Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Get your motor running
I know that song is about motorcycles, but this list is as much about sound as looks. Since 2006 automobile performance has entered another golden age. If you want lots of horsepower and torque, it's available. I hesitate to use the term muscle car for these cars today, as I don't think they really fit the definition of a 60's or 70's muscle car. Namely, somewhat affordable for the high performance features provided. I had the pleasure of driving one of these cars for a number of years (2010 Dodge Charger SRT8). The latest versions of these cars are a bit more refined than their predecessors, with much higher quality suspensions and brakes. However, hit the pedal and its like the third day of Gettysburg. Pure joy.
The list will contain the cars from what I would define as the American muscle car era; 1964-1970. Large displacement engines in mid size cars. Lots of horsepower and torque. Most had the looks that we now associate with high performance in that era. Were there muscle car sleepers? Yes; and that was part of the allure. I make a distinction between muscle cars and "Pony" cars and sports cars. Hence, no Mustang's, Camaro's, Firebird's or Challenger's. Not sure any of those would have made my list anyway. Maybe the Challenger.
We don't need no stinking badges
In descending order:
1. 1966 Pontiac GTO: 389 cubic inches, tri power carburetor, 365 HP and 425 ft-lbs of torqe. I know the GTO started the muscle car era supposedly. Blah blah. Just a mean looking car.
2. 1968 Dodge Charger: 426 cubic inch Hemi. 425 horsepower. Watch Bullitt. I know that Charger had a 440 magnum, but the car looks fantastic even with the two dorks driving it.
3. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6. 454 cubic inches. 450 horsepower. Nuff said.
4. 1970 Buick GSX. 455 cubic inches. 360 horsepower (really?). 510 ft-lbs of torque. Only came in yellow or white.
5. 1969 Plymouth Road Runner. 440 magnum 6-pack. 390 horsepower. I know its not a Hemi, but have that already.
Unnecessary....but that's the point
These days a Toyota Camry could beat some of these (stock) cars in 0-60 times due to better tires, transmissions etc. But who the hell would rather have a Camry then one of these brutes?