There’s nothing quite like a muscle car. Classic American muscle cars capture the spirit of the auto industry, and the open road, like no other vehicle. It is also the type of car that gear heads and motor enthusiasts are most passionate about. From the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 to the 1970 Ford Mustang, people love muscle cars—their looks and their engines. Loosely defined as a smaller, two-door car powered by a high-displacement engine that is typically found in a larger, full-sized sedan, classic muscle cars continue to be hot sellers at auctions and dealerships across the United States, and they continue to generate intense debate among car lovers. Here is a list of 10 classic American muscle cars that people feel particularly passionate about.
10. 1967 Pontiac GTO
One of the most intense debates surrounding muscle cars is which vehicle was the very first muscle car. Many people claim the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 as the very first muscle car. However, there are good number of people who disagree and cite the 1967 Pontiac GTO as giving birth to the muscle car as we know it today. Legend has it that engineers at Pontiac defied General Motors’ ban against putting any engine larger than 330 cubic inches into small cars and snuck a 389 cubic inch V8 engine into a Pontiac Tempest and offered this model as an option called the “GTO.” Response to the GTO model was so crazy that the car won over senior executives at General Motors, paving the way for a steady succession of Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Buick and Pontiac muscle cars. While the very first Pontiac GTO came out in 1964, the 1967 model is more significant as it marked the first availability of Ram air through a functional hood scoop on the GTO. The 1967 Pontiac GTO also came with a 400 cubic inch V8 engine capable of delivering 360 horsepower.