Forgive us, because we haven’t always perhaps adorned American automobiles with the respect and marvel they deserve. We are a British site after all, and it’s much easier to be spellbound by the European royalty of Italian and German sports cars. However, this week on Rear View Prints blog we’re going to dive into a long-overdue list of some of the best American muscle cars of all time. From Mustangs to Corvettes and Firebirds, America has always been in love with speed and power. So without further ado, let’s celebrate some of the finest muscle cars the United States of America has ever engineered. It’s enough to make you break out the star spangled banner. Maybe.
We may as well start with one of the most legendary cars ever made, period. Not even just one of the best American muscle cars of all time, the influence this icon had on popular culture and automobiles was almost second to none. It was first released in 1964 and grew in bulk and power considerably over its initial lifespan. The current sixth generation of the model includes an upcoming 700+ horsepower Shelby GT500 derivative, keeping the legend of raw power alive and well.
Another icon in American automobile history, the Chevrolet Corvette strictly isn’t considered a pure American muscle car. It was initially introduced in 1953 as an American sports car to rival a market crowded by European manufacturers. It did, however, use muscle car powertrains and has been a continuous staple of the American performance market. It certainly deserves a spot in the history of American muscle car culture, if nothing else.
The Viper is the youngest nameplate on the list and didn’t hit the scene until 1991. It’s also similar to the Corvette in the sense it’s not a pure muscle car. It is 100% American though. Or should I say, 75%? It was named number 10 on the “Most American Cars” list, with the qualifying criteria being that 75% or more of the parts were American manufactured. The original model was considered a deathtrap of sorts, which only served to build its notoriety in American automobile history.
The Pontiac GTO
You can’t talk about American muscle cars without mentioning the Pontiac GTO. This bad boy could go from 0-60 in just 5.7 seconds, an absurd mark of performance for a car released in 1964. As you can imagine, the Pontiac GTO was an instant hit and influenced rival manufacturers to start working on their own high performance but affordable vehicles for the American market.
It wasn’t really until the third generation that the Plymouth Barracuda realised its potential and became a beast to be reckoned with in the American muscle car world. It offered three V8 engines and its terrifying development was only stopped short by the 1970s energy crisis. It still remains an icon of American muscle car culture, however, and a new model now at home under the Dodge brand has been rumored to be appearing in the 2019 model year.
Step forward Chevrolet’s answer to the Ford Mustang, and what a glorious answer it was. The Camaro also shared platform and components with another muscle car beauty, the Pontiac Firebird. Despite what it had in common with others, the Camaro still set itself apart upon release offering a total of 7 different engines.
Once again thanks for dropping by and reading our content. Whether you are on our website or DriveTribe, please leave us a comment. We love to chat with car fans from around the world. You can find us on social media too, so give us a follow on twitter, facebook, and Instagram if you so desire. Some of the models mentioned in this blog are available to purchase in print form on our website. Until next time folks!