Love Ford? Are You More Of A Chevy Person?? Well, Back in the golden era of slick cars and roaring engines – muscle car makers were in a battle for the fastest and best ride. Today’s cars have come a long way in engineering and design – but nothing quite replicates the beauty and intrigue of a muscle car. These cars were engineered with top quality materials and had some of the best engines on the road today. More than novelties, these cars evoked the spirit and excitement of the American dream — and the appeal still stays with collectors and muscle car fans today.
Are you ready to test your knowledge of some of the slickest hot rods out there? You may be surprised by what you already know — and what you had forgotten about the cars of an era gone by. Test your knowledge right now. Hit the road with these sweet muscle cars that made a mark on history; take a joy ride down memory lane with these 17 Amazing Facts About Your Favorite American Muscle Cars. Let’s get those engines roaring now!
The Cobra Strikes – In 1966, Carol Shelby modified two unique 427 Cobras. Do you remember them? These cars were known as the 1966 427 Shelby Cobras.
What was unique about these 427 Cobras is that they had Twin Paxton Superchargers. They were not made for the mass market. They simply were modified for two people. You can guess the first owner, Carol Shelby himself. But Shelby also gifted away the other 427 Shelby Cobra, giving it to comedian Bill Cosby.
1967 Shelby Mustangs – have another interesting feature/fact; this time having to do with their tail lights. The tail lights changed from 1967/68. The people at Ford decided to make a change that would make the look of the car a bit more unique…
The 1967 version of the car used Mercury Cougar tail lights while the 68 edition of the vehicle used the tail lights from the Ford Thunderbird. A minor change that made a major impact on the look and feel of the now iconic car.
1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 – Back in the golden age of NASCAR (the 60’s & 70’s) all a manufacturer needed to do to have their car qualify for the race track was to sell 500 of the production models.
Couple that with the fierce desire to be “the fastest car on the market” and you get the equivalent of ready-made race cars sold to anyone with the money for the down payment! This was later deemed to be not the brightest idea and they changed the way they did things – but it was already too late! There were already thousands if not millions of beastly cars such as this Boss 429 out on the open roads.
What Happened Chevy? – In 1983, Chevrolet began working on a concept for a Corvette. But the Corvette design never moved into production. Why, you may wonder? Chevrolet ended up having to change the design of the car based upon more strict regulations for emissions.
The prototype of the car had myriad glitches that would make it difficult for the Corvette to pass the new emissions standards. Today, you won’t find these cars anywhere in the world except in the National Corvette Museum. That’s because all but one of the cars was destroyed after Chevrolet abandoned the design.
Camaro Dreaming – In 1969, Chevrolet introduced the Aluminium 427 V8 engine, and they gave it a home in the 1969 ZL-1 Chevy Camaro. This was a fitting engine for the sweet, slick Camaro because the engine was designed as a racing engine to be used in cars in the Can-Am racing series.
What’s cool about this car for collectors and muscle car enthusiasts, however, is that it looks like any other Camaro in the 1960s-1970s on the outside. It doesn’t have any of the ZL-1 emblems on the external of the car, so the only way you know the car is the 1969 ZL-1 Camaro is by looking under the hood!
Solid As A Buick? – Buick produced the slick and solid GNX—and Pontiac decided to up their game. They were looking for a new home for their Turbo V6 engine.
In 1989, they introduced a 20th Anniversary edition of the Pontiac Trans Am, which featured engine capacity of 250 Horse Power. Today, that engine is a mighty force in that little car—with great potential for burning up the rubber on the road.
Being Bad – Also in 1969, another wicked car was released – this time by AMC. They designed a family of cars marketed as the “Big Bad AMX Pack”—and boy, were they cool. Do you remember this pack of cool cars? If you don’t recognize the name, then certainly, you would recognize the Big Bad AMX Pack family by the way they looked.
The giveaway was in the bumper on each of the cars in the AMC family. Buyers could select three different color choices for the bumper on these cars in a palette fitting of the family name: Big Bad Blue, Big Bad Green and Big Big Bad Orange. These truly hot rod-level cars allowed buyers and collectors today to get on with their “bad” selves.
