Can You Name All of These High-Performance American Cars?

AUTO

Maria Trimarchi

7 Min Quiz

Do you know which revved-up American car this is?

In 1969, Pontiac began shipping a new model of the GTO: "The Judge" was named after a comedy bit called, "Here Come de Judge," on the popular sketch comedy TV series, "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In." The race-ready Ram Air IV 6.5L V8 engine under the hood was capable of doing a quater-mile in about 13.5 seconds, with an overall top speed of 124 mph.

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This third-generation Mustang was built on Ford's Fox platform -- and was the first Foxbody Mustang. There were two body styles, coupe and hatchback, and three trim levels: Base, Ghia, and Cobra. And what was under the hood of the 1979 Mustang 5.0 was designed for performance. The Cobra, according to Ford, could do 0 to 60 mph in just 7.1 seconds. This now-legendary "Pushrod" motor, the original 5.0L, 302-cubic-inch V8 engine, re-surfaced in 2011 as "the Coyote."

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The 1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am had the biggest V8 engine, the 335-hp 455 High Output V8, ever offered in the pony class. It could do 0-60 mph in a quick 5.9 seconds, and a quarter-mile in 13.9 seconds.

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Although it wasn't designed with racing in mind, the 1955 Ford Thunderbird was a luxury car that turned out to be a pretty quick touring car. Under the hood it had Ford's new Y-block 292 engine, which gave the car 193 horsepower -- and the ability to go 0-60 in 9.4 seconds.

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The 1970 Plymouth Superbird was basically a modified Road Runner. Like the Road Runner, it had the cartoon character's “Beep Beep” chirp for a horn. But unlike the Road Runner, it did 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and had a top speed of 200 mph.

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This Carroll Shelby-designed Mustang two-seater was easily identifiable by its hood-mounted air scoop and rocker panel stripes. But it's what was under the hood of the GT350 that made it capable of 0-60 mph in just about 6.5 seconds, and had a top speed of just under 130 mph.

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The supercharged 6.2L V8 engine under the hood of the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V is capable of taking you from 0-60 mph in just 3.6 seconds -- and that rivals a Corvette.

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In 1991, Carroll Shelby was behind the wheel of the preproduction car as the Indianapolis 500 pace car. And by the end of that year, the first generation Dodge Viper shipped. The Viper had an all-aluminum 8L V10 engine under the hood, and was capable, according to Chrysler, of 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

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In was in 1966 when Chevrolet replaced its 396-cubic-inch V8 engine with a 427 V8 in the Corvette C2 Stingray. It's capable of 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, and can reach a top speed of 141 mph.

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The dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder of the 1935 Duesenberg SSJ's straight-eight J gave it the capability of hitting a top speed of 119 mph -- and as fast as 94 mph while in second gear. At the time, it was the fastest, but also the most expensive, American-made car on the market.

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Although the Ford Mustang never competed in a NASCAR race, the Boss 429's 375-hp 429-cubic-inch V8 engine, built to rev to 6,000 rpm, was designed for racing. There were actually three versions of the 429 engine installed in 1969 and 1970 production years. Theyincluded the original "S-code" designed for racing; the "T-code, which was lighter-duty than the "S-code;" and near the end of the model's production, an "A-code" that was outfitted with smog/emissions equipment as well as a newly designed valvetrain.

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The 1970 Chevelle SS LS6 could go zero to 60 mph in just about 6 seconds, and about 13 seconds at the quarter-mile mark -- and it was its 454-cubic-inch engine that made this muscle car a legend.

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Under the hood of this two-seater sports car you'll find a supercharged 550-horsepower V8 engine. The Ford GT, capable of 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds with a top speed of 205 mph, was only made in 2005 and 2006.

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This Dodge Challenger has a supercharged 6.2L Hemi SRT Demon V8 engine in it. What exactly does that translate to, in speed and power? It's designed to do the quarter-mile in the blink of an eye -- just 9.65 seconds, at 140 mph. Plus, it's the first factory production car to do a wheelie -- that's right, front wheels off the ground at launch.

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The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS was “The One with a Name Like the Hiss of a Snake." It was the last year of the first-generation Camaros, and it closed out that class with a bang, capable of 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds, and a top speed of 136 mph.

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The 1970 Plymouth HEMI 'Cuda could go 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds, and did the quarter-mile in 14 seconds -- and, it was also available in a body color called Plum Crazy.

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Chevrolet made 710,900 Impalas in 1968. Choosing the "SS" model -- the Super Sport package -- added the 427 V8 engine, suspension upgrade, oversize wheels, a domed hood, chromed engine components and special trim (such as those triple horseshoe-shaped tail lights on the rear bumper). The SS could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds, and go the quarter-mile in 15.4 seconds.

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The 1969 American Motors AMX was only around for three production years, and of them there were 8,293 2-seat Fastbacks with a 390 V8 engine under the hood to come off the assembly line. The Super Stock AMX was more like a sports car than a muscle car, and was capable of going 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds, with a top speed of 122 mph.

