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Coolest Classic Cars


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Coolest Classic Cars

How did muscle-car madness start? 1 of 8 Ford Because it is a genre that enthusiasts are passionate about, you are bound to generate some criticism when compiling a list of the 7 greatest muscle cars of all time. However, Bankrate stuck its neck out to do just that. Some enthusiasts trace the history of muscle cars to the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. But the heyday of this genre ran from 1965 to 1970 before collapsing under the weight of higher gas prices, more stringent exhaust emissions regulations and soaring insurance costs. Check Auto Loan Rates What is a muscle car? There isn’t a settled definition, but most experts agree it’s a smaller, 2-door car powered by a high-displacement engine typically found in a larger, full-size sedan. Some argue that pony cars, such as the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, aren’t muscle cars at all, but for this list, Bankrate chose not to make that distinction. Manufacturers engineered muscle cars for straight-line speed, inspiring more than an occasional Saturday night drag race between traffic lights. Neither built nor sold in huge numbers, muscle cars were bait, luring buyers into showrooms where they would purchase more mundane models. Yet, the muscle-car mystique lives on. Here’s our list in model-year order. Previous Next 1 of 8
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Coolest Classic Cars

They weren’t always the fastest or the most expensive. The sexiest or best designed or engineered. The most radical, iconic, famous, desired, or most outrageous. But they’re the coolest. It’s hard to define cool, but you know it when you see (or drive) it. As we kick off Motor Trend’s 60th Anniversary celebration, here’s a look-in random order-at 60 of the coolest, illist, chillist machines to roll earth’s highway during our watch, 1949-2009.
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Coolest Classic Cars

The 51 Coolest Cars of the last 50 YearsCars don’t just appear, they evolve, built on the technology and the style of what came before. Every now and then, it’s useful to take a step back, appreciate history, and get a glimpse of how today’s efforts stand in the pantheon of preceding hardware.
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Coolest Classic Cars

Purists not tracing the era of muscle cars to the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 typically mark its beginning with the 1964 GTO. Skirting a General Motors ban against putting big engines — any engine larger than 330 cubic inches — into small cars, Pontiac sneaked a 389-cubic-inch V-8 into its Tempest as an option called the GTO in 1964, according to MotorTrend.com. Response was so huge that the car won over GM execs, paving the way for a stable of Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Buick and Pontiac muscle cars.

Coolest Classic Cars

1967 Pontiac GTO 2 of 8 Photo by Jack Snell Purists not tracing the era of muscle cars to the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 typically mark its beginning with the 1964 GTO. Skirting a General Motors ban against putting big engines — any engine larger than 330 cubic inches — into small cars, Pontiac sneaked a 389-cubic-inch V-8 into its Tempest as an option called the GTO in 1964, according to MotorTrend.com. Response was so huge that the car won over GM execs, paving the way for a stable of Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Buick and Pontiac muscle cars. Because of its historic value, the 1965 version could represent GTO on this list, but 1967 marked the first full model year of availability of ram air through a functional hood scoop on the GTO. It was a 400-cubic-inch V-8, delivering 360 horsepower. Previous Next 2 of 8
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Coolest Classic Cars

Among the first sports cars of the post-war era, the Mercedes SL 300 Gullwing was the fastest production car of its time when it was introduced in 1954. As the first direct fuel injection series production car, the SL 300 could travel at an eye-popping 160 miles per hour. “Nobody expected something like that from Mercedes,” says Constantin von Kageneck, a specialist in classic car marketing at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, CA. Though about three-quarters of the original SL 300’s survive today, many still belong to their original owners. To see one, visit the Classic Center or an automotive museum like the Petersen in Los Angeles.
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Coolest Classic Cars

Mercedes SL 300 Gullwing Among the first sports cars of the post-war era, the Mercedes SL 300 Gullwing was the fastest production car of its time when it was introduced in 1954. As the first direct fuel injection series production car, the SL 300 could travel at an eye-popping 160 miles per hour. “Nobody expected something like that from Mercedes,” says Constantin von Kageneck, a specialist in classic car marketing at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, CA. Though about three-quarters of the original SL 300’s survive today, many still belong to their original owners. To see one, visit the Classic Center or an automotive museum like the Petersen in Los Angeles.

