A few weeks ago, we looked at some cars with huge depreciation rates. We called depreciation an inevitability and wondered why anyone would decide to purchase a new car (unless they simply couldn’t resist that intoxicating “new car” smell). However, after a spell of deep contemplation and soul searching, we decided to do something crazy. We took the the reams upon reams of Excel spreadsheets on depreciation data stored securely in the CarGurus vault and turned them upside down.
Anytime a list like this gets published, lots of opinions are built into the equation.
One person might call the Subaru WRX the year’s best driver’s car, while another would bestow the honor on the BMW M3. How a car drives and reacts to input is an incredibly subjective experience and open to interpretation by many different styles of drivers.
That said, there are some mainstays in the perennial quest to find the best car for drivers. Not just go-to-the-store drivers, but the drivers who understand the value of properly warmed tires, a perfect apex and heel-toe shifting.
Keep reading for Motor Trend‘s surprising list of the year’s best driver’s cars, ranked 9 to 1.
The old chicken farmer has done it again—gotten the media all riled up over two Mustangs he will bring to the New York Auto Show. The street-version Shelby 1000 has 950 hp; the car for the track, 1,100 hp. Both are based on the 2012 GT500.
I’m more interested in what the new Viper, also to be revealed in New York, will show us, but you can be sure the Shelbys will draw big crowds.
The old 5.4-liter V8 gets rebuilt again—new crank, pistons, rods; the heads get “a flow job,” a fat supercharger is added—plus the car has a rebuilt suspension, bigger brakes, driveshaft and rear end. Muscle, baby, so you can smoke your tires at will.
The Shelby 1000 street version starts at $149,995 plus the cost of the GT500; the 1,100-hp track S/C starts at $154,995, plus your donor GT500, so you’re looking at well over $200,000.
The old guy with his patched-together body, a race driver, chili and deodorant merchandiser, litigator and maker of the greatest sports car hotrod of all time (the Cobra), has finally achieved his 1,000-hp goal for a car that simply doesn’t deserve it.
There are two ways to view muscle cars:
As immature, childish ways for men to compensate for certain shortcomings or as ferociously fun vehicles designed to take a beating.
I prefer to think of American muscle as falling into the latter category, though I won’t deny the possibility of the former. However you view muscle cars, you just can’t deny that for over 45 years they have invoked a passion unmatched by any other category of automobile.
And now, as a quick summary of the last four decades, I present my list of the 10 best muscle cars ever. Here they are, in model-year order: