Mercury Cougar XR7
Some people think of a Cougar only as a Mustang with a longer wheelbase and luxury interior. But Mercury’s muscle car was much more than that. With its unique styling and special trim, it was an independent force in the muscle car wars of the late ’60s. The ultimate version that perfectly combined muscle car power with luxury was the mighty Cougar XR-7.
This model had the 390 V8 engine with 320 HP. But buyers could also opt for the GT package, which included a beefed-up suspension, and stronger brakes and steering. Over the years, the Mercury Cougar was in the shadow of the Mustang. However, in recent years, prices have started to come up for this piece of the luxury muscle segment.
Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
The Z/28 is a production option for numerous Camaro models that started in 1967. It was always the lighter, nimbler version compared to the SS models. The first Z/28 package included front disc brakes and a close-ratio four-speed manual transmission. They revised the suspension and steering, adding exterior trim details like racing stripes, vinyl roof and headlight covers.
But the real treat was under the hood. The power came from a 5.0-liter V8 producing 290 HP and a high revving nature. This engine proved to be ideal for the Z/28. It gave the car a thrilling performance while retaining its low weight and nimble handling.
Buick GS 455 Stage 1
Buick was busy producing extremely powerful and capable muscle cars back in the day. But in 1970, they outdid themselves with the GS 455 model. This car featured the famous 455 V8 rated at 360 HP, which could launch the big and heavy car to 60 MPH in just around 5.5 seconds. This was lightning fast in 1970 and its speed is still respectable today.
For those who found that 360 HP and 510 lb-ft of torque wasn’t enough, Buick dealers offered the extremely rare and expensive Stage 1 and Stage 2 kits. They included different intake systems, high compression heads, beefed up engine internals and a sports exhaust. Those cars are extremely rare since many customers were unaware of the existence of such options. In fact, most of the buyers were professional drag racers.
Oldsmobile 442 W30
The 442 is one of the most legendary muscle car names ever. In true Oldsmobile fashion, they thoroughly engineered the 442, building a quality performance machine. This was a car that could stand up to any muscle car legend. However, in 1966, Olds presented the W30 option they marketed “for performance enthusiasts only.”
So, what was the secret of the W30 package? It included a blueprinted engine with more power than standard and a bigger carburetor. It had a hotter camshaft, an aluminum intake manifold and a ram air system. In later years, it got a fiberglass hood and inner wheel wells to lessen the weight of the heavy front end.
Also, they gave it beefier brakes. And then they topped off the W30 package with external insignia and a graphics package. Needless to say, if you are going to buy 442, look for the real W30 since they are a blast to drive.