The Ten Most Powerful Muscle Cars In History

Europeans like me can say whatever they want about cornering, but you have to love muscle cars. These ten have dual everything, plus the torque of a locomotive.


10.) Chevrolet Nova SS

The Ten Most Powerful Muscle Cars In History

Following the success of the L79, the '68 and '69 Nova SS could be ordered with a 375 hp small block and the heavy-duty M-22 "Rock Crusher" four-speed manual. Death Proof material.

Suggested By: EvilFD, Photo Credit: Dwilliams851


9.) Ford Falcon GTHO

The Ten Most Powerful Muscle Cars In History

From down under comes willkinton247's favorite muscle car:

A homologation special built to win the Bathurst 500. Engine was understated at 300 bhp to satisfy insurance companies, but generally accepted to produce in the region of 350-380 bhp. It was crazy enough that when they went to build the Phase III model, it was cancelled at the 11th hour due to the Supercar Scare.

Suggested By: willkinton247, Photo Credit: racin jason


8.) Buick Gran Sport Stage 1

The Ten Most Powerful Muscle Cars In History

This Buick wasn't built by Opel, nor for China! Maybe that's why Green Pig starts with an ancient wisdom:

Someone once said "People shop for horsepower but buy torque"

The output for the 1970 Buick Gran Sport Stage 1 with a 455 cid V-8 was conservatively rated at 360hp and 510 lb/ft of torque, from the factory.

Suggested By: Green Pig, Photo Credit: Sicnag


7.) Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

The Ten Most Powerful Muscle Cars In History

The 427 was advertised with 430 horsepower, but gave those lucky few who could get the ZL1 instead of the L72 more like 500+.

Suggested By: paradisian, Photo Credit: racin jason


6.) Dodge Cornet W051 Superstock

The Ten Most Powerful Muscle Cars In History

The Hellcat of its time. Only lighter. Arch Duke Maxyenko, can't into:

1965 Dodge Cornet W051 Superstock 426 Hemi that advertised 425 horses, did in reality, produce somewhere between 540 to 565 hp from the Michigan plant.

Suggested By: Arch Duke Maxyenko, Photo Credit: Mecum Auction Inc


5.) Dodge HEMI Dart/Barracuda

The Ten Most Powerful Muscle Cars In History

10.32 quarters from the factory. The Scrambler says it can be done:

The 426 engine offered in the Hurst built 1968 Hemi Barracuda and Hemi Dart were "rated" at 500 horsepower. You can take that number with a grain of salt for a couple of reasons. Even though this was a factory built race car, car makers were conservative with their numbers; on the street for insurance purposes and on the track for competitive advantage purposes. On the other hand, 500 was a Gross rating (at the flywheel), not the modern Net (at the rear wheels). I don't know how much power these things actually made back in the day, but a modern, NHRA Super Stock legal 426 Hemi in this application makes about 950.

Suggested By: Zoom, Photo Credit: Justin Shaffer via Mecum Auctions


4.) Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt

The Ten Most Powerful Muscle Cars In History

The Thunderbolt was Ford's factory drag car in 1964. Street legal and nuts. Who needs sway bars anyway:

The Ford Fairlane thunderbolt with the High Rise 427 it officially produced 425hp, but like most muscle cars of the era, that number was listed much lower than actual for insurance reasons. Unofficially it was between 500 and 600 hp and had 1/4 mile times to back it up.

Suggested By: RazorGP, Photo Credit: Snassek


3.) Ford Galaxie 427 SOHC

The Ten Most Powerful Muscle Cars In History

If you knew a guy who knew a guy, you could get the fastest Ford in the galaxy. Ghoulardi:

Ford built a handful of Glaxies with the 427 SOHC. they were labeled as prototype cars, but they were built and delivered to customers (one went to astronaut Gordon Cooper).

As we all know, this was an engine so powerful that Chrysler petitioned NASCAR to ban it because it would have made mincemeat out of their new 426 Hemi. NASCAR bent to Chrysler's whining and the engine never competed. Ford rated it at ca. 660hp with a dual-quad intake. Actual dyno runs indicate it did even better than that.

Suggested By: Ghoulardi, Photo Credit: Dearborn Flashback


2.) Brabus Bullit

The Ten Most Powerful Muscle Cars In History

Tuner car or not, the Brabus Bullit is a C-Class that comes with a warranty, and a 720 horsepower bi-turbo V12. Standard AMGs are the muscle cars of Europe anyway, but Brabus takes them to a new level of crazy.

Suggested By: primalzer, Photo Credit: cosmic_spanner


1.) Shelby 1000

The Ten Most Powerful Muscle Cars In History

The "street version" came with 950 horsepower and a valet key that dutuned it to 650. A Shelby is a Shelby.

Suggested By: KamikazePigeon, Photo Credit: Shelby American

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Top Photo Credit: Death Proof