Hooniverse Asks- What’s Your All-Time Favorite Muscle Car?


While not a muscle car in the traditional sense, the introduction this week of the new Chevy Camaro Z28 got me thinking about the whole concept of stuffing a big block into a small space. You know, sort of the way Dr Who’s Tardis works, only with dual exhaust. Straight line performance was the muscle car’s raison d’etre, making describing one as kind of a drag actually quite the compliment.

The heyday of the muscle car was arguably the late sixties, when it seemed every American car maker was shoving a big V8 under the hoods of just about every mid-sizer that it could find. The concept however, goes back much earlier, some contend to the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 which married the nation’s first high-compression OHV V8 with a body originally intended to only carry a six.

Today, the idea of the traditional muscle car is but a fond memory, as even small cars with big engines need to be as polished in the turning and stopping departments as they are in the pin you back in your seat category. Still, that leaves a plethora of GTOS, 442s, Thunderbolts, Chevelle SS and others from which to pick your personal pedestal topper when it comes to cars that flex their muscle. So, what is your all-time favorite muscle car?

Image source: MySpace

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53 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What’s Your All-Time Favorite Muscle Car?”

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      That snout . . .

  1. JayP2112 Avatar

    My college pal's dad's Torino GT. 429 4 Speed with a Hurst T-Handle and white bench seat. He's owned it since new.
    This car will move. I want it.
    <img src="http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/39485_458551892852_2148339_n.jpg&quot; width="450">

  2. P161911 Avatar

    Probably more of a sports car, but Hemmings covers them in Muscle Machines, the 1967 Corvette 427, specifically the L-88 version.
    <img src="http://radicalcorvettes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/corvettel88.jpg"width=550&gt;
    Or if you want to stick with the more true definition of a intermediate with a powerful engine, the 1987 Buick Grand National.
    <img src="http://cdn.carthrottle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/GN-1.jpg"width=500&gt;

    1. JayP2112 Avatar

      That reminds me I need to watch Black Air.

    2. joshwebster84 Avatar

      This is the one.

  3. OA5599 Avatar

    <img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/fgna/photo/71q2j0ec/yw361ykx/large/Vanishing_point_Cover.jpg?1312778844&quot; width=500>
    I'm going to assume we are not so anal here that we can include pony cars within the definition of muscle car. My obvious vote is a 1970 Challenger.
    Otherwise, under the intermediate-body-plus-big-engine rules, a Hemi Superbird.

    1. $kaycog Avatar

      I love your license plate.

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        It was a bit of work shopping that onto the picture, but the result speaks for itself.

  4. buzzboy7 Avatar

    Hope it doesn't have to be a sedan
    <img src="http://www.hotchkis.net/~files/images/ggcm/GG-CM01.jpg&quot; width="600">
    1964 with the 327 and 4spd muncie will do nicely.

  5. don fehlio Avatar
    don fehlio

    The only muscle cars I've been attracted to have been the pinnacle of low-class brashness, like Trans-Ams, Elcos and the Superbird/Daytona twins. So here's my choice.
    <img src="http://image.moparmusclemagazine.com/f/34629567/mopp_1012_02_o+1973_plymouth_duster_340+rear.jpg&quot; width="600">


    If we're going to include pony cars, the 1969 Mustang Boss 302 is far and away my favorite.
    <img src="http://www.bowdensown.com.au/files/SpecThumbs_01.jpg&quot; width="600">
    If pony cars don't count, probably the 1967 Fairlane R-code. 427 FTW.
    <img src="http://image.mustangandfords.com/f/32282120/mdmp-1109-1955-coupe-1967-fairlane-1963-r-code-men-in-black-fords-008.jpg&quot; width="600">

  7. Vavon Avatar

    I don't know if this counts as a muscle-car or not… it's the 65-66 Ford Mustang Shelby Fastback!
    <img src="http://image.popularhotrodding.com/f/16846969/0903phr_04_z+13_different_muscle_cars_of_sema+1966_ford_mustang_shelby.jpg"&gt;

  8. danleym Avatar

    A 68 or 69 AMC Rebel 2 door hardtop with a 390.
    <img src="http://flipacars.com/pics/AMC/amc-rebel-01.jpg&quot; width=500>
    A properly kitted long roof is also acceptable.
    <img src="http://www.stationwagonforums.com/forums/gallery/files/6/0/KCIR.jpg&quot; width=500>

  9. engineerd Avatar

    Ford Thunderbolt
    <img width=500 src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d/A_1964_Ford_Thunderbolt_Muscle_Car.jpg"&gt;
    A 500 hp 427 stuffed in a Fairlane? Technically street legal? Plexiglass windows? Oh yeah!

