered in high end Chryslers in 1962, before Dodges and Plymouths in 1963:
    So there’s a minor inconsistancy with the production date.

    The “not a street machine” ad reference I got from here:

    Also, from the book: “Ultimate American V-eight Engine Data Book”, 1949-1974, by Peter C. Sessler, page 159:

    426 cid RB series excerpt: “Obviously, the 425 hp engine was a race-only engine, as even the premium gasoline available in 1963 wouldn’t have been enough to stop the engine from detonating with such a high compression ratio.”, and “The last Max Wedge engine was released in 1964.”

    426 Hemi excerpt: (paraphrasing) “Chrysler reintroduced hemispherical heads for use on the 426 RB block in 1964…Chrysler chose to fabricate hemi heads and use them on the existing RB block. The result was the 426 Hemi.”

    The production figure of 2,130 that I used came from that Standard Guide book I mentioned earlier.

    Last but not least, and your buddy didn’t even mention this one but for the purpose of full disclosure I’ll throw you a bone: The Olds 442 pic I used is the wrong model year (off by one year). I discussed this in an earlier comment and demonstrated the subtle body differences, if you care to look back thru them.

    Anything else?

  • Mort


    Thanks MUCH for the response. I know jack about old muscle cars…other than that I like them a lot. They are FAR cooler than the Fast and Furious type cars of today. I will cut and paste your response and send it to my friend.

    Thanks again…

  • Mort


    My friend responded…

    “This guy went to great lengths to correct or substantiate his information. Pretty amazing. He must be a pretty decent sort. I probably would have deleted your e-mail and forgot about it. I will try to locate the source of info for the Super Car designation. I know that one is correct. I’m no expert, I just worked on a shitload of these cars when they were being sold as $300 – $500 gas hog beaters.”


  • mlokren

    You have used my image, the 1967 Olds 442 (which you incorrectly list as a 1966), above. You did not ask permission to use this photo. Please remove it.

  • Duke

    I disagree with some of these, where did the 67 camaro go? the stingray corvette, the shelby cobra, the chevy nova? the mustang, which is the symbol for the american muscle isnt even on here.

  • k1w1taxi

    @Duke (190):

    Did you even read the list? or just look at the pictures?

    Next time read the entire list including introduction before commenting.


  • duiker865

    Muscle cars get’s the 1st place than a lady, that list make me boil, only real guys will confess

  • MBN71

    @duiker865 (192):


  • gabi319

    @MBN71 (193):
    It’s not too hard to decipher. After careful analysis, I’ve determined he/she/it said one of the following statements:

    -The real guy boiled a lady. First confession is on a list of muscle cars, the second confession is somewhere else.

    -A real guy will confess that muscle cars (I assume when left uncovered out in the sun) are boiling hot to the first lady that slides in.

    -The real guy’s first muscle car’s name is either Lady or Confess. That makes him boil.

    -gibberish, gibberish, gibberish, distracted by something shiny, resume gibberish

  • MBN71

    @gabi319 (194)


  • nat

    muscle cars the the bomb

  • slowvia

    Sorry but the 396 is NOT a destroked 409. They are COMPLETELY different engines! I should know, I have both in my garage!
    Other than that good list! I like that you didn’t include Camaro’s and Mustang’s, everybody already knows them.

  • slowvia

    Oops, go ahead and disregard that 396 409 comment, I see it has been addressed

  • Ham

    Nice list, but my #1 is the 68-70 Charger.
    I’m only missing the Mustang Fastback.

  • michael

    Ok good list but the 1967 Shelby GT 500 had to be considered for this lict right?

  • chevy

    What about the sting ray?!?!

  • Sasha Baxter

    The classic cars are really awesome cars. Thanks Maggot for this wonderful article about the classic American muscle cars. The muscle cars are really very good at performance and quite expensive too. The Ford Thunderbolt is one of the amazing cars I have ever seen. These top ten American Muscle cars are very awesome.

