To celebrate the Stars and Stripes this Independence Day, we’re highlighting America’s racing-striped stars on the road – classic muscle cars. Our experts at Caliber have compiled a list of the five reigning kings of speed from the 60s and 70s, just in time for the fireworks. Join us on our trip down memory lane as we celebrate our nation’s most powerful cars to roll off of the production line and into the history books.
Ford Shelby Mustang
The Shelby Mustang was the golden standard for the golden age of muscle cars. The model was so popular, Ford launched the 1960s-inspired Shelby GT350 in 2015 as a tribute to the cult classic, officially putting torque back on the map. The 2018 model of this Mustang goes the extra mile – and then some – with a 5.2L V8 that produces 536 horsepower and 429 lb/ft of torque. While most modern performance cars rely on electronics to hit top speed, the GT350 goes old school, relying on well-sorted mechanical components that put the driver back in the driver’s seat.
Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
Burt Reynolds may have starred in Smokey and the Bandit, but it was the black 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that stole the show. Pontiac muscled its way into the “pony car wars” with an instant classic that sported a 6.6L V8 and clocked 310 hp. Nicknamed the “Screaming Chicken” due to the larger-than-life Firebird decal emblazoned on its hood, Pontiac proved that it wasn’t afraid to stand out in both appearance and performance. Due to production issues, only a handful of 1970-1973 Firebirds were produced, placing them among the most sought after classics today.
Plymouth Hemi Barracuda
One of the rarest muscle cars of the 70s, the Hemi Barracuda was built to go toe-to-toe with top-tier names like the Camaro and Mustang. A variety of 6 and 8-cylinder engines powered the 1970 model, but the king ‘Cuda was armed with a dual-carburetor and 426-cubic-inch Hemi that whipped up 425 hp. Most collectors consider this model to be nothing short of a national treasure, and auction prices typically range in the millions.
Many classic auto experts consider 1970 to be the apex of the American muscle-car era, and the Chevelle SS 454 is a weighty piece of evidence for that argument. Producing 450 horsepower and 500 lb/ft of torque with a 0–60 time of six seconds, this powerhouse could blow the doors off most of its competitors. Chevelle’s swept-back roof line provided the illusion of speed, even when idle. A bulged hood was part of the design, alerting others that something truly special was happening underneath.
As popular today as it was in 1968, the Dodge Charger’s name is as timeless as its performance. The Charger boasted of a powertrain that featured a four-barrel Magnum V8 engine producing 375 hp, and a 426 Hemi engine option that came with 425 hp. While other muscle cars of the era arrived on the scene with either with a more dynamic profile or a more powerful engine, nothing could compete with the Charger when it came to the whole package.
Even after more than 50 years, muscle cars are still flexing their power with a hood-full of modern improvements. While these titans of torque may rule the road, when it comes to the collision repair industry, no one our performs our experts at Caliber Collision. For accidents big or small, we’re always revved to restore the rhythm of your life. To all of our readers, we wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July.