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Clessie Lyle Cummins operated his diesel-engine plant in Columbus, Indiana, manufacturing engines that were primarily for marine use. And then the Great Depression hit -- and by 1930, Cummins focused on cars, instead. In 1931, the Duesenberg Cummins Diesel Special took 13th place at Indianapolis, without making a single pit stop over the entire 500-mile race (the first to ever do so).

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With a top speed of 136 mph and the ability to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, the 1969 Dodge Charger would have been infamous without being featured on the TV series, "The Dukes of Hazzard," beginning in 1979. The General Lee, as it's known, was an orange 1969 Charger with "01" painted on both doors (which were welded shut), a horn that played "Dixie" and an inclination for performing a whole lot of memorable jumps.

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For its time, the 1910 Oldsmobile Limited Touring car was one of the most powerful -- and biggest -- passenger cars you could buy from Oldsmobile, capable of cruising at speeds of 60-70 mph. Only 825 "Limited" models were built in the three years it was produced.

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Ford debuted the GT at the Nurburgring in May 1964, where it failed to finish. After Nassau Speed Week in November 1964, Carroll Shelby stepped in to give it some performance enhancements, in particular aerodynamics, engine cooling, gearbox, brakes, high-speed road-holding and the car's overall weight. Shelby's changes, and the addition of the 289 CID OHV Shelby V8 Engine, led Team Ford to victory at the Daytona Continental.

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The Equus shares a name with a car manufactured by Hyundai, but the Bass 770 is a modern-day muscle car out of Detroit -- in fact, its design is inspired by the original muscle cars, such as the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger. The 2015 Equus Bass 770 is capable of going 0-60 mph in just 3.4 seconds, and can hit a top speed of more than 200 mph.

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The "E" in the Camaro ZL1 1LE means it can can stop and turn better than the ZL1, and it does have a better 0-60 time than the ZL1, too. The 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, slightly better than the ZL1's 3.8 seconds -- and its estimated top speed is 200 mph.

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After 30 years of waiting for the Focus RS to come to the U.S., it debuted in 2016. It's powered by the 2.3L 4-cylinder also used in the Mustang -- the top speed of the 2016 Ford Focus RS is 165 mph (governor limited), but expect it to handle 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

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With 707 horsepower behind it, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with the supercharged 6.2L V8 engine may be the most powerful muscle car ever -- at least for now. This Challenger is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 199 mph.

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Today a top speed of 81 mph isn't anything to brag about. But in 1912, Stutz won 25 out of 30 races in which they were entered. And in 1913, the Stutz factory racing team placed third in the Indianapolis 500. The Bearcat was a status of wealth at the time, but it wasn't able to last through the Great Depression.

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If you wanted the Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS in 1983, its first model year, you could get it in dark metallic blue or white -- that's it. But under the hood was GM's Small-Block 5.0L V8 engine. It was capable of a top speed of 117 mph, went 0-60 mph in 8.8 seconds, and did the quarter-mile in 16.7 seconds.

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The 1989 Pontiac Firebird Turbo Trans-Am -- known as the TTA -- was the 20th Anniversary Edition (AE). Beneath its white exterior was a modified Buick 3.8L V6 Turbo engine, and while it was rated at 250 horsepower, in reality it was capable of about 300 horsepower. At the end of the day, the TTA could do 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, and had a top speed of 162 mph. But its claim to fame that year may have been when it was chosen as a pace car for the Indy 500.

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The 1962 Shelby Cobra 427 is the original, and when it debuted it was the world's fastest production car. It was based on the lightweight body of a 1950s Ferrari Barchetta with a lightweight Ford 3.6L small-block V8 engine under the hood. All told, it was capable of a top speed of about 140 mph.

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The 1968 Plymouth Road Runner was based on the body of the Plymouth Belvedere, and had a standard 383-cubic inch 6.3L "Road Runner" V8 engine (with an optional Hemi -- but only about 1,000 were made with one) -- and was capable of 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds. For the Road Runner, Plymouth spent $50,000 for permission from Warner Bros. to use its Road Runner name and likeness from the Wile E. Coyote cartoons -- and another $10,000 to use the Road Runner's "beep, beep!" as a horn sound.

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Only about 750 Ford Torino Talladega GTs with the 428-cubic-inch Cobra Jet motor or the more powerful 429-cubic-inch V8 were made in the first production year, 1969, including the prototypes and production cars. It's based on the Torino and Fairlane Cobra, and named for the Talladega Speedway, which opened the same year.

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While the Grand National will go 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, the 1987 Buick Grand National GNX will do 0 to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds -- and has a top speed of 124 mph.

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The Oldsmobile 442 was manufactured from 1968 through 1971 -- and only 515 were made the first year. It had the 455-cubic inch V8 from the Oldsmobile Toronado under its hood. It was capable of going 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.

