There Are Over 300 Muscle Cars — We'll Be Impressed If You Can Name 40!


By: Jacqueline Samaroo

7 Min Quiz

Image: WikiCommons by Greg Gjerdingen

About This Quiz

Ready to flex your muscles? Time to go cruising with some of the most awesome stud-muffins of the auto industry.

The muscle car era is said to have begun either in the 1940s with the Rocket 88 or in the 1950s with the C-300. Whichever it is, one thing is certain — the ensuing decades produced some very formidable cars in terms of both looks and performance. 

Powerful engines and a tough, lean appearance are the hallmarks of the muscle car class. Muscle cars can, however, be found with an intriguing array of other characteristics. Some muscle cars are full-sized behemoths while others are mid-sized with the ability to take on anything on four wheels. There are sports and pony muscle cars, as well. In fact, one of the earliest muscle cars is actually the founder of the pony class, and now many of the best-known muscle cars are ponies. 

Can you think of any muscle cars which fit into these categories? They are all in the quiz — go right ahead and ogle them! 

Muscle car fans are some of the most knowledgeable auto buffs around. If you consider yourself to be above average when it comes to muscle car knowledge, then don't try to Dodge it, show you are the Boss. Take the quiz!

It's named for a mythical creature, but this iconic muscle car barely missed being called the "Whizzer"! Do you recognize it?

When production began in 1954, Ford projected selling 10,000 units of the 1955 Thunderbird. The T-bird was such a big hit, however, that Ford ended up selling over 16,000 of them. Makes you wonder what sales might have been like if Ford had gone with the suggestion of "Whizzer" for the car's name!


Can you name the car shown here, which takes on both pony car and muscle car status?

The pony car class includes 2-door hardtops that are sporty, built for high performance and affordably priced. That description perfectly matches the 1972 Dodge Challenger. It is very much a pony car/muscle car, a status held by other vehicles such as the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500.


The 454 engine in this sporty car proved to be a game changer in the muscle car market. Which of these is it?

The 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle came in several styles, including the Sport Coupe, 4-door sedan, wagon and convertible. It was the Super Sport (SS) version, however, with its high-performance 454 engine, which drew the attention and admiration of muscle car lovers.


Buyers were invited to "Say hello to big daddy" when the manufacturer put which car, shown here, on the market?

Everything about the 1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am seemed bigger ... and better! It was specifically designed for high performance, but Pontiac also put plenty of thought into styling this pony car/muscle car to ensure it would stand out in a crowd.


It sure stings to realize Plum Crazy purple, not yellow, was this car's most popular color. Do you recognize the car?

Plum Crazy purple was the 1970 Dodge Super Bee's most ordered color, while the color buyers requested the least turned out to be the Panther Pink option — go figure! Years later, the car was renamed the Dodge Charger Super Bee with a couple of the available colors being Stinger Yellow and Pitch Black.


This conservative beauty was one of the very first stars on the muscle car scene. Do you know its name?

Chrome and stainless steel may have been the order of the day, but the 1959 Ford Galaxie still managed to keep its styling on a very conservative level, even in the eye-catching two-toned color options. Despite its understated appearance, the 1959 Galaxie turned out to be one of the year's bestsellers.


Can you name this car, which began as an option package but soon became one of the company's most famous models?

The "four-four-two" was initially an option package which buyers could choose with the Oldsmobile F-85 or Oldsmobile Cutlass. Buyers, however, know a great thing when they see (and drive) it! Their demand led the company to introduce the 4-4-2 as a separate model from 1968 to 1971.


This remake of an old classic is considered to be one of the "modern" muscle cars. Do you recognize it?

The 2006 Dodge Charger has "muscle car" in its genes! Dodge rolled out the first Charger in 1966 and kept them coming until 1987. Nineteen years went by before fans saw a new Charger on the market for 2006. It has certainly done its part in terms of keeping Dodge's mid-sized muscle car legacy alive!


Can you name this muscle car which is also classified as a coupe utility pickup?

Chevrolet sold over 40,000 of the 1970 El Camino but offered such a wide variety of package options that each buyer could easily make their car stand out if they wanted to. Among the variations was the Super Sport (SS) package which added an even more "muscular" appearance to the El Camino.


Can you identify this prized classic which is regarded as one of the fastest muscle cars ever made?

This car gets its name from being a specific trim package of the Plymouth Barracuda with a Hemi engine installed. Plymouth only sold the Hemi 'Cuda in the 1970 and 1971 models, making it one of the most sought after muscle cars today.


Can you identify this version of the Skylark which had all the "Xtras" thrown in?

