10 Famous American Muscle Cars from Pop Culture

Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in the 1966 Ford Thunderbird featured in "Thelma and Louise" (1991).

The American muscle car category first emerged in 1963, when Pontiac division chief John Z. DeLorean decided the best way to spice up the sleepy General Motors brand was through high performance vehicles.

If you want wheels with attitude, it’s hard to beat a muscle car. By technical definition, this genre of vehicle has a big block V8 stuffed into an intermediate coupe, but like the term “sports car,” the term “muscle car” has evolved over the years to include an array of styles.

In recent years, American muscle cars have been a prominent fixture in classic car auctions worldwide, garnering attention from new and established car collectors both stateside and abroad. In 2014 a 1956 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria Skyliner ‘Glass Top’ sold for $165,000 at an RM Sotheby’s auction. In 2016, a extremely rare 1968 Chevrolet Sunoco Camaro Racer sold for $990,000 at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction.

Whatever the model, one thing is for sure: they look cool and are fun to drive. Ahead of the upcoming Hershey AACA National Fall Meet, our editors explored some of the most iconic classic muscle cars from pop culture, looking to those that have appeared in television or film. Scroll below to see if your favorite muscle car made the list.

Here are some fun facts on a few of the cars included above:

  • Only 201 1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaros were produced
  • The 1975 Ford Gran Torino goes from 0 – 60 mph in 9.5 seconds, narrowly beating out the Jeep Compass.
  • The 1958 Plymouth Fury accelerates from 0 – 60 mph in 7.5 seconds (Just like a Toyota Sienna).

To check out these automotive beauties in real life, visit the annual National Fall Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania. You can learn more about the history, sportsmanship, and evolution of muscle cars and more.