By Patrick Rall
On February 22nd, the United States Postal Service will release their new Muscle Car Forever stamps featuring five classic American muscle cars – one of which is the unmistakable 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona. Joining the Charger Daytona in the third issuance in their America on the Move series is the 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘ Cuda, the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, the 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang and the 1966 Pontiac GTO. Unfortunately, no images of only the Cuda and Daytona are available so we had to use the image above of the Shelby GT500 with the others on the side. Fittingly, all of these cars are depicted doing big, smokey burnouts.
The new Muscle car stamps are “Forever” stamps, which means that regardless of when you purchase them their value will be equal to that of the USPS first class mail rate for a one ounce envelope. Unfortunately, the Muscle Car stamps come in sheets with all five of the featured vehicles so you cannot only buy the Charger Daytona or Hemi ‘Cuda stamps but as a collector of Mopar memorabilia – I will be purchasing a sheet of these to add to my collection. These stamps can be purchased as a strip of 5 for $2.30, a sheet of 10 for $4.60 or a sheet of 20 for $9.20 but those who are buying these stamps specifically for collecting can opt for uncut sheets with ten blocks of 20 stamps per page for $92.00 or in a special “keepsake” package that includes a sheet of 20 stamps along with five envelopes – one each wearing a different Muscle Car Forever stamp with a color postmark of the release date.
Below is a quick rundown of these five cars according to the US Postal Service, starting with the two Mopars and running through the other three models for those who don’t mind reading about a Ford and a pair of GMs.
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
Designed to dominate the racetrack, the outrageously styled 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona was powered by a standard 440-cubic-inch, 375-horsepower Magnum engine. A limited number of Daytonas came equipped with a 426-cubic-inch Hemi, a race-inspired engine. The car also featured multiple additions designed to boost aerodynamics, including a nearly two-foot tall, rear-mounted wing. Other signature touches included thick body stripes containing the word “DAYTONA.” The 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona was distinctive and rare; only 503 were produced.
1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda
The Hemi ‘Cuda, the performance-oriented alter-ego of the standard 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, oozed power. The car’s 426-cubic-inch Hemi engine was a 425-horsepower beast. The Hemi ‘Cuda was “our angriest, slipperiest-looking body shell wrapped around ol’ King Kong hisself,” one Plymouth advertisement bellowed. The Hemi ‘Cuda’s styling was an extension of the car’s bold ethos. It was available in several eye-popping color choices, such as Lemon Twist, Lime Light, and Vitamin C. Fewer than 700 Hemi ‘Cudas were produced.
1967 Shelby GT-500
Manufacturer and former racecar driver Carroll Shelby’s version of the Ford Mustang was powered by a 428-cubic-inch, 355-horsepower Police Interceptor engine. The car also featured a rear spoiler and dealer-installed LeMans stripes as an option. The Shelby GT-500 was both striking and rare; only 2,048 were built. A customized or original version of the 1967 Shelby GT-500 has appeared in contemporary movies and magazines, rekindling American pop culture’s fascination with the model.
1966 Pontiac GTO
Available as a hardtop, coupe, or convertible, the GTO—which was propelled by a 335-horsepower, V8 engine—could really move. “The Goat,” as the GTO was known, ushered in the American muscle-car era in the mid-1960s. In tests, it went from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds. The distinctive car featured curvy Coke-bottle styling and a split grille. Initially offered simply as an option on the Tempest LeMans, the GTO became its own model in 1966. That model year, sales of the GTO peaked.
1970 Chevelle SS
With features like optional twin racing stripes and a black grille, the Chevelle SS looked fierce. The car featured a 396-cubic-inch engine, but an optional 454-cubic-inch engine really gave the model credibility among muscle car enthusiasts. Two versions of the 454 engine were available: the 360-horsepower LS-5 and the 450-horsepower LS-6. For its power, the latter has become legendary among car buffs. Available as a coupe or a convertible, the Chevelle SS featured emblems on the grille and the rear bumper.