Hottest American Muscle Cars [SLIDESHOW]

(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

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Nothing says America like bald eagles, the Stars and Stripes, and muscle cars.

The birth of the American muscle car began with the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. Packing a “high-compression overhead-valve V-8” engine, this badass ride paved the way for the future of muscle cars in the United States. The muscle car craze took the country by storm. In addition to Chrysler and Pontiac, Chevrolet and Dodge made debuts of their own automobiles that have evolved to the cars we see tearing up the streets today.

In the 60’s, co-founder of Mattel, Inc. Elliot Handler, was so inspired by the muscle car that he recruited a Chevrolet designer to create badass custom toy cars that are now in the National Toy Hall of Fame. You guessed it, they were Hot Wheels.

Drivers of the first muscle cars would drool at just how fast these cars can go today. For example, the 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has a maximum speed of 200 miles an hour.

Celebrate American patriotism and ingenuity with this slideshow of American muscle cars throughout the years.