Name That Muscle Car!

AUTO

By: Ian Fortey

7 Min Quiz

Whch of these borrowed its name from a cartoon?

The 1968 Plymouth Road Runner was the first year the model named for the Warner Brothers cartoon character existed. It came to the marketplace to offer consumers a lower-priced alternative to some of the more expensive models on the road, while still offering the performance of a 426 Hemi V8.

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Do you know which of these was designed for Trans-Am racing?

The 1967 Chevy Camaro Z28 was the first year of the Z28s. Only a handful were sold that year, making it an extremely rare car. The Z28 won the Trans Am Championship in both '68 and '69, proving itself a standout against the muscle cars of the era.

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Which of these cars had a performance model that went by the name "M-Code"?

The 1962 Ford Thunderbird M-Code was offered with a 390 cubic inch FE V8 engine with three Holley two-barrel carburetors. Only a handful were ever built with this option and, as a 1962 model, it stands as one of the forefathers of the entire muscle car movement.

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This model came with a standard 455 V8 engine. What was it?

Though the Oldsmobile 442 had always been a powerful car, in 1970, Oldsmobile let loose after GM removed any restrictions on engine size. With 370 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque, the 1970 442 was as powerful as this model ever got.

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Which of these was known by the nickname "King of the Hill"?

The 1990 Chevy Corvette ZR1 was introduced to compete directly with Ferrari and Lamborghini, and it did so incredibly well, hitting a top speed of 172 miles per hour. That was a few clicks short of the Italian cars, but they weren't tested under the same conditions and, in fairness, the Corvette was also a fraction of the price for basically the same performance.

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This was a pony car that tried to emphasize luxury. What was it?

The Mercury Cougar looked an awful lot like the Ford Mustang and for good reason; it was pretty much a Ford Mustang. The major differences between the two were that the Cougar had a longer body and was offered with some more luxurious trim packages. Real cougars were featured in the ads for this car!

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Do you know which of these was one of the smallest muscle cars ever?

Prior to 1969, the Chevy Nova was known as the Chevy II Nova. In 1969, Chevy dropped the digits and let it just be the Nova. The SS model gave buyers a big block V8 engine,. There was also a Turbo-Hydramatic 350 3-speed automatic available.

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Which of these came with what they called a "street Hemi" engine?

With two four-barrel carburetors and a 425 horsepower engine that they'd taken to calling a street Hemi, the 1966 Plymouth Satellite had a 426 as the year previous had, but that one was called the "Super Commando."

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Only 80 of which of these cars were ever produced?

Though the Dodge Dart was a fairly popular car produced from 1958 to 1976, the monstrous 426 Hemi-engine-powered 1968 model was made for one purpose and one purpose only — drag racing. It could cover a quarter mile in under 10 seconds.

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Do you know which of these was produced into the following model year as a result of engineering problems?

The 1969 Pontiac Firebird had the unusual honor of also having been produced in 1970, at least for a short period of time and certainly longer than any competitor model. Because of engineering problems, the 1970 model was unable to roll out on time, so production continued on the 1969 model.

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Steve McQueen drove one of these in "Bullitt." What is it?

1968 was the year that the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 got a "KR" added to its already long name. The reason? You could now get it with a 428 "Cobra Jet" engine which upgraded the GT500 to a GT500KR or "King of the Road."

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You'd know which of these cars from "Smokey and the Bandit"?

Thanks to the distinctive bird on the hood, it's hard to mistake the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am for anything else. The car was named in honor of the Trans-Am Series for which, ironically, the Firebird Trans-Am didn't qualify because its engine was too big.

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One of these sold at auction for $5.5 million. What was it?

The Shelby Cobra is looked at as a legendary car today but was actually something of a financial failure at the time. It was also heavily criticized for its handling. While it performed like a beast with nearly 500 horsepower and a top speed of over 164 miles per hour, it was also reputed to feel "twitchy" and uncomfortable.

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This car came with a 428 Cobra Jet V8 engine. What was it?

The Mercury Cyclone used to be known as the Comet, but it went through a name change in 1968. In 1969, the 428 Cobra Jet was a performance option. They also produced the Cyclone Spoiler II model for NASCAR competition.

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Which of these models replaced the Nailhead V8 of the previous year's model?

