How You Define A Muscle Car?
The standard definition is an American-made 2-door sports car that is designed powerful engines for high-performance driving. Most of them are made in America. Among the famous names in this industry were Ford and Chevrolet. Both of them re-released a modern day adaptation of their most famous car from that era. Particularly, Mustang and Camaro.
The most important part of a muscle car is its engine. It doesn’t matter how crappy your interior is or how bad your car looked like from the outside as long as its engine produced enough horsepower to provide its driver’s need for some real speed.
Here is the list of muscle cars that have different configurations or unusual body types that you cannot see normally. Most of them are manufactured in small numbers and finding them nowadays are next to impossible.
- Plymouth Hemi Superbird
The Superbird was an extremely modified version of Plymouth’s Roadrunner and only 135 of them are produced. Plymouth’s intention of creating this car was for racing purposes only. It has the same appearance from its predecessor Charger Daytona.
It was packed with high-end performance parts of Mopar and 426 Hemi V-8 engines that can produce 425hp. It also has four barrel Carter AFB Carburetor. Superbird is also easy to distinguish because of its large spoiler on its back and pointed nose. Its horn came from the famous Looney Tune’s Roadrunner Character.
Its main rival was Ford Torino Talladega.
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1
Wheelbase, inches: 108.1
Weight, lbs: 3,300
Fuel System: 1 x 4bbl
Compression ratio: 12.0:1
Horsepower@ rpm: 430 @ 5200
Torque @ rpm: 450 @ 4400
0-60 mph, sec 5.3
¼ mile, sec @ mph: 13.16 @ 110
Chevrolet made the almost perfect car in 1969. The ZL1 was an upgrade package for 1969 Camaro. It was regarded as better than the 427 Yenko. Its ZL1 engine was based on the L88 but it was entirely made of aluminum. Its advertised horsepower was 430 but rumors abound that it can almost produce 560. Many car experts considered that the ZL1 engine had a better design than L88. This ZL1 Camaro was presented to the public with $7,200 price tag.
- 1967 Ford Farlane 500 R-Code
The Ford Farlane went on sale in 1955 until 1970. Initially, it was a full-size car before it became a mid-size car in 1962.
A huge redesign of this car was made for the third generation since it was transitioning from being a full-size car to a mid-size car.
In 1966, the Farlane was once again revised. Its design was changed to match the full-size Ford and in 1967, a special Farlane was introduced to the public. The special Farlane 500 with “R-code” was a two-door hardtop that is packed with 427 CID engine. It was paired with Ford’s “Top Loader” four-speed manual transmission and this tandem was made to qualify the NHRA and IHRA Super Stock racing. Only 57 Ford Farlane 500 with R-Code was made.
- 1967 Plymouth R023 GTX
Introduced in 1951 to compete with the Chevrolet Bel Air during its run as a full-size car, it has a fair performance on the market. However, it was downgraded in 1962 that resulted to poor sales but 1962 was also the year when the 426 cu in V-8 engine was introduced. The unadulterated combination of the lightweight body of Belvedere and 426 engines was the perfect pair for drag racing.
The development was continued in 1964 and the finished product for 1967 model was dubbed as the “Gentleman’s Muscle Car”. The Belvedere GTX was available in either two-door hardtop or convertible. It was packed with the Super Commando 440 cu in V-8 and TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic transmission. It was a success although paying for the premium GTX package resulted in a major downfall on its sales. An R023 option was released quietly and mostly professional racers are its target.
The R023 option is also known as “Super Stock”, it was a light weight version of Belvedere and they achieved it by removing the radio, heater, body insulation and sealers, carpet, underpad and even the hubcaps. It features a functional hood scoop that gives cold air intake to the hand-built HEMI engine that is paired with a dual-point distributor, transistorized ignition, high performance ignition wires and dual Carter 4-barrel carburetors.
It was capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 in just 4.8 seconds and only 55 units of this car was produced – quite a rare muscle car.
- 1970-71 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Convertible
This car was the Holy Grail of American muscle cars. The 1970-1971 Plymouth has a touch of classic styling that is paired with monstrous engine performance. In early 1960’s, Plymouth Barracuda was overshadowed by the most successful Mustang and Camaro. In 1970, the Barracuda was renamed as Cuda and it came with several engine options including the 426 cubic inch Hemi. In 1970, it was the first time that this car was made to accommodate the 426 engine. This Hemi Cuda was already rare and what is even rarer was its convertible model. Only 22 of those cars were made.
- 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88
Interesting fact about this one, a red 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 is one of the most expensive cars in the world. It was sold for $3,850,000, can you believe it? ( I can!) I think it’s pretty reasonable to shred that large amount of money for that red car because out of the twenty 1967 Chevy Corvette L88 that were made, only one of them has the color red.
This rare L88 features four-barrel Holley Carb and new aluminum heads that raised the compression to 12.5:1. It sat on an aluminum intake manifold. Chevrolet advertised a 450hp for this car but rumors say that it can produce over 600 hp.
- 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6
The first Chevelle was made to compete with Ford Farlane but it didn’t quite make as a huge success. As a result, it transformed from being an underpowered family car into a sporty vehicle. During its run, it went through various redesign and performance improvements. A 454 cu in LS6 engine option for RPO215s became available. This upgrade can produce 560hp and can accelerate 0 to 60mph in just 6 seconds and only 20 of them were produced.
- 1971 Pontiac GTO Judge Convertible
The start of 1970’s has not been so kind for GTO and 1970 was also the last production year for the Judge.
The increased strict emissions caused much car company’s downfall and sales for big-block powered cars suffered an all-time low.
A very rare 1971 Pontiac GTO 1971 with 4-speed manual and almost all Judge has 455 H.O engines and 4MV quadrajet four-barrel carburetor. All of them also had a dual exhaust. This car can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in just 6.6 seconds. There are only 17 convertibles made in 1971.
- 1969 Chevrolet Corvette ZL-1
Chevrolet launched ZL-1 option for Corvette and the highlight of this package was the all-aluminum 427 cu in big block engine that can produce 460hp. Because of its expensive price tag, it’s not meant for mass production that’s why only 3 of them actually exist.
- 1967/1970 Dodge Coronet R/T 426 Hemi Convertible
There’s only two of this car that was produced and the incredible 440 cu in RB V-8 was exclusively available with this car. The first R/T models for Dodge Coronet was launched in 1967 and the 1970 model was capable of producing 425hp. Only four convertibles are made in its entire run, two in 1967 and the other two were produced in 1970. The 1967 Coronet R/T has a top speed of 225mph and it can accelerate from 0 to 60 seconds in just 5.4.
Reference and photo credits