Pony cars are that class of car that straddle the gap between muscle cars (GTO, Road Runner, Charger, Olds 429, etc) and sports cars (Corvette, Viper, etc.). While many people consider pony cars to be either sports cars or muscle cars, they’re in a class all of their own. While it won’t matter much when you’re plugging numbers into a car payment calculator, here’s what makes a pony car a pony car:
- 2+2 seating. Unlike muscle cars, which have a full back seat, or sports cars, which have no back seat, pony cars have two bucket seats in front and two bucket seats in the rear.
- Big engine. To be a true pony car, just like sports cars and muscle cars, it must have a big engine. Most pony cars have V-8 engines, though many of them also offer V-6 models as well.
These days, it’s as easy to get car loans for pony cars as it is for any other kind of car. The insurance will still cost you a little extra, though even that isn’t as extreme as it was in the ‘60s when the cars were first introduced.
While there have been many pony cars which have roared onto and off of the scene, there are a few which have endured. Here are the best of the pony cars:
- Ford Mustang. This is the car that started it all. There really is no place for it other than the top of the list. Without a Ford Mustang, we wouldn’t have pony cars at all. While some Mustangs are better than others, we think the original ’64 ½ is the best one ever made, especially the convertible version.
- Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. With the death of the Pontiac brand this year, all hopes of ever seeing Pontiac’s version of the pony car revived went down in flames like the Firebird displayed across so many of the cars’ hoods. Pontiac made Firebirds from 1967 through 2002. While every one of them was a seriously badass pony car, our favorite was the ’77 Trans Am in black and gold as made famous in the Smokey & the Bandit movies.
- Chevrolet Camaro. Historically, Camaros weren’t much different than Trans Ams. Their grill was slightly different, and they had a Chevrolet badge instead of a Pontiac emblem, but otherwise the differences were minor. Like it’s cousin from Pontiac, the Chevy Camaro kicks ass.The main difference is that the Camaro has been revived and is out there tearing the roads up again in new models.
- Mercury Cougar. Always in the shadow of their cousin from Ford, the Mercury Cougar is somewhat underrated as a pony car.
- Plymouth Barracuda. Inspiring a hit ‘70s anthem by chick rock band Heart, the Barracuda was Plymouth’s foray into the pony car world. They didn’t make them nearly long enough for them to catch on like they should have. The car was essentially a smaller version of the popular Roadrunner.