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AJ's Car of the Day '68 Plymouth Hemi Road Runner

Car: Plymouth Hemi Road Runner

Year: 1968

What makes it special: In 1968, using the same Chrysler B-Platform as their Belvedere as a base, Plymouth set out to build a back-to-basics muscle car. $50K was paid to Warner Bros. / Seven Arts to use the name and likeness of their Road Runner cartoon character, along with another $10K for the famed "Beep-Beep" horn which Plymouth developed and eventually used for the 1969 model. The 1968 model featured the Road Runner character in black and white, which was later printed in color and the horn was used after the deal was finalized for 1969.

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AJ's Car of the Day '64 Pontiac GTO 2 door Hardtop

Car: Pontiac GTO

Year: 1964

What makes it special: Pontiac GTO was an option package for the Tempest model, available for the two-door coupe, hardtop, and convertible body styles. It was the brainchild of Pontiac engine specialist / engineer Russell Gee, chassis engineer Bill Collins, and Pontiac chief engineer John DeLorean. GTO was basically a violation of GM policy limiting the A-Body intermediate line to a maximum engine displacement of 330 cu in, but since the GTO was an option package for the Pontiac Tempest and not standard equipment, it fell into a loophole in the policy. Pontiac sales manager Frank Bridge did not believe it would find a market and insisted on limiting initial production to 5,000 cars.

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AJ's Car of the Day '67 Mercury Cougar XR7

Car: Mercury Cougar XR7

Year: 1967

What makes it special: The Cougar finally gave Mercury its own "Pony Car" upon its introduction. Fitting between the Ford Mustang and the Ford Thunderbird, the Cougar was a performance icon for the Mercury name for several decades. Based on the 1967 restyled first-generation Mustang, it had a 3-inch longer wheelbase and new sheet metal. Cougar was available in both a base and XR-7 model, and only came in one 2-door hardtop body style.

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AJ's Car of the Day '53 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

Car: Chevrolet Corvette

Year: 1953

What makes it special: Introduced late in the 1953 model year, the first generation Corvette was originally designed as a show car for the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, but generated enough interest to force General Motors to make a production version to sell to the public. First produced on June 30, 1953, a total of 300 hand-built polo white Corvette convertibles were made. This generation is usually referred to as the "solid-axle" models, with a solid rear end as opposed to the independent rear suspension second generation models. The headlights were set behind screen covering the openings.

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AJ's Car of the Day '64 1/2 Ford Mustang Convertible

Car: Ford Mustang Convertible

Year: 1964 1/2

What makes it special: The Ford Mustang was unveiled five months before the normal start of the 1965 production year. Its earliest versions are often referred to as 1964½ models, but VIN coded by Ford and titled as 1965 models. Ford's Mustang created the "Pony Car" class of American cars, which are sports-car like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks, spurring competition like Chevrolet's Camaro, Pontiac's Firebird, the AMC Javelin, the restyled Plymouth Barracuda and first gen Dodge Challenger. Initially based on Ford's Falcon platform, more than one million Mustangs were built within the first 18 months. Most of its chassis, suspension, and drivetrain components were those used on Ford's Falcon and Fairlane models.

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AJ's Car of the Day '72 Pontiac GTO 2-Door Post Coupe

Car: Pontiac GTO 2-Door Post Coupe

Year: 1972

What makes it special: By 1972, Pontiac's GTO went from a separate model line to a $353.88 option package for both the Le Mans and Le Mans Sport coupes. On the base Le Mans line, the GTO package could be had with either the low-priced pillared coupe or hardtop coupe. Even the GTO's Endura bumper was offered as an option on Le Mans/Sport models, with "Pontiac" spelled out on the driver's side grille rather than "GTO." Both models came standard with cloth and vinyl or all-vinyl bench seats and rubber floor mats on the pillared coupe and carpeting on the hardtop, creating a lower-priced GTO. The GTO in pillared coupe form for 1972 were produced in low numbers.

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AJ's Car of the Day '71 Plymouth 'Cuda 340

Car: Plymouth 'Cuda 340

Year: 1971

What makes it special: The third generation Plymouth Barracudas were based on cut-down intermediate bodies which had wider engine compartments, and the opportunity was immediately used. The redesign for the 1970 Barracuda removed all its previous links with the Plymouth Valiant. The original fastback design was deleted from the line and the Barracuda now consisted of coupe and convertible models. This new platform was called the E-Body.

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AJ's Car of the Day '1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu L79 327

Car: Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu L79 327

Year: 1965

What makes it special: The Chevelle Super Sport was Chevrolet's entry into the muscle car wars. Starting in mid 1964, the Chevelle in both Malibu and SS model form could be ordered with the 327 V8 in your choice of 250 or 300 hp. Both used a 4-barrel carburetor and 10.5:1 compression, and easily held their own against the 289 V8 Ford Fairlane and 273 V8 Plymouth Barracuda.

