Most Badass American Muscle Cars

By: Loan Budy

The 1960s and 1970s birthed the American muscle car scene, a beloved American pastime for those who enjoy learning about the different car specs and a hobby for collectors who can afford it. This era of power created some of the rarest and most iconic muscle cars packing giant torque-rich V8s the world has ever seen.

1966 Plymouth Barracuda

The Barracuda is a badass ride with the ability to go from zero to 60 in less than 10 seconds thanks to its 235-hp engine. Although there are quite a few first-generation muscle cars that are difficult to get a hold of now, the ’66 Barracuda isn’t one of them.

1966 Shelby GT350

The legendary 1965 Mustang Shelby GT350 was a serious high- performance machine. In fact, some buyers that very first year felt these cars were a little too hardcore, and at the same time Shelby was on a rampage to cut costs.

1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

The first two years of Carroll Shelby’s Mustangs are the most desirable to many Mustang purists. Those 1965 and 1966 GT 350s were light, simply styled, and perfect for track work. But the later 1967 and 1968 cars offered more fun under the hood and were the machines of choice if you wanted to win drag races.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye

This beast is the most powerful Challenger Dodge makes. The base 2020 model (pictured) will set you back about $70,000 to start. Dodge introduced the Challenger in 1969, with Hellcat being introduced much later in 2015.

1969 ½ Dodge Super Bee A12

The Super Bee was essentially a high-performance version of the Dodge Coronet. In 1968, the ‘Bee came standard with a 383-cid V8 or the legendary monster 426-cid Hemi. But halfway through the 1969 model year, Dodge made the 440-cid Six-Pack (three two-barrel carburetors) available. Known internally as option code A12, it wore a matte-black, lift-off fiberglass hood with a massive forward-facing scoop.

1969-1971 Baldwin-Motion Phase III GT Corvette

Baldwin-Motion was the first Corvette tuner, and the machines that company created were legendary. Baldwin Chevrolet, a dealer in Baldwin, New York, would deliver new Corvettes to Joel Rosen’s Motion Performance speed shop down the road for modifications. Motion would build these serial-production specialty Corvettes to order. It was Rosen’s dream in late 1968 to build a new, fast, and functional all-American GT sports car.

1969 AMX/3

The AMX/3 was a stunningly cool, mid-engined exotic. Its development was an international collaborative effort between an AMC team led by Dick Teague (head of design), ItalDesign, Italian engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, and even some work was done by BMW. The 3,300-pound sports car was powered by an AMC 390-cid V8 that packed 340 hp and was backed by a four-speed manual

1984 Chevy Corvette

The third generation of America’s sports car, the Corvette, had an incredibly long run: 1968 to 1982. So when it came time for GM to launch the next-generation C4 Corvette, there was wild speculation about the car. Some predicted it would use a mid-engine chassis, like an Italian exotic. And others thought it might use a rotary engine, like Mazda’s.

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American Muscle Cars