Burning rubber for the red, white, and blueby Robert Moore, on LISTEN 05:07
Two-hundred, forty-two years ago, the Continental Congress declared the 13 American colonies to be independent of the British Empire, giving birth to the good ‘ole U.S. of A. Since then, we’ve busied ourselves by fighting wars, inventing stuff, and perfecting the art of consumerism, but who cares about all that - you’re here for only one thing. You want the cars, those tire-shredding, gas-gulping, speed-making all ‘Merican sports cars, baby. Welp, we’re gonna give ‘em to ‘ya, so put down that M-80 and read on.
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Like apple pie or baseball, the Ford Mustang is woven into the very fabric of the American experience. If we had to pick just one entry for this list, the Mustang would probably be it. First introduced in the mid-‘60s, a total of five generations have come and gone, with the current sixth generation hitting the scene in 2015.
These days, the Mustang is a true world-class sports car, selling in overseas markets and bringing the heat to the competition on the track thanks to a fully independent rear suspension. Indeed, from movies, to music, to books and comics, the Mustang is an absolute cultural icon, and that looks like it’ll be the case for a long time to come.
Read our full review of the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
The Corvette is another one of those inescapable American cultural icons, carrying the flag for Chevrolet as the beacon of all things fast, powerful, and patriotic. One excellent example of this comes from the Space Race of the ‘60s and ‘70s, during which Chevy gave new Corvettes to astronauts, cementing a relationship between the brave U.S. heroes and the V-8-powered sports car.
These days, the Corvette is now in its eighth generation, marking a period of extreme evolution from the traditional front-engine, RWD layout to a mid-engined configuration. Billed as a supercar by some, it has the look but not necessarily the performance, but regardless, the mid-engined Corvette – long rumored and seemingly mythical, has actually arrived. And, for the price, it’s currently unopposed in the U.S. – at least anything with a mid-engined configuration and such a low price tag, anyway.
Read our full review on the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette.
When it comes to classic muscle cars, the Pontiac GTO is one of the most iconic. The looks, the power, the unbridled aggression - the GTO had it all, and with the right options (hood-mounted tachometer, ram air intake, high-lift cams, etc.), it was a true street terror.
Of course, if you’re talking about the GTO, you’ve gotta mention the 1969 Judge. Packed with 400 cubes of V-8 grunt and 366 horsepower routed to the rear wheels, the Judge was built to take on the world at the drag strip - and win.
Read our full review of the 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge
From the old school, to modern muscle, we’ve got something hot and fresh to serve up to ‘ya. Evolving the Challenger nameplate to its ultimate form, the Demon’s spec sheet is a ludicrous thing to behold - up to 840 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, powering the rear slick-shod wheels to a low-2-second 0-to-60 mph time and 9.65-second quarter mile time at 140 mph, all while lifting its front wheels off the line. This thing is a serious drag racer that Dodge somehow massaged into a street-legal two-door, pushing the limits of excessive power and speed with a license plate. What’s more, at about $85,000, it’s relatively inexpensive, which makes it accessible to regular Joes. What’s more American than that?
Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Speaking of excessive, the Venom exceeds in just about every way imaginable. Created as a successor to the highly impressive Hennessey Venom GT, the F5 is built in-house by Texas tuner Hennessey Performance Engineering, and was designed to be nothing less than the fastest car in the world.
Powered by a twin-turbo V-8, the F5 produces a whopping 1,817 horsepower and 1,193 pound-feet of torque. Properly applied, Hennessey estimates a top speed in excess of 300 mph. Granted, the car has yet to actually achieve that lofty goal, but considering the specs, we think it’s certainly within the realm of possibility.
Read our full review of the 2021 Hennessey Venom F5