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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have done bits bout which muscle cars and pony cars were the best and which ones were so radical one would be insane to operate one on the street. But what about the muscle cars people forgot? Between the Chevy SS cars, the Pontiac GTOs and Firebirds, the Ford NASCAR motors, and the Mopar Hemis, were there even other cars made in the '60s? The answer is yes there were, and these are the cars that were awesome when new, but time has somehow left behind.

10. '62 Chevrolet Nova SS 327- Wait, hold up! Chevy never put a V8 in the early Novas! Or did they? In 1962, GM corporate announced that it was now a dealer option to have a 327 and a 4-speed swapped into a Nova. The Nova SS 327 wore no special badges, the only visual difference between an I6 and V8 car were the dual exhaust pipes. A Nova could be ordered with not just any 327 either, but the real deal 327 from a Corvette sporting a whopping 360 fuel-injected horsepower! With sub-7-second 0-60 times and a top speed over 130mph, this little Nova was one of the best factory sleepers available at the time.


9. '62 Dodge Dart 413- If the Nova SS was the ultimate compact sleeper from GM, this car was its Dodge nemsis. It had a monstrous 413 cubic inch (it became known as the Max Wedge for its wedge-shaped combustion chambers) motor featuring aluminum pistons, solid lifters, and a 13.5:1 compression ratio! With 420+hp dumped through 4.89 rear gears, this car made no joke about its purpose: to be the baddest son of a b**** on the road. Max Wedge cars receive popularity amongst Mopar communities but are generally unknown by GM and Ford guys because the Wedge was soon upstaged by its big brother the Hemi.


8. '69 AMC Javelin 390- AMC is one of the forgotten secrets of the muscle car era. The Javelin 390 in '68 was pitted in a magazine test against a Camaro SS, Mustang GT, Barracuda Formula S, Cougar XR-7, and Firebird 400HO. The Javelin was not the fastest out of the gate, but ranked above all others in handling and comfort. New for '69 were the 4-speed Hurst and the optional 5.00:1 rear axle (if you could afford the gas). The hottest version of the 390 was rated at 330hp and the car was capable of high 13s at over 100mph down the strip.


7. '69 AMC Hurst SC/Rambler- In ’69, AMC decided to follow the great credo of muscle cars: stuff a big motor in a small car. The "Scrambler" sported the 390 that also found its way into the Javelin and AMX, but was the lightest of the 3 cars and could pound out a quarter-mile at over 100mph with only 3.54:1 gears! Perhaps why this car is better left forgotten is its completely ridiculous appearance, it looks like a rolling billboard of patriotism with its red, white, and blue paint schemes and the massive hood scoop only added to its goofiness. Although many laughed, competitors in NHRA Super Stock were soon silenced after seeing nothing but the rear-mounted Hurst badge. The Scramblers that ran SS/F class pounded out consistent 9-second runs.


6. '69 AMC SS/AMX- In '68, AMC changed their image to a more performance-oriented and youthful company, and by '69 they were in the pony car market in full force. AMC wanted to run their AMX in the NHRA Super Stock class with the big boys (a category that arguably inspired the pony car market as much as Trans-Am racing), so they hired Hurst to tune the AMX to be competitive. The 390 motor sported goodies such as twin Holleys, a cross-ram aluminum intake, factory headers, and a 12.3:1 compression ratio. The factory rating of 340hp was a joke, the NHRA rated it at 420hp. Slightly modified AMXs were known to run high 10s. The car was so wild, AMC did not offer any kind of warranty with it.


5. '68 Buick GS 400- With its A-body brothers named things like Chevelle and GTO, it is easy to understand how the GS 400 was overlooked. Buick was a car for the rich man, he wanted a luxury car that could still perform and did not have the brash display of a Cadillac. A GS 400 with the Stage 1 Special Package featured a hotter cam, a higher 11.0:1 compression ratio, and stronger valve springs. With over 400hp on tap, the GS 400 would pound out a 14-second run then cruise the boulevard just as smooth as a foreign car. It was a car for those demanding the best technology, a smooth ride, and performance enough to embarrass young kids who thought they had a fast car. This was Buick's BMW M3 of the ‘60s.


