For those who know their cars, it is a known fact that the American auto industry has been the birthplace of the some of the most memorable vehicles. Americans are known for their fondness of high performance cars which are obviously high powered. Throughout the history of the American car industry, there have been car models which have been phased out but still remain in the hearts of auto enthusiasts. These cars are labeled as classics and they are known for their lasting legacy.
About.com polled classic car experts to come out with the ten most sought after classic vehicles.
Number one on the list is the Chevrolet Camaro. This “pony car” was first introduced by General Motors’ Chevrolet Motor Division in 1967. While production of the Camaro was not discontinued until the 2002 model year, the most sought after Camaro model are those released from 1967 until 1969 with the 1969 Camaro being the most notable car model. The Camaro was designed and produced to compete with the Ford Mustang and it shares its platform with the Pontiac Firebird.
The first generation of the Camaro was available as either a coupe or a convertible. Engine choice is between an inline six-cylinder and a V8 engine. Today, first generation Camaros are hard to find and experts advise interested individuals to instead go for the Firebird.
The direct competitor of the Camaro is number two on the list – the Ford Mustang with its first generation versions being the most sought after models. The Mustang was introduced in the market in 1964 and was originally based on the Ford Falcon compact car. The Mustang has the distinction of having one of the most successful product launches in the industry as it was unveiled at the New York World’s Fair which was broadcasted on three American television networks. Not only is the Mustang popular for its launching but also for its performance. Its popularity is evident in the fact that the Ford Motor Company sold more than one million Mustangs in its first eighteen months in the market.
Number three on the list of classic American vehicles is the first generation of the Chevrolet Impala. The Impalas produced from 1962 to 1964 are considered as the most sought after vehicles of the particular model. The Impala’s popularity among car owners is fueled by its on-off production. The first Impalas are distinguished by their unique six-lamp taillights. In fact, this oddity became a trademark for future Impalas.
In the late 50s and early 60s, the popularity of the car model is apparent when General Motors sold more than 13 million units of the said car model. While most sought after Impalas are those which are produced for the 1964 model year, it was in 1965 that Chevrolet set a record of 1 million Impalas sold every year. That record stands to this day. Currently, the hottest Impalas are the ones used for the Nextel Cup Series which combined have won ten out of the eleven races this season.
Number four on the list is the Chevrolet Chevelle which was introduced in the market in 1964. The most sought after Chevelles are those produced from 1967 to 1969. The popularity of the midsized automobile from General Motors’ Chevrolet Division is apparent in the fact that the Chevelle is considered as one of the most successful car from General Motors. Its powerful coupes and convertible versions are the most sought after variants of this classic American car. The vehicle is popular back in the 1960s as a car to modify for drag racing owing to its sleek design and powerful engine.
Another classic American car is the Chevrolet Bel Air. The classic car is popular for all its production years which spans from 1953 to 1975. Its design is one of the most notable reasons for the popularity of the Bel Air. Just like the Chevelle, the most popular variants of the Bel Air are the coupe and convertible body styles. This classic car is considered as one of the least expensive car model in the list since there has been an influx of these cars during the 2005 and the 2006 model years.
The sixth model on the list is the Pontiac GTO known as the first muscle car. Its powerful engine and GT styling are just some of the car’s attributes which makes it popular among car enthusiasts. This trendsetting vehicle continued the popularity of the V8 engine among car owners. The GTO was first introduced to the market in 1964 and was discontinued in 1974. The classic car was reintroduced for the 2004 model year but was once again discontinued in 2006. The most popular GTOs among car enthusiasts are those produced between 1964 and 1967. The GTO was then considered as one of the most powerful car. It became an icon for that era when car buyers are not concerned about gas prices reaching the three dollar mark and greenhouse effect and global warming are just known to few people.
The 1969 Dodge Charger is the seventh most popular American classic car among car enthusiasts. The Charger is commonly confused with the number one Camaro. This is due to the fact that both this car models have almost attributes. Both are designed to standout and both pack a powerful engine. The 1969 Dodge Charger though is harder to find than a Camaro due to the fact that there were fewer of these cars produced as compared to the Camaro. The Charger of 1969 is a rear-wheel drive hardtop coupe.
Number eight on the list is the Camaro’s cousin – the 1969 Pontiac Firebird. The Firebird is seen as an alternative to a Camaro but it can stand out on its own. While the Camaro and the Firebird uses the same components owing to the fact that they are both made by General Motors, the Firebird is considered by experts to have a better interior quality of the two although slightly only.
Number nine on the list are the Cadillac Convertibles produced in 1959 and 1960. Cadillac has always been known to be a producer of high quality driving machine. While the brand produces luxury cars, these vehicle are also known for their power as much as their luxury features. The Cadillac Convertible is also a favorite among car enthusiasts since it offers different modifications to be done to it easily. Thus a convertible can be turned from a luxury vehicle to a performance vehicle with tons of luxury features.
Rounding up the list are the Shelby GT-500 and GT-350 produced in 1967 and 1968. These vehicles are actually Ford Mustangs modified by former Formula One driver Carroll Hall Shelby. The racing legend and his company made these series of vehicles from 1955. The fact that these vehicles are specially modified means that these particular vehicles are some of the most expensive in the list.