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Last Of The Breed: Top 32 Muscle Cars Of The 1970s

Vukasin Herbez May 9, 2019

3. Buick Century GS

After 1970, the muscle car segment decline started. And in just a few short years, those glorious muscle cars disappeared from the scene. Buick tried their best to deliver great performance in luxury package. But after the slow sales of their 1971 and 1972 models, they decided to kill the GSX package.

However, in 1973, they renamed their Skylark line the Century. And that meant the engineers at Buick managed to sneak one more proper muscle car model, the Century GS. The Century GS was a Colonnade-style intermediate coupe. In fact, it was similar to those Pontiac and Oldsmobile intermediates with the characteristic front-end design. But the GS was just an appearance package that mimicked the looks of previous models.

The standard engine was the 150 HP 350 V8. However, if you optioned for the 455 Stage 1 big block, you could get 270 HP with revised brakes and suspensions. This version delivered some performance, so car fans consider it the last true Buick muscle car. However, the number of Century GS Stage 1 cars produced in 1973 is low. They only made around 700 of them with four-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmissions.

2. Ford Mustang HO

In 1972, Ford discontinued the Boss 351 and Cobra Jet Mustangs after killing their Shelby models two years prior. However, performance Mustang buyers weren’t left with a choice, so Ford offered the HO model. The “HO” stood for high output and it was like offering the Boss 351 for 1972.

It featured a performance 351 V8 they rated at 275 HP, which was impressive by those early ‘70s standards. In the end, Ford only made about 60 of those interesting machines in all three body styles.

1. Pontiac Can Am

Back in the late ’70s, the American performance car segment was just a pale shadow of its former glory. But, in 1977, Pontiac introduced the Can-Am, the one-year-only model that was the last true muscle car with big block power. In fact, it had as much power it could produce packed in a unique body style and white color.

Under the hood scoop from the Firebird Trans Am, there was a big 455 engine with 200 HP. And that was more than any other muscle car on the market at the moment. The Can-Am package consisted of special rear window louvers, a rear spoiler and a long list of special optional extras.

They introduced the car early in 1977 and the market responded well. In fact, Pontiac received between 5,000 and 10,000 reservations. But in the end, they only sold 1,377 Can Ams.

These are last of the breed and 32 of the best muscle cars from the early ’70s. Did you pick your ultimate favorite? Some of them are still available, so you should get out there and start looking before they disappear forever.

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