The Fast American Production Cars
Many people think you have spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on European exotics to get a fast ride. If you love good ol’ American cars, there are plenty of options available that will take you from zero to sixty in a nail-biting speed. These are a few of the fastest cars ever to come out of an American assembly line:
Early Muscle: 1961 Pontiac Ventura
It is hard to pin down the first actual muscle car; some have asserted that it is the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88, which was built with speed in mind, with an overhead valve V8 placed in a mid-size car with a relatively lightweight body. A lot of observers cite the next big step in the evolution of the early muscle car to be the introduction of the 1955 Chrysler C-300 with its 300 horsepower Hemi engine that could go from zero to sixty in 9.8 seconds and reach a top speed of around 130 miles per hour.
1970 Firebird Formula
Photo Courtesy of Mecum
The 1970 Firebird Formula 400 was the third of four models in Pontiac’s 70s Firebird lineup. The first generation of Firebirds, from ’67 to ’69, were closely related to their cousins the Camaros, but also took styling cues from the GTO. Although Pontiac designers had hoped to make a two-seater sports car modeled after the Banshee, a mid-60s concept car, the higher ups at General Motors feared that it would compete too heavily with the Corvette. The Firebirds represented a compromise, but one that disappointed few.
In the mid ‘60s Ford was struggling to keep up with the muscle cars and drag racers coming from Dodge, Plymouth, and Pontiac. To get back in the game, Ford created a limited edition, experimental, drag racing only version of the Fairlane. This was the 1964 Thunderbolt. The big engine that Ford put in the Galaxie at the time did not give that big, heavy car enough power to get up and go race with the other muscle cars, so they crammed it into the smaller Fairlane.
Oh, the 1970s. Some of us remember them fondly, while others see bad fashion choices looking back through the picture frame. As with anything, there were good moments and bad, highlights and less exciting moments. In the early 1970s, Plymouth was excited to add a little something exciting to one of its models. The Plymouth Duster made its appearance in 1970 as a compliment to the existing Plymouth Valiant. The Duster served as the performance version of the classic car, the Valiant.
7 of the most popular classic cars
Before buying or selling a classic car, an important factor to consider is its popularity for a number of reasons. Popularity could indicate the odds of selling the car if that is the intention- certainly it is easier to sell something that is in demand. At the same time, however, when buying a classic car, a popular car can make it difficult to find parts, and prices typically reflect that. Indeed, it can be much more expensive to repair a popular classic car. Aside from buying and selling, though, it’s just plain interesting to learn about some of the most popular cars. Here’s a list of 7 of the most popular classic cars. Drum roll, please!
Some people dream of getting their hands on one of the brilliantly designed cars by Carroll Shelby, but their dreams fall short when they look at the price tag of his famous Cobras or Mustangs. There is good news for them; Mr. Shelby designed the Rootes Group Sunbeam Tiger, as well! In 1964, the Rootes Group was looking for a way to revamp the Sunbeam Alpine’s image from a “touring” car to a “sports car/roadster”. They wanted the car to be modeled after the recently successful Shelby Cobra. After some research and the decision to use the Ford’s 164hp 4.3L Windsor V8 engine, who was better to ask to design their car than the man himself, Carroll Shelby? Shelby agreed to design the car for $10,000. His prototype, along with the prototype built by racer and previous employee of Shelby America, Ken Miles, were sent to England for production.
When looking back at the history of muscle cars, one model stands out in American car-making: the 1969 Boss 429 Mustang. Though originally intended to compete with the Corvette, the Boss didn’t quite live up to Ford’s high hopes, and was discontinued relatively quickly after production continued from 1969 to 1970.
Each vehicle was hand assembled at the Kar Kraft facility in Brighton, Michigan. Production numbers were low, making each of the only 859 units just a little more special. In fact, some say that the Boss 429 may be the most valuable muscle car built in the 1960s because of its rarity.