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20 Best Classic Pony Cars Detroit Has Ever Made

Vukasin Herbez October 13, 2018

  1. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

GM had a notorious corporate ban on engines bigger than 400 cubic inches. That meant that Ford and Chrysler with the Mustang and Barracuda had more power than the Camaro. So, a team of witty Chevrolet engineers thought of a way of producing big block Camaros. And in 1969, they built exactly 69 ZL1 COPO Camaros.

Those cars were drag strip monsters with over 500 HP from an all-aluminum 427 ZL1 V8. Despite being a racing car, the Camaro ZL1 made its mark on the muscle car market. In fact, it is still one of the most famous Camaros from the 1960s.

  1. Ford Mustang GT 390

The Mustang got its first redesign in 1967 when Ford presented a slightly bigger, more luxurious model. The design was even better and more elegant, and the options list was longer than ever. The performance lovers finally got a big block option in the 390 FE V8 engine producing 325 HP.

The legendary Steve McQueen immortalized the 390 GT Mustang when it appeared as a co-star in the famous detective flick, Bullitt, in 1968. The Highland Green 390 Fastback made history with one of the best car chases ever. And that famous movie scene promoted the 390 engine to legendary status.

  1. Plymouth Barracuda 440

Although the 440 will always be in the shadow of the all-mighty Hemi, it is a better engine for everyday use. In the Barracuda, it was available in 1969 as a limited production model. But in 1970 it was a regular production option.

With 375 HP on tap, it was less powerful than the Hemi. But in real life conditions, it was just as fast. The 440 was better suited for normal driving and easier to maintain. Yet the Hemi was rarer and more expensive. But if most drivers had to choose, the 440 would be the best choice.

  1. Shelby GT500 KR

In 1968, Ford and Shelby presented a special one year only model they called the GT500 KR. The “KR” was short for “King of the Road.” And this 1968 Shelby was exactly that. With 428 Cobra Jet under the hood they conservatively rated at 335 HP, this pony car was lightning fast.

The GT500 KR also had several special features and external add-ons. But it also came with a higher price tag. So, they built just over 1,500 examples of them in 1968.

  1. 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

The 1970 model year marked the arrival of a new, second-generation Camaro that featured a radical restyle. The modern semi-fastback roofline was the main feature, as well as the new platform. There was also the absence of convertible option. But the early 1970s Camaros were proper muscle coupes with power and style to back this claim.

With a revised suspension, braking and four-speed manual transmission, the Z/28 was once again a sharp and precise sports car. And it could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds. Better yet, it handled like an expensive European exotic.

  1. Pontiac Trans Am 455

The 1971 Firebird and Trans Am were practically identical to the 1970 models. But they still represented one of the best muscle cars on the rapidly changing market. And sadly, 1971 was the last true muscle car model year when buyers could get those high powered. legendary engines.

The 455 V8 delivered 335 HP. However, most muscle car enthusiasts argue they underrated the engine, so the numbers were conservative. In fact, even with higher compression in the Trans Am H.O. version, that 455 V8 had the same horsepower figure. So, the real output was closer to 400 HP with a powerful performance and top speeds.

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