The best muscle cars of the 60s and 70s

1960s Muscle Cars Muscle Cars of the 1960s — their beginnings, their fall and our choices for the largest muscle cars

The 1960s were a decade of great progress. The world was changing, and the design of the cars leaped forward, building on the growth observed in the previous decade. Power outputs also jumped forward, especially in the United States. After the optimism of the baby boomers of the 1950s, the 1960s saw bolshy confidence and determination to go faster than the other.

Muscle Cars — A Brief History

Muscle cars of the 1960s are a product of the era of classic cars. They evolved from the repressed consumerism that exploded after World War II. Overnight, it seemed that American consumers were opting for larger and faster cars. Muscle Cars appeared at a time when Detroit was trying to stop the invasion of imported cars led by Volkswagen and included Fiat, Renault, Datsun (now Nissan), with new, lightweight as the Corvair, Falçon and Valiant.

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The term muscle car usually describes a medium-sized car with a large and powerful engine (usually, but not universally, a V8 engine) and a special trim, intended for maximum acceleration on the street or in dredging competition. It differs from sports cars, which were usually considered to be smaller, two-seater, or GTs, two seats or 2 2 cars intended for touring at high speed and possibly road racing.

Muscle cars are high-performance automobiles, mainly American models produced between 1964 and 1971. During the period, these vehicles were interchangeably (and more commonly) described as supercars. The term “Muscle Car” was created by the power race. Most of them give credit to John Z. DeLorean and GTO Pontiac. The 1964 Pontiac Tempest GTO triggered the boom of the muscular car by giving the small car, big engine, an identity of its own.

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The project was technically a violation of General Motors’s policy limiting its small cars to 330 cu. (5.4 L) displacement, but it proved to be much more popular than expected, and inspired a host of imitations, both at GM and its competitors — well-known muscle car brands of years 1960 as

Moreover, as the national road network grew and gasoline became abundant, the Americans wanted more power, more speed. And in 1964, Detroit bowed to consumer pressure by putting the large V-8 blocks on medium-sized chassis.

The general tendency to factory performance reflects the importance of the youth market. A key attraction of 1960s muscle cars was that they offered the booming American automotive culture a selection of vehicles at just prices available to young people with strong street performance that could also be used for racing. The affordability of these 1960s muscle cars was quickly compromised by the increase in size, optional gear and plush, forcing the addition of more and more powerful just to keep pace with performance. A reaction against this cost and weight growth led in 1967 and 1968 to a secondary trend of “budget muscle” in the form of Plymouth Road Runner, Dodge Super Bee, and other less expensive bare variants of these 1960s muscle cars.

Even though sales of real muscle cars were, compared to Detroit’s total production standards, modest, they had considerable value in advertising and boasting rights. They were also used to attract young customers to showrooms who would then buy the standard editions of these mid-sized 1960s muscle cars. Models such as the AMC Rebel Machine, COPO (Central Office Production Order) Chevelle and Super Cobra Jet Ford Torino have been upgraded at the factory to become turnkey drag runners. The fierce competition led to a power escalation that peaked in 1970, with some 1960s muscle car models offering up to 450 gross horsepower.

Unfortunately, the performance of muscle cars quickly became a passive during this period. The car safety lobby, which had been led by Ralph Nader, monitored the sale of these powerful 1960s muscle cars, especially to young buyers. At the same time, efforts to combat air pollution have forced Detroit to focus on emission control rather than energy. The situation was exacerbated by the OPEC oil embargo in 1973, which led to the rationing of gasoline. Soon, With all these forces against it, the 1960s market muscle cars quickly evaporated. The Clean Air Act of 1970 provided for pollution control devices that adversely affected performance. At the time Congress adopted the CAFE (Average Fuel Economy) rule in 1978, the Muscle Car seemed to be condemned forever. While performance cars began to make a comeback in the 1980s, reminiscent of the 1960s muscle cars, the cost spiral and complexity seem to have made the traditional low-cost muscular car a thing of the past. The surviving models of these 1960s muscle cars are now prized collectibles, some bearing prizes to rival exotic European sports cars.

General Motors abandoned its Camaro and Trans Am models in 2002 (as well as the Chevrolet Impala SS from 1994 to 1996), leaving the Ford Mustang as the last semi-muscular car built in the United States, as Chrysler abandoned its muscle cars after 1974.

Early and late development of muscle cars of the 1960s

The era of performance cars of the 1960s seems to have taken a turning point with the 1960 Chrysler 300F. In the years of factory performance formation, car manufacturers have reserved their hottest engines for their largest and generally most expensive models. Chrysler’s early 1960s muscle cars were best expressed by elegant and exclusive “letter-series” machines. The first of them was the 1955 C-300 with its 300hp Hemi-head V-8. The 1960 Chrysler 300F continued the tradition of power with its special trim and sporty interior with four bucket type leather seats and a console.

In the 1960s, Ford changed the direction of the Thunderbird from its two-seater origins, when it was launched in direct competition with the Corvette. But the sales were good, proof of how much the audience liked the 1960 T-bird. These 1960s muscle cars sold more than twice as many cars as the 1958 model. The unit construction was adopted in 1958 to improve the handle of the car, but it also included a lowered floor to lower the rolling height and, consequently, the center of gravity making driving these 1960s muscle cars more stable. The coil springs all around gave excellent driving quality, and although the car was not as sporty as the original T-birds, it was quieter and more refined. However, he was one of the fastest muscle cars of the 1960s of his time, which was one of the reasons why he sold well in those horse-hungry times.

In 1960, Chevrolet introduced the XP700 Experimental Car Corvette. The 1962 Corvette was a high-performance car, with an optional but powerful V8 engine. Some of them were also equipped with fuel injection and aluminum cylinder heads. It was a fast car according to the standards of his time. La Corvette was an American car that opened its eyes for his time.

The Chevrolet Camaro was introduced to North America in 1967. It was General Motors competition for the Ford Mustang. Although it was classified as a compact car (according to the standards of its time) the Camaro as the mustang was classified as an intermediate sports car, or muscle car — one of the most durable muscle cars of the 1960s.

The 1968 Plymouth Road Runner created the budget muscle market and was among the most influential muscle cars of the years 1960.

Best Muscle Cars of the 60s

1966 Pontiac GTO Coupe

Plymouth Barracuda

Plymouth Superbird

1966 Mercury Cyclone

1969 Chevy Camaro

1968 The Firebird Pontiac

1969 Dodge Challenger

1968 Plymouth Road Runner

1966 Ford Shelby Mustang

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

1967 Plymouth Roadrunner

1968 Dodge Superbee

1969 Chevy Chevelle 427 COPO

1969 Super Cobra Jet Ford Torino

1967 AMC Rebel Convertible

1968 COPO Camaro

1960 Chrysler 300F Convertible

1960 Corvette

1960 Corvette XP-700

1967 Chevrolet Camaro

1968 Plymouth Road Runner

1968 Plymouth Road Runner 426 Hemi Hardtop

1969 Chevrolet CamaroZL1