We Love American Muscle Cars!
AMERICAN MUSCLE CARS are as much a part of the American experience as hot dogs, baseball and Mom’s apple pie. They are a piece of history, a slice out of time, a time when America was at her peak. American Muscle Cars represent all that was right with America in the 1960s, and all that was wrong with it. Their names became icons of the day: Chevelle SS, GTO, Roadrunner, Mustang, Corvette…the list goes on. And even though the Muscle Car-era officially ended somewhere around 1973, the Spirit of American Muscle Cars is still alive and well.
ABOVE: Blurring the lines between Muscle Car and Sports Car, this delicious 1960 Corvette Roadster had a raucous 283 V8 with up to 290hp with the fuel injected engine.
A CELEBRATION OF AMERICAN MUSCLE CARS
The purpose of this website is to celebrate, study, enjoy and appreciate these great cars in all their glory. That means eye-popping Muscle Car pictures, history, specs, stories and much, much more. We’ll be covering Classic Car and American Muscle Car Events like Car Shows, Classic Car Auctions, Rallies, Races, visit legendary Classic Car and Muscle Car Restorers and Restoration Shops, awesome Classic Car Museums, and on and on.
ABOVE: One of my favorite Mustangs, the 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1, with front & rear spoilers and the Magnum 500 wheels. Ya’ gotta’ love those factory hood locks.
WHAT WE DO AT AMERICAN-MUSCLE-CARS.NET
Our plan it to build a well-organized online index of all American Muscle Cars, and lots of other cool Classic Cars that relate somehow. We will break it down Make-by-Make, then Model-by-Model, then Year-by-Year. Again, refer to our sister site Classic-British-Motorcycles.com to see how we did it with British bikes. We’ll also break the cars out into groups and subgroups, like Manufacturer (GM, FoMoCo (Ford Motor Company, Mopar (Chrysler), AMC), genre (ie: Pony Cars, Modern Muscle Cars, etc.) and special groupings (like Tri-5 Chevys, for instance). So, there will be lots of ways to find your favorite Muscle Car. Just start with your favorite Brand, or Model, go to that page, then from there you can branch out, Model-by-Model, or Year-by-Year, with each year of each model having its own page (once we’re done, of course).
ABOVE: The square-jawed 1967 Pontiac GTO was not only a solid performer in its day, it was a great all-around car. And besides being one of the best-selling Classic Muscle Car of all time, the ’64 GTO is credited with having kickstarted the whole Muscle Car-craze.
EYE-POPPING PICTURES OF AMERICAN MUSCLE CARS
It is our goal to fill this site with incredible, unique, high-quality photos of stupendous Classic American Muscle Cars. We want it to be, a virtual Reference Guide, THE GO-TO PLACE for COLLECTORS, RESTORERS, MUSCLE CAR OWNERS, HOBBYISTS and ENTHUSIASTS alike, who want detailed pictures of original & correct cars. And most of our pictures will be unique. But it’s more than just pictures. We’ll also do our best to provide detailed History, Specifications, Production Numbers, VIN Decoders and more on each car. If it’s not there now, it will be shortly. It’s a work in progress.
ABOVE: This 1970 Plymouth GTX is a prime example of Mopar’s Muscle Car Formula. And it worked. Mopar Muscle Cars were fast, flashy and popular, then and now.
We are in the process of taking thousands of eye-popping pictures of gorgeous American Muscle Cars, and we’re moving fast to flesh out our Image Library. In the meantime, two fine companies have granted us permission to use their images on our site. MidAmerica Auctions (the world’s largest Classic Motorcycle Auction House & they also do Classic Car Auctions), and Specialty Sales Classics (the Classic Car Dealership chain in the San Francisco Bay Area) have allowed us the use of their vast repositories of car pix. Our heartfelt thanks to them both. It has allowed us to start building this site months earlier than if we would have had to take every photo ourselves. All of their photos are appropriately credited. We will never use anyone’s images on this site without their permission.
ABOVE: Mopar(Chrysler Corp) came late to the Pony Car game. But when their Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda arrived in 1970, they were hot! This is a ’71 Dodge Challenger R/T. By this time, performance was headin’ south, this was the last year for the 426 Hemi and the 440-6 Pack.
MORE THAN JUST AMERICAN MUSCLE CARS
We will also cover exciting Classic Car and Muscle Car Events, check out Classic Car Museums and Auctions, meet Car Clubs, go to Rallies, Races, and who knows what else. But the point is that we’re going to have fun. And all the while we’ll be gazing at, dreaming about and exalting the American Muscle Car in all its glory.
