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The 10 Most Iconic American Muscle Cars

Even your Aunt Margie (who knows everything about knitting and tulips but nothing about cars) will recognize these American classics.

by
Becky Graebner

Bio

June 2, 2014 - 7:00 am
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Promotional Shot Of 1964 Ford Mustang

1. Ford Mustang

Where does one even start when talking about the Ford Mustang?  This car has become the embodiment of America’s love affair with speed and muscle.  This iconic Ford instigated the creation of the “pony car” classification of automobiles and prompted competing car manufacturers to crank out America’s other favorite muscle cars.  For Ford, the Mustang was (and continues to be) a smash hit.

The first Mustang debuted at the New York World’s Fair in April of 1964.  It was originally equipped with a 260-cubic-inch (4.3L) V8 but was quickly upgraded to a 289-cubic-inch (4.7L) V8 in its first year.  By 1968, the Mustang was outfitted with a 302-cubic-inch (4.9L) V8.  The following year, Ford released several performance packages for the Mustang including the Boss 302, Mach 1, and Boss 429.  The speed and power had arrived.

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Top Rated Comments   
Are these the comments on the 10 Most Iconic Cars or the 10 Most Memorable Statements from John Boehner, or the

10 Most Self Serving Actions of Karl Rove, or the
10 Least Effective Opposition Tactics of the Republican Leaders, or the
10 Most Disgusting Campaign Tactics of Thad Cochran, or the
10 Most Stunningly Stupid Quotes of John McCain.
10 Most Liberal Presidential Candidates of the Republican Party in the Last 40 Years
10 Most Sought After High Paying Lobbying Jobs of Republican Leaders, after elective office
10 Best Lies Republicans Tell Their Constituents About How Conservative They Are
10 Most Creative Ways Republicans Have Helped Obama
10 Most Cunningly Evil Ways Republican Leaders Have Attacked the Tea Party

or

10 Most Memorable Ways Republicans Have Helped Grow Government As Big As Possible While Claiming to Be Conservative.

Maybe this is the wrong 10 Most comment section.

Let me know.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
The "Formula" series Firebirds; the 455 HO/SD TransAm; Stage I, II, III GSX; Hurst Olds; 442; the Superbird winged wonder; AC Cobra; Carrol Shelby's GT series Mustangs.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Dukes’ orange Charger, The General Lee, appeared in almost every episode."

Are you hedging or was there really an episode without the car?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
My 1968 Plymouth Roadrunner was pretty quick. I took delivery of it in November, 1967. Loved that car but had to sell it because my future and current wife needed both feet to push in the clutch.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have a '64 New Yorker with a 413 wedge and push button tranny. The car weighs as much or less than many of the so called "muscle cars." And it hauls ass! The same can be said of the Dart GTs, Chevy II, Nova, and a whole bunch of cars that are not popular with the Boomers who have survived thus far.
But if you want a simple, fast, torquey fun ride, there's plenty out there that you can grab up for under 5K.
My New Yorker weighs around 3,900, and puts out 470 Ft lbs of torque, 340 horse. I have straight pipes on it. I love blasting the doors off kids in their 40K Mitsubishis and Subis. You ever hear a 413 through straight pipes?
You can build a muscle car for under 10K. It can even be a wagon. Just make sure you've got an engine from '71 or earlier. Skip the 307, 326 GM engines. But it doesn't have to be a rich man's game. And the best thing is, you can put it on antique and classic insurance for under 100 bux a year!
Oh, by the way, my 50 year old car is all original, and UAW made. All metal. Have a nice weekend.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
My neighbor who's father owned a local Plymouth dealership received for HS graduation, a special production 1964 Plymouth Belevedere light weight 4 speed race Hemi. It had aluminum fenders, bumpers, a cross ram manifold and functional hood scoop as well as plexiglas windows. No carpets, heater or radio. It was stupid fast. He lost his license and the car ended up on the drag strips. These cars today, if authentic, are worth well north of $200k. Ah, those were the days!
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ive had the pleasure of owning 3 supercars:
In 1972, I had a 1966 Chevelle SS 396 four speed
1973- 63 Corvette, 327, 375 horse 4 speed
1978- 1968 Dodge Coronet R/t 440 Magnum engine, bullet proof Chrysler auto trans, 375 horse- almost unlimited top end. It also had dual point ignition.

Ahhh, the good old days.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dodge Daytona!

With the 426ci or the 440ci.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tach it up, tach it up
Buddy gonna shut you down

It happened on the strip where the road is wide
Two cool shorts standin' side by side
Yeah, my fuel injected Stingray and a four-thirteen
Revvin' up our engines and it sounds real mean

Tach it up, tach it up,
Buddy gonna shut you down

Declinin' numbers at an even rate
At the count of one we both accelerate
My Stingray is light the slicks are startin' to spin
But the four-thirteen's really diggin' in
Gotta be cool now power shift here we go

Superstock Dart is windin' out in low
But my fuel injected Stingray's really startin' to go
To get the traction I'm ridin' the clutch
My pressure plate's burnin' that machine's too much

Pedal's to the floor hear the dual quads drink
And now the four-thirteen's lead is startin' to shrink
He's hot with ram induction but it's understood
I got a fuel injected engine sittin' under my hood

Shut it off, shut it off buddy now I shut you down
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ge-yosh. How could you limit such a list to just ten? My candidates might include...

1969 Ford Cobra, a race-ready version of the Torino/Fairlane armed with a 428 SCJ engine and the legendary 'rock-crusher' four-speed tranny. I owned one, and with the right wheel/tire setup, that bad boy would pull the front wheels off the ground.

1966-69 Chevelle SS396, the marque that made mid-size Chevies competitors in the first place. The '70 was a last-gasp from a model that was strangling under federal emissions restrictions.

The '69 Mustang equipped with the 428 SCJ engine was at the time the fastest production car Detroit had ever built, at least as those things are measured on the drag strip.

Starting in 1966, the Chevy II Nova came into its own as a muscle car. Sporting the ubiquitous 327-ci small block "mouse" engine, the Nova was a serious competitor stoplight-to-stoplight. Later versions featured frames and bodies that were just big enough for shoe-horned "rat" motors, the famed 396 and even the 427 in a few special-order super-sleds.

Also, it would be wrong to forget outliers like AMC's Javelin. Even the unforgivably ugly little Gremlin, equipped with that sweet AMC 304 engine (but unfortunately the clunky AMC 3-speed manual tranny) was a lot of fun in a rat race.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
My first car was a '68 T-Bird, cost me $375.
Oh how I wish it was still in my garage.
The car of my dreams was the 70 Chevelle SS in blue.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
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