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In the 1960s, the most popular American sports car class was created; the muscle car, also known as the pony car. The term “muscle car” has always been synonymous with affordable performance. Typically a muscle car is a lightweight, usually two-door, rear-wheel drive car with a V8 engine geared for straight-line performance. Examples include the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, Chevy Camaro, and more!

Due to the overwhelming success of these affordable 1960s pony cars, the muscle cars of today are still the most popular type of sports car in the U.S., and according to iSeeCars, every state seems to have its vehicle of choice when drivers are looking for performance and style at a solid price. What is your state’s favorite sports car?

The Ford Mustang dominates

A red 2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 sports car/pony car/muscle model
2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 | The Ford Motor Company

If the Ford Mustang was running for president, it would win the election in a landslide. According iSeeCars, the Ford Mustang is the most popular sports car in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

With Ford reaching its 10-millionth Mustang in 2018, it is no wonder why the Mustang has such a hold on the United States. Not only does the Mustang offer incredible value as an entry-level, affordable sports car, starting right around $28,000 MSRP, but the higher-end Mustangs are series competitors. Additionally, with so many Mustangs on planet earth, they are easy to get your hands on if you are looking for your own example of the iconic American pony car.

The Dodge Challenger holds in own

While the Ford Mustang may have won the popularity contest in 40 states, the Dodge Challenger stands tall as the most popular sports car in 10 states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

Ever since the Dodge Challenger was reborn in 2008, kickstarting the “retro muscle” trend that continues to this day, the Challenger has been a favorite for many due to how similar the body of this new model looks compared to the old 1970s model. With a starting price right around $30,000, the Challenger is an affordable piece of American muscle that has an all-wheel drive option, making this one of the only sports cars to offer four-wheel performance. With the option of all-wheel drive, it is no wonder why the Challenger is a popular option for drivers in northern and mountainous states.

A sad ending for the Chevy Camaro

GM recently announced that the Chevy Camaro would reach the end of its life by the 2024 model year. While the Camaro has shown huge success over the years, it has failed to reach a continuously popular status among audiences in its sixth generation. Despite lead roles in movies, such as Transformers, and holding one of the cheapest price tags in the sports car industry at around $25,000 MSRP, the Camaro couldn’t keep up with the rest of its competitors.

However, the Chevrolet Camaro is still a popular car and holds the second place spot in multiple states, including Iowa, Louisiana, and Wyoming. While the future of the Camaro is unknown for now, it remains competitive performance-wise against its competition, and thankfully we’ll still see the Camaro on dealer lots for the next few years.

Muscle cars still sell

Despite the push for electric car sales, the American muscle car still wins the popularity contest among American buyers. Will EVs take over the V8 dominance that we all have come to know over the past 60 years? Only time will tell. For now, the muscle car remains the top-selling sports car in America.


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