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

By: David Morley

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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


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


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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