The Best Muscle Cars of all Time!

Serious enthusiasts view the early 1970s as one of the most tragic periods in the history of motoring. Authorities around the world began to rein in the car makers who had created muscle car mania with seriously fast road-going beasts that were often equally at home on the racetrack. In the period up until then, we were blessed with some of the greatest car creations ever. You don’t have to be a mechanic to appreciate this list of the greatest muscle cars, and look out for the distinct Australian flavour.

Ford XY GT HO Phase III

The iconic Aussie muscle car, at one stage the GT was the fastest four-door production sedan in the world. It hit the showrooms in 1971 and 1557 were made. It had a top speed of 250km/h (but to achieve this you had to disable the rev limiter) and the 351-cubic-inch Cleveland engine produced 380 horsepower. Its price brand new in 1971 was $5300, and in 2007, a pristine Phase III sold for almost $700,000.

Holden HK GTS 327 Monaro

The first of Holden’s celebrated Monaros, the HK was first sold in 1968. The two-door coupe came in several versions, including six- and eight-cylinder engine configurations. The GTS 327 was the top tog in the Monaro range with a 327-cubic-inch engine that produced 250hp. The GTS 327 initially sold for $3790 and had a top speed of 185km/h.

Valiant VH R/T E38 Charger

Unlike its V8-powered Ford and Holden rivals, Valiant opted for a six-cylinder powerplant in its immensely popular 1971 muscle car. The R/T E38 was the epitome of performance with this 1971 coupe’s 265-cubic-inch engine boasting 280hp.

Muscle Cars

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C

Unlike anything else on the road at the time, this American muscle car with European looks was a beast. Its 427-cubic-inch engine produced 480hp, which made it extremely fast considering it was mated to a small, lightweight chassis. Just pop the clutch and it would throw you back into the seat as it put all those horses down onto the road. Original versions are highly collectible – Shelby’s Super Snake sold in 2007 for US$5.5m.

1969 Z28 Camaro

Mention the words “muscle car” and the Camaro is likely to be one of the first vehicles to come to mind. There have been many models and variants made, but the one that stands out is the 1969 Z28. Although it wasn’t the most powerful Camaro made, it was loved by drivers because of its excellent handling characteristics. While it could complete the standing quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds and top 160km/h, it also looked good and is regarded as one of the more stylish muscle cars.

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

Mustangs are more than iconic – they are legendary. While Shelby versions were regarded as the pinnacle of Mustang development, the Boss 429 was simply staggering because it was powered by an engine Ford was attempting to get into NASCAR racing at the time. It wasn’t the fastest Mustang built, but it was the best racer and had superior handling capabilities.

1968 L88 Corvette

Who hasn’t seen a Corvette and thought: “I’d love one of those”. There are plenty of makes and models available, but the one that stands out in many enthusiasts’ minds is the 1968 L88 Corvette. Boasting a top speed of about 270km/h, it had a 550hp engine. In fact, General Motors – who made the car – didn’t want it on the open road because of its power.

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