Who doesn't love muscle cars? These gorgeous machines epitomize the best years of American car manufacturing; sleek, powerful, and a pleasure to take on the road. Classic muscle cars still have a devoted following, drivers who know that these beasts are still better than many of the lighter, fancier cars on the road today... and that even if you don't care about what's under the hood, a classic muscle car just looks so incredibly cool.
While the term 'muscle car' can apply to any American-made two-door vehicle designed for high performance driving, usually when we talk about muscle cars, a certain shape and style comes to mind. They are the cars of the '60s and '70s, the ones with massive, accentuated hoods that slope down to that iconic sleek shape at the rear. The ones that are a step forward from the tail fins of the '50s, but still believe in paying homage to the classic land-yachts that came before. Classic muscle cars are built for cruising, for pleasure drives and purring engines, and for grabbing the attention of everyone not lucky enough to be in the driver's seat.
If you love muscle cars, you've undoubtedly got a dream car in mind (or maybe even in the garage), you love seeing these beasts out in the wild, maybe you even like to hit up car shows on a sunny weekend... but can you name all of these classic muscle cars from just a photo?
1Name this model created by a racecar driver.
There are muscle cars built by a design team at the car company, and then there is this dream of a muscle car; designed by none other than Carroll Shelby, a racecar driver who was forced to retire in his 30s, and who went on to teach racing before moving on to building cars. It's no surprise, then, that this beast feels like its built to race - from the very start, it is inspired by speed, and not the need to be sensible.
2Name this muscular coupe utility.
When you think of a pickup, chances are you probably imagine a pickup truck... but that's not the only option (at least, it wasn't in the '70s, when this car was made!). There were several makes and models of this style of coupe utility/pickup, which looks like the typical muscle car from the front, but reveals an integrated cargo tray at the back. This particular model evolved from the Sprint, with a specific look, paintjob and decal for those who just loved the style.
3Which car was named after an Italian city?
Another incredibly well known muscle car, but did you know that this beast was actually named after a city in Italy? The decision was made after this Italian city became known as 'The Automobile Capital Of Italy' and 'The Detroit of Italy', a comment on the vast growth and automotive industry that was thriving there in the '50s and '60s (obviously, Detroit has a somewhat different reputation these days than when it was at the center of American car manufacture).
4Which car has a lot in common with the Baraccuda?
In 1970, this car manufacturer introduced a new model that had a whole lot in common with its existing pony car, the Baraccuda. The two shared a lot of the same major components, but it turned out that the newer model would be the one to have the bigger impact on the car scene (and is still being made today). Larger, longer, and more luxurious than the Barracuda, this car was all about style as well as speed, aimed at a more affluent market.
5Which car was named after a fish?
The muscle cars of the 60s and 70s came with some fairly epic name choices - usually conveying the kind of brute strength and power that manufacturers wanted buyers to associate with cars built for speed. This model was named after a fish... which doesn't sound that scary, until you remember that there are some pretty lethal creatures in the water! Made from 1964 to 1974, the name worked, and this became one of the best-known muscle cars of the decade.
6Which muscle car was classified as a truck?
It's hard to see a car like this one as such, but technically, this coupe utility/pickup is titled as a truck! It's not the only similar muscle car, either - as several manufacturers made couple utility/pickups after seeing how popular they could be with those who wanted a muscle car, but with room to haul more than the standard backseat would allow. Originally introduced in '59, production was halted after only two years, before being picked up again from 1964 to 1987.
7Name this muscle car
Not one of the best known muscle cars, this is one of the pony cars that was built in the late sixties and early seventies, when the competition was fiercest. This model was relatively short-lived, however, with a couple of different versions offered only in 1969, 1970, and 1971. However, the name (which screams power and authority) was brought back by this manufacturer more recently for a second limited run, with the new version available only in 2012 and 2013.
8Which car was made famous this decade thanks to Supernatural?
Plenty of muscle cars have made appearances in film and TV, but this particular model ended up becoming the dream car of Supernatural fans, after being chosen for Sam and Dean Winchester to drive on the series. Nicknamed 'Baby' by the boys, this '60s muscle car has been featured in almost every episode of the hit series, and has even had more than one episode devoted to the car itself - which makes sense, given that it's saved the whole world!
