Classic cars are cars that have been around for a while, made a major impact on the car scene, and stood the test of time in terms of performance, looks, and market value. They are adored by collectors and casual enthusiasts alike, for their timeless charm and iconic status. Regardless, the question may still be posed, which one to buy?
After all, for the average driver, a car is not something to buy on a whim. A thorough research of the market is of utmost necessity in today’s world, as a car is an investment as much as it is a practical vehicle. In case one is looking for an American made classic car that is fun to drive, here is a list of 10 such awesome classic cars to own.
10 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
The original Ford Mustang was a huge success in the car market, with over 22,000 sales on the very first day of its release. This number climbed to a 100,000 by the half-year point. However, just because a car does well in the market for the first few months of its release, does not mean it would continue to do so in the future. The sales could be merely a result of the hype that surrounded this beautiful car. Thoughts like these began to haunt Ford executives. There had to be a way to keep the beloved Mustang on the island of relevancy. Enter the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, which remained in production for a little over three years.
A much more powerful variant of the original Mustang, the Shelby, was created by tuning and tweaking the original Mustang for the sole purpose of outperforming competition with ease. Equipped with a water-cooled V8 engine, a race-ready version of this machine could pump out a respectable 306 horsepower and had a four-speed, all synchro transmission and a semi-integral steel body.
The car could push from 0 to 60 mph in a little over 6 seconds, a respectable number for the time. Ford also sold an “R” variant at one point, which was the rarest and yet most potent GT350, as it produced 350 horsepower and featured an enlarged fuel tank for racing. This variant was offered in 1965 only, and is worth a fortune to collectors of today.
The Shelby was an iconic addition to Ford’s arsenal in their competition against other giants of the automotive industry, and it managed to plant itself firmly on this list as a beautiful car with great raw power that makes it incredibly fun to drive.
9 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88
If you have $100,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you should lay your hands on an original 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. Back when it was first launched into the car market in 1949, it was a pricey $10,000 car. Even today, auctions rate these beautiful vehicles highly and collectors love getting their hands on one if they can. Of course, a used and tweaked model with a lot of miles on it, might be available for a lower price.
In many ways, it was the original American muscle car, and laid the foundation for many future cars in the ’50s and ’60s, that respectfully continued the tradition of putting powerful V8 engines into mid-sized machines that were built for power and performance instead of agility and handling.
This classic muscle car obviously has power and acceleration that don’t compare to modern machines (135 horsepower, 0 to 60 mph in 13 seconds) but for the time it was ample, especially as this was a family car with a luxurious interior and stylish exterior.
8 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442
The Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 is yet another example of Oldsmobile’s amazing engineering and stylish design choice. The elegant styling, impressive handling, and respectable performance of the Cutlass provides us with a strong enough case that Oldsmobile should have never gone defunct.
This car has been featured in many films and TV series likethe 1997 Angels in the Endzone, 2019 Velvet Buzzsaw,the 1998 Billboard Dad, and more. The reason for this classic muscle car’s immense popularity in both the pop culture and the hardcore muscle car era is its powerful V8 engine, capable of pushing out 365 horsepower to launch the car from 0 to 60 mph in under 6 seconds. That, and the fact that it looked gorgeous.
In more ways than one, 1970 was the peak of the muscle car era, before the pollution regulations and road safety laws drove the car market down the fuel-efficient family car lane, and this year was owned by cars like the Oldsmobile Cutlass 442.
7 1970 AMC Rebel Machine
The AMC Rebel Machine is one of the coolest names a car can be given. With a name like that, expectations rise and so does the pressure to perform. That didn’t bother the Rebel Machine, as it was poetry on wheels. While the Rebel had been around since the late fifties, it was not until 1970 that the name ‘Rebel Machine’ began to sound synonymous with ‘the coolest American muscle car’.
The iconic paint job gave it the style points needed to carry such a name with pride. When it came to performance, this muscle car had a 390 cubic-inch V8 producing 340 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque.
6 1983 DeLorean DMC-12
How many cars have made such an amazing impact on the car scene as the DeLorean DMC-12 in the Back to the Future movies? For the love of all things beautiful, this car made gull-wing doors more popular than ever. This car featured a stainless-steel body panel, and was the personification of American innovation. The car shows great resale value, and its popularity as a classic is as strong as ever.
5 1955 Packard Caribbean
Today’s drivers usually don’t know the respect Packard commanded at one point. Owning a Packard was considered so prestigious that many surviving examples of these amazing vehicles can be found in museums and collections. The Packard Caribbean was a beautiful car with a powerful V8 engine that provided ample power. This classic car from 1955 has proven time and again to be a valuable asset to own, for collectors and enthusiasts alike. Caribbeans are surprisingly fast for their size, and their low production numbers have kept their market valuations relatively high.
4 1970 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
The Firebird Trans Am isn’t a typical muscle car. In the modern era of more agile and fuel-efficient muscle cars, the Firebird Trans Am still makes enough power to turn heads on the street. The design of every single model of the Firebird is bold and beautiful to the core. It can very easily rival modern muscle cars in terms of style. Pontiac knew what they were doing when they allowed this monster to hit the streets.
The Firebird Trans Am from 1970 is a car that casts a spell on any vintage muscle car fan with its raw power and style. Equipped with a 400-cid V8 engine, this car was capable of pushing 0 to 60 mph in under 6 seconds. The handling was decent, especially for a time when most muscle cars were a nightmare when it comes to agility and handling. If you can find one in good condition, it should be added to the collection.
3 1968 Dodge Charger
Everybody has the heard the name, but if for some bizarre reason, someone suggests that the Dodge Charger isn’t one of the most iconic muscle cars of all time, just know that they’re lying through their teeth. One look at the car will convince even the most hardcore Mustang fans that this machine is a beauty to behold. If that doesn’t do the trick, one could pop the hood, that should do it for them.
Now, this is not to say the Mustang is lacking in power, but the Dodge Charger’s iconic status doesn’t just come from its powerful V8 pushing 425 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque. It comes from the fact that it lays emphasis on having fun, with a big and comfortable interior and efficiency like no other. However, this 1968 variant had its own share of issues too. Despite that, most variants sold like hotcakes and the iconic status remained.
2 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird
The Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird has one big problem. Its missing wings! Seriously, it is one step short of looking and flying like an airplane. It has that massive rear wing, a beautiful aerodynamically designed body, and a 426 cubic-inch, 7.0-liter Hemi engine that roared while pushing out a massive 425 horsepower. This was a machine truly worthy of being on the track, even in its stock form. Today, it comes with a massive price-tag ranging from $248,000 to a whopping $745,000 meaning it is not affordable to the average American household, but it is not intended to be.
It is an extravagant, powerful, and super stylish classic car. All of these qualities are as American as can be, and if you have some spare cash lying around, you should put your name down for this classic Road Runner Superbird to put in your collection. It will turn every head on the street.
1 1964 Pontiac GTO
Perhaps the best muscle car ever made, the GTO was Pontiac’s star in the ’60s, known as one of the finest cars of all time in terms of power and style. There is no reason to deter someone from buying this car, as everything about it is special, whether it be the 6.4-liter V8 engine, or the 325 horsepower that it could output, allowing it to push 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds.
During those days, having a car with a top speed of 122 mph was respectable, and this was a majestic performer in every sense of the word, just as much as it was a beauty. There was also an optional tri-power variant. Today, Pontiac has closed its doors, but the GTO still roams the streets of America with pride, as it should. Hence, the Pontiac GTO from the ’60s was, and still is, an awesome American classic car to own.