In no particular order, we want to explore the top ten iconic muscle cars widely recognized and appreciated by car enthusiasts. Not everybody will agree, of course, and that is ok. Muscle cars are a special category that is very American and very popular, not just in the US. Here are our picks.
Top Ten Iconic Muscle Cars
1967 Shelby GT500
It is known for its powerful 428-cubic inch V8 engine and sleek design, the GT500 is a true classic in the muscle car world recognized by most car enthusiasts. The 1967 Shelby GT500 is wildly popular and regarded as one of the most iconic muscle cars of all time. It was the first Mustang-based model produced by Carroll Shelby’s company, Shelby American Inc. It was designed to be a high-performance alternative of the already popular Ford Mustang.
The GT500 was powered by a 428-cubic inch V8 engine that produced 355 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. It was paired with a four-speed manual transmission and had a top speed of 130 miles per hour. At the time this was lightning fast! The car was also fitted with performance upgrades such as a high-rise intake manifold, Holley carburetor, and dual exhaust system.
The GT500 had a sleek and aggressive design with a long hood and short rear deck. It featured distinctive Shelby styling elements such as a fiberglass hood with dual scoops, a grille with horizontal bars, and a rear spoiler. The car was available in several color options, including white with blue stripes, blue with white stripes, and black with gold stripes.
The GT500’s performance and design made it a hit with car enthusiasts. It has since become a favorite among top collectors and fans of classic muscle cars. Today, restored and well-maintained examples of the 1967 Shelby GT500 fetch high prices at auto auctions.
1970 Plymouth Superbird
This car was designed specifically for NASCAR racing and features a distinctive wing and nose cone that make it instantly recognizable.
The 1970 Plymouth Superbird model is a highly praised muscle car that was produced for just one year. It was designed specifically for NASCAR racing, with the idea of helping Plymouth win more races and gain a competitive edge over its rivals at the time.
The Superbird model was based on the Plymouth Road Runner, but with significant modifications to its body. It featured a long, pointed nose cone for improved aerodynamics and a massive rear wing six feet wide and stood nearly two feet tall for downforce and stability.
Under the hood, the Superbird was available with a range of powerful V8 engines, including the 440 Six Pack and the legendary 426 Hemi. These engines were capable of producing up to 425 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque, giving the Superbird blistering performance on the track.
The Superbird was also equipped with performance features such as heavy-duty suspension, power-assisted front disc brakes, and a three-speed automatic or four-speed manual transmission. It was available in several bold colors, including the iconic “Lemon Twist” yellow.
Despite its impressive performance and distinctive styling, the Superbird was only produced in 1970 due to NASCAR changing regulations. Today, it is appreciated by collectors and fans of classic muscle cars across the US and the globe.
1968 Ford Mustang GT 390
The Mustang is one of the most iconic American cars of all time made by Ford. And it was one of its most powerful and popular variations.
The 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 was a powerful and stylish muscle car. It was very popular at the time and continues to be an iconic muscle car today. Some of the key features and specifications made it one of the most desired models.
The 1968 Mustang GT 390 was powered by a 6.4-liter V8 engine that produced 325 horsepower and 427 lb-ft of torque. It was immense power house. The car came standard with a four-speed manual transmission, and a three-speed automatic was also available to purchase. The Mustang GT 390 featured a sleek and muscular body design that was both sporty and aggressive. With its long hood and short rear deck, along with a distinctive front grille and headlights, it automatically impressed the public.
The interior was spacious and comfortable, with bucket seats and a console that housed the shifter and other controls. The GT package also included a woodgrain steering wheel and a brushed aluminum dash trim. Overall, the 1968 Mustang was a high-performance and stylish car that remains popular among car enthusiasts and collectors today.
And the rest of the list goes as follow.
1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
The Z/28 Chevy Camaro was designed for road racing and featured a high-revving V8 engine that made it a force to be reckoned with on the track. It made it an equal among competitors.
1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
The Challenger is one of the most recognizable muscle cars of all time, thanks to its aggressive styling and powerful V8 engine.
The Challenger R/T had a long and low-slung body style, with a muscular profile and distinctive lines. It had a long hood, short deck, and a wide stance, with a sloping front grille and split taillights. With its specious interior and bucket seats the comfort of the car was an asset.
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454
The SS 454 Chevelle was one of the most powerful production cars of its time, thanks to its massive 454-cubic inch V8 engine.
The Chevelle was powered by a 7.4-liter V8 engine that produced 360 horsepower and 500 lb of torque. The car had a sleek and muscular design with a long hood, short rear deck, and distinctive front grille. It also featured a cowl-induction hood with a functional air scoop for improved engine performance. The combination of power, performance, and classic design elements make it an enduring icon of the muscle car era.
1970 AMC Rebel “The Machine”
This car was designed to compete with the big-name muscle cars of the era, and its unique styling and powerful V8 engine made it a standout in the crowded muscle car market. The 1970 AMC Rebel was a high-performance muscle car built by American Motors Corporation (AMC).
“The Machine” was powered by a 6.4-liter V8 engine that produced 340 horsepower and 430 lb of torque. It was a fast and powerful automobile that could go from 0 to 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds. It also had a top speed of around 130 mph.
Although it was not as well-known as some of its competitors at the time, it remains a popular and sought-after vehicle among collectors and enthusiasts today.
1969 Pontiac GTO Judge
The 1969 GTO was a high-performance version of the already-powerful and known GTO. Its distinctive graphics and color scheme made it a favorite among muscle car enthusiasts.
1971 Buick GSX
The GSX was Buick’s answer to the muscle car craze of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The combination of power and luxury made it a unique and desirable car. It is a favorite among car collectors as well.
1970 Oldsmobile 442
The 442 was a high-performance version of the Oldsmobile Cutlass. Its powerful V8 engine and distinctive styling made it a popular choice among muscle car fans at the time.
With this we end our brief exploration of popular classic muscle cars. The world of muscle cars is exciting still and we know there are thousands of enthusiasts out there. We work with classic and muscle car lovers every day. They buy cars online and ship them home daily. They go to classic car shows and transport their muscle cars because this is part of preserving and maintaining the glory of such automobiles. If you are interested to learn more about transport check our our enclosed auto transport service and our race car transport solutions for more details on how it works.