Top 10 Muscle Cars of the 60s and 70s


The 60s and 70s are supposed to be a golden era for the whole automotive industry showcasing outstanding muscle cars produced by the leading American automakers. They have already become true masterpieces for all auto enthusiasts and fans of fast, elegant and powerful vehicles. Customers were able to benefit from a wide option of cars available at that period of time. Some of them turned into immortal monuments to high-class performance and automotive perfection. We offer our own list of top 10 muscle cars produced during the 60s and 70s.

1964 Pontiac GTO

Pontiac GTO was presented to the public in 1964. It is a pure representative of the muscle car family featuring a V8 6.4-liter motor with 325 HP at 4 800 rpm under the bonnet. The model was also available with an optional Tri-Power carburetor, which added additional power increasing the HP rate up to 348. GTO showed outstanding results during road tests performing fast acceleration (0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds).

It turned out that John DeLorean incidentally called his auto GTO, which is equal to Ferrari 250 GTO which is also considered to be the most iconic legendary sports car in the automotive history. The main feature of Pontiac GTO was the fact that it actually had one of the biggest engines under the bonnet of light body making it one of the most legendary muscle cars of all times.

1965 Shelby GT350

Produced in 1965 Shelby GT350 is now one of the rarest muscle cars mostly due to its advanced motor that could hardly have any rivals during that period of time. This vehicle was able to offer truly explosive power featuring outstanding performance characteristics. According to the latest statistics only 500 Shelby GT350 units left over the globe.

1967 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake

Carroll Shelby’s only desire was to build the fastest vehicle in the world. As a result his iconic Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake was introduced in 1967. This auto had a limited production and only two units have been produced. In fact the new model was a racing car that was modified to meet the requirements of casual street driving. It is also considered to be the most overwhelming Cobra among all other models that have ever been constructed. It was powered by a 477 cu. engine producing head-explosive 800 HP.

1968 Dodge Charger R/T

Produced in 1968 Dodge Charger R/T has always been considered to be a true man’s car. This auto embodies premium quality combined with power. Such mixture was wrapped in an outstanding package featuring award-winning design with world’s famous and probably the most recognizable headlights grille over the globe. The chrome elements added some elegance and style to the curve body making 1968 Dodge Charger R/T one of the most iconic muscles cars ever. The car was equipped with a 440 cu V8 engine with 375 HP. Those who required more power could opt for Hemi engine with 426 HP.

1968 Plymouth Road Runner Hemi

Some may think that the name of Plymouth Road Runner Hemi was inspired by a popular cartoon character (Looney Tunes). But it has nothing in common with the hilarious episodes about a coyote and his beloved birdy. It was all about business. Model was produced in 1968 and had a powerful V8 4-varrek engine which produced 335 HP. It was actually one of the most famous muscle cars at the end of the 60s offering a package that was able to meet back-to-basics requirements of the customers.

The main attention was focused on car’s performance during its production. Styling intricacies have been left behind. This is why one would hardly find anything overwhelming and screaming about the appearance of the car. But the performance was really mind-blowing. It helped the Road Runner Hemi to make its way to the top 10 of American muscle cars.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Constructed in 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 appeared to be the most powerful and fastest muscle car of that period. Dick Harrell who was a famous drag racer of his times came up with an idea to construct a perfect car for drag racing. The new model got its name thanks to a 427 cu V8 engine that was called ZL1. It produced 500 HP making it possible for the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. It was the most powerful beast of its times among all other muscle cars available.

Limit model production included only 69 units. This fact makes Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 also the most exclusive and rarest muscle car of all times.

1969 Ford Mustang 428 Cobra Jet

Despite the fact that dozens of Mustangs have been produced by this major American automaker during the 60s, Mustang 428 Cobra Jet is probably one of the most noticeable versions among all other pony cars that have ever been presented to the public. The competition was extremely tough during that period of time. The producers had to consider such serious rivals as Camaro and Firebird. Such a challenge led to construction of an exclusive powertrain that is worth paying attention to.

The car had a V8 428-cid motor with 410 HP under the bonnet. It had several additional features including larger valve heads, a hood scoop and ram-air induction.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

Every muscle car enthusiast will be able to label out Camaro as the main representative of the segment produced by Chevrolet. But few people know that there was another masterpiece that we could not skip. When the times of Camaro were over, it was Chevelle SS to take the lead and become the muscle flagship in 1970.

The first appearance of Chevrolet Chevelle SS on the automotive arena took place in 1964. It was the time when a new car entered the world of its “muscle fellows”. But it was not able to make a name for itself due to an extremely high level of competition. But in 1970 the tables were turned. It appeared to be sensational car having a 454 cu big-block V8 motor with 450 HP accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds.

1971 Plymouth Hemi’Cuda Convertible

Give a warm welcome to our next participant that was introduced in 1971. Plymouth Hemi’Cuda Convertible had a great impact on further development of this popular automotive segment and it still remains a legendary auto produced by the brand. The main aim of the company was responding to such rivals as Camaro and Mustang.

Hemi’Cuda Convertible had a V8 engine that produced 425 HP. It is considered to be the jewel of all the Baracuda production series featuring great design and power characteristics.

1973 De Tomaso Pantera

This automotive icon was firstly presented to the public in 1970 at New York Auto Show featuring a V8 engine named Cleveland which was able to produce 330 HP. It also had a 5-speed manual transmission and was able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds with a top speed at 150 mph.

The car became rather popular at short notice mainly due to its overwhelming design and power characteristics. All celebrities were eager to have this auto in their garage. Famous politicians, actors and singers were standing in line for De Tomaso Pantera. Elvis Presley was also among those celebrities who were lucky to own this automotive prodigy.


Dmitri Breakston