CARS.COM — Years before Steve McQueen made the ’68 Ford Mustang an icon among the cars of Hollywood history, muscle cars already had muscled their way into our hearts. Quintessentially “U-S-A! U-S-A!” in their power, speed and all-around awesomeness, muscle cars are America’s ode to the freedom of the open road. And while our collective romance through the decades has accelerated and braked by turns, the torch we carry for the muscle car burns hot of late.
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The classic trio of pony cars from the Big Three automakers in Detroit — the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang — has enjoyed a sales resurgence in recent years. Combined, car buyers purchased more than 266,216 of the cars in 2015, according to the automakers. That’s a 21 percent increase over 2014 sales and 27 percent over 2013.
The Mustang leads the pack; its sales totaled a whopping 122,349 in 2015 compared with 70,438 in 2011 — a 74 percent spike. That’s roughly double the overall increase in U.S. auto sales overall during the same five-year span. The Mustang saw a 48 percent sales boost just between 2014 and 2015.