The Best Muscle Cars of All Time (Then & Now)

Muscle cars are known to be robust and high-performance automobiles. They are such high-speed vehicles that can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour within seconds. The unique feature of a muscle car is that it has two doors with rear-wheel drive. It has large and powerful eight-valve (V8) engines and can be seen in different sizes, from minor to midsize. In the mid of 1960s, muscle cars became popular with young drivers. They were pretty affordable other than being attractive, sleek, and powerful. The best muscle cars could also be driven for daily street use. They were also used for drag racing formally and informally.

The Best Muscle Cars of All Time (Then & Now) 1

The term “muscle car” was first used for drag racing in the mid-1960s and early 1970s for special editions of mass-production cars. Its use shortly became popular in car magazines and automobile marketing and was used inclusively for “performance” oriented streetcars.

Muscle cars incorporated mighty engines in bare-bones intermediate cars to offer high performance at budget prices. High-power pony cars are commonly considered muscle cars, but some definitions say luxury cars are too expensive to be considered muscle cars.

Comparing modern cars with muscle cars

Muscle cars are known to be smaller cars with big engines such as large eight-valve (V8) engines, whereas modern vehicles tend to have engines more minor than that of muscle cars, such as smaller four-valve (V4) or six-valve (V6) engines. Muscle cars, the earliest, were not environmentally friendly as they were not particularly fuel-efficient. Modern vehicles are better for the environment as they use less fuel.

Classic muscle cars

Many people like to collect vintage cars and invest their money in cars, and the rest are die-hard fans of high-performance automobiles, but for those who are enthusiastic about cars, a classic muscle car is a perfect option for them. Classic muscle cars represent sheer power and intimidating speed for those passionate about cars other than just describing the golden era of automobiles. Even though in the modern super sports car industry, Bugatti, Ferrari, and Lamborghini are widely considered essential and powerful, for many people, they still cannot beat the era of the top classic muscle cars.

As quickly as muscle cars had appeared, they almost disappeared the same way. However, you can find a similar style in a few pony cars still active in the market, such as the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang. The prices of classic muscle cars have increased and will continue to do so shortly as vintage car lovers and seasoned investors have jumped into the market of classic muscle cars to diversify their portfolios. Over the past few years, the following 5 cars have gained a lot of importance because of their features and are considered an integral part of the collection of vintage car enthusiasts by experts.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

The classic 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a perfect blend of rarity, speed, and a roaring engine. It offered various engine options, and the mightiest of these was a powerful aluminium block 427-cubic-inch V-8 engine known as ZL1. This engine was manufactured at the request of Fred Gibb, as he wanted a more powerful engine option for his NHRA drag racing fleet. The car was intended for only professional drag racers, but it became 100% street legal.

1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda

Destined for France, the 1971 Plymouth convertible was one of the last of its kind. This car marked the end of the muscle car era. This car was built on the new E-body platform and featured a wider body and lower stance compared to its second-generation predecessor. Currently, the car lists for $425,000. The impeccable design proportions of the car are what makes it so unique, as it also features a shaker hood scoop and a wide stance. One of the many reasons this car is exceptional is its A833 four-speed manual transmission mated to a Hurst Pistol Grip shifter. It featured a savage 7.0-liter Hemi 426 V-8 that develops 425 horsepower with 490 Nm of torque.

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona Hemi

The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona Hemi Dodge comes at the top of the list when it comes to ultra-classic, American sports cars. This car stands as a testament to how far an automaker can go for racing homologation. Is the most iconic with its unique design. Dodge had designed a magnificent aerodynamic version of the Charger with its 1969 Charger Daytona Hemi. Today, this model is a tough find as only 70 Charger Daytona`s were made with a Hemi engine. These cars exhibited raw performance and were also made so spectacular that they made this car an instant collector’s item.

The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona Hemi Dodge was made in response to the 1969 Dodge Charger. It experienced great success in its first NASCAR race by winning the Talladega 500. In NASCAR history, Charger Daytona Hemi was the first car to eclipse the 200-mph mark.

1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustang

The Mustang is one of the few iconic muscle cars still available in the market. The Ford did a great job with the Mustang by developing the 429 version for NASCAR’s Grand National Division. Ford’s tuned V8 engine architecture, known as the “Ford 385 engine”, in an attempt to improve its NASCAR results. The method of this hand-built muscle car was very unique as it was different from the previous Mustang models.

The desired results were never quite achieved by the car. However, it is still one of the most highly wanted classic American muscle cars in today’s market. In 7.1 seconds, the boss goes from 0 to 60, and the car’s engine approximately gets 375 horsepower. In today’s market, this car can be purchased for up to $220,000.

1968 Ford Mustang GT 500KR

The KR- for the “King of the Road” The 1968 Ford Mustang GT500KR is known to be one of the most beautiful Shelby Mustangs that has ever been manufactured. The GT500KR was not created with NASCAR in mind, unlike most other cars mentioned before. In the model’s name, KR stands for ‘King of the Road’.

The car had 335 horsepower as per the listing. According to most of the experts, the number is far less than the actual figure. It is believed that to ensure the car cost less to insure, Ford, understated the horsepower figure. A massive 7L supercharged V8 engine was featured by the 1968 Ford Mustang GT500KR, and it was featured as the ever-so-elusive automobile dubbed Eleanor in the famous movie “Gone in 60 seconds.” In today’s market, a 1968 Ford Mustang GT500KR will roughly cost $130,000.