The United States Post Office commissioned artist Tom Fritz for the collector stamp series Muscle Cars (Forever®). Growing up in Southern California, Fritz received a first rate education in "Muscle Car 101". The paintings of these iconic images, Fritz says, are “a projection of my memories of the vehicles.” Judging by the final product, the images are a rich, graphic depiction of the greatest era of American muscle and not to mention Detroit ingenuity at it's finest. What's not to love?
Fast and powerful, muscle cars roared their way into America's hearts in the 1960s. Automakers were turning out masterpieces typically equipped with big, powerful, gas chugging engines.
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona was powered by a standard 440-cubic-inch, 375-horsepower Magnum engine. A limited number of Daytonas came equipped with a 426-cubic-inch Hemi engine. Oh yes, it's got a Hemi. The car also featured multiple additions designed to boost aerodynamics, including a nearly two-foot tall, rear-mounted wing. Cheesy or legendary, you decide. The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona was so rare; only 503 were produced.
1966 Pontiac GTO
The GTO was was propelled by a 335-horsepower, V8 engine and could really move. The GTO has been referred to lovingly as "The Goat". Many enthusiasts believe the GTO ushered in the American muscle-car era in the mid-1960s. In tests, it went from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds.
1967 Shelby GT-500
Manufacturer and former racecar driver Carroll Shelby's version of the Ford Mustang was powered by a 428-cubic-inch, 355-horsepower Police Interceptor engine. The car also featured a rear spoiler and dealer-installed LeMans stripes as an option. The Shelby GT-500 was both striking and rare; only 2,048 were built. This one has always been a favorite among the autoMedia staff.
1970 Chevelle SS
The car featured a 396-cubic-inch engine, but an optional 454-cubic-inch engine really gave the model credibility among muscle car enthusiasts. Two versions of the 454 engine were available: the 360-horsepower LS-5 and the 450-horsepower LS-6. Available as a coupe or a convertible, the Chevelle SS is still an absolute head turner.
1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda
The car's 426-cubic-inch Hemi engine was a 425-horsepower beast. The Hemi 'Cuda's styling was unmistakeable due to several eye-popping color choices, such as Lemon Twist, Lime Light, and Vitamin C. Fewer than 700 Hemi 'Cudas were produced.
So gearheads, would you have added a different car to the series? Personally, the addition of the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro aka "The Greatest Car Ever" would have been a no-brainer.
Check out some of the other Classic Muscle Car features from the autoMedia archive.