The 1967 Buick Riviera introduced a serious performance upgrade when it replaced the 425 Nailhead V8 engine with a more powerful 430 cubic inch V8 with 360 horsepower that could get you from 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds.

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Which of these cars does John Wick drive in the movie, "John Wick?"

This is almost a trick question as John is asked about his car when he's gassing up and we find out it's a 1969 Boss 429 Mustang. But the car used in the movie is actually the Mach 1 model. Still, it's a movie, so just go with what they say.

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Which of these cars was most famous for its 454 cubic inch 450 horsepower engine?

The 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS with a 454 cubic inch engine upgrade was among the best of the best in the muscle cars of the age. It sneaked in only a few years before safety and emissions standards would effectively limit the muscle car class for years to come. Fewer than 5,000 of them were produced.

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This car could do a quarter mile in 14 seconds. What was it?

The 1966 Chevy Corvette 427 was the final year of the Corvette's second generation. Aside from some cosmetic restyling, it had the high-performance 427 that was part of the name and ensured a 0 to 60 mph acceleration in only 5.6 seconds.

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Which of these was taken to Daytona after the manufacturer withdrew support for the AMA's ban on stock car racing?

The Automobile Manufacturer's Association had a four-year ban on stock car racing for which Ford withdrew support in 1960. In 1961, they raced the Ford Galaxie at Daytona for 40 laps at an average speed of 142 miles per hour. The 1961 model wasn't the most powerful Galaxie, but it was a trendsetter.

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Which of these cars was made famous on "The Dukes of Hazzard"?

While there were no great innovations to the production model of the 1969 Charger, it was the car's presence on "The Dukes of Hazzard" that made it famous. More than 325 cars were used in the filming of the show.

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Many people consider this the first true muscle car. What is it?

The 1964 Pontiac GTO was the first major entry of the big automakers in the muscle car class. A '64 GTO Tri-Power rocked 348 horsepower but was limited by slow steering and poor brakes.

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It takes which of these cars just over 2 seconds to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour?

The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon doesn't have such a dramatic name for no reason. With a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine, this thing was pulling over 800 horsepower. The top speed is a whopping 168 miles per hour.

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Do you know which of these came in colors like "Moulin Rouge" and "Lemon Twist"?

The Plymouth Barracuda had been a formidable car in the '60s, but in 1970, the engine options raised the bar and made it an icon. The 440 cubic inch six-barrel Super Commando Six-Pack engine was nothing to laugh at, but it's the 426 Hemi that made this Barracuda a legend.

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This car came with either a 440 Six-Pack engine or a 428 Hemi V8. What was it?

The 1969 Dodge Coronet could manage a 0 to 60 mph acceleration in about 6.6 seconds. The Coronet had been in production since 1949, but it wasn't until the 1960s that it became the muscle car it was with a Hemi engine available across multiple years.

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The Ramcharger cooling system on which vehicle featured two hood scoops?

The Dodge Super Bee began production in 1968 and offered a massive 426 Hemi V8 engine. In 1969, the performance was tweaked just enough to let it accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds overall, nearly a second faster than the previous year's model.

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Which of these cars was a direct competitor of the Dodge Daytona?

Though it was made to compete in NASCAR races, the Plymouth Superbird was also available to the public for anyone who wanted such a massive and ostentatious vehicle. It was one of four cars known as"aero cars," which included the Daytona, the Ford Talladega and the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II.

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At the time, this was the largest front-wheel drive car ever. What was it?

The Oldsmobile Toronado was a beastly automobile that needed the 425 cubic inch V8 and its 385 horsepower just to move it around. It weighed a staggering 4,366 pounds. That's more than your average modern SUV and about 1,000 pounds more than a car like the Hyundai Accent.

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This car was named for a city in Monaco. What is it?

The Monte Carlo straddled the line between a luxury car and a muscle car in a way few others did. It was hard to deny the muscle car cred, however, considering its 454 Big-Block engine and the ability to go 0 to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds.

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Do you know which of these was introduced as a cheaper alternative to the Road Runner and the Mustang Mach 1?

The Plymouth Duster had a high-performance 340 V8 engine and was also an affordable option when compared to the competition. In 1970, the Duster was almost $1,000 cheaper than the Mustang Mach 1.

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This car was marketed with a "Big Bad" paint option. What was it?