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The only color the 2000 Ford Mustang Cobra R came in was Performance Red, with a dark charcoal interior -- and 5.4L V8 engine under the hood. This Mustang was capable of going 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, with a top speed of 170 mph.

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If the 1988 Callaway Corvette Sledgehammer were allowed to hit its real top speed, it would top out at 254.76 mph. Under the hood is a 6.0L V8 fitted with two turbochargers -- and that translates into an amazing 898 horsepower, and an acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds.

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The 2017 Hennessey Exorcist delivers. It has an LT4 V8 engine of the Camaro ZL1, with 1,000 horsepower and 966 lb-ft of torque -- and that translates into 0 to 60 mph in under 3 seconds, and a top speed of 220 mph.

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The 2006 SSC Ultimate Aero was designed specifically to break the 250 mph barrier -- and it was also the first year the butterfly doors were included in the design. Under the hood it had a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine, and was officially timed at a top speed of 256.14 mph.

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There were only about 650 Dodge Dart 440s with the 440 V8 engine made in 1968 and 1969, one of Dodge's performance-car group called the Scat Pack. The 440 was designed with a 440 Magnum into its Dodge A-body frame. Its top speed was 120 mph, and it was capable of going 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

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The 1970 Buick Gran Sport was designed with a 455/360 HP big-block V8 engine under the hood. The Stage 1 piece was a package that upgraded the carburetor, valves and camshaft.

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The Dodge Super Bee, essentially a Coronet at its base, was produced between 1968 and 1971 years. The 1969 model year Super Bee was capable of going 0-60 in 6.3 seconds, and the quarter-mile in 13.8 seconds. It came with a standard 335-horsepower Magnum V8 engine, but buyers could get the optional 426 Hemi (although, in total, only 125 Super Bees with the Hemi engine were produced and sold).

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Under the hood of the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette is the 755-horsepower, 6.2L V8 engine, and it can go 0 to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds. It comes with an optional wing that adds up to 950 pounds of downforce.

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The first generation of the Dodge Challenger, model years 1970 to 1974, shared components with the Plymouth Barracuda. And, it was the first generation Challenger built on the Chrysler E platform. The 1970 R/T 440 Magnum was featured in the movie, "Vanishing Point," in 1971.

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The 1964 Dodge Polara 500 was the first Chrysler to use the B-Body, and under the hood of the Polara 500 was the 265-horsepower 383 V8 as the base engine.

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The Auburn 851 Supercharged Boattail Speedster had a starring role in the romantic comedy film “Desire," starring Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich, in 1936. Under its hood was a Chevrolet-built Vortec V8 engine, and it also had power steeling, power brakes and power windows.

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Under the hood of the 2002 Saleen S7 is Ford's 7.0 L naturally-aspirated OHV V8 engine. And this engine gives the car the capability of going from 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds, with a top speed of an estimated 220 mph.

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It can go 0-60 mph in under 2.4 seconds, and 0-200 mph in under 13 seconds. And, in March 2016, the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder became the fastest convertible sports car in the world. Just how fast is the fastest? It hit a top speed of 265.6 mph, which was more than 11 mph faster than the previous record, held by Bugatti's Veyron Super Sport Vitesse. The hardtop coupe has also broken speed records, achieving 270.4 mph in 2014.

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The 2017 Testa Model S P100D is very fast -- in fact, when Motor Trend tested it, it went 0 to 60 mph in an amazing 2.3 seconds. Oh, and did you know it runs on a lithium-ion battery?

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If you're a gamer, you may recognize the Vector V8 supercar from the "Gran Turismo 2" video game. Production of the Vector W8 only lasted from 1989 to 1993, and used aerospace materials in the manufacturing. The W8 can hit a top speed of 242 mph, and has the capability of going from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. If you want one, it'll be tough -- only 19 were built (and just 17 of those were for consumers).

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The Mosler MT900 was capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and could do quarter-mile in 12 seconds. And the recorded top speed of this rear-wheel-drive coupe was was 150 mph.

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About This Quiz

Although the United States isn't necessarily known for producing high-performance cars, we aren't completely without some gems either. If you think you know all of the high-performance American cars ever made, take this quiz. We bet you can't get all 50 right.

Some of the best high-performance American cars have been around for decades. When we think about the Ford Mustang, the Chevy Camaro, the Ford Thunderbird, the Pontiac Trans Am, and the Chevy Corvette, our hearts beat almost as fast as the engines of these classics. 

The Ford Mustang, for instance, has been in production since 1964 and is now in its sixth generation and looking better than ever. The Chevy Corvette has been around even longer The Corvette entered production in 1953 and is currently in its seventh generation. 

The Pontiac Trans Am was a special version of the Firebird and was produced from 1969 to 2002. And although the Ford Thunderbird is no longer in production, it first hit the scene in 1955 as a two-seater convertible. Ford took the car out of its lineup in 2005. We'd love to see it make a comeback. And these are only a few of the high-performance cars America is known for.

Take this quiz to find out how well you know these high-performance American cars.


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