It’s a common consensus that America is the land of motor cars and a cradle of modern automobiles. When it comes to sports cars though, the United States has had a fundamentally different approach than European or Japanese manufacturers, which created an unique ecosystem.

Historically, American sports cars have been criticized for their subpar handling and thirsty engines, but what can’t be denied is that sports cars coming from Detroit are in a league of their own. So, what makes a great American sports car and how can we pick only the ten greatest?

We gathered ten American sports cars representing important milestones for their respective companies and eras, painting a big picture of America’s quest for performance. Buckle up and let’s go!

#1: Shelby Cobra

Shelby Cobra 289 Roadster Static Three Quarter View

Shelby Cobra 289 Roadster Static Three Quarter View
Via Shelby

The fact that everyone and their dog know about the Shelby Cobra and rarely anyone’s aware of its British roots tells a lot about its status as an iconic American sports car. Born in California by putting a good ol’ American V8 into bodies sourced from AC, the Cobra soon gained international acclaim as a formidable grassroots race car—enabling its creator, Carroll Shelby, to expand his business and racing endeavors alike, propelling himself to the automotive hall of fame in the process.

In its zenith, the Cobra was a furious contender: a legendary winner and an intimidating machine. It is now one of the most appreciated pieces of American automotive history. Apart from Shelby himself, the Cobra has been honed, reimagined, and replicated by numerous companies—proving that the thirst for bare-bones, analog, and sometimes scary American sports cars is truly unquenchable.

#2: 1964 Ford Mustang

1964 Ford Mustang World Fair Display

1964 Ford Mustang World Fair Display
Via Ford

From a plethora of legendary variants of America’s everyman’s sports car, we’re going back to the one that started it all The original Mustang opened the doors to a whole new market concept: a sports car for the people.

As you all know, the car was an absolute success and has since evolved into a true performance car, both thanks to Shelby and in-house efforts. More importantly, the Mustang made moves throughout the industry, influencing Chevrolet to retaliate with the Camaro, creating the great pony car rivalry that lasts to this very day.

From 1964 to the present, the Mustang has been around through all highs and lows of the American automotive industry, but it remains the car that had the single biggest impact on it. As such, it is one of the most important American cars ever created and definitely one of all-time greatest sports cars coming from Detroit.

#3: Chevrolet Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette C1 and C7 on a Race Track

Chevrolet Corvette C1 and C7 on a Race Track
Via Chevrolet

Given that the Corvette nameplate gave us a number of glorious cars since it was introduced as a straight-six roadster in 1955 and all the way to its final form of a mid-engined sports car, let’s just try to sum up what the Corvette is and why it’s so important.

It’s a mass-produced sports car that could take on pricey

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By: Djordje Sugaris
Title: The Best American Sports Cars of All Time
Sourced From:
Published Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2022 20:02:23 +0000

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