  • HannahH;)

    My dad used to have a ’69 Roadrunner, ivy green metallic. He sold it when I was 5 or 6 before we moved to Las Vegas. I miss that car so much. It was beautiful:'(

  • fuck this list

    any muscle car list without a 1967 Shelby gt500 mustang isn't worth reading. that car should be number 1 hands down, it was even the number one car in gone in 60 seconds and it was cooler than all the other 100K modern cars…

  • Okay, I thought this was the top ten clearly they skipped a car, where's Eleanor, 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500… this was rigged

  • BigBlockCorvette

    In the 60's there were 3 basic groups of American muscle cars.
    Group 1: Pony Cars.
    Mustang,Firebird,Camaro and others.
    Group 2: Muscle Cars:
    Chevelle,GTO,442,Road Runner,GTX,Charger and others.
    Group 3: Super Cars:

    Mustangs were not considered muscle cars in the day.

  • Smokey

    A 1969 Corvette 427 L88 (rated at 430 horse but in reality,with headers,550 horse) will blow the paint off everything made in Detroit.
    Only a Cobra (2 seater) 427 Side Oiler stands a chance.
    My L88 ran 10.3 @ 133 MPH
    The 427 Chevy affectionately known as the rat motor (small blocks known as the mouse motor) could tear street tires from their rims.

    My L88 annihilated many a Road Runner,Hemi Charger,SS Nova,Camaro and Chevelle,GTO,442
    and Boss Mustangs,big and small block cars.
    Those were the days my friend.

  • my vote goes to number 5

  • wilbert

    Wowhalf of those were pony cars smart one

  • condolingas rice

    the challenger/cuda should be on there. the original chevelle is nice to see as opposed to the later one. El Camino? (even though it was a chevelle). And the mustang wasnt originally a muscle car, it was classified as a 'pony' car, lighter and smaller compared to the serious muscle, but the stang eventually grew into the muscle with the shelbys and the big blocked bosses. the Corevette was on a different level than these as it was capable of much higher performance, same as it is today. But i'd still take a '73 Carrera RS and a 3.2 Targa anyday

  • Jude

    These are great pictures of muscle cars. I love looking at those pictures.Headlight Deflectors for Europe

  • CrazyCarGirlLuvr

    you forgot the all mightly 1967 shelby mustang gt500 and also the 1967 shelby mustang gt350……. those are true muscle cars of america!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • dalton austin

    need a 1972 chevy nova choptop

  • D-Nice

    how does the 67 Shelby Cobra not hit this list?

  • V.ghimire

    Nice..!but including mustung on list would be better..

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  • Rae

    Nice list! Those were the days! But I am trying to figure out what the US car`was that I saw nd loved..and forgot name. It’s headlining was sky blue with stars and it was sharky… does this click with anyone…

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  • $ento

    Top 10 Classic American Muscle cars

    1 – 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350
    2 – 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS
    3 – 1970 Ford Mustang Boss
    4 – 1972 Chevrolet Camaro SS
    5 – 1969 Dodge Charger RT
    6 – 1970 Dodge Challenger RT
    7 – 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
    8 – 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
    9 – 1970 Ford Gran Torino GT
    10 – 1966 Pontiac GTO
    Bonus – 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS

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  • Dalek6450

    The modern day Pontiac GTO is actually a Holden Monaro so it handles better. Pretty much every country makes better cars than the U.S. The only good American car I can think of is the Corvette (good value). Lightness is more important than power so a Lotus Elise is better than a Mustang.

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  • lucas

    da fuq? wheres shelby?

  • ami

    since when they are the face of muscle cars

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  • mustanglover

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  • Larry

    The qtr-mile times stated for these cars are with street tires. The skinny little tires with those big horsepower engines would just spin on the line.
    Throw on a set of Goodyear slicks and you could knock 2 seconds off the time and pick the front wheels up in the air.
    The risk was blowing the tranny or rear end. That’s why so many guys ran the “amateur” classes. My stock 67′ Firebird 400 could run 14 flat with Wide Oval streets.

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  • pletcherdni


  • hey what about the Shelby GT500 ?? i dont know if its a muscle or pony but man i love that car ! and what separates an american car from being muscle or pony, is there any certain performance/specs that a car should deliver in order to a muscle or pony ?

  • hey what about the ShelbyGT500 ??? is a muscle or pony ?? and why ?

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