These five iconic, classic cars are the sort of beautiful, beloved vehicles that it breaks the heart to see in a scrap metal recycling yard. These cars are as American as it gets, documenting the economic and aesthetic history of the twentieth century through an invention that developed the nation as much as the nation developed it.
1. Plymouth Road Runner
Most people who enjoy Plymouths today appreciate that they are inexpensive family cars with a very decent resale value. However, Plymouth made a name for themselves in the world of muscle cars when they brought out the Road Runner in 1968. Thought the Road Runner's run didn't last long, it is one of muscle car fanatics' most sought-after vehicles. When classic car enthusiasts see them on the road, they know to savor the moment, as it may be the last time they see one of these beauties in the wild.
2. Dodge Charger
Though the Charger has been reintroduced by Dodge as an angular, aggressive-looking police vehicle, the original was a muscle car for the ages with a huge chassis and even bigger engine. Recently immortalized for a new era on TV in the spy drama Burn Notice, the classic Charger was already a rare and much sought-after car. When any enthusiast sees a vintage Charger on the road, they know they have seen a true classic.
3. Plymouth Barracuda
Replacing the Road Runner in 1970 was the Barracuda. With its sleek lines and massive engine, the Barracuda gave birth to a great song and an even greater cult infatuation. Many people will never see a Barracuda in their lifetime, yet it remains one of the most iconic cars in American history. From the roads of the 70s all the way to Nash Bridges, the Barracuda is a classic with broad, vintage appeal.
4. Pontiac GTO
The Barracuda is not the only classic with a dedicated cult following. Unfortunately, with scrap metal prices on the rise, the GTO has been particularly susceptible to scrapping over the last few years—a real shame. Not only is the GTO an iconic muscle car, but it boasts what is perhaps the most modern design on this list. With an enormous, roaring engine and a body that looks like a rocket ship from every old science horror film, each and every GTO you find on the road is a vision to be treasured.
5. 1968 Shelby GT500KR
The poll results are in: this is, officially, the coolest car in the history of cars. Carroll Shelby, the mastermind behind this automotive wonder, went from farm boy to genius car designer by helping race teams produce better engines and creating his own cars for the road. These cars were so powerful that, back in the day, Bill Cosby reported to have sold his because he felt it was too much car for him.