1964 Pontiac GTO
Much like the Chrysler C-300, the GTO was based on a much humbler car (the Pontiac Tempest), and was only available as a trim option at first. This car was badasss in every sense and broke a whole lot of rules. Firstly, it violated General Motors’ (Pontiac’s parent company) standing order forbidding engines larger than 330 cubic inches in medium-sized cars; the GTO, or “Goat” as it was nicknamed, had a 389 ci engine. Secondly, it stole its name from the Ferrari GTO without a please or thank you. It also came to define what would become the modern “muscle car formula” – a basic two-door hardtop, made in America, and stuffed with a big, bad V8.
1970 Buick GSX
The GSX debuted in 1970 – right at the pinnacle of the horsepower wars – and it was crammed with what would remain the era’s largest engine: a 455-cubic inch V8. That’s 7.5-litres of fuel consumption! Somehow it “only” produced 360hp, but it did also produce a more diesel-appropriate 510 foot-pounds (690 Nm) of torque, which raised the question of which item you’d need to replace first – the gasoline or your tires! While it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see such a large engine in a Buick again (unless they start building tanks), it’s nice to know that, once upon a time, such absurdity was indeed possible.