The cars from 1970s are most often remembered more for their lack of power. This was an era accompanied by high gas prices and escalating insurance premiums, unlike today's car insurance. Old car models from 1970 represented the the peak of the muscle car era (1964-72). Muscle Cars of '70s were an emergent group, as most manufacturers shifted performance away from the old school power-to-weight ratio, to an emphasis for more balanced, well handling touring machines. This set the tone for well into the '80s, however, most manufacturers still offered up a performance platform for most every enthusiast and most every budget, while insurance companies still provided car insurance. Old car fans rejoice, here are the Top 10 muscle cars of the '70s:
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- 1970 Chevelle SS 454 LS6 (Chevy) Although 454 lacked some of the "it factor" of the 427 that made the big block a legend, the larger displacement engine deserves credit. At 450 HP it was a worthy powerplant in any community. The 1970 Chevelle is without a doubt the most popular GM offering to date. An all-time favorite model, a '70 with the Super Sport package is icing on the cake.
- 1971 Corvette LS6 (Chevy) While the LS6 454 engine wasn't available on the '70 Corvette, the '70 Chevelle earned the top spot in GM's lineup. The following year, however, the '71 came with aluminum cylinder heads and at 425 HP, it was still a beast.
- 1970 Camaro Z28 LT1(Chevy) A "street-able" motor with increased torque in the low end, versus the high-revving 302, the 350 LT1 is a powerhouse. Combined with a Z28 suspension package, the second-gen ('70-'80) was actually a step toward a fine touring vehicle, as opposed to a straight line beast.
- 1971 Hemi 'Cuda (Chrysler/Dodge) While the 1970 performance-oriented 'Cuda model first wowed consumers, the '71 is more desirable, styling-wise. The cool staggered grill and 4 headlights instead of 2 on the '70 made aesthetic waves. The 425 factory-rated HP in the 'Cuda goes down as the most revered Mopar on street or strip.
- 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T (Chrysler/Dodge) Let's face it: the original design is epic, leaving very little room for improvement for the models in showrooms today. The R/T came standard with a 440 motor, which most would not have described as standard.
- 1978 Dodge 'Lil Red Express (Chrysler/Dodge) With a 360 V8 this pick up recorded the fastest 0-60 times for any production car from 1978. Enough said. This truck had a visual appeal of its own with the "smoke stack" style exhaust near the cab's back window.
- 1970 Buick GSX (GM) As GM divisions consistently tried to one-up each other, the Buick 455 motor was the crowning achievement for Buick. Combining the popular A-body chassis with 510-lb. ft. torque resulted in a vehicle both "grandma" and "sonny boy" were happy to drive.
- 1973 Pontiac Trans Am SD-455 (GM) When all other manufacturers cut performance, Pontiac was still trying to stand out from the crowd. The optional 310 HP and SD-455 available on the Formula and Trans Am models, made this platform even more formidable.
- 1978 Trans Am (Pontiac/GM) With a great body style, sweet W72 400-cid engine option and a 4-speed transmission; this car was the full package. With the additional WS6 suspension, it handled better than any other car of the '70s. The 1977 hit film "Smokey and The Bandit" really helped this car rise to stardom.
- 1971 Mustang Boss 351 (Ford) The Mustang kept evolving in both styling and engine displacement. In 1971, a new 351 Cleveland motor with 330 HP raised the bar. The 1970 Boss 351 variant gets top marks for being well rounded both visually and performance-wise, more so than its predecessors.
And before you ask, we didn't forget about these guys:
- 1970 Plymouth Superbird: remember that large pronounced wing?
- 1970 AAR 'Cuda 340 Six-Pack: The baby brother of the Mighty Hemi Cuda
- 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A: The non-descript sedan of the 1970's