When it comes to making iconic-looking sports cars, nobody does it quite like the Americans. Whether you’re a fan of muscle, style or downright speed, there’s a motor to suit every taste somewhere in the US’s national back catalogue of cars. Which means, when it comes to picking the top ten American classic cars of all time, things tend to get a little bit tricky!
Charge it up
Despite weak sales in 1966, Dodge’s Second Generation Charger became an overnight success following the release of the 1968 Steve McQueen flick, ‘Bullit’. However, despite McQueen’s black beauty providing the Charger with its first dalliance with Hollywood, it wasn’t until the release of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ in 1979 when the infamous ‘General Lee’ truly shot this iconic motor to fame.
Shake that ‘Stang
When Ford unveiled the Mustang in March 1964, the people of America were introduced to a car that would go on to become one of the most iconic motors ever made. Offering buyers the chance to select their own interiors, exteriors, drivetrains and more, the Mustang was advertised as the ‘car’ that could be ‘designed by you’ – and with a list price of $2,500, many people chose to do just that!
While many petrol heads will argue that the best Stingrays were those manufactured after 1968, to us, the split-screen C2 will always hold the top spot for the best Corvette ever made. As a car, the C2 was revolutionary. Boasting a new chassis and rear suspension set-up, the Stingrays that left the Chevy garage between 1963 and 1967 are still considered game changers today.
The perfect pick-up
Winning the award for the best-selling truck in 1977, and the top-selling overall vehicle in 1982, the Ford F-Series pick-up truck is more than deserving of its place in our top ten. From the first generations that were introduced after World War II, right through to modern day monsters such as the tech-heavy thirteenth gen that entered the market last year, the F-Series is more than car – it’s a way of life.
Heavy on the Chevy
Just as Ford has adapted the Falcon to make the Mustang, Chevrolet took inspiration from the humble Nova before transforming it into the awesome Camaro. Unfortunately for Chevy, that’s where the similarities end. In 1967, Camaro sales halved those of the early ‘Stangs – but when you consider just how awesome the first Camaros looked, it’s easy to see why they didn’t stay down for long!
The road to Eldorado
Over in America, the term ‘big’ means something different to the rest of the world (and we’re not just talking about the food portions). So when we say the Cadillac Eldorado is a ‘big car’, you can imagine just how big it is! By today’s standards, the Eldorados that hit the market in the mid-70s would be considered gigantic monsters, but way back when, they were considered true American beauties.
Thunderbirds are go!
Popular, stylish and iconic, Ford’s Thunderbird sold in its droves when it was first introduced to the American market in 1955. Equipped with a powerful engine, super clean styling and up to four seats (from 1958 onwards), the Thunderbird became a true favourite among those looking to combine everyday practicality with the awesome power of a V8.
Was the Pontiac GTO the first in a great line of American muscle cars? We think so! Boasting bonnet scoops, dual exhausts and a whopping great V8 engine, the GTO had everything that has since become synonymous will all the greats. Today, a 1960s GTO can be worth anything up to $100,000 – a figure that signifies just how much people love these original, all-American motors.
Keepin’ it Continental
Back in the 1970s, luxurywas the order of the day. So it’s hardly surprising that the Lincoln delivered just that, and much, much more in the shape of the fantastic Mark III Continental. Boasting white wall tyres, a vinyl roof trim and a chassis so large you could park three Fiat 500s on its axel, the Lincoln Continental shall forever be remembered as one of America’s most regal rides.
If you’re going to name your car after one of the world’s deadliest snakes, you need to make sure it delivers plenty of bite. Luckily for Carroll Shelby, that’s exactly what happened when Shelby released the awesome Cobra, back in 1965. After successfully shoehorning an American V8 into the chassis of a much lighter, British shell, the Cobra became an instant classic – and remains so today.
Think we’ve missed a trick or two? Then get in touch via Twitter or Facebook and let us know which American motors really rev your engine!