Muscle cars like the Dodge Challenger are fast, loud, and raucous good-time machines. However, with industry shifts toward fuel economy and electrification, the days of the muscle car might be numbered. Still, we can revel in some of history’s craziest, fastest American V8 cars, like the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and the Chevrolet Corvette. Here are some of the fastest muscle machines by decades, starting with the swinging sixties.
The 1960s were the first years of the American muscle car
The fastest muscle car of the 1960s was none other than the beloved Shelby Cobra. Carroll Shelby sympathetically mated a Ford V8 with an AC-sourced British roadster body and created the first Shelby Cobra. More than just fast, Car and Driver says a V8-powered Cobra could hit 60 mph in just over four seconds on its way to 200 mph.
The 1970s had significant muscle but also an unfortunate crisis
One of the fastest muscle cars of the 1970s is the venerable Chevrolet Corvette. The 1971 Chevrolet Corvette LS6 posted a 0-60 mph time of just 5.3 seconds. That’s quick by today’s standards, but cars soon after were hampered by the oil crisis. Of course, for it to qualify, you’d have to consider the C3 Corvette more of a muscle car than a true sports car.