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AJ's Car of the Day '1964 Ford Fairlane 500 K-Code Sports Coupe

Car: Ford Fairlane 500 k-Code Sports Coupe

Year: 1964

What makes it special: Ford transferred the Fairlane nameplate to its new "senior compact” line in 1962. The downsized Fairlane was nearly a foot shorter than regular Fords, but longer than the Falcon. In 1963, the restyled Fairlane Sport Coupe became a true hardtop. For 1964, a new grille and headlight bezels were introduced, the tail fins were dropped, some chrome decorating on the side was changed, and the shape of the trunk lid changed.

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AJ's Car of the Day '1970 Datsun 240Z 432

Car: Datsun 240Z 432

Year: 1970

What makes it special: Produced by Nissan Motors, Ltd. of Japan from 1969 to 1978 and selling as the Nissan Fairlady, the Nissan S30 was sold in the United States as the Datsun 240Z. They were the first-generation of the Z GT 240 two-seater Coupe. HLS30 was the designation of the left-hand drive model. The 240Z broadened the image of Japanese car-makers beyond their "Econo-box" success.

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AJ's Car of the Day '67 Plymouth Belvedere GTX 440 Convertible

Car: Plymouth Belvedere GTX 440 Convertible

Year: 1967

What makes it special: Plymouth's GTX was introduced as the Belvedere GTX in 1967 to be a "gentleman's" muscle car, and was created to be a blend of style and performance. Based on the good-looking two-door Belvedere hardtop and convertible, the GTX was dressed up with its special grille and rear fascia that it shared with Plymouth's Satellite model, as well as mock hood scoops, chrome "pit stop" fuel filler cap and optional racing stripes. The interior was top-of-the-line, with bucket seats, embossed vinyl, and lots of brightwork.

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AJ's Car of the Day '66 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport 396

Car: Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport 396

Year: 1966

What makes it special: Chevrolet created its Super Sport Chevelle as an all-out performance muscle car for 1966. Like the other General Motors intermediates that were produced, it was reskinned, but its dimensions hardly changed. SS models got a blackout grille and a new hood with nonfunctional vents. The Super Sport 396's optional bucket seat interior featured a console with a clock, and included the extra-cost "Knee-Knocker" underdash tachometer.

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AJ's Car of the Day '61 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport 409

Car: Chevrolet Impala Super Sport 409

Year: 1961

What makes it special: General Motors Chevrolet division brought muscle car power to the people in the early 1960's, especially with the 1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409. The mid-1961 introduction of the Chevrolet Impala Super Sport option package showcased another new arrival, the 409 cu in V8. Only Chevy's toughest V8's were offered with the SS kit. The 360 hp 409 V8 was basically a larger-displacement 348 V8 with upgrades including forged aluminum pistons, a wilder camshaft, and 11.25:1 compression. A single 4-barrel carb was mated to the aluminum manifold.

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AJ's Car of the Day '58 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

Car: Ford Thunderbird Convertible

Year: 1958

What makes it special: It was the first year of "The Big 'Birds." Although the Thunderbird was a huge success, Ford executives felt that the car's position as a two-seater restricted its sales potential. As a result, the second generation car was redesigned as a four-seater for 1958. Though retaining a design as a two-door hardtop coupe/convertible, the new Thunderbird was much larger than the previous generation, with the increased size also increasing the car's weight by close to 1,000 pounds.

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AJ's Car of the Day '61 Dodge Dart Phoenix Convertible

Car: Dodge Dart Phoenix Convertible

Year: 1961

What makes it special: For 1961, the Dart continued as the smallest full-size Dodge, and was restyled to emulate the larger Polara. It continued to offer the same three trim levels available: the premium Phoenix, mid-range Pioneer, and base Seneca. Engine choices included the 225 cu in Slant-6, and the 318 cu in and 361 cu in V8's were also available in various configurations. Phoenix convertibles were equipped with V8 engines.  Darts in all series were equipped as standard with a three-on-the-tree, column-shifted manual transmission. Chrysler's pushbutton-shifted TorqueFlite automatic was available at extra cost.

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AJ's Car of the Day '70 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler

Car: Mercury Cyclone Spoiler

Year: 1970

What makes it special: The Cyclone was produced by the Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company from model years 1964 to 1971. Starting out life as Mercury Comet's performance model, it was called Mercury Comet Cyclone through 1967. By 1968, the "Comet" part of the name was dropped, and options such as GT, Spoiler and Cobra Jet were added and removed. In 1971, it was integrated into the Mercury Montego line as their performance model.

