Muscle Cars Became A TV And Movie Staple In The 60s and 70s
Here is the first on our “10 Cool Facts About Classic Muscle Cars That Everyone Forgot” list. The television and movie actor James Garner had a noted affinity for everything speed. His hit movie Grand Prix won multiple Oscars, and on television, he appeared in a Pontiac Firebird regularly on The Rockford Files. Something lesser known was that Garner was a devoted racer. He once had a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 outfitted with a 4×4 chassis in order drive in off-road races. Inside of this classic muscle car, he finished second in class in the Mexican Nora 1000 (later the Baja 1000).
Don Yenko Built A High Speed Camaro
The next of our cool facts about classic muscle cars involves Don Yenko, a Pennsylvania Chevy Dealer. He was famous for his 427 Camaros, Chevelles, and Novas. He had the letters “sYc” added to the headrests. “sYc” stands for Yenko Super Car.
1970 Chevy Chevelle SS Had A Powerful 454 engine
Chevrolet has long been known for putting out some of the most powerful muscle cars available, and the Chevelle SS is a perfect example of the company’s prowess. The Chevelle SS could hit 60 miles an hour in nearly six seconds, making it blazingly fast. Equipped with a powerful 454 engine, which cranked out a remarkable 500 pound-feet of torque and 360 horses, the Chevelle SS certainly earned its distinctive twin racing stripes. The 1970 Chevelle SS remains one of the most iconic vehicles from the golden age of American muscle cars.
Ford Made The AC Cobra To Compete With The Corvette
This is one of the best classic Cars of the 1960s and our favorite. The AC Cobra, sold as the Shelby Cobra in the United States, is an Anglo-American sports car powered by a Ford V8 engine, produced intermittently in both the United Kingdom and United States since 1962. In September of 1961, American automotive designer Carroll Shelby wrote to AC asking if they would build him a car modified to accept a Ford V8 engine. AC agreed, provided a suitable engine could be found. Ford wanted a car of their own that could compete with the Corvette. They just so happened to have a brand new engine which could be used for this project. The Windsor 221 cu in (3.6 L) engine which was a new lightweight, thin-wall cast small-block V8, two of which were provided to Shelby.
1987 Buick GNX Could Hit 60 mph In Just 5.4 seconds
The 1987 Buick GNX is one of the most sought after muscle cars of all time. These days, a Buick GNX can cost $100,000 or more. So why all the hype? The 1987 Buick GNX was blazingly fast for a 3,500 pound car, capable of hitting 60 miles per hour in just 5.4 seconds. Many automobiles from the 1980s were quite sluggish, owing to the preceding oil crisis and government regulations. Yet the Buick GNX could keep up with many of the muscle cars that came both before and after it.
There’s No 1983 Model Of The Corvette
The 1984 Chevrolet Corvette received ‘Car of the Year’ honors by Motor Trend Magazine. But don’t look for the 1983 model in any record books. In fact, don’t look for it at all. There was never a 1983 model of the Corvette. The reason, if you ask Chevy, is that the technology and performance was so far advanced that it required extra time to test and produce. Legend has it that about 40 1983 models were produced but Chevy decided to wait and include them in the 1984 line.
Charger Ditched Flip Out Headlights After 1973
In 1973, the Dodge Charger used flip out headlights for the last time.
AMC Rebel Machine Only Came In Red, White, and Blue
Our fist pick on our list of best classic muscle cars is the AMC Rebel. It was a high-volume car meant to satisfy many needs. With the AMC Rebel Machine, the American Motor Corporation made a direct appeal to those looking for something stylish and distinctly American. You could choose whatever color scheme you wanted, so long as it was the iconic American red, white, and blue. The AMC Rebel was surprisingly patriotic for being, well, a rebel. These days, the iconic Rebel Machine is a hot collectors item, and with AMC having been relegated to the dustbin of history, we probably won’t be seeing modern versions of this car.
Dodge Released The First Generation Of The Challenger In 1969
The first generation began in 1969 with the 1970 Dodge Challenger. Two series were available, the base Challenger and the Challenger R/T (Road/Track). There were eight models on the market. The one in the picture, for instance, is a Special Edition (SE) two-door hardtop.
Only 11 1970 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda Were Ever Made
A car that was once worth less than $6,000 is estimated to be worth over $5 million today. The 1970 Hemi 426ci Hemi Barracuda is among the rarest muscle cars in the world, and most sought after. While the one estimated to be worth that insane sum isn’t currently being dealt, one ‘70 ‘Cuda fetched $3.4 million at a Mecum auction in 2014. That particular muscle car featured a 426-cubic-inch Hemi V-8 engine, dual four-barrel carburetors, the 727 automatic transmission, the Super Track Pak option and a power convertible top.
If you like this info, you’ll love our “50 coolest facts about muscle cars” list.