Home Cars Class of 1970: The 20 Best Models from the Pinnacle of the Muscle Car Era

Class of 1970: The 20 Best Models from the Pinnacle of the Muscle Car Era

Vukasin Herbez January 18, 2019

  1. Plymouth Superbird

As one of the craziest muscle cars Plymouth ever produced, they offered the Superbird in 1970 only. In order to homologate the car for NASCAR racing, Plymouth built just under 2,000 road-going Superbirds, selling them all over America. They based the car on the Roadrunner and it came with a 440 V8 as standard and a 426 Hemi as the only engine option.

However, to make it as aerodynamically efficient as they could, Plymouth installed a nose cone, hideaway headlights and an enormous spoiler on the back. Also, it transformed the rear glass from the standard concave shape to a regular shape, which proved more slippery in wind tunnel testing.

  1. Plymouth Hemi Cuda

Two of the biggest Chrysler legends from the classic days of muscle car culture are the Barracuda and the 426 Hemi engine. All through the ‘60s, those icons of the industry didn’t mix. But in 1970, Plymouth offered this legendary engine in the Barracuda body style, immediately creating one of the fastest, most desirable muscle cars they ever made.

The mighty Hemi engine was an expensive, top of the line option for 1970 and 1971 available in coupe or convertible form. It cost around $900 over the price of the standard Barracuda. They only installed it in approximately 600 coupes and 17 convertibles during its two-year production period. They rated the power at 425 HP, but everybody knew the orange monster delivered more than 500 HP straight from the box.

  1. Plymouth Cuda AAR

The pony car wars were at full swing in 1970 with the new Firebird, Camaro, Dodge Challenger and the much-improved Plymouth Barracuda. But one of the most interesting 1970 Barracudas was the rare AAR ‘Cuda. The AAR ‘Cuda was a limited production model to commemorate Dan Gurney’s All American Racing team, which used ‘Cudas in the Trans-Am championship.

It came with a 340 V8 small block, special plastic hood in matte black paint with a hood scoop, rear spoiler and interesting side graphics, including the big AAR logo. This version was somewhat more expensive than the regular 340 ‘Cuda and that is why they only build 2,724 of them.

  1. Pontiac GTO Judge

They introduced the Judge package in 1969 and it returned for 1970 with even more power, unique details, and performance. The big rear spoiler and funky Judge graphics were back, too. But since Pontiac redesigned the GTO line for 1970, the Judge looked better and meaner, as well.

The biggest news was the availability of the mighty 455 big block engine with the Ram Air III or Ram Air IV intake system. Both engines had ratings of a conservative 370 HP, but everybody knew they produced much more power. Due to the stiff competition, the GTO wasn’t as popular as before. However, car fans still regard it as one of the best muscle cars around.

  1. Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

A special version for 1969, the 1970 Trans Am was a full-fledged member of the Firebird lineup. The Trans Am featured a high-revving 400 V8 engine. Although it was smaller than the 455 V8 in the GTO, it was faster because the Firebird was lighter than the GTO. The engine was also available in two stages depending on the type of Ram Air induction.

Also, the horsepower varied between 345 and 370 HP. Design wise, the 1970 Firebird was great looking car especially with the Trans Am trim. Also, it came with front and rear spoilers and had a beautiful paint job. With the 57/43 weight split, the Trans Am handled like dream.

These are the cars from the class of 1970 and the 20 best models from the pinnacle of the muscle car era. Have you seen one of these lately? If you want to own one, move fast, because they are becoming quite rare and hard to find.

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