According to the Muscle Car Club, the strict definition of a muscle car is one that, is an intermediate sized, performance oriented model, powered by a large V8 engine, at an affordable price. But who cares about definitions? When we see one we like, we grin like loons and covert the great iron beasts regardless of sensible considerations such as fuel economy, boot size or an affordable price.
The Chevrolet Camaro
First produced by General Motors in 1966, this monster sported a 3.8L engine rated at 140 horse power. It could be debated but truth be told, the 1969 model is, quite simply, the most arousing model; either blood red or fiery orange (with the black stripe paint work, naturally), these bad boys are the cars from Hell. Sporting a slightly different look to its earlier brothers (and sisters) collectors will argue over the merits of the different versions. All debates are futile – the 69 Chevrolet Camaro is the winner.
The Shelby Mustang
Ford may be on the fifth generation of Mustangs, but perhaps they should have stopped when they made the 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500. It doesn’t get much better than this. The one from Gone In 60 Seconds sold last year for over a million dollars and, as side note, a Shelby GT500 Super Snake also went for around $1.3 million at the same time. For car/manga fans, there was one in Gunsmith Cats, driven around by Rally Vincent – though it was destroyed in the sequel Gunsmith Cats Burst which will make all Mustang fans exceedingly sad.
The Dodge Charger
1969 was a good year for car manufacturing, as epitomised by the 69 Dodge Charger favoured by those good ol’ Duke boys in the Dukes of Hazzard; if you didn’t want one of these (and quite possibly Cousin Daisy in the passenger seat) then there must have been something wrong with you. Apparently the TV show caused a huge resurgence of interest in this particular monster.
The Boss 302 Mustang
Yes, another Mustang but what’s not to love about them, especially the 1970 Boss 302 Mustang. Ford must have lost their minds when ex-General Motors mad man Larry Shinoda unveiled his design. The Boss moniker came from Larry’s secrecy as he worked on the car’s design; people would ask, what are you working on, Larry? To which he would reply, the boss’s car. Allegedly.
The Pontiac GTO
Any car that gets nicknamed The Goat deserves a place on this list. The power of previous models (335 horse power with 5000 rpm) was pushed to 360 horse power and 5200 rpm. The sound of this one revving can make a bystander’s innards turn to liquid. So what if there were complaints about slow steering and dodgy brakes. You don’t need speed when you’re cruising.
The Holden Kingswood
Readers may well shout, what?! Hush now; it’s a love affair. No judgements, please.
Missed any cars that you believe should be added to the list? Check out www.pureperfromancemotorsport.com/ for some more inspiration, and let us know in the comments what your dream muscle car is.