ABOVE: 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS396 convertible. These and their big-brother SS454s were the quintessential muscle car at the peak of the Muscle Car Era.
BELOW: And let’s not forget about Modern Muscle Cars like this gorgeous 2014 C7 Corvette. We are in the midst of the New Muscle Car Era, and in this one, you can literally have it all. This Vette for instance has 450hp, can hit 185mph, do a 12-second quarter mile, handles like a race car, and yet you could drive it to work every day in comfort and total reliability. And it gets 28 mpg on the freeway, for crying out loud! All for around $55K? How is this possible? These are truly glorious times for muscle car junkies!
AMERICAN-MUSCLE-CARS.NET IS JUST STARTING OUT
We’re just getting started, and it will be slow going at first as we build out the basic structure of the site. We will be adding pages constantly, and posting tons of…you guessed it, eye-popping photos of gorgeous American Muscle Cars. So, please be patient with us as we work. Feel free to add your input, suggestions, comments, complaints or whatever. We’d love to hear from you. Soon we will start our monthly online magazine (e-zine) and it will be free of charge. Then we will continue to grow in number and scope of pages, and in the things that we will be offering you, oh lovers of Classic American Muscle Cars. Watch us grow, and be a part of that growth. Enjoy the ride. And thanks for jumping in.
HOW TO USE THIS SITE
American-Muscle-Cars.net is arranged very logically, so that it’s easy to use and easy to understand. We’ve organized all your favorite American Muscle Cars first by Make, then by Model, then we break it down by Year. So, if you wanted to look up a ’69 Camaro for instance, you could first go to the CHEVY page. It would list all of Chevy’s Muscle Cars on it: Chevelle, Corvette, Camaro, etc., and you’d click on Camaro. On the Camaro page, each year of Camaro that we have covered will be listed, and has its own dedicated page. Click on your year, in this example 1969, and you go to an entire page dedicated to ’69 Camaros of every type, with eye-popping Pictures, Specs, History & more. (You will notice that some pages have pictures only. History & Specs will be installed soon.)
Even that makes it sound too complicated. Keep it simple: Make first, then Model, then Year. Apply the same technique to all your favorite cars, from AMX to Z28. We also cover Classic Car Events like Shows, Auctions, Cruise Nights, Club Events, etc.
You can start your journey below. There are links for Makes and Models. Enjoy…
American Muscle Cars MODEL-BY-MODEL
GM / GENERAL MOTORS
At the heart of the Muscle Car Era was Chevrolet, leading the way with Muscle Cars of every size and shape: Nova, Chevelle SS, Camaro, El Camino SS and of course, Corvette. Chevy had the muscle car era covered.
Chevy’s own Pony Car with the optional Big Block Brawn that it takes to be a true Muscle Car. Designed to be better than the Mustang in every way, it has been in a perpetual sales race with the Stang ever since.
The Chevelle SS was the best-selling Muscle Car of the era. From 1964 to 1970, horsepower & engine size grew continuously, eclipsing at its peak in 1970 with the 450hp 454 LS6.
Sibling to the Chevelle, the El Camino mirrored its options and engine/tranny packages, including the SS big blocks.
The Impala SS was one of, if not the only full-sized American Muscle Cars during the Classic Era. These were elegant cars with big engines, big blocks starting in 1966. Famous for their flashy interiors & fastback styling (’65-and-later).
America’s Sports Car was born in 1953, morphed through 7 generations, getting better & faster with each passing year. Big blocks reigned from 1965 into the early 70s. Smog & safety killed performance in the 70s, but it was back by the mid-80s. The Corvette is better now than ever.
Chevy’s compact muscle car started out as the Chevy II economy car, then steadily grew in size, refinement and horsepower, to become a true muscle car icon. Lighter and smaller than the Chevelle, they were just the right size for lots of people.
Chevy’s ground-breaking trio of cars that were smash hits when they were new and are still much sought-after today. A true testament to their design excellence. 3 trim levels, tons of body styles & loads of style!
Pontiac is credited with officially starting the Muscle Car Era when they introduced the ’64 GTO. The Firebird & Trans Am soon followed, along with Grand Prix SJ models. When the muscle car era ended in 1973, Pontiac went right on producing fire-breathing Trans Ams.