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AJ's Car of the Day '64 Pontiac Royal Bobcat GTO Convertible

Car: Pontiac Royal Bobcat GTO Convertible

Year: 1964

What makes it special: Beginning in 1964, GTO was an option package for Pontiac's Tempest model that was available for the two-door coupe, hardtop and convertible. The $295 package included a 325 hp, 389 cu in V8 with a single Carter AFB 4-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, chromed valve covers and air cleaner, a seven-blade clutch fan,   3-speed Hurst floor-shifted manual transmission, stiffer springs, larger diameter front sway bar, wider wheels mounted on 7.50 × 14 Redline tires, dual hood scoops, and GTO badges. A 4-speed manual or Super Turbine 300 2-speed automatic transmission, and a more powerful "Tri-Power" carb set-up consisting of three two-barrel Rochester 2G carburetors) were available as options.

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AJ's Car of the Day '70 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Convertible

Car: Mercury Cougar XR-7 Convertible

Year: 1970

What makes it special: Like the second series 1969 model, the 1970 Mercury Cougar was now a longer, wider bodied car on the same 111.0-inch wheelbase with two new convertible offerings. Styling was similar to 1967 and 1968, but more ordinary, especially for its grille. XR-7s continued to feature a full set of needle gauges and leather-faced seat upholstery as standard, and wore blackout grilles for 1970.

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AJ's Car of the Day '66 Oldsmobile Toronado

Car: Oldsmobile Toronado

Year: 1966

What makes it special: Oldsmobile's all-new Toronado was the first mass-produced front-wheel drive American car since the 1937 Cord 810. As a nod to its coffin-nosed predecessor, it's design featured a horizontally-lined grille, hidden headlights and massive styled wheels. Sales for Toronado exceeded the 41,000 mark in it's first year, and it was chosen to be Motor Trend Magazine's 1966 "Car of the Year."

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AJ's Car of the Day '58 Chevrolet Delray

Car: Chevrolet Delray Two-Door Post Sedan

Year: 1958

What makes it special: The Delray took the place of Chevrolet's 150 series and became it's own model in 1958.  It now had GM's X-frame. It came in a utility coupe, a two-door coupe, and a four-door sedan. Like all 1958 model Chevrolets, it was now longer, lower, and heavier than the 1957 models.

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AJ's Car of the Day '68 Ford Mustang GT Fastback 428 Cobra Jet

Car: Ford Mustang GT Fastback 428 Cobra Jet

Year: 1968

What makes it special: The 1968 Ford Mustang 428 Cobra Jet was the quickest pure-production Mustang of the muscle car era. After getting their butts handed to them by Big-Block Camaros and Firebirds as well as 340 Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracuda's, Ford came out with the Mustang 428 Cobra Jet on April 1st, 1968.

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AJ's Car of the Day '66 Chevrolet Nova L-79 327/350

Car: Chevrolet Nova L-79 327/350

Year: 1966

What makes it special: Introduced for the 1966 model year, Chevrolet's Nova was given a restyle. The big news was the L-79 option, which was a Turbo-Fire 327 cu in V8 producing 350 horsepower. The L-79 equipped Nova was an instant performance hit and 5,481 L-79 option Nova's were ordered.

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AJ's Car of the Day '63 Mercury Comet S-22

Car: Mercury Comet S-22

Year: 1963

What makes it special: Mercury's Comet model was based on the same platform as Ford's Falcon. The 1960 through 1963 year Comets are often referred to as "Round Body Comets." It shared a number of mechanical and body parts with the short-lived intermediate size Mercury Meteor. The optional S-22 package was released starting with the 1961 model year only on the 2-door sedan, and billed as the "Sport" package.

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AJ's Car of the Day '62 Plymouth Valiant "Hyper-Pak"

Car: Plymouth Valiant "Hyper-Pak"

Year: 1962

What makes it special: Considered its own distinctive brand, Plymouth's Valiant model made its debut for the 1960 model year. It was less radical than Chevrolet's Corvair model, and considered more aesthetically daring than Ford's equally new Falcon. Valiant's were produced with uni-body construction which wasn't used by the Chrysler Corporation since the 1930's Airflow models rather than the usual body-on-frame construction.

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AJ's Car of the Day '73 Mercury Capri V6

Car: Mercury Capri

Year: 1973

What makes it special: Mercury's Capri models were sold in the U.S. by Lincoln-Mercury. They were sold as three distinctly different cars over three decades. The Capri for the 1971 to 1974 model years and Capri II for 1976 to 1977 were imports made by Ford of Europe in Germany. At their peak, Mercury Capri sales in the U.S. were the highest for any import model except VW's Beetle.

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