Pontiac GTO (1964-1969)
While the GTO appeared in 1964, it wasn't until 1965 that it really captured the attention of the muscle car crowd. The 1965 "Goat" remained a favorite of muscle car devotees even after it was outdriven in speed and power, thanks to its iconic status. Going from zero to 60 in the range of 6.1 seconds, it was one of the first cars to help create the muscle car phenomenon across the country.
Marketed to youth -- cheap and fast -- the Goat put a 6.3-liter V-8 in the body of a midsized Tempest, adding the classic split-grill design that remains one of the most recognizable front features of any muscle car. The 1967 increased the motor size and traded in its six-pack for a single 4-barrel carb, with a possible "Ram Air" induction option that increased the peak rpm and 360 horsepower, but it ended up in only 751 of the 82,000 units sold that year.
The 1969 "Judge" version raised the horses slightly, with a 6.5-liter engine and several luxury interior options packages. In addition to the internal redesign, changes were made to the outside that launched the popularity of the car all over again. It's no wonder that this auto's rarity and nostalgic status took its value from around $36,000 in 2001 to as much as $200,000 today [source: CNNMoney.com].