The history of America's automotive industry is incomplete without - one of the most powerful engines - the V8. With a blend of raw power and mechanical ingenuity, these eight-cylinder engines have motivated some of America's finest muscles and high-performance cars. Naturally, classic car collectors and gearheads alike appreciate vehicles with V8 engines. Besides their tire-scorching performance and incredible style, these classic American cars come with sentimental value and are icons in their own rights.
From incredible driving experiences to TV/movie appearances, every car on this list offers something of immense value for anyone looking to collect American classics.
Using data from Hagerty Valuation Tool, we've compiled a list of 10 cool American V8 cars that collectors will love.
There are so many reasons why the 1967 Cobra 427 attracts classic car collectors. Top of that list is its unique and timeless design. The curvy and muscular outline and legendary racing stripes make the Cobra 427 an instant head-turner wherever it goes. Secondly, the 427 had a limited production run with just a few hundred units manufactured.
Every collector knows how rarity increases the value of any car, and it is little wonder that the 1967 Shelby Cobra 427 has an average used price of over $1.75 million. Under the hood, every 427 comes with a powerful 7.0-liter V8 capable of churning out 355 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.
The 1967 Shelby GT500 is one of the most sought-after classic cars in the market, and for good reason. This masterpiece was the child of a marriage between Ford and Carroll Shelby. Under its hood, the Shelby GT500 has a 428 cubic-inch V8 designed for larger Ford models. This beastly powerplant coughs up at least 355 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque while driving the Ford to a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds.
Besides its powerful engine and track-tearing performance, the Shelby GT500 has gained recognition for its distinctive design. Outside, the fiberglass hood, air intakes, and functional hood scoop makes it instantly recognizable. The interior doesn't disappoint either, with its three-spoke steering wheel and air conditioning available as an option.
Chrysler introduced the Dodge Challenger during the peak of the muscle car era to rival the Pontiac Firebird, Mercury Cougar, and Ford Mustang. For its debut year, 1970, the Challenger came in two versions: the base Challenger and the Challenger R/T.
The R/T, short for Road/Track, was available in convertible and hardtop versions, and buyers could choose from a wide range of engine options. However, the 425 hp 7.0-liter Hemi V8 was by far the most popular, driving the car to a top speed of 146 mph. The 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T has remained a cult hero over the years, and its customization range makes it valuable to collectors.
The Pontiac GTO is often called the grandfather of muscle cars, and many collectors will give an arm and a leg to get their hands on one. First introduced in 1964 as an optional trim in the Pontiac LeMans lineup, the Pontiac GTO didn't become a stand-alone model until 1966. For the 1969 model year, Pontiac made some changes to the GTO. First, the ignition key moved to the steering column from the dashboard. Additionally, the automaker introduced one of the most loved packages in automotive history, "The Judge."
While the 1969 Pontiac GTO inherited the same standard 350 hp V8 as the previous model year, the manufacturer upgraded the High Output engine. The introduction of the Ram III and Ram IV engine options was a massive game-changer, with the top-rated powerplant producing 370 ponies and 445 lb-ft of torque.
The Dodge Dart is one of the most desirable American V8s out there. One of its biggest attractions is the sheer number of available engine options. Some of the engine options include a 180-hp 4.5-liter V8, 230-hp 5.2-liter V8, 235-hp 4.5-liter V8, and 270-hp 6.3-liter V8. There were also the 101-hp 2.8-liter inline-six and 145-hp 3.7-liter inline-six engine options. But the pick of the bunch was the 6.3-liter V8 producing 325 horses.
For the 1967 model year, Plymouth redesigned the Dart with features such as an upgraded steering system, dual-circuit brake hydraulic system, and curved side glass. The 1967 Doge Dart is not only a collectible American V8 but also affordable and a great option for collectors on a budget.
By 1968, the Oldsmobile 442 became a stand-alone model, and in 1970, the automaker made the Olds 455 V8 its standard engine. This engine produces 365 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Buyers who needed more power opted for the W30 package, with the 455 CID V8 churning out 370 ponies.
Other features of the W30 package include a unique air cleaner, fiberglass hood, Forced-Air induction, manual front disc brakes, and lightweight body insulation. As a result of its improved body style and performance, the 442 was the pace car for the 1970 Indianapolis 500 event.
The 1969 Chevy Camaro Z28 came at the peak of the 'Pony car wars.' Although the 1969 Z28 wasn't as fast as its rivals, it possessed razor-sharp handling and even better looks. Additionally, it stood out for its interesting combination of engine, bake, induction, and exhaust options
An exclusive 302 CID V8 powers the Z28, pushing it to an output of 290 horses and a 0-60 mph time of 7.4 seconds. Another part of the Z28's history that would appeal to collectors is its road-racing roots, which invariably played a huge part in its sales success.
A lot of cars have gained popularity via movies, and the '77 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am is one of such beneficiaries. This aggressive-looking and uniquely styled model is instantly recognizable from its role in "Smokey and the Bandit." However, it is much more than just a movie star.
Three V8 engine options were available for the 1977 model year: a standard Pontiac L78 400, an Oldsmobile L80 403, and the optional Pontiac W72 400. Producing 200 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, the W72 400 V8 was the pick of the bunch. In addition to its iconic status, the 1977 Firebird Trans Am is also popular among collectors for its customizable nature.
Towards the end of the 1960s, almost every American automaker had a pony car in its lineup. And even though Ford controlled the market to a large extent, the entrance of Chevrolet and Pontiac presented a threat. In response to this threat, Ford introduced its corporate cousin - Mercury - into the market.
The first entry from Mercury was the Cougar, a luxurious iteration of the Ford Mustang. The Eliminator trim came with lots of engine options, including the Boss 302 and the Cobra Jet 428 with 335 hp on tap. Inside, the Eliminator had 10 different color themes, high-back bucket seats, and full instrumentation.
Like most cars on this list, AMC built the Javelin to compete in the booming pony car market. The 1971 AMC Javelin AMX might not have been the most popular model back in the day, but it is an attractive collector's item today.
One of the best features of the AMC Javelin AMX was the 'Go Package.' The Go Package came with two powerful engine options: a 5.9-liter V8 with 285 horses and the more popular 6.6-liter V8 producing 330 hp.2023-09-18T20:41:23Z dg43tfdfdgfd