Coolest Classic Cars

Sam WebberMr. Sloan, as a BMW enthusiast, I can shed some light onto why the brand isn’t featured on this particular Top-10 list. Though an E34 is reaching a ‘classic car’ status, the rest of your cars aren’t quite there yet. Perhaps those enraged about the lack of BMW’s on this post can read along. I owned a 1983 BMW E21, after ownership of two E28’s, and thought the cars performed great. Great until on a trip from Massachusetts to California my engine started miss firing, resulting in terrible compression, and damaged internals. It was ‘blown.’ After reaching California I purchased… Read more »Vote Up1Vote Down Reply2 years 7 months agoJimmy PoolYet Alphas make the list…
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Sam WebberMr. Sloan, as a BMW enthusiast, I can shed some light onto why the brand isn’t featured on this particular Top-10 list. Though an E34 is reaching a ‘classic car’ status, the rest of your cars aren’t quite there yet. Perhaps those enraged about the lack of BMW’s on this post can read along. I owned a 1983 BMW E21, after ownership of two E28’s, and thought the cars performed great. Great until on a trip from Massachusetts to California my engine started miss firing, resulting in terrible compression, and damaged internals. It was ‘blown.’ After reaching California I purchased… Read more »Vote Up1Vote Down Reply2 years 7 months ago
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Mr. Sloan, as a BMW enthusiast, I can shed some light onto why the brand isn’t featured on this particular Top-10 list. Though an E34 is reaching a ‘classic car’ status, the rest of your cars aren’t quite there yet. Perhaps those enraged about the lack of BMW’s on this post can read along. I owned a 1983 BMW E21, after ownership of two E28’s, and thought the cars performed great. Great until on a trip from Massachusetts to California my engine started miss firing, resulting in terrible compression, and damaged internals. It was ‘blown.’ After reaching California I purchased… Read more »
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The collector car market may have driven the price of vintage muscle cars into the stratosphere, but there are still awesome classics out there for the budget collector. Here are Jalopnik readers' top ten classic cars for under $5,000.

1 Of 100 100. Jaguar XJS (1975–1996)The successor to the iconic E-Type, the XJS was a great-looking car in its own right. In production for more than two decades, it became one of the most recognizable models from Jaguar. 2 Of 100 99. Chevrolet Camaro (1966–1969)The original Camaro set many young hearts aflutter. With muscular, purposeful styling and power to spare, the ’60s Camaro became an instant classic.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below 3 Of 100 98. Lotus Esprit (1993–2004)Despite going through some awkward “wedge” phases in its early days, the Esprit hit its stride with the early ’90s S4 variant. By the twin-turbo V-8 generation, it had evolved into a legitimate exotic. 4 Of 100 97. Ford GT (2005-2006) The reincarnation of the Ford GT40 was so cool that it’s one of the only cars of the past 10 years that hasn’t depreciated—in fact, it’s worth more now.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below 5 Of 100 96. Cadillac The entirety of ’50s automotive fashion in America can practically be summed up in the ’59 Cadillac. Huge, heavy, and comically over-styled, it’s a classic from a bygone era—and highly desirable in today’s collector market. 6 Of 100 95. Bugatti Type 57 (1934–1940)Shortly before World War II reached a fever pitch, French maker Bugatti enjoyed considerable recognition for its gorgeous Type 57. A total of 710 were ultimately produced.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below 7 Of 100 94. Noble M12 M400 (2004–2007)You may never have heard of Noble—it’s not a huge name. Its M12 sports car, however, was a huge performer, and a favorite among track-day enthusiasts. 8 Of 100 93. Dodge Viper (1990–present)If macho can be sexy, then the Dodge Viper has appeal to spare. Designed to be brutally fast, uncomplicated, and eye-catching, this low-tech superstar from Detroit hit instant fame.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below 9 Of 100 92. Mercedes-Benz 540K (1935–1940)The 540K marked a distinct change in style from its predecessor, the 500K. The new model featured sleeker and curvier bodywork, along with a larger, more powerful straight-8 engine. 10 Of 100 91. Ford Boss 302 Mustang (1969–1970)Afraid of losing its “pony car” crown to the archrival Chevy Camaro, Ford created the Boss 302 variant of the perennially popular Mustang to underscore the importance of legitimate performance over maximum power.
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PreviousThe cars of Transformers: Age of Extinction view gallery 50 Photos Cars don’t just appear, they evolve, built on the technology and the style of what came before. Every now and then, it’s useful to take a step back, appreciate history, and get a glimpse of how today’s efforts stand in the pantheon of preceding hardware. More view gallery

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