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Top 5 Iconic Muscle Cars

WRITTEN BY: Aaron Cameron
Written by Aaron Cameron Mustang, Camaro, Charger, there's nothing quite like classic American muscle cars! WatchMojo presents the Top 5 Most Iconic Muscle Cars of All Time! But what will take the top spot on our list? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Have an idea for our next video? Submit it on our suggest page here:

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Oh yeah . . . dual exhaust, four barrel carbs, and V8 engines. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 5 Iconic Muscle Cars.

For this list, we'll looking at the best of the best of classic American muscle cars.

#5: Dodge Challenger

First Generation (1970-74)

The Challenger may have been late to the party, but it arrived in grand style. Sharing a bit of DNA with its Plymouth cousin, the Barracuda, the Challenger was intended to challenge not just the Mustangs and Camaros of the world, but also the more upmarket Pontiac Firebird and Mercury Cougar. With a pistol-grip shifter and a selection of iconic V8s – including the 440 Magnum and the hallowed 426 Hemi – the Dodge had little trouble finding power; and with an array of trim levels and options, it also had little trouble finding a market share. Ultimately, the fuel crisis that hit the United States in the early '70s meant the first-gen Challenger's time was limited, and the model drove off into the sunset in ’74.

#4: Chevrolet Chevelle

Second Generation (1968-72)

For much of history, fast Chevys have been a two-car show, but for a time the proudest, speediest pony in the stable was the Chevelle. The model's first generation got around on a baby V8, the 283; but when Pontiac started packing serious power under the hood, Chevy responded in kind. Dressed in a glorious new exterior, the second generation Chevelles came with two why-would-you-bother inline sixes, four kinds of small block V8s, and three flavors of big block V8s. The most revered models were the blisteringly quick SS-454 with a 5.4 second 0-60 time, and the hard charging SS-396 which many would argue was actually faster in the long run. But Chevy actually broke their own rule by giving anything more power than the Corvette.

#3: Chevrolet Camaro

First Generation (1967-69)

GM knew that the innovative but radical Corvair was never going to attract the same kind of attention as Ford's Mustang. Enter the Camaro. Using the same long hood and short rear profile as its competition, the Camaro hit the market in September of 1966, in coupe or convertible, standard with a 230 straight six, or with an unending array of optional V8s. For those whom basic would never do, there were the Camaro SS or the Rally Sport; but for those in the know, it was the race ready Z/28. At 360 horsepower, (400 with the optional four barrel carb) the Z/28 was actually so powerful, GM only claimed it had a mere 290 horses, possibly to give owners a break on their car insurance.

#2: Dodge Charger

Second Generation (1968-70)

Like the Challenger, the Charger came into the world looking to take down the Mustang, and dethrone the Thunderbird while it was doing it. By 1968, it was now styled in that achingly beautiful body work so many came to love, and could be loaded with all the Mopar classics – including the 383, 440 Magnum, and the 426 Hemi, with a choice of two automatic transmissions and two manuals. For the R/T model, the 440 was standard issue, but the Hemi was just waiting to be ticked on the options list. 1970 – gen two's last year – saw the arrival of crazy color names like Plum Crazy, Go Mango, and Top Banana – as well as the 390 horsepower 440 Six Pack.

#1: Ford Mustang

First Generation (1965-73)

The Mustang first sparked to life under engineer Donald Frey, against Henry Ford II's wishes. When Ford finally did approve of the model, he did so with the stipulation Frey would be fired if it failed. Instead, the Mustang was instantly loved, and it instantly became a target for GM, Dodge, and AMC. It also became a perfect platform for both power and performance, with the model getting larger year by year to accommodate beefier and beefier V8s. Carroll Shelby's hot-roddery led to the GT350 in 1965, and to the twin four-barrel carb'd 428 powered GT500 in '67. In house innovation, meanwhile, birthed the Mach 1 Mustang in 1969, while the Boss 302 and Boss 429 were developed to satisfy Trans Am and NASCAR requirements.


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