8. 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SD 455
By 1974, almost all muscle cars were extinct from the market. Those that remained lacked both power and style. However, there was one model that managed to survive and offer as much performance and power as possible. And that model was the 1974 Trans Am Super Duty 455.
That year marked the first restyling of the whole Firebird range with a new front and rear end and improved interior and details. The SD 455 model carried over from 1973, but in a new package, it featured an updated suspension and brakes. The standard 455 V8 had only 215 HP, but in SD trim, it developed 290 HP which was fantastic for 1974.
In fact, with 290 HP, a host of performance upgrades and four-speed manual transmission, the 1974 Trans Am SD 455 was faster than the Corvette. This made it the fastest American production car of the period.