Muscle Cars

The Muscle Car Channel contains articles and pictures on the big-engine hot rods of each decade. Explore the HowStuffWorks Muscle Car Channel.


Dodge muscle cars were winners at America's dragstrips long before they took their place among the country's fastest and wildest street-going supercars. Check out the best Dodge muscle cars here.

Ford muscle cars counted among their ranks some of the better all-around performance machines of the supercar era, but it took some time for the blue oval boys to put it all together. Learn more.

The phrase "Mercury muscle cars" sounds like a contradiction in terms. Ford's upscale division, after all, was positioned to battle the Buicks and Oldsmobiles of the world. Learn more about Mercury muscle cars.

Oldsmobile can trace their lineage back to the original muscle car, the 1949 Olds Rocket 88, as the first volume-production American automobile built according to the formula that came to define muscle cars. Learn more.

Plymouth muscle cars spanned the spectrum from fanciful to fearsome -- and sometimes displayed both qualities. In the 1960s and '70s, Plymouth was transformed into a destination for big engines and big thrills. Learn more.

Pontiac is credited for ushering in the classic era of muscle cars in the 1960s. Find out what made Pontiac muscle cars so great, and see some of the best hot rods produced by the carmaker.

While other muscle cars were putting out special editions in 1969, Buick focused on beefing up the engine in its GS 400. Learn more about the optional enhancements in the 1969 Buick GS 400.

With its fat tires and suspension tweaks, the 1968 Shelby Cobra GT 500-KR out handled all but pure sports cars. Learn more about the GT 500 in this muscle car profile.

The gaudy 454-cubic-inch engine that Chevy unleashed in the 1970 Chevelle signaled the high point and the coming end of the muscle car era. Check out photos and specifications of the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454.

As the street version of a race-ready car, the 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A was decked out to be a distinct (and conspicuous) machine. Check out photos and specifications of the 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A muscle car.

Dodge brought back the venerable Charger for one last year in 1970. The uplevel R/T Hemi made it a worthwhile decision. Check out photos and specifications of the 1970 Dodge Charger R/T Hemi.

The 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 was designed to beat the Chevrolet Camaro. The twist was that the Boss was built by the same guys who had developed the Camaro. Check out photos and specifications of the 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302.

By 1970, the Ford Torino was getting up in years and had grown in length and weight. But that actually helped it perform like a muscle car. Learn more about the 1970 Ford Torino Cobra.

The Coke-bottle shape declared that the Cyclone Spoiler was Mercury's first truly unique muscle car. Find out how the 1970 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler set itself apart from its cousins in the Ford family.

The 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30 stands as perhaps the best 4-4-2 muscle car that Olds ever produced. Find out how Oldsmobile made the 1970 4-4-2 W-30 into a muscle car classic.

The only thing this muscle car didn't have was a big price tag. Find out how Plymouth used an inexpensive platform, big engine, and wide array of enhancements to make the 1970 Plymouth Duster 340 a hit.

Pontiac poured on so much performance for '63 that only an order from the highest power could slow it down. Unfortunately, that's what happened with the 1963 Super Duty 421. Learn about this muscle car.

Laugh away, but the Hurst SC/Rambler could blow the doors off some pedigreed muscle cars. Too bad AMC had to compensate for its advertising budget by making a billboard of the car. Learn more.

With a new design, the 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 became an instant classic. Its Corvette engine made it a standout among muscle cars. Check out photos and specifications of the 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28.

With proper exhaust systems, Chrysler's 1965 Factory Altered Wheelbase cars, which included the Dodge Factory Altered Wheelbase, would have been almost street-legal. Clearly, though, they were intended for competition. Learn more about this muscle car.

Chrysler's corporate drag racing efforts reached extreme levels in 1965, with the creation of purpose-built drag machines that personified the muscle-car era's "win at all costs" mentality. Learn about the Plymouth Factory Altered Wheelbase.

Horsepower dropped for the Buick GS 455 in 1971 as the muscle car era began winding down. Find out how the personality of the 1971 Buick GS 455 changed as a result.

Oldsmobile made its premeir muscle car easy to identify on the order sheet in 1971, despite changing attitudes about the genre. Check out photos and specifications of the 1971 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30.

Plymouth was still holding out against the changing tide of muscle cars in 1971, and the GTX benefited as a result. Check out photos and specifications of the 1971 Plymouth GTX 440+6.

The 1968 Pontiac GTO redesign helped the automaker keep its place as king of the highly competitive muscle car jungle. Learn about the styling changes and engine improvements in the 1968 Pontiac GTO.