20 Most Impressive American Performance Models From the `90s

By vukasin

Ever since the `60s, muscle car wars became part of the American automotive landscape. Despite the fact that `70s and early `80s weren’t exactly the best times for domestic performance models, late `80s brought a much-needed rise in power which rejuvenated American muscle and performance market. However, when the `90s came, Detroit was ready and greeted the new decade with a host of performance, muscle and sports cars which sparked the imagination of the car-loving public.

Some even say that `90s were golden years for American performance since never before or since there were so many great cars on offer. Today, we will try to list them all and introduce you to the interesting world of US performance models from the `90s.

1. Chevrolet 454 SS

After almost two decades of low compression engines, safety and environmental laws, and slow performance, in the early 1990s, US manufacturers finally started to produce and sell faster and more powerful models. The wave of new-found performance was so overwhelming that every pickup brand had its fast model, special version or a limited edition.

However, one of the most menacing and powerful models was the mighty Chevrolet 454 SS. The basic idea behind this model was to offer the biggest available engine in the lightest full-size truck. It was basically muscle car philosophy in truck form. That is why Chevrolet`s engineers took the ordinary 1990 Chevy 1500 pickup truck with short bed option and added a massive 454 V8 engine. The enormous 7.2-liter V8 was good enough for 230 to 255 hp, which was a diminutive number, but it also had 385 lb-ft of torque, which made it really fly down the road. The big block engine was borrowed from Chevrolet`s heavy-duty truck lineup and it was a durable but also a pretty thirsty machine.

On the outside, the 454 SS was kind of low key without any wild graphics or color choices. On the back of the bed, there was a model designation, and the only difference was a blackout front grille. However, despite the big torque number, 454 SS wasn`t that fast and it couldn`t beat sports cars like GMC Syclone did, for example. Still, it was one of the fastest trucks around and a pretty cool looking vehicle.