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Top 7 America's Favorite Muscle Cars

The 60s and 70s are widely regarded as the heyday of the American muscle car.

America's Favorite Muscle Cars

American muscle cars have been a staple of the automotive market for decades. America has produced some of the fastest muscle cars on the market with some of the meanest looking body styles, the 60s and 70s are widely regarded as the heyday of the American muscle car.

The cars today can never compare to the muscle cars of the past. Ever wonder why there are so many movies made showcasing these American beauties?

Here is a list of American's top 7 favorite muscle cars. You can clearly see why they were so special to us and why they are still shown at many car shows today.

7Dodge Challenger

Top 7 America's Favorite Muscle Cars: Dodge Challenger

Best Years: 1970 Dodge Challenger, 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8, 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Chrysler already had the beautiful muscle beast, the Barracuda but decided to market a new muscle car called the Challenger. It came out in 1970 and featured several straight 6 engines as well as V8 engines.

The Challenger was sent into retirement in 1974 thanks to the oil crisis.

In 2008, the Challenger returned. The third generation Challenger has more luxuries and an update in the style.

The big dog Challenger considered the Hellcat Redeye with a 797hp V8 is one of the favorite muscle cars throughout the entire Challenger series.

RELATED: The 8 Classic Dodge Muscle Cars

6Chevy Corvette

Top 7 America's Favorite Muscle Cars: Chevy Corvette

Best Years: 1984 C4, 2015–2019 Corvette Z06, 2019 Corvette ZR1

The Chevy Corvette was introduced in 1953 before muscle cars actually existed. The Corvette has the claim to fame as far as being the first car to mass-produce a vehicle with 1hp per cubic in.

The second-generation Corvette, the 1963 Sting Ray was introduced with a coupe body. It came with a big block V8 and exhaust pipes.

The third-generation Corvette featured T-top roof panels. It reduced power with the conversion of low-lead fuel sources.

Chevy came out with the fourth generation in 1984 with a new interior and exterior design.

The sixth-generation came out in 2005 and lasted until 2013, the Z06 model with an acceleration that compared to sports cars with a much more expensive price tag.

The seventh-generation has 755hp and still offers a manual transmission.

RELATED: The 7 Best Chevy Muscle Cars

5Ford Mustang

Top 7 America's Favorite Muscle Cars: Ford Mustang

Best Years: 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, 1969 Boss 429, 2000 SVT Cobra R, and more.

In 1963 Ford came up with the idea of building a small sports coupe aimed at the younger generation. In 1964 they introduced the Mustang which was accepted with much popularity.

During the first generation's life, the car was designed with more and more power. Initially, it came with just 101hp 6 cylinders or a 164hp V8. Later it was equipped with the Boss 302, 302 cubic inch V8 with 290hp.

In 1973 the second-generation Mustang came out, the Mustang II. It was smaller but fans didn't really like the car so in 1979 the third-generation Mustang was introduced with three different body styles.

The fourth and fifth-generation Mustangs had a love it or leave it to look to them because of the huge design difference.

The sixth-generation Mustang with an up and coming Shelby GT500 that has a 700hp makes it an awesome time to be a Mustang fan.

RELATED: The 5 Best and Worst Ford Mustang of All Time

4Pontiac GTO

Top 7 America's Favorite Muscle Cars: Pontiac GTO

Best Years: 1962 Pontiac GTO, 1969 GTO Judge Ram Air IV Convertible, 1970 GTO Judge Ram Air IV Convertible. 1966 Pontiac GTO – One of the Most Popular Muscle Cars in History.

The 1964 Pontiac Tempest came with a four-cylinder but was later changed to a straight-six with only 140hp. If you wanted more power you could upgrade to the 326 cubic inch V8. They borrowed the "GTO" from Ferrari and dropped the Tempest part of the name.

GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato (in English it means Grand Touring Homologated) and it became extremely popular.

The GTOs performance and style continued to be developed in the 60s but retired in 1974. It was revived in 2004. In 2006 the GTO came to an end and Pontiac followed close behind.

RELATED: The 7 Best Years for the Pontiac GTO

3Chevy Camaro

Top 7 America's Favorite Muscle Cars: Chevy Camaro

Best Years: 1969 Camaro ZL1, 1973 Camaro Z/28, 2014 Camaro Z/28. Consensus throughout the auto industry dubbed the 1969 Camaro as the best of all time.

In 1966, the first generation Camaro came with a choice of three different V6 engines and 4 different V8 engines.

The second-generation Camaro was introduced in 1970 and the third gen in 1982 that had a turbo hydromantic four-speed automatic tranny.

The fifth generation of Camaro came out in 2010, bringing the design back to the look of the first-generation Camaro and adding an LS V8 engine.

The sixth-generation look was not too well-liked but with a 650hp engine, its performance cannot be overlooked.

2Dodge Viper

Top 7 America's Favorite Muscle Cars: Dodge Viper

Best Years: 1996 Viper GTS, 2005 Viper SRT-10 Coupe, 1997 Viper GT2 Road/Race Version. Most collectibles are 1996-'97 blue with white stripes.

In 1991 Dodge came out with the Viper. This car used a Lamborghini V10 engine. It didn't have particularly good stability control, it had no air conditioner, no glass windows, and was lacking a lot of amenities.

In 1996, the second generation of Viper was released with a coupe body style. Luxuries are included in this model with power doors and windows, air conditioning, and more. It came with a massive 450hp.

The 4th generation Viper had few changes except for bumping up the horsepower to 600hp. In 2013, the newer Viper was equipped with stability control and 640hp.

1Plymouth Barracuda

Top 7 America's Favorite Muscle Cars: Plymouth Barracuda

A record was set at Mecum Auctions' Seattle event on June 16, 2014, when a 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda sold for $3.5 million, according to Mecum's website. It is not only the rarest Plymouth Barracuda around, but it's also one of the rarest muscle cars in general.

In 1964, Plymouth introduced the Barracuda. It wasn't anything that great with the first generation of it.

Then in 1967, they introduced the second-generation Barracuda, basically in response to the Ford Mustang. The '67 model came with improvements to the handling and a much bigger motor with the big-block V8.

The 1970 Barracuda was another story altogether. It offered three different V8 engines, the fastest one being the 426cu Hemi.

RELATED: The 5 Best and Worst Plymouth Models of All Time

The Bottom Line

Initially designed for drag racing, muscle cars are high-performance cars that often feature V8 engines, rear-wheel-drive, and light two-door bodies. The look alone said, "Let's race!" That is what so many of us could be found doing on any given weekend.

We had our favorite backroad strip and we could be found racing for bragging rights. We worked on our muscle cars simply to make them look better and run faster and this is something that we took pride in. The smell of gas and grease, the sound of motors revving up, and tires squealing were all part of owning a muscle car.

Saturday afternoons were spent under the hood with friends gathered around, all helping. We became mechanics either self-taught or we learned from our fathers. If you were alive and old enough to remember these muscle cars or even lucky enough to own one, you owned part of American history!

RELATED: The 10 Best Muscle Cars from the '90s, You Should Buy!

[1] ^ YouTube: 10 Best Muscle Cars Of All Time
[2] ^ YouTube: Most INSANE Powerful MODERN MUSCLE CARS In the world
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