And when equipped with the even more potent W30 parts, the motor made hp and a whopping lb-ft of torque. It could hit 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, which was very quick for the time—especially for an Olds. The Goodyear Grabber, as it was known, was built by legendary Baja-race-vehicle guru Vic Hickey and sponsored by Goodyear tires. The vehicle was recently restored and put up for sale.
By the late s, muscle car performance was a mere shadow of what it had been years earlier. The latest emissions controls, combined with high gas prices and stratospheric insurance costs, caused most automakers to severely dial back horsepower. But not Pontiac. The Trans-Am had been riding a new wave of popularity since its starring role in the movie Smokey and the Bandit.
For the model year, Pontiac added to the excitement by actually increasing the horsepower of its top-level Trans Am from to The brand also developed a special handling package called the WS6 that added a sport-tuned suspension, wider 8-inch wheels, new tires, and quicker steering. The result was a Pontiac Trans-Am that was actually quicker and handled better around a track than the Chevy Corvette.
Little-Known Fact: The Pontiac's T-top roof, which first became an option in , was as close as a buyer could get to a convertible Trans Am. These lift-out roof sections were initially made by Hurst and were known as the Hurst Hatch.
The 13 Fastest Modern Muscle Machines
The problem was, they leaked. This led Pontiac to develop its own T-tops within GM's Fisher body division and launch the option midway through the model year. So some '78 Firebirds have Hurst T-tops and others have the Fisher units. You can spot the difference because the Fisher glass roof panels are larger than the Hurst Hatch ones.
In the late s and early s, Nascar was in its golden age. Automakers took the business of stock-car racing seriously and would dream up engines and bodywork for racing that were often too wild for the street. All the automakers needed to do was sell of these radical cars and they could run them in Nascar.
The Boss Mustang was just such a beast.
12 Fastest Muscle Cars of the s
Although the Mustang didn't compete in Nascar, the hp cubic-inch V-8 under its hood was designed specifically for racing and built to rev to rpm. The problem was, this motor did not perform well on the street. It was slower than the other big-block Mustangs at the time. The Nascar-bound V-8 was monstrously large and did not fit in a stock Mustang's engine bay. The company relocated the shock towers, widened the track of the front end using unique componentry, relocated the battery to the trunk, and fitted a smaller brake booster—all to make room for this beastly powerplant to fit in the Mustang.
Little-Known Fact: There were actually three different engines installed in the Boss between '69 and ' The hardcore "S-Code" was installed in early cars and filled with race-duty parts.
But the S-Code had warranty problems, reportedly because of an incorrect assembly process. So the "T-Code" with lighter-duty parts was used in some cars. The later "A-Code" version of the , equipped with smog equipment and a new valvetrain, appeared toward the end of production. When GM relaxed its longstanding rule forbidding engines larger than cubic inches to be installed in midsize cars, it set off a muscle frenzy across the company's divisions.
A conservative estimate of the LS6's power puts it at hp and lb-ft of torque. But thanks to its high Our pals at Car and Driver tested one in and found it hit 60 mph in just 5. And that was with the skinny low-grip tires of the day; that same car with modern rubber would be much quicker. The LS6 carries the highest factory horsepower rating of all muscle cars. And up until the LS6, GM wouldn't allow any other Chevy to carry a horsepower rating higher than that of the Corvette.
But somehow that stance was relaxed for —the highest horsepower engine you could get in a Corvette was a hp LS5 An LS7 was planned with hp, but it was never officially sold. So why no LS6? An LS6 Corvette was offered for , but its potency slipped at least officially to hp. Pontiac owned the muscle scene in the early s.
In fact, the Pontiac GTO is widely regarded as the very first of the breed. But by , that car had plenty of competition. The thought within Pontiac was to make a cheaper version of the GTO with a smaller cubic-inch engine called the ET for "elapsed time" a drag-racing term. Pontiac boss John DeLorean didn't like that idea. To him, no GTO could have an engine that small. Instead, the team built a car one step up from the regular GTO.
According to the book Pontiac Pizazz , by Jim Wangers and Art Fitzpatrick, the lead singer, Mark Lindsay, was a car guy and loved the Judge, so he wrote a song about it. Wangers claims this commercial is considered one of the earliest rock-music videos. Chevrolet's Central Office Production Order COPO system was designed for fleet sales; it was intended to spec out heavy-duty suspensions for cop cars and stain-proof interiors for taxicabs. But enterprising dealers with the right connections, such as Yenko Chevrolet in Pennsylvania, figured out that Camaros could be ordered this way, too.
And given the right order codes, the dealer could spec out a fire-breathing monster of a Camaro that Chevy didn't really want you to own.
The production order specified a big-block V-8 rated at hp—just like a Vette. Though this engine was rated with just 5 more hp, it was widely known that this race-spec engine delivered more like hp. Chevy originally developed this motor for the Chaparral racing team to use in the Can Am series.
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There are no external emblems on a ZL-1 Camaro that let you know what's under the hood—only plain-vanilla Camaro badges. Long after the big block Vpowered muscle cars of the s and s went, Buick brought back some of that magic in the s. Car and Driver tested one in and recorded a 0-tomph time of just 4. Buick made only of these black beasts.
Many were squirreled away into storage as investments. It was conservatively rated at just hp, but true GM enthusiasts knew the potential that lay under the hood of that Trans Am. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. How to Remove Super Glue. Car Culture Getty Images. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. In the event that there was a tie and there were a few , we used zero to 60 times to settle the argument.
So, without further ado, here are the 13 fastest modern muscle cars of the s. Zero to 60 comes in 5. A whopping ponies and pound-feet of torque. Sure, it was an assassin there with a It was no mistake that when the Shelby GT arrived in late , it was immediately compared to the Boss. Zero to 60 comes in four seconds flat, and it can run the quarter mile in And from there, the Camaro line only gets more impressive.
When it rains, it pours over at SRT. With the Dodge Charger SRT , the tough-looking four door gets horsepower and pound-feet of torque to play with , thanks to its 6. Zero to 60 comes in 4. You can even get a cool retro shaker hood, complete with air intake sticking out of it. If you need four doors, Dodge offers the in the Charger, too. The Z28 nameplate is legendary among Camaro fans, and when it returned in , it brought it right back to the track.
In a throwback to the s, Shelby has transformed the ubiquitous Mustang into one of the most formidable track cars in the world. In that car, zero to 60 comes in at 3. Yes it can. Boasting a supercharged 6. So far, the Z28 is taking a breather from the Chevrolet Camaro lineup. That leaves the new ZL1 as the baddest and fastest of the bunch.
The ZL1 is a horsepower monster equipped with a 6. Top speed is miles per hour, and it can jet to 60 miles per hour in just 3. The current GT is a lithe, brutally fast track car; the old King Cobra was an old-school straight line missile. Tackling the quarter mile in