Ford has offered some classic muscle car models that are the most sought-after and recognizable cars of that era. But the truth is, Ford wasn’t at the forefront of the muscle car culture. Although Ford was well represented on the race tracks and in international racing, on the back streets, the GM and Mopar models were dominant.
The reason is, while Ford had some reasonably powerful small block engines, GM and Mopar had fire-breathing big block engines like the 427 V8 or the venerable 440 Magnum; not to mention those 454s or Hemis. It was only in 1968 when Ford introduced their highly-respected 428 Cobra Jet, did the Ford guys have something to brag about among other muscle car enthusiasts.
However, this doesn’t mean the Ford portfolio was without some fast and memorable models. In fact, that’s far from it. So here is a list of the 20 greatest Ford classic muscle cars. From the early days of American performance and supercharged Thunderbirds to the early ‘70s with those watershed models that came from Dearborn, you will find all of them.
Ford Thunderbird Supercharged
Most people don’t consider the Ford Thunderbird to be a proper muscle car since it was a luxurious two-seater with low production numbers and a high price tag. However, with its style and great performance, it helped raise the collective consciousness about the importance of performance. And that is what sparked the creation of the muscle car segment in the following years.
However, when Ford presented the Thunderbird in 1955, it outsold the Corvette immediately. But in 1957, Ford introduced two engine options that set the standards in terms of high performance. In fact, they have a special place in the history of Ford performance. They mounted a Paxton or McCullough supercharger on top of a 312 V8 engine, which was optional.
And that gave the Thunderbird a 300 HP rating. And, if that wasn’t enough, Ford offered the even hotter 340 HP version of the same supercharged engine which they originally intended for racers.