The 1970 Buick GSX Stage 1 stood head-and-shoulders above most of the muscle cars of the '60s and '70s. In fact, since Buick ensured this car came with ALL the "Xtras," it can hold its own among muscle cars of any era. No wonder it is one of the most collectible of all muscle cars.


Can you name this sleek muscle car which was designed as a modern interpretation of the original Ford Shelby Cobra?

The Dodge Viper is one of the most popular muscle cars still under production. It has been around since 1992 and has been available in an amazingly wide range of variants. This muscle car even had its own hour-long action/adventure TV series appropriately titled "Viper."


This car maker is often associated with luxury cars and the one shown here is a perfect example. Can you name it?

As with any car produced by Cadillac, buyers of the 2004 XLR can expect to ride in extreme comfort. This includes temperature-controlled seats as well as wood and leather trim. These internal creature comforts complement the XLR's seamlessly elegant exterior.


This muscle car's name hints that it's a pony car with plenty of horsepower. Do you know it?

This extremely rare version of the 1970 Ford Mustang had a Boss 429 engine installed. It is often referred to as simply the Boss 9 and fetches a very high price whenever one happens to make its way onto the market.


Do you recognize this car which was built for high street performance but also handled well on the track?

As a muscle car, the 1964 Pontiac GTO already had a high-performance rating. That was given quite a boost, however, in the option package which included the Tri-Power engine. The GTO Tri-Power was rated at 348 horsepower, compared to 325 on the standard package.


This option package turns a classic pony car into a formidable muscle car. Do you know which one it is?

The official description of the Z28 option of the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro is "Special Performance Package." It is, however, widely known simply as the Z28 (its order code). Muscle car enthusiasts have come to equate the code with high performance.


Which car, shown here, did Stephen King use as the furiously jealous and deadly Christine in his famous horror novel?

Stephen King used a custom 1958 Plymouth Fury as the demon-possessed antagonist in his 1983 bestseller, Christine. Fans of the Plymouth Fury will quickly realize that although King describes Christine as red and white, the 1958 was sold only in buckskin beige with gold trim.


Can you identify this car which bears the name of a prestigious 24-hour endurance race held annually in France?

The Pontiac Tempest was introduced in 1961 with the LeMans upgrade offered in 1962. By 1963, the popular Tempest LeMans was a completely separate series with the GTO package available in 1964. Before long, the Pontiac Tempest LeMans GTO became known as the most significant of the '60s muscle cars!


This muscle car came in two versions: Standard and Big Bad! Do you recognize it?

The AMC AMX sports car/muscle car was produced from 1968 to 1970. It was an affordable, powerful award-winning record-breaker which set the world speed record in 1968. The 1970 AMC AMX is of particular importance since its styling differs significantly from the previous two models.


This muscle car created the "pony" class - just as its name suggests! Which of these is it?

When Ford began selling the 1965 Mustang, it had hoped to see sales in the region of 100,000 units. The Mustang blew that figure right out of the water by ending up with over half a million (559,451 to be exact) units sold in the U.S. alone!


This collector's dream was designed to be an aerodynamic marvel. Can you guess its "out of this world" name?

There were times when automakers went all out to put the "muscle" in muscle car, and Mercury's design of the 1969 Cyclone Spoiler II was one of them. As one of the cars from the legendary Aero Wars, it was built for speed. Nowadays, it is highly sought after but a rare find, indeed!


This pony car/muscle car lets you enjoy the wind in your hair! Think you can name it?

When Pontiac released the Firebird in 1967, it gave buyers plenty to choose from. For example, each of the five Firebird engine options was accompanied by slightly modified interior and exterior trim. Horsepower values of the engines ranged from 215 to a respectable 325 with the Firebird 400.


This car earned the designation "King of the Road" thanks to its Cobra Jet engine. Can you identify it?

The 1968 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500KR is named in honor of racing driver and automobile designer Carroll Shelby. It often goes by the name Cobra GT500KR among muscle car aficionados in recognition of its factory-installed 355 horsepower Cobra Jet engine.


Beep-beep! Can you identify this low-cost, high-performance muscle car which is named for a sprinting bird?

During its 1928 to 2001 operation, Plymouth specialized in offering affordable vehicles to buyers. When it brought out the iconic 1970 Road Runner, there were no fancy features and trim — just the basics. It was a formidable street car with an awesome design, real power and pure muscle!


Which of these is a fifth generation model carrying on the muscle car tradition in fine style?

The very first Camaro went on sale in 1966 and production continued up to 2002 when it was canceled by General Motors. The Camaro roared back to life, however, with the 2010 model which was styled to be reminiscent of past Camaros but with a distinctly modern twist.


This no-frills option package laid down the law for future muscle cars to follow. Which of these is it?

