Examples of classic muscle cars include the 1967 Pontiac GTO, 1968 Plymouth Road Runner Hemi, 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1. Other famous examples include the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda and 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454.
While Bankrate notes that classic car enthusiasts trace the origins of muscle cars to the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88, the company notes that these vehicles enjoyed their greatest period of popularity between the years of 1965 and 1970. Although most of these classic muscle car models have modern counterparts, classic car enthusiasts tend to value authentic classic vehicles more than modern recreations.
Bankrate notes that some classic car enthusiasts choose to exclude the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro models from a more exclusive definition of what makes a muscle car, but chooses to include those models in its list due to the popular conception of those models as classic muscle cars.
Enthusiasts who choose not to trace the origin of classic muscle cars to the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 tend to name the Pontiac GTO as the first true classic muscle car. This model began production in 1964, but the 1967 version featured a much more powerful engine, making the distinction between it and all predecessors clear.