The 25 Baddest Muscle Cars Mar 16, 2017 by James (Driver Weekly)
We all have our favorite muscle cars for different reasons: power, glory, style. Frankly, there’s no wrong answer when you drop a big engine in an American car. Here are 25 of the baddest muscle cars in history selected for different reasons including performance, prestige, and rarity.
1964 Pontiac GTO
The Pontiac GTO wasn’t the first muscle car, but it defined the start of a new era.. Dropping a big engine in a smaller car was nothing new but Pontiac was the first to purposefully market a midsized car with a big motor and a bigger attitude. In 1963 General Motors banned factory-sponsored racing and Pontiac needed a street-ready supercar that could compete with smaller cars from Chevrolet, Plymouth, and Dodge. John DeLorean, Bill Collins and Russ Gee stepped up to the plate with the idea for a “Super Tempest” based on the A-Body Pontiac Tempest.
While corporate headquarters had ordered their divisions to use small engines in the mid-sized A-Body, Pontiac used a full-sized 389ci Pontiac V8. Emphasizing the car’s brash design, DeLorean christened the new hot rod the “GTO” in blatant imitation of the famous Ferrari 250 GTO. The “Goat” rolled into dealerships as an options package on the 1964 Pontiac Tempest with a bad attitude and undeniable power. The 325 horsepower hot rod roared from 0-60 in 7.7 seconds. While criticized for its slow steering, the GTO’s undeniable popularity launched a wave of muscle cars.
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