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You’ve been scanning the classic car classifieds for months, watching episode after episode of Mecum and Barrett-Jackson auctions, and making the rounds at the Cars & Coffee events for at least a 60-mile radius around your home – all in an effort to find the perfect muscle car to make your own.
Trying to whittle down the options of one single choice from the muscle car heyday is a daunting task, and when we try, we can easily get caught up in the world of Chevrolet. In fact, friends often hear us say, “so many Chevys to drive and so little time to drive them all.” However, that doesn’t mean we’re not open to other American muscle.
Putting a 1969 Dodge Charger on the road as a grocery-getter for a couple of years gave us the experience of driving a muscle car on the regular, and while it was definitely a super rad time, there are a limited few others that we would’ve traded it for.
Here are the only ’60s muscle cars we’d drive over the 1969 Charger.
9 1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Ram Air IV
First on our list of must-have muscle is a Pontiac produced the same year as the Charger. The 1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans AM RA IV tops our ranking for a couple of reasons, including its epic aesthetic.
Introduced in 1969 as a trim option on the Firebird, the Trans AM came in white with blue racing stripes. It was powered by a 400-cu V8, creating 375 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque, that would rocket the Pontiac from a zero to 60 in 4.6 seconds and a quarter-mile in 14.2. It’s an ultra-rare model, and only 697 have ever been sold.
8 1969 Chevy Chevelle
Again, on our list is another muscle car that hit the asphalt in 1969. The iconic looks of the ’69 Chevelle are why we gravitate to this Chevelle. Stock, the ’69 Chevy Chevelle SS 396 developed 350 horsepower.
It had a zero to 60 time of 7.6 seconds and a 15.4-second quarter-mile. The Chevelle shown has been upgraded with a 496 V8 and a massive 871 blower.
7 1968 Dodge Hemi Charger R/T
The 1968 Dodge Charger, commonly remembered as “The Dukes of Hazzard” car, grabs a spot on our list. We give the nod to the ’68 Dodge Hemi Charger R/T (Road/Track) version, specifically those with the optional 426 Street Hemi, which was only availably on the R/T version.
The Hemi upgrade cost just over $600, raising the price tag on the Charger by approximately 20 percent. To us, it’s well worth the cost; however, only 211 were produced. A beast on the pavement, this Charger ran a zero to 60 in 4.8 and had a quarter-mile time of 13.5.
6 1968 Chevy Camaro Z/28
A popular resto in the muscle car world is the 1967 – 1969 Camaro. Our pick of the production models is the 1968 Chevy Camaro Z/28. In ’68 the Z/28 made its debut to public purchase. Only 7,200 were delivered.
Prior to 1968, the Z/28 was a track-only car. Its performance is the standout for us, with the Z/28 RS rocketing through its zero to 60 in 5.3 seconds. Its quarter-mile time was 13.8.
5 1963 Chevy Impala Z11
While there are many Chevy Impala options that we love, our pick is hands-down the 1963 Z11. This Impala was born to race and the reason why we want one. Chevy lightened this Impala by 300-pounds and increased its performance. It was powered by a 427 cubic-inch, 7.0-liter V8 with a high-rise aluminum intake, two four-barrel carbs, and a cowl induction system.
It produced 430 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. It was a stock 10-second car, clocking a 10.8 in the quarter-mile and a 4.3-second zero to 60.
4 1965 Shelby Cobra 427
The Shelby Cobra 427 also makes the list for sheer performance. It held a 427 cubic-inch 7.0-liter V8 that could run a zero to 60 in only 4.2 seconds.
It ticked 12.4-seconds on the quarter-mile. The Cobra pictured is a Roush Edition.
3 1964 Pontiac Tempest GTO 389
General Motors offered the 1964 Pontiac Tempest GTO 389 as an optional package that pushed the Tempest’s budget another $300. An upgrade to the Tri-Power version was also available.
This changed the standard four-barrel to a trio of Rochester two-barrels, upping the horsepower to 348 with 428 lb-ft of torque. It was rated for a 0-60 time at 6.6 seconds and a quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds.
2 1969 Plymouth ‘Cuda 440
While many will see positives and negatives with the ’69 Plymouth ‘Cuda and its powerful 440 Magnum, we again lean toward performance and put it on our list. With the 440 cubic-inch V8 under the hood, the ‘Cuda produced 375-horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque.
This option raced through its 0-60 in just 5.6 seconds. The quarter-mile time extended to 13.8 seconds.
1 1967 Chevy Corvette String Ray 427
While our heart belongs to the modern version of the Corvette, with the mid-engine C8 configuration, we just couldn’t pass up its predecessor that is a half-century old with the 1967 Sting Ray. This Chevy ‘Vette was available with a triple two-barrel setup that pumped the horsepower to 435.
The high-flow air cleaner gave a boost that made 460 horsepower. This Chevy Sting Ray reached 60 mph in only 4.7-seconds and completed the quarter-mile in 13.6.
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