This Apollo-spec Mustang is the most American car I can think of.
Muscle cars are cool, we can all agree on that, right? But while they’re deeply ingrained in US car culture, this combination of big engines and short quarter-mile times can sometimes seem a bit foreign to outsiders.
So, as someone with the unique perspective of being an “outsider” or “alien” if you’re from the US Department of Homeland Security, I’ve scoured the muscle car archives to pick out my favorite models from the genre. These are in no particular order, they’re just 15 freakin’ cool cars I wish I’d seen growing up.
Are there any muscle car icons you think I’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section below.
1964 Ford Mustang
This is the one that started it all for me and is still one of my dream cars. There was a white coupe very similar to the one pictured above rusting away in a garage along my paper route growing up. I think once I found out how many newspapers I had to deliver to afford one and it was very depressing.
1965 Pontiac GTO
The front end of this 60’s icon is what warrants its place on my list, it just looks damn cool. Driving away with that cute face, vinyl roof and soundtrack by The Supremes would be a recipe for a very happy Owen.
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
Built to win NASCAR races, the Dodge Charger Daytona is iconic and I adore it. Big, funny engine; a large, ridiculous wing; and a bright, ridiculous paint scheme. What more could you ask for in a muscle car?
2014 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon
A muscle coupe or convertible might look great, but sometimes you need to carry more stuff with you. That’s when the 2014 CTS-V wagon from Cadillac comes in. This awesome wagon features a 6.2-liter V8 that pumps out 556 horsepower. This will do a good job.
1969 Dodge Super Bee
Based on the mid-size Dodge Coronet, this piece of American muscle appeared in 1968. It could be ordered from the factory with a 6.3-liter V8 as standard, or crazy people could step it up to a 7.2-liter monster that produced 425 hp
1976 Ford Gran Torino
My parents were big Starsky and Hutch fans, so obviously the 1976 Ford Gran Torino with its white artwork finds a place here. Extremely impractical as a police car, but looks great on screen.
1965 Shelby Mustang GT350
No winners here, but this is my low-key favorite on the list. If I ever win the lottery I’ll get a Shelby GT350 in blue or red…hell I won the lottery I’ll have one of each!
2022 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Hearing the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat growl past me on my bike ride to work still makes me jump with excitement.
1968 Plymouth Road Runner
Credit to Fast and furious Tokyo Drift for bringing the joy of a Plymouth Road Runner into my life. The tongue-in-cheek cameo with Dom behind the wheel at the end of the movie is just *kiss the chef.*
1970 Chevrolet El Camino
Unless you’re some kind of worker, you don’t need to own a pickup truck. Well, unless it’s an old El Camino. In that case, take it!
1970 Dodge Charger
Dodge hit its peak with the second-generation Charger, which was refined in its final year: 1970’s gaping chrome front end made it look a bit like a whale shark, and the 7-liter Hemi made it sound like an angry god.
1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS
The 1967 Chevrolet Camaro is a very beautiful car. There’s something about the line from the top of the hood to the tip of the tail that really speaks to me.
2015 Ford Mustang
I really like the current Mustang, it does a good job of paying homage to the original while forging its own path – and it looks like that will continue with the next generation. But this 2015 Apollo-spec Mustang looks like the ultimate muscle car thanks to all those American flags and US badges it’s covered in.
2002 HSV Coupe
Other places can make muscle cars too, you know. So here’s a gorgeous Holden from those crazy Aussies. This higher performance iteration of the Holden Monaro came with a Chevrolet V8 engine and an unusual set of bonnet scoops.
1977 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Long hood, V8 engine and fast in a straight line. If those are the hallmarks of a great muscle car, then the 1970s Aston Martin V8 Vantage definitely makes the cut. I think it’s still my dream Aston Martin, thanks to its more brutal styling and excellent engine.
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