Pontiac released the first GTO in 1964 but did not unleash the affordable Judge until 1969. The soon-to-be-legendary Judge served as direct competition to Plymouth's pocket-friendly Road Runner which had started the trend of low-priced muscle cars and was still a force to be reckoned with!


Can you name this model, which was designed to take some of the sting out of rising muscle car insurance costs?

The 1971 AMC Hornet SC/360 came along close to the end of the classic muscle car era. It had just one production year in which less than 800 were built. Today, fewer than 150 remain, making the SC/360 one of the "rarest of the rare" when it comes to collectible muscle cars.


Which unique-looking muscle car built for motorsport is shown in this image?

If you love the color yellow, then the 1970 Oldsmobile Rallye 359 is definitely for you! Its bright Sebring Yellow body was complemented by its similarly yellow bumper and wheels. Oldsmobile added orange and black accents for one of the most distinctive finishes in muscle car history.


This star burned bright by giving declining sales a hefty boost. Can you name the car?

The Chevrolet Chevy II (aka Chevy Nova) was introduced in 1962 and became a popular compact muscle car with good sales figures. When sales began to decline, the company tweaked the design for the 1976 model and saw a jump of over 60,000 in the number of units sold.


Do you recognize this mix of muscle and luxury offered as a special edition option package to a popular model?

The 1969 Dodge Charger R/T-SE was a limited Special Edition offer whose features included leather and vinyl bucket seats and a sport steering wheel. The R/T-SE can be seen in action as one of the cars used as the General Lee (driven by Bo and Luke) on the hit '80s TV series Dukes of Hazzard.


This was the third and last generation in a line of great-looking, performance-focused muscle cars. Can you identify it?

The Plymouth Barracuda first hit the market on April 1, 1964, making it a veteran of the pony car class. Its production ended exactly 10 years later on April 1, 1974. Muscle car aficionados often rank the '74 Barracuda below earlier Barracuda models, but it is still a much-loved model.


Can you name this modern muscle car which can be bought with a silver hardtop to mark its 50th anniversary?

Ford produced the very first Thunderbird in 1955. When 2005 came around, the company celebrated by offering customers the chance to opt for a silver hardtop instead of the traditional black. Sadly, the 2005 model would prove to be the T-bird's last, since plans for the 2006 model never materialized.


Do you recognize this Super Sport verison of a classic muscle car?

Buyers of a Malibu trim to the 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle could upgrade to the Super Sport (SS) version. If they had another $1,501 to spare, they could further upgrade to the ultimate level, the Z16 SS396, which had practically everything included! Two-hundred buyers opted to go for it.


Which pricey mid-sized vehicle, shown in this image, is a modification of the Regal?

Although it had previously released the 1982 Regal Grand National, Buick released the 1984 Grand National to further celebrate its Buick Regal winning the 1981 and 1982 NASCAR Grand National Series. Only 215 of the 1984 Grand National were produced, making this GN a true collectors gem.


Can you identify this feline-named muscle car which was meant to devour the competition?

The Mercury Cougar was designed as a pony car, but buyers could take it into muscle car territory with the Eliminator option. One Eliminator package even offered the choice of a powerful Cobra Jet engine. Color choices were Bright Blue Metallic, Bright Yellow, Competition Orange and White.


Muscle car meets coupe utility in the iconic design of this vehicle. Can you recall its name?

The 500 began as a trim level of the Ranchero but later became the standard. The Ford Ranchero has been out of production for nearly half a century, but there have been some reports that this muscle car is set to make a comeback.


This option package for a classic muscle car included a powerful 500-horsepower aluminum engine. Do you know it?

The ZL1 engine option for the Chevrolet Corvette was only available for the 1969 model. It was a costly package which caused the price of the car to almost double. It's no surprise that only two were ever ordered — one white and one yellow.


Can you name this muscle car which flew into the thick of things for the Aero Wars?

The 1969 - 1970 Aero Wars are legendary among muscle car and racing enthusiasts. It was a time when the Ford, Mercury, Dodge and Plymouth tried to outdo each other by creating the perfect blend of speed and raw power. Plymouth's contender was the Road Runner Superbird, complete with Road Runner graphics!


Can you name this mid-sized muscle car which featured the Talladega, GT and King Cobra as variations?

Optimal use of aerodynamics was at the heart of the design of the Ford Torino. The Talladega version of this muscle car figured prominently in Ford's NASCAR efforts as the very first of the Aero Cars in the 1969 to 1970 Aero Wars.


The muscle car shown here was named in honor of bullfighting. Do you know which of these it is?

The 1971 AMC Matador is unique in that it was the only model year to offer the option package called The Machine. Only 50 Matador Machines were made, and currently, only one is known to still be in existence.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!