Do You Know What GTO Means? – We’re talking a lot about GTO cars. But do you recall what this acronym actually means? If you don’t, we’re here to help you with your car acronyms! “GTO” actually stands for “Gran Turismo Omologato.”
It is translated from the Italian phrase “Homologated for Grand Touring.” And why Italian? That’s because the name for a touring class of vehicles was made a routine name in via the well-known Italian-made Ferrari—the 250 GTO.
Ferrari Family? – If you were of driving age in 1964, you’d remember the 1964 Pontiac GTO. This was one of the hottest cars of the decade and the most intriguing for its comparison to some of the very best European cars. At that time, Pontiac was comparing it to a close cousin of the Ferrari 250 GTO after Car and Driver publicly noted the resemblance.
When Pontiac started getting that attention from Car and Driver, they knew they would come under scrutiny by European car makers, and they immediately replaced the car’s original 389 engine with the 421 CID “Ringer” GTO. The change made the 1964 Pontiac GTO a formidable opponent to the loved Italian car.
On Fire! – Who doesn’t remember the sweet 1976 Pontiac Firebird? Today it still is one of history’s most uniquely engineered cars simply for one striking design element. It was made famous by its T-Top roof—which made it as close as you could come to a topless car within this family of cars.
At first, a company called Hurst Hatch designed the first of these slick roofs, but after a leaking issue was found, Pontiac began designing its own T-Tops and began introducing them in cars beginning in 1978. The car took off among buyers, who wanted the fresh air flowing through the top of their car without committing to a full convertible. It was cool and a hot topic among buyers, as its branded name suggests!
Smokey & The Bandit – 1977 was a huge year in film. There was Star Wars and then there was Smokey and the Bandit. Both classics in their own right. While many of us may prefer Star Wars to the legendary car movie the fact still remains that Smokey and the Bandit is the reason many of us love the iconic style of the Pontiac Trans Am
With it’s tough T-Tops and it’s sleek black look the car practically makes your pants tighten just thinking about it. Pair that with the fact that all of us probably wanted to be Burt Reynolds and you have the makings for an American Classic that still lives on today.
Charging Ahead… – In 1969 Dodge began selling the Charger Daytona—instantly recognizable by its rear spoiler. You couldn’t miss that spoiler it was so big. What as the reason for such as massive spoiler–both in depth and height? It was an interesting decision for sure! Engineers designed it this way to give more mobility for the trunk lid.
Passengers could open and close the truck fully without any obstacles, which also happened to be a real NASCAR deployed in all of its racing cars at the time. Essentially, buyers were getting a car that NASCAR would approve on its racing tracks — and there was some appeal in having a car that was so close to the design that NASCAR would give a thumbs up to!
More About The Daytona – The main reason for the cars design and invention was to win big on NASCAR Sundays. This was the big reason why this legendary muscle car is so highly desired by collectors and gear heads alike.
The car featured a 426 Hemi that really roared on the race track. The powerful engine gave the car everything it needed to take first place in the hearts of Muscle car lovers.
The Judge Always Rules – Even In Rock! – If you were a fan of MTV back in 1969—and come on, who wasn’t?—You’ll remember the 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge. Flashback to all those music videos, and you’ll arrive at the Judge’s first appearance.
This car was the first one to make an appearance in rock music videos, made famous by the Paul Revere and the Raiders band. The band sang a song about the Pontiac GTO Judge in the commercial, which featured the car in the middle of a lake. Now that we think about it, what a ridiculous entrance for the Judge — but boy, was it memorable!
an You Catch The Road Runner? – Plymouth improved the Road Runner muscle car in 1968, adding better performance to the car simply by changing in some of its equipment. There was competition in the field, however, as car companies are constantly looking for ways to make more money in the industry and to win over the hearts of muscle car lovers.
Hoping to keep up and challenge Plymouth, Dodge countered with the Super Bee muscle car. Dodge’s Super Bee was popular and did well in the market, but it couldn’t quite keep up with Plymouth’s Road Runner. Today, the regenerations of the Super Bee and the Road Runner have arrived in the Charger and Challenger SRTs. They have less equipment than the original cars, but they follow the look and feel of their predecessors. And that’s an easy buy for today’s car buyer who grew up in that era.