June 13, 2023 | Kaddy Gibson

The Top Three American Muscle Cars

The 1968 Charger and 1967 Camaro are some of the most recognizable muscle cars, but are they the greatest? The winners of this race might surprise you. For their outstanding performance and status as cultural icons, these are the three greatest American muscle cars.

1968 Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Vander Wolf, Adobe Stock

The 1968 Mustang fastback is one of the most iconic muscle cars, and not just because it had a starring role alongside Steve McQueen in Bullitt. Although the body of the 1968 Mustang was similar to its predecessors, the internal mechanics of this car were a vast improvement. Equipped with Ford’s famous Boss 302 V8 engine, the Mustang fastback had an impressive 320 horsepower beneath the hood. This, in addition to its attractive exterior and affordability, made the 1968 Mustang fastback wildly popular in its day. It is still one of the most beloved and iconic American muscle cars of all time.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

Chevrolet Chevelle SSBrian, Adobe Stock

The Chevelle Super Sport was Chevrolet’s first attempt at making a muscle car and, boy, was it a success. The Chevelle was first launched in 1964 but could not keep up with the Pontiac GTO. So, Chevrolet went back to the drawing board and unveiled the much-improved Chevelle SS in 1970. The Chevelle SS was equipped with a huge V8 engine that gave it 425 horsepower and wicked fast acceleration. The car could go from zero to 60 in five seconds, making it one of the fastest accelerating street-legal cars in the world. The Chevelle SS was one of the best-designed muscle cars and remains highly coveted by modern collectors.

1964 Pontiac GTO

1964 Pontiac GTOSteve Lagreca, Adobe Stock

The Pontiac GTO is widely regarded as the car that influenced muscle car trends in the 1960s. The GTO started out as an optional package to upgrade the Pontiac Tempest and became its own distinct model in 1966. The GTO’s powerful V8 engine gave it 325 horsepower and it had much sharper steering and stiffer suspension than its predecessors. It was also the first mass-produced vehicle to feature engine displacement. Consumers were drawn to the exterior design of the GTO, which had the classic muscle car shape along with hood scoops and wide wheels. With smashing good looks and impressive performance, the GTO is still popular among modern car enthusiasts and takes the top spot on our list of the greatest American muscle cars.


Sources: 1, 2