The 1970s ushered in a period of lackluster performance that slowed cars down for decades. By the time the 73/74 model years began, an energy crisis and the Clean Air Act were at wide open throttle as they wreaked havoc on our beloved high performance pony cars. The unfortunate result was the death of the muscle car. And regrettably, it would take decades for technology to catch us back up to the peak of performance that we recognized as the muscle car era.
However, the 70s weren’t all bad in terms of performance. Some of the most powerful muscle cars ever built came out of the very early 70s. Here are 7 of the fastest muscle cars from the 1970s:
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454
Perhaps the most famous muscle car of all time, this LS6 big block powered sled shot from 0-60 in just 5.4 seconds, with a ¼ mile time of 13.1 seconds. This beauty was able to reach these quick track times because of the monstrous 454 cubic inch engine that made 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of tire shredding torque.
1970 Chrysler Hemi
There are only a few names which are synonymous with speed who are also capable of striking fear and envy into everyone within earshot. Hemi is one of them. This massive 426 cubic inch big block powerplant produced 425 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque. This combo helped move cars like the Cuda from 0-60 in only 5.6 seconds, while running a respectable (even by today’s standards) 13.5 second ¼ mile.
1970 Chevrolet Corvette
This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one Corvette on it. The 427 cubic inch big block was replaced with the bigger 454 that helped launch the Corvette to a ¼ mile time of just 13.8 seconds. What’s more, the car went from 0-60 in just 5 seconds.
1970 Olds 442/Buick GS
Yes, Oldsmobile and Buick once made muscle cars. GM lifted the 400 cubic inch engine restriction that plagued the previous years, allowing these “A body” cars to go all out. When optioned with the 455 cubic inch engine, these 370 horsepower beauties were capable of running a ¼ mile in just 13.9 seconds.
1970 Ford Cobra Jet Cars
This list includes the venerable 429 Cobra Jet Mustang and Torino. These ground pounding big block Fords produced 370 horsepower, and were able to run 13.9 second ¼ mile times.
1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
The 1970 Camaro received an all-around makeover, which began a decline of the overall look of the car. The performance options for this year, which included a 375 horsepower small block and either a 373:1 or 410:1 rear end, helped propel this car to a quarter mile time of 14.1 seconds.
1971 Ford Boss Mustang 351
1971 marked the beginning of the end for Mustang’s sex appeal. However, this car would go down as one of the fastest Mustangs in history, likely because of the powerful 351 cubic inch V8 that produced 330 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque. The power, coupled with the Mustang’s lighter weight, launched it from 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, with a ¼ mile time of 14.1 seconds.