19. Pontiac GTO
The Pontiac GTO was the first proper muscle car, debuting in 1964 as an option on the Tempest model. Even though there were a lot of early muscle machines, most people consider the 1964 GTO to the first true muscle car. And that’s because they marketed as such, selling it in big numbers. Also, they featured all the right ingredients that later became mandatory for all American cars like this.
But to be perfectly honest, the GTO didn’t bring anything special in terms of design or technology. Basically, it was a Tempest in a two-door form with a 389 V8 engine and up to 360 HP. This combination of power with a cool-looking body and a cool-sounding name was enough to attract the attention of performance-loving young buyers. The GTO had the hottest premiere of the 1964 model year. Soon, all manufacturers followed Pontiac’s formula. Today, you can safely say the GTO is one of the most influential and revolutionary American cars of all-time.