After the fashion heyday of the 1960’s, the 70’s saw a little bit of a slump when it came to the glory of horsepower. The world was changing and not for the better. A recession combined with a fuel shortage meant that it was no longer economically feasible to be driving a gas guzzler. As the boomers started to settle down, there was a definite nod to practicality in the vehicles, and smaller, more sedate vehicles became the trend. Luckily, there were still some beautiful monster highlights in this era, and cars which could go the distance - and a decent lick of speed.
Who was the most famous muscle car manufacturer of the 70's?
Careening around the corner at a speed of 0-60 in 5.4 seconds is the most famous muscle car ever made. The Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 managed to hit these speeds thanks to its namesake: the huge 454 cubic engine which meant it could give you a quarter mile time of 13.1 seconds. It was smooth on the outside and powerful under the hood, running 450 horsepower and 500 lb of torque. It also sets a trend when it comes to speed in the 70’s, and Chevrolet are the most famous beasts of the decade.
What were the fastest models of Chevrolet?
The Chevelle is the ruler of the muscle car domain, but there were other Chevy options which also managed a decent pace, and frequently out-performed competitors. The 1970 Chevrolet Corvette was so good that Prince named a song after it - which was also a great nod to how sexy a vehicle it is. Also sporting the powerful 454 engine and the giving you a quarter mile speed of 13.8 seconds, the lighter weight meant this baby could do 0-60 in 5 seconds.
Any more Chevys for the taking?
We are NOT sponsored by Chevrolet, but to complete the 70’s speed trifecta, we couldn’t forget about the 1970 Camaro. Arguably the pinnacle for this model, after it experienced a certain amount of remodeling, the car was undeniably slower than the Chevelle and the Corvette - but would still serve you a quarter mile in 14.1 seconds.
Which other speed cars do we love?
The other great name in muscle cars has to be straight outta Detroit - and the wonder of the 70’s Ford muscle cars. In fact, the Ford Jet series - which included the 429 Cobra Jet Mustang and the GTA favorite Torino were as fast as they were powerful. How powerful? 370 horsepower, and quarter mile times of 13.9 seconds. Beautiful.
How about the other great Fords?
So good it needed its own section, the fastest Ford Mustang in history was the 1971 Ford Boss Mustang 351. This car went fast, and it was the peak of sex appeal while it did it. In fact, we’d be willing to say that this was ending the Mustang’s domination of the sex appeal market. With a lighter weight, this car could match the Chevrolets with a zero-to-sixty speed of 5.8 and a quarter mile time of 14.1 seconds.
Which was the surprisingly fast car?
It might come as a surprise to think of an A-body car as particularly speedy, but in the 70’s, Oldsmobile and Buick ventured into muscle terrain, and they did it particularly well. General Motors had a restriction in place on the engines in previous years which had limited performance and slowed down speed. With the ability to go over the 400 cubic inch engine limit, 1970 Olds 442-Buick GS could give you a quarter mile in only 13.9 seconds.
Did You Save The Best Till Last?
Obviously. It would be impossible to mention the speed of the 70’s without the most famous name in the speed game. The Chrysler Hemi looked, sounded, and performed like the muscle car of our childhood dreams. Models like the Cuda could cut zero-to-sixty in 5.6 seconds thanks to 425 horsepower. Even better? The quarter-mile speed for these babies was an incredible 13.5 seconds, which gives it an outstanding time even by today’s speeds. We get chills just thinking about it.