As muscle cars evolved, so did the visual lexicon associated with the genre. “A big part of the muscle car fun was the image,” says automotive journalist Matt Stone. “The image, graphics, and colors went along with it. Mopar had the high impact colors [like Hemi Orange and Top Banana Yellow].” Adding to the whimsy were performance packages with names like “Scat Pack” and a partnership with Warner Brothers, which yielded the Plymouth Road Runner, complete with a cartoon-like “beep-beep” horn. The ultimate expression of the Road Runner was a homologation special dubbed the Superbird, which boasted a pointed nosecone for aerodynamics and a massive rear wing for downforce. Its sister car, the the Dodge Charger Daytona, also battled the superspeedways of NASCAR but wasn’t fully appreciated until years later, when it began commanding six figure prices in the second hand market.
The Trans-Am Series of racing pitted race-prepped versions of V8-powered pony cars against each other in raucous battle royales. “Trans-Am races always caught my eye,” recalls collector Bruce Meyer, whose stable includes a Shelby Cobra 289 and a Shelby GT 350. “Camaros, Mustangs, Firebirds, and AMXs battling it out—that was just the best.”