    1. dculberson Avatar

      Less of a "muscle" car and more of a "semi-controlled nuclear explosion" car. According to the wikipedias, one has done a 9.27 second quarter mile using modern slicks. HOLY CRAP.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        I love that everything I read about these puts the word "technically" in front of "street legal". I think it was Hot Rod magazine that said it was too raucous for public roads.

    2. Devin Avatar

      I love that Ford included a warning that it might not meet fit and finish standards because of the weight saving efforts.
      <img src="http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$(KGrHqMOKpIE4jFNYnsKBOUb)t20lw~~_35.JPG&quot; width="500">

  10. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    The latest batch of “pony” cars are only not muscle cars by model name. A new Camaro would dwarf a Chevelle. When we got the ’04-’06 GTO was that a muscle car because it was a GTO, or was it a pony car because it was competing against the Mustang for sales? It’s all a gray area. Regardless, my favorite muscle car isn’t really up for debate as to whether it is truly a muscle car. My favorite is the ’66-’67 GTO. I’d actually prefer a ’66-’67 Tempest Sprint, but that is most assuredly not a muscle car.
    <img src="http://www.daves-classic-cars.com/fullpic/1967_gto_for_sale.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. Scandinavian Flick ★ Avatar
      Scandinavian Flick ★

      Truly a dream car of mine…
      <img src="http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg1/79_Gbody/jt.jpg&quot; width="500">

  11. SSurfer321 Avatar

    The Missus and I have always been a bit partial to Cougar Eliminators and/or Xr-7s.
    <img src="http://whatareyouworkinon.com/sites/whatareyouworkinon.com/files/imagecache/full_content_area/1969%20Couagr%20XR7.jpg"&gt;

  12. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    For Brazilian muscle the '74 Opala SS
    <img src="http://parachoquescromados.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/1974.jpg&quot; width="600">

  13. Lotte Avatar

    Remove "Muscle" from the question and this'll still be my answer.
    <img src="http://www.oldtownautomobile.com/files/Plymouth%20Fury%201965_700_1.jpg&quot; width="500">
    '65 Fury I.

  14. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    For European muscle car I'll choose the BMW 3.5 Csl Alpina
    <img src="http://rpmrush.com/uploads/galleries/49/original/387ecbbf8ced3c691b892a9ee1851b251b816277.jpg&quot; width="600">

    1. owl Avatar

      Mercedes C63 AMG.
      Chuck away the 2.1 litre diesel 4 which is the primary engine in Europe and insert 6.2 litres of V8 with 500 or so horsepower.
      That's a muscle car in my book, especially as it will outrun everything within £20k of it price

      1. Synchromesh Avatar

        It's not 'murrican so it's not a muscle car. A measly 210cu engine is sad and pathetic compared to real muscle cars.

        1. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

          6.2 is 378cid though. 210 is this much:
          <img src="http://jdmwallpapers.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/nissan-350z-silver.jpg&quot; width=500>
          Wait, that's not American either. Sorry.

  15. salguod Avatar

    In the literal sense, I believe a muscle car is an intermediate with a big engine. But things got all kinds of blurry as the era went on with muscular big cars, pony cars and muscular small cars.
    My personal favorite muscle car would have to be the Hurst Olds, of all years. I love the outlandish stripe schemes and the 'gentleman's muscle' persona.
    Going into college, I nearly bought a '75 W30 as my daily driver. Far from the pinnacle of the breed, but a 455, Hurst dual gate, Hurst Hatch T-tops and swivel buckets with reversible centers. Of course, there was rust, lots of that, which is why I didn't buy it. Still kind wish I had.
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3591/3357131860_32048f0432.jpg&quot; width=600>

  16. engineerd Avatar

    The Perana Capris should also be mentioned here. It went from a 1.6L 4-pot to a 302 Windsor thanks to a mad genius in South Africa.
    <img width=500 src="http://hooniverse.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/email_3_edited1.jpg"&gt;

    1. danleym Avatar

      Those things are beautiful. Importing one is definitely on my if I win the lotto list.

