Admit it, nothing is better than an 80s Mustang or a Pontiac. We would give anything to get a glimpse of those gorgeous, beastly muscle cars from the 80s sprinting on the roads with their monstrous engines. The launch of a few quirky Japanese coupes like the Mazda brought a renaissance to the American market of sports cars and SUVs. These guys brought efficiency, powerful engines and incredible handling along with them and took the nation by storm.
An era of muscle cars started and never really left. Unfortunately, some pretty good ones did not survive and are rarely spotted these days. Today we are going to share with you ten such muscle cars for which our hearts will never stop beating and wishing they would come back for good and stay this time. Grab that bag of fries, dip some into nostalgia and let’s start right away.
10 Buick Regal GNX
The supercar of the 1980s, the Buick Regal Grand National was, and is still considered to be the most badass car in the market and rightly so. The car came equipped with a super powerful V6 engine that yielded an impressive 276 horsepower. It could hit 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, which beats tons of cars even today. There are only 547 Grand National Buicks in the whole wide world to date and that makes this infamous car even more exclusive.
Only available in stark black, this muscle car is the coolest one from the 80s that we would die to bring back from the era.
9 Pontiac Grand Prix
When they were starting to lose hope and the market both, the Grand Prix brought the brand back into the game and changed the dynamics of the muscle car market such that the brand became legendary forever. The car stunned everyone with a 5-liter, powerful V8 engine that delivered massive power of around 250 horsepower. This mean muscle car came equipped with sturdy brakes and superb handling. Only 1220 Grand Prixs were produced before the model was discontinued in 1987.
8 Ford Mustang
No one can tell a story of muscle cars from the golden era and not mention the name Mustang. The critics that were disappointed with the Mustang 2 were ready to dismiss the models from Ford, but the Mustang 5 shut their mouths with it's modern, stylish and exuberant exterior and a powerful 5-liter engine capable of delivering more than 225 horsepower. The car sped like no other and offered incredible drive range and performance. Mustang could hit zero to sixty mph in merely 6.3 seconds. It is no wonder that the car has survived several decades and has been here forever to tell the tale.
7 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
The Chevy Monte Carlo was reintroduced in 1981 to the market and immediately became massively popular. It had fared quite poorly twelve years prior, but the relaunch with the newest upgrades, advanced features, and new body style, bumped up the model's demand incredibly and kept the particular model in the market for over five years. The lineup was discontinued by Chevrolet but was brought back once again years later. The car had a powerful V8 engine that delivered more than 180 horsepower. It offered a smooth drive and decent performance, the factors that made the brand revive the car again seven years later.
6 Chevrolet Camaro
The Chevrolet Camaro was not the ideal dream car of the fanatics because of somewhat odd styling and average drive range. Chevy had hoped that the rear-engine Corvair would beat down the popular Mustang, but after the Ralph Nadar book Unsafe at Any Speed, sales of the Corvair plummeted. According to the rumors in the industry, Camaro was manufactured as the next hope to beat the Ford Mustang. Chevrolet officially (tongue in cheek) called the Camaro a small ferocious animal that swallows Mustangs when asked what a camaro was.
The third-generation Camaro launched a model called I Roc-Z, which hit the bull’s eye with its exceptional handling and more than decent performance.
5 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
The Pontiac Firebird was first conceived as an optional package for the Firebird 400 designed for the Firebird Sports Car club. The brand was expecting this one to be a strong competitor to the Cougar and was launched on the same date that Ford launched the Mercury Cougar. But, the model was destined for something else and a heavy restyling, a turbocharger and revamping to the Trans Am prototype led the brand to become legendary over the ages. The car was intended to be a racing car that did not neglect the streets and the Trans AM version was inspired by Trans-Am races. All Firebird TA were white in color with a signature blue racing stripe on the bodice, but the car never featured in the race though.
4 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am
The Turbo Trans Am was released after seeing the great success and applause the Turbo Grand National received. Buick heavily underplayed the car at the time of launch and officially claimed it to be yielding only 250 horsepower when actually the car with its turbocharged engines delivered more than 300 horsepower. One of the fastest cars around at that time, the car became a speed sensation in no time among fanatics. It goes without saying that the car went on to become one of the most successful models of the brand.
3 Ford Thunderbird SC
The 1989 Car of the Year by Motor Trend was not successful when first launched because of its unoriginal looks and features. But, Ford revamped the model with some cool features and a powerful V6 engine that could yield 210 horsepower, a bigger body and the car redeemed itself in the muscle car market pretty soon. The Super Coupe was not conventionally attractive per se, but the engine, the throttle, and the performance that could take it from 0-60 in 7.5 seconds, quickly made a niche for the car among the enthusiasts. The car was discontinued in 1997 and got revived later again in 2002 by Ford.
2 Dodge Shelby Charger GLHS
The Dodge Shelby Charger GLHS came equipped with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that delivered a respectable 175 horsepower. It could hit 0-60 mph within seven seconds. The Shelby Charger was already known for its great speed and decent handling when Charger GLHS cemented a key rank in the muscle car market. When Dodge decided to stop production of the Shelby, the Shelby Corp. bought up the last 1000 vehicles and created the GLHS. Fanatics still feel their heart’s throb with the mention of this car and with only one thousand GLHS ever manufactured across the world, these have become an exclusive and highly valuable collectible car.
1 Plymouth Superbird
The Plymouth Superbird was a rather short-lived upgrade of the Road Runner that was not hugely popular, to be honest. The Superbird was a suped-up version with either a 426 Hemi V8; 440 Super Commando V-8 or a 440 super Commando Six Barrel V8. The Superbird and the Dodge Charger Daytona were part of a group of cars with race car parts installed to allow them to appear in NASCAR races. It could hit sixty miles per hour in just 5.5 seconds. Thought Dodge and Plymouth were beating the competition on the track with these two vehicles, there really wasn’t much of a demand for them from regular consumers and the Superbird was discontinued.