American Muscle: 11 Most Ripped Muscle Cars of All Time

1. 1967 Pontiac GTO

The epitome of muscle, the Pontiac GTO hit the scene with its functional hood scoop in 1964 and has been leaving its mark ever since. Marking the start of the so-called Golden Age of muscle cars, the GTO has been a symbol of the muscle car industry for some time.

In a turn of what some might call adolescent rebellion, Pontiac ignored GM’s ban on installing large engines in small cars and installed a huge 389-cubic-inch V8 engine under the hood. Pontiac also charged motorists $3,200 for the privilege—sounds dirt cheap by today’s standards.

The ban on large engines in small cars came in response to a horrific incident at the 1955 La Mans race, where 84 people were killed after the fuel tank of a competing car erupted after being clipped by a Mercedes-Benz driven by Pierre Levegh.

However, lucky for the automaker, Pontiac’s sly move paid off when General Motors reneged on the ban in 1963. Soon after, manufacturers like Buick and Oldsmobile wasted no time jumping on the muscle band-wagon. By 1967, the Pontiac GTOs V8 engine had been refined to see it to a measurement of 400 cubic inches (6.5L) for a potent 260 horsepower and 0-60 acceleration time of 7.7 seconds.

1967 Pontiac GTO photos:

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