7. Chevrolet 400 Super Sport
In the early ’60s, Ford and Chrysler introduced modern and affordable versions of US models for the Argentinean market, which left Chevrolet without a proper competitor. In order to attract more buyers and regain position on the market, Chevrolet decided to introduce a model called 400, which was basically the American Chevy II or Nova. The main version was a modest four-door sedan with a 3.2-liter straight-six engine.
The car proved to be decently popular, but the rising racing and muscle car scene demanded a more powerful version. So in 1967, Chevrolet presented the 400 SuperSport, one of the first domestic muscle cars in Argentina in whole South America. The 400 SuperSport had better brakes and suspension and a tuned version of the venerable 250 CID (4.1-liter) straight-six with 155 HP.
The car could be easily distinguished from the American-made Chevy II since the 400 SuperSport had four headlights, a blackout grille, and fake hood scoops similar to the 1966 Chevelle SS. Despite the fact it was a four-door sedan, the 400 Super Sport was popular with Argentinean racers of the day.
6. Ford Cortina XR6 Interceptor
Introduced in 1982, the Cortina XR Interceptor was a high-performance version of the regular MK3 Cortina sold all over the world. Ford South Africa wanted something to spark the sales and also reintroduce muscle cars to the market, and Cortina’s rear-wheel-drive platform was perfect for the job.
The Cortina XR6 Interceptor was a performance four-door sedan with a 3.0-liter V6 engine with three Webber carburetors, hotter cam, and high compression heads. The power was not very high at 140 HP, but the Cortina was reasonably light and stable. Since it featured a pretty ordinary look, it was the favorite getaway car for armed robberies. Simply, it featured a straightforward design perfect for blending with the traffic and engine powerful enough to get you away fast. Maybe that’s why Ford built only 250 of them.
5. Dodge GTX V8
The Chrysler Corporation was pretty active in Argentina during the ’60s and the ’70s, and it produced several models aimed directly at the local market. Their most significant and most luxurious offering was Dodge GT, a Dart-based sedan with better equipment powered by the famous 225 Slant Six engine. The car was introduced in 1968, but in 1970, Chrysler Argentina decided to present the proper muscle version in the form of the Dodge GTX.
Borrowing the name from the eponymous Plymouth car, Dodge GTX was also a luxury muscle car, at least for South American standards of the day, with power windows and air conditioning as standard. It featured a cool-looking coupe body and optional 318 V8, which delivered 212 HP or 230 HP depending on model year and transformed this Dodge in one of the most powerful domestic cars of the period. Production lasted until 1973, and due to its high price, the GTX wasn’t produced in many examples.
4. Ford RS200
Back in the mid-’80s, motorsports were all about rallying and famous and terrifyingly dangerous Group B. Group B was a part of the World Rally Championship, which featured factory prototypes loosely based on production cars with insane turbocharged engines and all-wheel-drive systems. The vehicles were crazy fast and crazy dangerous and much loved by fans all over the world. Eventually, Group B was canceled by FIA, but manufacturers battled each other for supremacy on the dirt and mud of rally stages for a few years. This brought us many exciting and fast road cars since manufacturers were obligated to produce a number of road-going vehicles for homologation purposes.
That was precisely the insane Ford RS200. Introduced in 1984, it was a mid-engined, turbocharged sports car that featured a lightweight body construction, a 2.1-liter engine with 250 hp, and two seats. It was a race car with no intention of hiding it Thanks to all-wheel drive, it was capable of jumping from 0 to 60 mph in just 5 seconds flat. The road version, of which 200 were made, was detuned from 450 compared to 500 hp of the race version.
3. Ford Racing Puma
In the late ’90s, Ford UK presented the Puma, a small compact performance model that was based on Fiesta. The Puma looked fast, but it wasn’t much faster than the economy Fiesta with the same engine in reality. So, in 1999, the Ford rally team prepared a limited production model called Racing Puma, which was produced in only 500 examples.
The Racing Puma had special paint, bodywork, wheels, and suspension setup while retaining the stock 1.7-liter four-cylinder although a bit modified. The power output was modest at 150, but the car was light and elegant, which provided the driver with an exhilarating driving experience.
2. Shelby Europa
When Shelby introduced its line of mighty Mustangs, European enthusiasts took notice. Soon the cars were popular on the continent as well as in the United States. One of the first Shelby dealers was Belgian racing driver Claude Dubois. After the Shelby production stopped in 1970, Dubois approached Carroll Shelby and asked him for the rights to produce a unique line of European spec 1971/72 Mustangs under the Shelby name.
In two years, only about 14 cars were made, which makes Shelby Europe an incredibly rare muscle car. Most of them got 351 V8 engines, and some received the 429 Cobra Jet.
1. Ford Fairmont GT
Introduced in 1970, the Fairmont was a full-size sedan designed and constructed by Ford’s Australia division but built and sold by the South African branch too. It was basically a version of Australian Ford Falcon XY.
As you know, the Falcon GT was one of the first and most popular Australian muscle cars, so South African dealers wanted their own local version. That is how the Fairmont GT came to be. Powered by Ford’s 351 V8 engine, the 1970 model had a 2 barrel carburetor, while the 1971 to 1973 model had a 4 bbl version with 300 HP, making it one of the fastest and most powerful cars in South Africa at the time. The 0 to 60 mph time was pretty respectable 7.2 seconds. Of course, the Fairmont GT was an expensive and rare car, and in four years of production, Ford built just 1824 examples.