If you love muscle cars, you’ve probably wondered what the king of muscle cars is. The best part about the answer is, it’s not hard to find. There are several options, such as the ’69 Camaro ZL1, the ’68 Charger R/T, the ’69 Dodge Challenger, the ’68 Plymouth Road Runner Hemi, and the ’70 AMX.
It’s hard to beat the Dodge Challenger when it comes to muscle cars. The big car has a great look, a decent engine, and a supple ride. However, it does have some significant blind spots. Having a large, bulky body is a weakness in tight turns.
The Challenger is available in V6 and V8 trims. It’s also offered intelligent all-wheel drive. Despite its age, the Challenger is one of the most well-rounded muscle cars out there.
Dodge has announced that its lineup of cars will be updated this fall. That includes the 2023 Challenger and Charger. In addition, the lineup will feature seven special edition models. Of these, the 2023 Challenger Black Ghost will pay homage to the legendary black 1970 Challenger R/T SE.
This special edition will be limited to only 300 units. It will come with a supercharged Hemi V8 that produces 807 horsepower.
This car is the first in a new line of “Last Call” special edition models that will be released over the next few years. Those vehicles will pay homage to some of the most notable Black racers of all time.
While the Ford Mustang may be the biggest seller of all time, the Dodge Challenger isn’t far behind. In fact, the Challenger was the bestselling muscle car in the U.S. in 2021.
It’s easy to see why. In the past, the Dodge Challenger produced some of the fastest muscle cars of the day. Whether or not that continues in the future is up for debate.
’68 Charger R/T
When it comes to muscle cars, the ’68 Dodge Charger R/T is probably the king. It had a 440 cubic inch four-barrel Magnum V-8, and it had a very good reputation for being a star vehicle. In fact, it was so star quality, it was featured in the movie Bullitt.
The Dodge Charger R/T was a mid-year offering from the Scat Pack lineup. The Dodge Charger R/T was essentially an upmarket muscle car, and it featured exclusive features.
For starters, the ’68 Charger had an innovative recessed headlight grille. Not only was it a novel design, but it was also functional.
As for the engine, the Dodge Charger R/T was powered by a 440 cubic inch, four-barrel, carbureted V-8. At the time, it was the largest V-8 ever used in a muscle car.
Its engine made 375 horsepower, and it came with heavy-duty brakes. In addition, it had a rear bumblebee stripe.
Another feature of the ’68 Charger was the R/T handling package. This included a dual exhaust with chrome tips. Also, it had a racing-style gas filler cap.
The R/T grille was vacuum operated and a modified version of the 1966 Charger’s original grille.
The R/T was a complete performance package, with both road and track modes. There were two engine options, a 440 and a 383.
But the ’68 Charger’s most iconic feature was its shape. It was a coke bottle-shaped car.
The 1970 AMX is a two-seat GT-style muscle car from American Motors Corporation. It was a companion to the Javelin pony car. Both vehicles shared their mechanicals, including a big 390 V8 engine.
During its short production run, the AMC AMX was an affordable muscle car option. As such, it had plenty of luggage space and a fairly comfortable interior. Although the AMX did not compete directly with the Chevy Corvette, it was often compared to the famous car.
The AMX was a two-seater, which meant it had a slightly shorter wheelbase than the Corvette. It also handled more like a sports car. In 1968, the AMX was capable of setting 106 world speed and endurance records.
Despite its affordable price, AMX did not get as much publicity as some of its competitors. In fact, it was not even marketed as a sports car. Instead, it was promoted as a personal muscle car.
The 1970 AMX had a full-width grille with dual headlights. The rear end of the car featured taillamps and a center-mounted backup light. Also, the hood was covered in a “power blister” with two large openings.
Among its many mechanical features, the AMX had a functional cold ram-air induction system. It also featured a Crane Solid Roller camshaft with a substantially raised lift. Other options included a dual-grid LSD and a seven-bladed Power-Flex fan.