In 1969, you could get an AMC AMX in stark, brilliant colors like neon blue, orange and green for an extra $34. It was a nice complement to a car that, if you had an AMX/3, could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 5 seconds.

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Which of these was based on — and shared — many parts with the Barracuda?

Because Plymouth and Dodge were both run under the Chrysler brand, the 1970 Dodge Challenger used the same E-frame as the Plymouth Barracuda and some of the same components. It was somewhat of a competitor to the Ford Mustang and offered performance plus a few more luxurious interior options that the scaled-back Mustang didn't include.

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Which of these cars borrowed part of its name from European sports cars?

The "2+2" part of the Catalina name was used in Europe to refer to seating for four — two in the front plus two in the back. The 1965 model, which wasn't labeled "Catalina" anywhere on the car, had fastback rooflines and a 421 cubic inch V8 engine capable of 338 HP.

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Do you know which of these was conceived as a rival to the Plymouth Road Runner?

In some ways, it makes sense that the Pontiac "Judge" GTO was specifically released to compete with the Road Runner since both cars were named after TV show characters. The Pontiac Judge got its name from a "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" sketch and used jokes like "All rise for The Judge" in its marketing.

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Which of these had the same engine as the 1966 Corvette?

After a lackluster 1967, Chevy went all out with the 1968 Impala SS427 L72. It was the Impala SS with a 425 horsepower iron-block L72 427-engine. Of the 711,000 Impalas made in 1968, only 568 were made With those full specs.

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Do you know which of these was made in conjuction with McLaren?

The 1987 Buick GNX is a performance model of the Buick Regal. The name stands for "Grand National Experimental," which would use GNE as an acronym, but X just sounds a lot cooler. This car's performance was better than Porsche or Ferrari at the time, and it could go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

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Which of these was the first car to crack 200 miles per hour on a NASCAR track?

The 1969 Dodge Daytona is a bit goofy looking by today's standards. The front end seems too long, and that spoiler on the back is more of a wing than anything else. But this car was made to blaze up the race track, and it did for one year before NASCAR banned it and cars like it for being too powerful.

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Most muscle cars were American-made but not which of these?

The Jensen Interceptor in 1971 was decked out with a 383 cubic inch V8 engine. The Interceptor was a standout for the time period thanks to the fact that Jensen was a British company, and European cars were just not part of the muscle car market.

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Do you know which of these cars was released with a Peruvian silver and black paint job?

The 1968 Hurst/Olds was a collaboration between Oldsmobile and George Hurst, maker of Hurst shifters. Oldsmobile desperately wanted a piece of the younger market that was attracted to muscle cars, and this was their answer. How badly did they want in? They were advertising some of their cars as "Youngsmobiles." Oof.

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Which of these was a cross between a luxury car and a muscle car?

The Buick GSX was essentially a performance upgrade of the Buick Grand Sport with a 455 cubic inch engine. If you wanted one when it was first released, you had better have been a fan of yellow or white because those were the only paint options available.

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Do you know which of these won Motor Trend's "Car of the Year"?

In 1970, the Ford Torino Cobra took Motor Trend's "Car of the Year" honors, and why not? You could hit 60 miles per hour in under 6 seconds in this thing thanks to the 429 cubic inch V8 engine they called the "Cobra Jet."

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Image: Pixabay by Lisa Johnson

About This Quiz

Just based on the name alone, you can guess that a muscle car was defined as something with some power to it. Iconic of the '60s and the '70s in American automaking, a muscle car was usually defined as a powerful, high-performance vehicle that featured a V8 engine, rear-wheel drive, and was suitable for drag-racing. It also helped if it was affordable as well. In so many words, it had to look cool and tear up the road.

In the 1970s, a change in standards meant that cars had to be safer and more fuel-efficient, and that meant engines were severely scaled back, effectively killing off muscle cars after about a decade worth of life.  But during the time muscle cars existed, the major automakers kept competing with each other year after year to produce more powerful vehicles that would draw in buyers and beat out the competition. Some, like the Corvette, the Charger, the Mustang and the Camaro, have become legends. Others, like the Cataline 2+2 or the Interceptor, are far less well-known outside of car circles. But that won't matter to you, right? As a true muscle car fan, you should recognize many of these cars. But can you recognize all of them? Take the quiz and see!

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