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6 full-size alternatives to muscle cars

There are plenty of cars from the ‘60s and ‘70s that offer beautiful designs and gutsy power plants that don’t neatly fall into the muscle car category. We’ve even offered up some more affordable, mid-size alternatives to the typical muscle car. This time, let’s delve into some of my favorite full-size cars from the era that, while heavier than their drag-strip hero counterparts, brought some big V-8 power to bear. 

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/6-full-size-alternatives-to-muscle-cars/ 

Replies (67)

Replies (67)

Wheres The 67 Buick Riviera GS. Talk about Unique and hard to find, 430 CI Stratoflight Interior, Cylindrical Speedo, X Frame. Probably Give a stock Camaro a Run in the 1/4 mile. 

New Driver

I have to add my current project and favourite from that time.  1965 Galaxie 500 XL

Passenger

These cars are picking up momentum in Europe and the Euros are exporting the best models away from us !  Be warned before it is too late , folks !  Muchos $$$ Mr. Euro !

New Driver

We need to keep all the amazing cars mentioned on the road!

Passenger

I'd say any of the 'pre-muscle' too in the '62/4/6 era. Both chebby & ford had'em can't seem to remember any 3rd co models...not the larger luxo-barges (there were plenty of those 'hi powered' and that helped start the "muscle")...

Intermediate Driver

 I've always loved the late 60s T-Birds since seeing a relatively well-off student being dropped off and picked up from school in one during the Papa Doc era in Haiti. the sequential turn signals, and the suicide doors made a lasting impression on me.

Passenger

The Marauder's 360 HP was   backed by 480 Ft/Lb @ 2800 RPM. Sufficient to motivate. If you look closely, you'll notice that shares the 500 XL (you won't find the word "Galaxie" on a real one) chassis. With the bucket  seats, console and horseshoe shifter, it is  a looker. Plus you won't see another at the local car show.

Passenger

No mention of Roadrunner, GTX, or Charger? smh

Navigator

This was to be a reply to Doscoop's answer below. I have a '64 T-bird convertible I'd love to put back on the road. I've owned it 24 years now and cry when I see what they sell for now a days.

New Driver

How about going back in time a little further to look at the Oldsmobile Starfire from '61 to '65? Big engine, big performance. My buddy had one and would love cruising two lane highways looking for 5.0l Mustangs. He would always take them from a rolling start and blow their doors in.

New Driver

1968 OLDSMOBILE Cutlass 'S' model

New Driver

I have to disagree on the Wildcat--the 1969 and 1970 years are quite homely looking, and started looking too "corporate GM" for my taste.  I have preferred the look of the '65 over all the others, with the '67 and '68 tied for second place. I realize the '66 is similar to the '65, but don't like the grill and rear taillight treatment, and the dash is completely different and too generic.  The '66, however, did offer a GS package and a dual-carb option.  

Passenger

All beautiful cars, but who did the exhaust on the purple T-Bird?   GAG!

Passenger

The beautiful car shown above is spectacular with except to the disgusting exhaust pipes hanging down for all to see. The exhaust installers totally destroyed the appearance of this amazing beauty. The exhaust should have the underside hidden from view.

Passenger

Even with the recommended alternatives and  their prices,  one might as well buy the muscle cars.

Passenger

I've always felt  the big cars with the biggest engines were better than the muscle cars. I currently have two. One a 66 Biscayne Wagon with a 427 and a '68 Wildcat. With minor tuning, mild cams 2teens@.050" lifter rise and headers, both run low to mid 14's. Stock gears, intakes and Q-jet carbs. Both weigh north of 4500# (actual weights) too.

 

Only difference between a '68 and '69 Wildcat other than the styling is that the '68 was on the C body chassis with 4 inches more wheelbase and the fender skirts from the Electra. That extra length (and weight) was in the rear seat foot.well area. Both cars have surprised many over the years!

Pit Crew

Ah the big boys!  You gotta love em eh?  To bad you left out mine.  The 1974 Pontiac Grand Ville Convertible.  In Pontiac Porcelain Blue.  I've got a 455 plant with enough HP to push my grandmothers empty grocery cart.  Single exhaust, low compression, catalytic converter, **bleep** OPEC.  But man does it cruise.  🙂

Passenger

How about a 1973 Suburban with a factory 454 and 3.73 posi rear end?  Ok, ok it's a 'SUV', but back in the late 70's I smoked the disco-era Vettes, Z28s and Trans Ams that the 'rich kids' were driving around in High School.  Loved the look on their faces when I shot by them, making the $300, 6 point drag racing ticket I ended up getting worth it!

New Driver

I loved and owned a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 390ci and a 1967 Buick Wildcat 455 both were Tudor Hd tops and Wonderful Cars.

Passenger

Too big and barge-like for my taste. Powerful, yes, but so is an ocean-going ore freighter.

Pit Crew

My mom drove a 1966 Rambler Ambassador that I actually had a chance to buy from her by didn't want it. The car had great pick up and rode like a Cadillac. 

Passenger

My uncle had a 68 Tornado. I was 6 at the time but I was spell-bound by it size and interior....black and chrome everywhere...long wide console and huge front seats....

Pit Crew

All of these ugly ducklings made the list over the '69-'72 A-Body Grand Prix ?! 

 

Passenger

My all-time favorite in the full-size cars is the 1967 Chevrolet SS 427 which was the Z24 option.  By the way, it is NOT an Impala.  You will not find the word Impala anywhere on one of these.  

 

 

 
 

 

Pit Crew

I found this 1969 Mercury Marauder X100 with only 87,000 miles that's been in storage since 1981...How can I download my pics?

Passenger

1970 Toronado GT

400 hp, 500 ft lb torque

0-60 7.5 sec 800 lb heavier than the 442 at 7.2 sec

New Driver

I would add the '63 through '66 GPs, though the first two are probably the '64 GTO's equal on the drag strip.  The '67 GP convertible is also worthy of inclusion.  Lastly, the 69-70 GPs were fabulous looking, smooth and powerful beasts, especially in SJ trim.  I don't share the author's opinion that the nose on these cars is "polarizing." 

Passenger

Such beautiful cars.  I'm liking that Buick Wildcat.  I bought a 74 Pontiac Grand Am as a project car last year.  It's a A body car, but the proportions hide how truly big these cars are.  My Grand Am is a tighter fit in my garage around the perimeter than my 2005 Chevy Tahoe.  

Watch enough of the video to hear that wonderful V-8 rumble

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_lsuJ3xkwg&list=PLDVMZI_3FDreUgeiihv4nG8KWDXGh2eti&index=9&t=95s

Pit Crew

Too bad few have seen a 1965 Chrysler 300 2D HT....

Passenger

I had a 69 AMC Ambassador SST coupe and loved it. I preferred the Teague-restyled wide front end over the stacked headlights of the year before but they were still sharp clean cars. In fact Ambassador 2 door hardtops were good looking cars clear up to 73.

Passenger