’69 Camaro ZL1
There is no doubt about it, the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is the king of muscle cars. It features a 427ci ZL1 V8 producing 430 horsepower. The engine is backed by a TH400 3-speed automatic transmission. In addition, the Camaro ZL1 also has GM Magnetic Ride Control suspension, Brembo brakes, Goodyear Supercar tires, and lightweight alloy wheels.
The ZL1 Camaro was designed by drag racer Dick Harrell. Harrell was known as one of the best Chevy drag racers of all time. He wanted a performance car that was both street-legal and capable of competing in the 1970 NHRA season.
With an opulent interior and a powerful engine, the ZL1 was the fastest muscle car of its day. A Camaro ZL1 could hit 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds.
The ZL1 was the most expensive Camaro yet. It cost $57,000. That’s around $400,000 today. However, this Camaro was only available for a limited number of years.
Despite the high price tag, the ZL1 was not the only Camaro to be fitted with a monster V-8. A few dozen dealers began ordering a 427-cubic-inch version of the Camaro in the late ’60s. While most of the big blocks were hand-built aluminum, a few were cast iron. These lightened the body by about 160 pounds.
The ZL1 was equipped with a front subframe, a heavy-duty 4.10 12-bolt rear end, and multi-leaf rear springs. The car had a heavy-duty four-core radiator, transistorized ignition, and cold-air induction.
Plymouth Road Runner Hemi
The Plymouth Road Runner Hemi was one of the first muscle cars to hit the market. This was a time when young people were not only looking for fast and powerful cars but also wanted to have the money to pay for them.
They didn’t mind the basic features and cabins, as long as they had the power and speed. In the 1960s, the top muscle car brands included Ford Mustang, Pontiac GTO, Dodge Charger, and Chevy Corvette.
In 1968, Plymouth introduced the Road Runner, a low-priced, entry-level muscle car. This was a big boost to the brand’s popularity. It was designed to sell 20,000 units in its first year.
It was powered by a 440-cubic-inch (6.2-liter) V8 engine, which generated 385 horsepower and 425 lb.-ft of torque. This engine was standard with an intake manifold, a six-pack, and a 440-cylinder head.
In 1970, Plymouth restyled the Road Runner for NASCAR fans. This model featured a new aerodynamic body shape and a trunk spoiler. It also came with a unique nose that extended the car by 19 inches.
The Road Runner gained an aggressive air-grabber hood that closed automatically when the car was shut off. These hoods were the perfect way to intimidate opponents at stoplights.
The 1970 Plymouth Road Runner was also available in convertible form. Although the body style was not as radical as other models, it had the same sex appeal.
Hurst is the king of muscle cars, and this 1979 Cutlass Supreme is the best example yet. It has some desirable upgrades and the best interior in the performance car category in 1979. If you like the looks of this cutlass, but want more horsepower, you should consider the GSS Challenger. The GSS Challenger is based on the Hellcat Wide Body.
This car is powered by a 455 CID V8. The interior has plenty of legroom for five adults, and there is an interior digital clock. There is also a four-speed transmission. You can add the W-30 option, which increases power by 30 horses.
Other features include a dual exhaust system, a functional central cold air intake, and a functional central heat extractor. The front fenders are made of fiberglass, while the rear fenders and bumpers are aluminum. Among other features, the 1979 Cutlass is equipped with 14×6-inch aluminum wheels. These wheels look great with the gold paint scheme.
The Flowmaster American Thunder cat-back dual exhaust system complements the Challenger Hellcat hood, and the hood is topped with large 4-inch diameter Hurst logo exhaust tips. A functional central cold air intake, four-speed automatic, and four-wheel disc brakes are all included.
The dual-gate shifter was a special edition. That shifter was one of the coolest gear selectors available in the market.
While Hurst/Olds was a limited-production model, it was a real powerhouse in 1979. And while its acceleration may not have been as good as the Ford Mustang GT, it still ranked as the fastest of the day.