  17. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    A real muscle car may not have a b pillar
    <img src="http://flipacars.com/pics/Ford/ford-galaxie-500-03.jpg&quot; width="600">

    1. ptschett Avatar

      Strongly disagree. B-pillared bodies were (in general) stronger, lighter, and less costly than the hardtop version.
      Also… because racecar.
      <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d1/1964_thunderbolt.jpg/640px-1964_thunderbolt.jpg&quot; width="500"/>

  18. pj134 Avatar

    Overall favorite is the 68 charger
    <img src="http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2007/11/08/19/25/1968_dodge_charger-pic-38387.jpeg&quot; width=500>
    Guilty pleasure crush?
    <img src="http://farm9.static.flickr.com/8289/7865422880_23469207fa.jpg&quot; width=500>

  19. Maymar Avatar

    <img src="http://stblogs.automotive.com/files/2012/03/Cadillac-CTS-V-Wagon-vs-Mercedes-Benz-E63-AMG-Wagon-623×389.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>
    So I'm cheating pretty heavily on this. But they're mid-sized, and you can get their engines in full-sized vehicles (S63 AMG, and tangentally through the sort of related 6.2 Vortec in the Escalade). And AMG products recreate the brash spirit of muscle cars fairly well.
    But if we have to go in the more traditional sense, I very much dig the Plymouth Road Runner, which allowed you to pay for nothing more than what you needed to go fast.
    <img src="http://image.moparmusclemagazine.com/f/9994781/mopp_0304_01_z+1970_plymouth_road_runner+front_left.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>

  20. ptschett Avatar

    Performance more optimized for a straight line than turning; EPA-classified midsize (110 cu.ft. volume); has a member of the manufacturer's family of large V8's underhood; and of course RWD and 2-door. Seems like this is an acceptable answer then.
    <img src="http://i847.photobucket.com/albums/ab40/ptschett/Challenger/DSC03920-1.jpg&quot; width="500">

  21. vetteman61 Avatar

    Maybe it's too cliche to post or maybe others just don't like it as much, but since I when I was 14 or so I was enamored with the 70 Chevelle SS. I wanted one so bad when I was 16. I like a lot of others very much, but this one seems to always stay the constant. For me, the stock appearance is perfect. I'm not exactly sure why, but any time I see these modified even in the slightest bit it instantly transforms into looking like some crappy Malibu clone that some redneck tried to throw some Cragers on.
    <img src="http://jr56.com/70chevelle/lf.jpg&quot; width="600">

    1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

      The '67 GTO is the only reason that the '70 Chevelle didn't get my vote. The Chevelle is my number 2.

    2. njhoon Avatar

      I was going to post the same. I miss mine very much and if I kept it, it might have gotten less wreck like.

  22. Alff Avatar

    I went searching for my favorite (I've long been in love with Crossrams packaged in unlikely bodies) and whadaya know, my choice has already been featured on the Hooniverse…

    1. danleym Avatar

      That crossram is beautiful…

  23. P161911 Avatar

    Does the Thunderbird S/C qualify?
    <img src="http://www.f150forum.com/attachments/f15/25715d1289184546t-thunderbird-super-coupe-thunderbird-sc-003.jpg"width=500&gt;
    Probably the closest thing to a muscle car that I have actually owned. 310ft.lbs of torque and a 5-speed!

  24. Tomsk Avatar

    Maybe it's because my dad had one back in the day (and his dad had a matching non-SS), but I'm gonna go with the 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS. Timeless styling, loads of room for people and luggage, and your choice of the mighty 409 (for cars made during the first few months of production) or the monstrous 396 (for the ones made later in the production run).
    <img src="http://assets.speedtv.com/images/easy_gallery/1026388/1965_chevrolet_impala_ss_2_door_hardtop_m.jpg&quot; width="500">
    The '70.5 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 is a close second.
    <img src="http://www.classycars.org/Pontiac/pontiac.1970.Firebird.jpg&quot; width="500" />

  25. e46christopher Avatar

    One of my faves. 1967 Chevy II Nova SS
    <img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/1967-chevrolet-chevy-ii-nova-ss-1.jpg"&gt;

  26. Roberto G. Avatar
    Roberto G.

    <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ktmLpBwOEgY/UVYMDP3jJ_I/AAAAAAAAOV8/WXXwazt9vww/s1024/My_two_cars_keys.jpg&quot; width=600>
    Since I'm Italian, it's an Italian muscle car, of course. And I happen to own one: here she's pictured together with my actual daily driver, that I use to go to work. Otherwise, they won't ever give me another pay rise…
    What really happened: today my real car got parked behind this beauty, at a highway rest stop. Far from the crowd, where there was no risk of dings. A picture was obligatory.

  27. windbuechse Avatar

    <img src="http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/comment-image/53914.jpg&quot; width="600">
    Studillac – with options…

  28. Newport Pagnell Avatar
    Newport Pagnell

    1970-1971 440 Six-Pak 'Cuda w/shaker. Triple black.Best looking and sounding IMO.

  29. The_Koof Avatar

    Without a second of a a doubt the 1970 Plymouth Road Runner 440+6 equipped with the 4-speed, Vitamin C Orange and flat black center stripe. All I need is an FM radio, Rallye wheels and 4.10s.

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