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8 Coolest Muscle Cars of the 70's

By Edited May 28, 2014 7 11

The 1970’s was the decade of some of the coolest, baddest, and fastest muscle cars ever built. The end of the 70’s was also marked as the end of a very important period for muscle cars. High fuel prices helped cause the decline in manufacturing of muscle cars as more fuel efficient models of cars became popular. How we went from a society that prized cars such as the Dodge Charger to a society that valued the Chevy Citation will never be fully understood; however it mainly revolved around the high cost of fuel. There were many crappy cars from the 70’s; however this decade also brought us some of the finest and most collectible cars of all time. Here are 8 of the coolest muscle cars of the 70’s.

8. Plymouth Road Runner

8. Plymouth Road Runner
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rexgray/4660210838/

The Plymouth Road Runner was manufactured between 1968-1980. The most iconic of all the Plymouth Road Runner models were those mad in the 70’s. The Plymouth Road Runner

was designed to not only be a fast car, but also a very affordable car. When the Road Runner was first released you could buy one brand new for less than $3,000.

The Plymouth Road Runner Superbird was only made for a few years. Although the Superbird was not as popular as the regular Road Runner, the value and popularity of the Superbird models has rapidly increased over the last decade.

7. Dodge Charger

7. Dodge Charger
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/katescars/5937092706/

The Dodge Charger may be one of the most well recognized Muscle Cars of the 70’s. The best years for the Dodge Charger were the ones manufactured between 1966-`1974. The Dodge Charger is widely recognized because this was the car that was used in the television show The Dukes of Hazzard

. The Chargers manufactured between 1971-1974 had the best looking body styles of all the Chargers.

6. Chevy Nova

6. Chevy Nova
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12629518@N08/3752119166/

Not all Chevy Novas could be considered muscle cars. A Chevy Nova with a V8 engine is definitely considered a muscle car. A smaller bodied Chevy Nova packing a V8 motor has a lot of power. In the 70’s a Nova could be bough that looked like an “Old Ladies Car” or you could buy a Nova that looked sportier and had a fast motor. The best variety was the “Old Ladies” looking car with a V8. These “sleeper cars” could fool a lot of people until the light turned green and you left your competition in the rear view mirror!

5. Pontiac GTO

5. Pontiac GTO
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fun_flying/340363280/

The Pontiac GTO was manufactured from 1964-1974. The Pontiac GTO was one of the most iconic muscle cars of the early 70’s.

4. Pontiac Firebird

4. Pontiac Firebird
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/exfordy/4827718579/

The Pontiac Firebird was manufactured between 1967-2002. By far the most popular years of the Pontiac Firebird was from 1970-1981. The 1976-1981 is the popular body style that was seen on the Trans-Am from the Smoky and the Bandit movies.

Generally the Pontiac Firebird is considered a sports car and not a muscle car, the exception to this though is the 1971-1974 Firebirds that had the 455 Engine. Debate this all you want but the 71-74 Firebirds with the 455 have a genuine right to be called muscle cars.

In the first Smoky and the Bandit movie a 1977 Pontiac Trans-Am Special Edition was used and in the sequel a 1980 Trans-Am was used. If you want to see how cool this is then go watch Smoky and the Bandit again! The original movie was great but the sequels sucked, especially the third 1. The Trans-Am cars were cool though in all of the movies, but the 1977 Trans-Am in the original Smoky and the Bandit was definitely one of the most iconic cars of the 70’s.

3. Chevelle SS

3. Chevelle SS
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/greggjerdingen/5996355454/

Chevelle’ were manufactured for many years in a variety of body styles including even a Chevelle wagon. The Chevelle SS made from 1964-1972 was a true muscle car. The 70, 71, and 72 Chevelle SS were by far the coolest Chevelle models made in the 70’s. Some Chevelle's were flat out ugly and some of them did not perform the best. The 70-72 Chevelle SS was a great looking car that could truly go fast and do it quickly.

2. Dodge Challenger

The 1970-1975 Dodge Challenger was one of the coolest Muscle Cars of the 70’s. Some people may refer to it as a Pony car or even a rare few will refer to it as a sports car. Call it what you want, because this was a true muscle car that is still very sought after by car collectors.

The Dodge Challenger car can once again be bought. The New Dodge Challengers are a tribute to the styling and performance cues of the past models; however the new Challengers are definitely mode technologically advanced. As cool as the new Challengers are, none of them seem quite at home on the pavement as the 70’s models.

1. Plymouth Barracuda

The Plymouth ‘Cuda was made from 1964-1974. The coolest Barracuda ever was the 1967 model or one of the extremely rare 1968 Barracuda Fastback models. In the 70’s the best models were from 1970 to 1974 when production of this car model ceased. There were numerous engines used on the Plymouth Barracuda

. One of the most popular was the v8 Hemi option. An old Hemi ‘Cuda from the 70’s is one of the few cars that almost all guys love. You favorite car may be a Corvette, a Mustang, or even a 4 wheel drive pickup; however the Plymouth Barracuda is often the one car that all guys seem to love. It may not be your favorite car, but when you see one in town you definitely take notice. Restored Plymouth Barracudas are often a top draw to car shows around the Country. Nothing says “I’m a Man” more than a 70’s Barracuda with a Hemi or 440 motor in it. The slogan for this car should be “Smoke the tires and get the girls!”



Jun 24, 2012 7:55pm
I am a fan of muscle cars I had my 68 Firebird for over 25 years and sold it on ebay to some guy in New York. It was hard to let it go, but I had to.

I'm not a Ford fan, but I kind of expected to see a Shelby Cobra Mustang in your list. If I had a gun to my head and was forced to buy a Ford it would be a 68 Cobra Jet with functional hood scoop of course ha ha ...

Nicely done article by the way with excellent pics.
Jun 27, 2012 2:54am
I am not a car expert. But liked your article and it was some addition to my little knowledge of cars.
Jul 2, 2012 5:21am
My father once had a 'Cuda. Don't remember what year it was because I was too little. Years later, one of my boyfriends had a '71 'Cuda with Hemi. That car was one of the fastest I've ever ridden in.
Aug 1, 2012 3:22am
This is a great article with some great pics! I am glad to see Pontiac Firebird on the list. I saw 'Smokey and the Bandit' not so long ago. Pontiac Trans-Am cars are the best.
Nov 7, 2012 2:59am
I'm not really a fan of muscle cars until I see this. You've got a nifty list of muscle cars. :))
Dec 17, 2012 6:22pm
Love the article. The only thing i would change is the GTO would be number 1 on my list, also i would have liked to have seen the shelby gt 500 (elenore) from gone in 60 seconds. That is another iconic muscle car of the 70s
Apr 9, 2013 5:59pm
Don't discount the Impala 2-door! That Mad-Max-mobile could deliver.
Apr 9, 2013 5:59pm
We drove CARS then!
Apr 20, 2013 7:21am

I was getting a little nervous as I was reading and scrolling and NOT seeing the 'Cuda!
Then you came through in the end, listing it as #1 (which I agree!!) .I recently watched a Mecum Musclecar Auction where one (with a 454) went for $140,000---jet black color, and probably worth every penny!

To you awesome list I would add the Shelby Mustang of the late '60s-early '70s

Great read !
Apr 20, 2013 7:23am
I had the privilege of driving a Black 1976 Trans-Am with a 400cc 4-barrel back when I was in high school and early college...I almost disowned my dad the day he sold it.... :(
Jun 24, 2013 12:44pm
As someone who greatly appreciates muscle cars, I enjoyed this article. Very nice list!
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