This article may or may not be a bit biased, but I will try my hardest to not make it seem that way.
I am American. For all 15 years of my life, I have lived in Upstate New York where taxes kill and the Amish smell. But I don't care, because I kind of like it here, and there is nothing anyone else can say to change my mind.
With that out of the way, America has always been a bit overlooked when it comes to cars. Sure, they pop up everywhere in the news, articles, and lists, but people don't think of American cars the same as any other on the market. But that's O.K, because we like it that way.
We aren't as perfect as the Germans or as petite as the British, but we have a bit of muscle hiding underneath all of those layers of fat. And whether you love or hate Muscle Cars, just know you are entitled to your opinion. Unless you don't like them, that is. So, here is my list of the Top 7 best muscle cars of all time.
#7 - Chevy Camaro ZL1
The Camaro has always been a serious contender in the muscle car fight. This specific one, the ZL1, was no slouch either. Under that Aircraft Carrier of a hood amassed a bulbous 427 C.I monster capable of knocking down the Chrysler Building in one rev. These things were known to roar down a 1/4 mile just as quick as a missile. And although it is as fast as most new cars on sale, it is one of those muscle cars that does kinda roll over and play dead when it sees a corner. But stop giving them that rap, because it isn't what they're meant for anyway.
#6 - Plymouth GTX
Some may argue on what makes a car a "Sleeper," and some may say that this isn't one of them. However I would have to disagree with you because the GTX makes no mention of being anything other than your grandma's grocery-getter.
But once you see a 426 badge sticking out of the bodywork, there is nothing you can say to stop this baby from pushing the speed limits like a kid pushing a big red button. And what makes this so great is that your krazee grandma can clean houses during the week, and race during the weekends. And that 426. That is an engine that I will easily argue is the best of all-time.
#5 - Pontiac Trans Am SD 455
You may not know much about the Trans-Am SD 455 but you might know that with a name of "Super Duty," it means buisness. Even though America was starting to go through a bit of a crisis with fuel and EPA ratings in the early-to-mid 1970's, Pontiac kept the Golden Age alive for a few more years while creating this specific Trans Am.
Iconic for it's "Screaming Chicken" on the hood, the Trans am has always been a major muscle car. Beating out it's brother, the Camaro, almost all the time, it was a glorious beast to behold. And a 455 under the hood even when the government said no. That makes it all the more special.
#4 - Dodge Charger 500
The Charger has always been, and always will be, that bad-boy muscle car. Once you start a police chase in one of these, there is no way the rozzers will ever be able to catch up. That's because the Charger, and specifically the 500, tried to hide away a 440 with THREE two-barrel carburetors. Drag racing was great in one of these, but it also got most of it's fame from NASCAR races held all around the country, as it was very successful. Yes I am a Mopar fan, but do you need to be in order to appreciate this one?
#3 - Ford Mustang Boss 429
By far my favorite Mustang (and one of the most rare,) the Boss 9 is exactly what it was named. It is a Boss! Once 1969 was coming to an end, all American brands started squeezing engines the size of MGs into the engine bay like a teen squeezing a pimple. This happened with a lot of cars at the time, but none has had as much of an affect as the 429. Late Ford, love Ford, do what ever you want with Ford, but there is no denying in my mind that this might very well be one of the best muscle cars ever built. Well maybe not "The Best..."
#2 - Pontiac GTO Judge
It was a really tough decision for me on which one of these last two would take the top spot. And the GTO probably should have been there. However, you have to love it no matter what color it's in or how ugly the graphics are.
The GTO came to dealerships all around the country in 1964. Famous for having it's Tri-Power carbs and sexy looks, it was the first, if not one of the first, muscle cars to ever surface the earth. However, some time later, Pontiac placed The Judge on the table and said "All In" and won. Although the Judge wasn't the fastest or easiest to deal with, it was, simply put, a really good car. While other cars were good at this or that, the GTO was pretty good at all of it. And that's why I, along with numerous others, would love to open the garage doors and let this beast out every weekend.
#1 - Plymouth Cuda AAR
The Cuda was the muscle car of the 70's. It is the muscle car ace. Mean looks, cheap to own, bulbous engine, and fast 1/4 mile times. Oh, and it was pretty successful elsewhere as well.
AAR stands for "All-American Racer" and that's because it, well, is an All American Racer. The Cuda had seen massive success in the Trans Am series hosted around the US. Contrary to NASCAR, these cars were a little less powerful (racing homologated engines) and raced on actual race tracks with turns and brakey bits. And although it was fast on the track, the Cuda was very fast on the road as well. But road racing is illegal, so don't try it at home...
So this was my list. A list of 7 is really difficult because I would have loved to include some more. Cough...cough... Javalin ...cough. Muscle cars have been the epitome of American car culture, and we hope to keep it that way. Although we have seen some of these brands come and go forever, they have left a legacy beyond belief. And as mean as these cars are, they won't give you any nightmares tonight, so don't worry.