10 Legendary American Muscle Cars That Changed Everything

America is a powerhouse and to prove it, here are some of the muscle cars they made that changed absolutely everything.

America has remained a powerhouse throughout the entire world for centuries. American markets effect others around the world and American products often revolutionize current technologies. This goes for a significant amount of products, including, but not limited to, automobiles.

Decades ago, America was more of a net exporter, rather than the current situation of net importing. As such, American manufacturers made many cars. Some of which were revolutionary and will be remembered for as long as they exist. Although there are thousands to choose from, these ten are arguably the most prominent...

10 AMX/3

You may have never heard of an 'AMX' before, but thats probably for good reason. AMX was actually a set of particular models created by the manufacturer AMC (American Motors Corporation) as a competitor to the dominant Chevy Corvette. It only lasted for a handful of years, however, their models were quite unique.

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The original AMX was a record-breaking car in terms of endurance racing back in the late '60s. Whats more relevant, though, is their late model the AMX/3. The AMX/3 was unlike almost every other American car since it had a mid-engine set up. Sadly, only a couple were actually built; meaning the few that exist are exceedingly expensive.

9 Dodge Viper

Car enthusiast often use the term "angry" to describe the feeling or appearance of a certain vehicle. Though, few use it in the correct context. This wouldn't be the case, however, if they were referring to the Dodge Viper. A car so 'angry' that it was nicknamed 'The Widow Maker' for its high mortality rate.

The Viper is raw American muscle. Except, instead of a high-liter V8, it sports a high-liter V10 (8-liters to be exact). Obviously, with that kind of power behind it, the Viper was extremely fast. Dodge even opted the Viper into motor sports such as I.M.S.A. and the F.I.A. GT Championship.

8 Plymouth Road Runner

1968 was a crazy time in America. Both President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. had been started, Vietnam had begun to rear up, and the culture was shifting. The people were changing too. There was a larger focus on performance and family together, so companies responded accordingly. One answer was Plymouth's Road Runner.

The Road Runner served duel-purposes: Be comfortable/reliable enough for daily use with the family and fast enough to scare the passengers. Thankfully, Plymouth succeeded with an amazing car. Throughout its lifetime, the Road Runner undertook many different styles, but each one always came with a souped up version too.

7 Chevelle SS

Recently, the value of the Chevelle SS' have been skyrocketing. This is due to their 'classic' status and limited production. However, those aren't the only aspects. The biggest is the consumer's desire for one, as the Chevelle SS is a very sought after muscle car.

The Chevelle SS is a street demon for all intents and purposes. It possesses all the traits of an American muscle car: As much as a 7-liter V8, big body, and an aggressive disposition. With Chevrolet's masterful engineering, the Chevelle SS (And SS brand more broadly) has become a legend in and of itself.

6 Buick Grand National GNX

Buick is usually associated with older drivers and wide saloon cars. That wasn't always the case, as Buick had made it's fair share of sports cars. On that really stood out, though, was the Buick Grand National GNX.

The Grand National was already a model in Buick's lineup. It resembled a Chevrolet Monte Carlo with it's boxy shape and large front-bonnet. However, what the Monte Carlo didn't have was a match made in heaven between McLaren and GM. Yes, McLaren helped in the development of the Grand National GNX. Its no wonder why it's such a great car.

5 Dodge Charger R/T

Arguably the most popular American muscle car worldwide: The Dodge Charger R/T. The Charger has had several appearances on the big-screen and silver-screen. The most popular of which being Bullitt and The Dukes of Hazard.

The show, The Dukes of Hazard, actually went through so many Chargers during production that the state of California had a shortage for a while. Nonetheless, the show made the Charger famous everywhere. To this day, an authentic 1969 Charger R/T can go for as much as $100,000.

It was great to see on television all the time, but, sadly, has been cut off due to recent political controversies

4 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

Like the Challenger R/T, the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am go most of it's popularity from the film industry. To specify, the classic Smokey and The Bandit trilogy since the protagonist drove that exact vehicle.

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The color combinations and design of the Firebird Trans Am is unlike any other muscle car during the time. Especially the signature Firebird on the hood of each model. When seeing that car strut down the highway on the big-screen, it makes sense why so many people swarmed to it like moths to a flame.

3 Shelby Mustang

If anyone is to thank for America's involvement, and subsequent discoveries, in motor sports, it's easily Carol Shelby. Mr. Shelby managed to not only win multiple races throughout the world, but also design and build outstanding automobiles.

After Ford released the Mustang in 1965, Shelby soon went to work. He eventually created the Shelby Mustang and Shelby Mustang Cobra. These vehicles are still made to this day, even though Carol Shelby sadly passed years ago. Anyhow, his earliest Mustang models were, honestly, literal works of art.

Other brands have capitalized on the success. Like Eleanor who took Shelby's '67 Mustang and made it a legend once again. See the movie Gone in 60 Seconds for further evidence.

2 Chevrolet Corvette

If you've never heard of the Chevrolet Corvette before, then you should climb out from under your rock and see what all the fuss is about. Since as early as the 1950's, Chevrolet has been selling Corvettes as the affordable sports car for your everyday man. Needless to say, the marketing strategy it worked.

In fact, the Corvette has often been accused of being the world's most affordable sports car. Due to it's ability to hang with the "big boys" like Ferrari, Porsche, and Ford, the price range certainly makes it seems that way.

1 Ford GT40

Once again, Carol Shelby shows off his powerful intellect and masterful crafting skills. And, again, with help from Ford. During the mid to late '60s, Ford was getting absolutely creamed by Ferrari in Le Mans. With this growing thorn in America's side, Ford brought in Shelby to fix the problem.

This same subject is actually the story behind the upcoming 20th Century Fox movie, Ford v Ferrari. Like in reality, the movie will involve Ford's magnum opus: The GT40. Finally, Ford had a car to beat Ferrari. Though it took them quite some time, the GT40 managed to do it; securing its status as a revolutionary piece of motor sports history.

To honor these race cars, Ford continues to make Ford GT's for both consumers and teams to this day.

Sources: Auto Trader, Digital Trends

NEXT: Ranked: 10 Cheapest Muscle Cars

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