David Morley's Top Picks for Aust & US Muscle Cars

By: David Morley

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pontiac firebird pontiac firebird

Dave Morley chooses his top three Oz/US muscle cars

Pontiac Firebird 1970–1975

By now you lot must know I’m a Charger freak and a big fan of the Torana Hatchback. But the prices! Believe it or not, I reckon there’s better value to be had in Yankee stuff, starting with the Pontiac Firebird. An early second-gen is my choice, and I’ll have it in metallic bronze so I can live out my Rockford Files fantasies. Doesn’t even need to be a Trans Am; an Esprit would do. I reckon one of these would swallow an LS1 no trouble at which point you’d have a ripper of a thing. This is how the HQ coupe rear window should have looked

 

Buick Regal Grand National 1984–1987

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The fastest accelerating car you could buy in the US at the time, the Grand National was such a change of direction for stodgy old Buick, decent working folk didn’t know what to make of it. But I know what I’d make of it. The 3.8-litre V6 copped a turbocharger for lots and lots of accessible performance and, in Australia, there’s a wealth of knowledge on making essentially the same motor from a Commodore go hard. Maybe the Grand National is a bit rare to mod? Okay, just give me a povvo-pack Regal and an L67 out of a supercharged VT and I’ll take care of the rest. Nobody said we had to agree on this stuff.

 

Holden LX Torana SL/R 5000 1976–1978

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Okay, so I had to bung an Aussie hero in here somewhere. And, yes, I know the SL/R Trarna is a bit cliché, but only for the very best reasons. I’d love an A9X Hatch, but they’re bringing drug money, so a non-A9X sedan is probably the way to go. Even with four doors, those spoilers, wheel arch flares and one of the coolest black-out jobs ever conceived give the 5000 some dead-set punch. I’ve driven these things and they’re a big step up from the full-sized Holden hotties that went before them. You can probably thank the steering rack for that. Whatever – they work for me.

 

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