Article: Most Iconic Engines From The Golden Era Of Muscle Cars

November 19, 2023

Story by Justin Owen in Slashgear

The muscle car era unofficially kicked off in 1964 with the introduction of the Pontiac GTO, ultimately becoming one of the most popular segments of cars that are fast and attainable by ordinary drivers. Besides being powerful and fast cars, they were often quite attractive.

High-performance cars started to become wildly popular after World War II as the American economy returned to normal prosperity and growth. Experience in building military equipment for a total war production schedule provided American industrial interests invaluable manufacturing skills to be put toward producing new products for consumers. With the additional earnings being brought home by returning soldiers, demand for fun and exciting machines skyrocketed.

The first of these performance cars included the Corvette, Thunderbird, and more exotic examples like the Mercedes-Benz SL300. However, at the same time, enthusiasts were hot-rodding ordinary models, demonstrating that there was a demand for fast cars that the average American could afford, too. The early '60s were primed for just such a car, and American manufacturers delivered legendary classics like the GTO, Chevelle, Charger, Javelin, and GSX. It was the heyday for the muscle car and it seemed to be unstoppable -- at least until pollution issues led the government to force auto manufacturers to clean up their act in the early '70s.

That led to the end of the golden era of muscle cars, but we will always cherish these vehicles -- here are the iconic engines that powered them.

Read More: Click Here to read about these these iconic engines, many of which were manufactured by General Motors and some found their way into the Corvette. Which cars did you own that were powered by these engines?

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