4. '69 Plymouth Barracuda 440- It was completely upstaged by its cousins the '70 Cudas and Challengers, but the earlier Barracudas sport a loyal following and can typically be found decked out in pro-street form. The Barracuda was possibly just as brash as the Firebird RAIV, with the largest motor ever offered in a pony car. The 440 was so big that there was actually no room for either a power steering pump or a brake booster, thus power steering and power brakes were not available. The engine created so much torque that Chrysler engineers worried a 4-speed car would break any axle they had at the time, so all ’69 Barracudas sported the 727 TorqueFlite automatic. Launching proved difficult, even with the automatics, but that did not stop the Barracuda from a 5-second 0-60 time or posting 13-second runs at over 105mph!


3. '69 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II- The name was a mouthful, but on the NASCAR circuits the car was actually slightly faster than its Ford Talladega cousin. It suffered from an underpowered 351W motor (compared to the Talladega's 428 Cobra Jet) but featured much more streetability and was a much more enjoyable car to drive. Rumors indicate that some cars were dealer-equipped with 429 motors and were extreme sleepers on the street, but this not known for sure. In fact, the true production number of these cars is not even known.


2. '65 Plymouth Belvedere 426- Boasting a pair of the most badass Wedge motors ever, no Mopar fan will ever be heard saying bad things about such an animal as the Max Wedge Stage III. To hell with aluminum, this bad boy went to town with a magnesium intake! Other inane pieces were forged rods and crank, cross-bolted main caps, solid lifters, a cam with over 320 degrees of duration, headers, aluminum heads, and 12.5:1 compression. The Belvedere was the smallest car Plymouth had, so why not put the biggest motor in it? Chrysler refused to offer a warranty on the vehicle and it came with a warning that it was "not recommended for general driving." Another version was offered with a 426 that was so radical it was not street legal.


1. '62 Chevrolet Bel Air 409- "She's so fine, my 409!":D Often disregarded for its cousin the '62 Impala SS 409, the Bel Air was little more than tires, seats, a shifter, and a big motor. The Bel Air was lighter than the Impala and could turn the highways to glue with a top speed over 150mph. A lead foot racer could find high-geared Bel Airs running over 115mph in the quarter-mile. A 409 Bel Air can actually run with many of the Chrysler street Hemi and Wedge cars and would put most early-'60s Fords to complete shame (only the stripped-down Thunderbolts could run with 409s). Arguably the fastest car available in 1962, it is still forgotten even deep in the General Motors circles because its big brother the Impala SS was stealing all the spotlight.
 

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Awesome thread man.

The Chevy II brings back memories. A really underrated car by the average muscle car crowd. It is easily the fastest car I've ever driven. Sadly it wasn't mine, but I was fortunate enough in that it's owner didn't mind me driving it. It was far from stock, as it was set up as a Pro Street car, one of the more popular build styles when I was growing up.


The times posted by these cars are amazing, especially when you consider that these cars were rolling around on narrow, shitty bias ply tires when they were new.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hate to bring back a dead thread, but Hagerty's put up a very similar article. I think everyone should know there are inexpensive alternatives to their favorite muscle cars, you just might have to shop around some more for the car itself or for the parts.

Link to Hagerty's article:
http://www.hagerty.com/lifestyle/hobby_article.aspx?id=64810
 

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I agree with all the AMC choices, very underrated. But I don't think the 440 Cuda should be up there, I thought everyone knew about Cudas.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I agree with all the AMC choices, very underrated. But I don't think the 440 Cuda should be up there, I thought everyone knew about Cudas.
Everybody buys the '70-'73 cars, I very rarely see the pre-'70 Barracudas.
 

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That Javelin is one of my all time dream cars. There's a guy running around where I live that has one that is almost Plum Crazy Purple with a big old school blower in it. It makes me drool every time I see it! Nice read!
 

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awsome thread! the barracuda and the cyclone are my favorite. i think most people put mustangs before torinos/cyclones. i dont think ive ever seen a restomod torino honestly.
 
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