The car officially credited with kicking off the Muscle Car Era in 1964, the “Goat” quickly became one of the quintessential muscle cars of the era. They set the formula: Mid-sized car with a big block engine.
Sister car to the Chevy Camaro, Firebird was Pontiac’s Pony Car. It was known for its handling. Trans Am started in 1969 & kept the Muscle Car Dream alive through the dark 70s & 80s.
While the story of Olds Muscle Cars in the 60s was pretty much the story of the 442, Olds got into the Horsepower Wars early with one of the most advanced high-compression OHV V8s in the world in 1949. It was the first OHV V8 to power a post-war GM car.
The 442 was Oldsmobile’s entry into the muscle car wars with their own mid-sized entry based on the Cutlass. Big powerful engines in a more refined design made them popular. The name started out meaning 4-barrels, 4-speeds & dual (2) exhaust. Most were automatics, but no one complained.
Buicks were considered the most luxurious muscle cars. And by 1970, they were among the fastest. The Skylark-based Grand Sport (GS) was the only real Buick muscle car in the 60s. Then in the mid-80s, the Buick Grand National hit the scene.
Buick’s only true Muscle Car in the 60s, the GS started as an option package on the ’65 Skylark, then became it’s own stand-alone model. By 1970 the GS 455 was THE quickest production car in the quarter mile.
Buick’s mid-80s version of the American Muscle Car. But instead of a big block V8, it was a turbocharged & intercooled V6 that outperformed the Corvette in its day. Based on the plebian Regal, all blacked-out.
FOMOCO / FORD MOTOR CO.
People tend to think of “Mustang-only” when they think of Ford in the 60s. But the Blue Oval had lots of other great Muscle Cars.
Launched in 1964 as a ’65 model, the Mustang rocked the world, and changed it forever. But was it a Muscle Car or a Pony Car? Or both?
Carroll Shelby built Cobras, Daytona Coupes and awesome high-performance Mustangs for Ford with added power, handling & braking.
MOPAR / CHRYSLER CORP.
Dodge had the muscle, but early on most of its cars were stodgy & boring to look at. Help came a little late, but when it did, Dodge Muscle Cars ruled the road…and still do.
Early Chargers were Coronets with clunky fastbacks grafted on. But by 1968, they had it right. The ’68-’70 Charger was perhaps the perfect midway point between a Pony Car and a Muscle Car.
Launched in 1970, at the peak of the Muscle Car Era, the Challenger & it’s sibling the Plymouth Barracuda hit the market at full throttle! One of the most sought-after collectable Muscle Cars today.
Dodge’s workhorse B-body was not only the basis for the Charger & Super Bee, in R/T trim, it was one heckuva Muscle Car in its own right. 440 Six-Pack & 426 Hemi optional.
Dodge tarted up the Coronet, dropped in a big block & voila! The Super Bee was so-named because it was a ‘super’ B-body.
Plymouth found its place near the bottom of the price-scale in the Muscle Car Wars. You got a lot of muscle for a good price, but very little else, unless you optioned for it. They were very stripped down in their standard form. But you could get all the best engines, from 6-Packs to Hemis.
“MEEP-MEEP!!” Based on the Plymouth Belvedere, the Roadrunner got its name from the cartoon character who was known for his speed & spunk. The horn even sounded like him. Plymouth paid a royalty to Warner Bros on every car sold. Big Block power & Pistol Grips!
When the boxy aerodynamics of the Roadrunner became a problem on the NASCAR track, Plymouth grafted a slippery nose & huge rear wing on & sold a few to civilians for homologation purposes.
The Cuda had humble beginnings, nothing more than an odd fastback grafted onto a Plymouth Valiant. But in 1970, at the peak of the Muscle Car Era, an all-new Barracuda & it’s sibling the Dodge Challenger hit the market at full throttle! One of the most sought-after collectable Muscle Cars today.
The beefed-up Belvedere with too much testosterone…and way too much horsepower. Big blocks and big power. And lots of style. Plymouth made good use of they boxy mid-sized cars. Trimmed out right, they looked muscular, and had the horsepower to back it up.
Increasing government regulation killed the Muscle Car. And compression ratios, horsepower and engine sizes shrank, this is the direction that the Muscle Car market headed. Into small bodied cars with small block V8s. No more Big Blocks or Hemis.
AMC / AMERICAN MOTORS
AMC nipped at the heels of the Big 3 with great muscle cars like Rambler’s Rebel & Rogue & AMC’s own pony cars, the Javelin & AMX.