9Which car was named after the B-Body?
Another muscle car from the late 60s that was recently revived, the first generation of this muscle car hit the market in 1968, 1969 and 1970, before being brought back for 2007 - 2009, 2012 and 2013. This is a classic example of a car being built around a similar model that did well for one of the manufacturer's other divisions - in this case, it was based off both the RoadRunner and the Coronet, as a solid mid-size muscle car for the American market.
10Which car sounds like a cartoon character?
Fans of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons will recognize the unique sound that this car horn makes... which sounds just like the bird that it was named for! And while there were multiple models of the original bird-named car made, this particular model only went into production for 1970 as a heavily modified version of the original. This car was developed for NASCAR racing, although just under two thousand were manufactured and shipped to US dealers for the Average Joe to enjoy.
11Which car was based on the Belvedere?
Many of the great muscle cars of the 60s and 70s look alike... because they are! Several of the designs were simply revamped and sold under different model names (which still happens today, of course), whether within divisions of the same manufacturer, or as copies of popular cars created by the competition. This particular model was based on the Belvedere, and was in production from 1967 to 1971. Those four years saw some major design changes though - this photo is a 1970 model.
12Which car was only available in yellow?
In 1970, a new form of muscle car hit the market; the 'junior' muscle car. These were made to appeal to consumers aware of new emissions standards, who wanted the style of a classic muscle car without the massive fuel costs. Of the junior muscle cars released that year, it was this one that was only available in Sebring Yellow, with color matched bumpers and wheels. This was something totally new for the muscle car market, and it made a serious splash!
13Which car has this distinctive grille shape?
This muscle car was available in the late '60s and early '70s, with a few model options for the more power-minded (and more appearance-minded) driver. In many ways, the shape is that of every other classic muscle car, heavy in front and light in the back. However, there's one very clear style difference when it comes to the grille; rather than being predominantly flat, this car features a curvier grille that has a double scoop shape that few other cars displayed.
14Which car continued to be made until 2005?
Many muscle cars had fairly short runs on the production line, often only appearing for a few years (which just makes them more desirable, a lot of the time). However, this car continued to be produced from 1957 to 2005 - although of course, there were plenty of changes from the first to the last! This particular photo shows a '79 model - although any from the 60s until the early 80s fits the muscle car formula (and looks great to boot!).
15Which car starred in a Bond film?
James Bond is known for driving incredible cars, and any vehicle that appears in a Bond film automatically gets a gearhead seal of approval... especially when the man himself is behind the wheel (usually with a Bond Girl in the passenger seat!). The 1974 model of this car was heavily featured in The Man With The Golden Gun, Roger Moore's second outing as the legendary double oh seven... and drives this car over a broken bridge in a spectacular leap!
16Which car was recognized for its color scheme?
Car color schemes aren't quite the big deal these days that they used to be - because it's possible to get a car in almost any color! Even if the manufacturer doesn't provide every possible combination, it's easy enough to switch things up, but back in the '70s, cars were much more likely to be known for their paint jobs, whether that meant racing stripes, matching bumpers, or (as in this case) an all-American color scheme of Red, White and Blue!
17Name this sports car.
While many muscle cars have a convertible option, that's not always the iconic image that comes to mind. However, this car looks much more like the modern sports car, although it is still classed as a muscle car - and certainly has the power under the hood to back up the moniker! Although the car technically goes by the first letter of the model and the generation number, this car was also more commonly known as the Stingray - do you know who made it?
18Which car only had 100 units produced?
While many of the best known muscle cars of this era were mass produced for a wide market, this particular beauty had only 100 units produced in the single year that it was available, 1964. That hundred included forty nine automatics and fifty one four speeds, all designed for drag racing with the same engine used in the Galaxie for NASCAR racing. However, for drag racing, this car was built with a significantly lighter body wrapped around the same engine.
19What's this classic car called?
This gorgeous beast calls to mind the classic convertibles of the early '50s, with the hint of tail fins and that iconic angular shape. Produced for only three years ('57, '58 and '59), this classic car also features a retractable hardtop (known as the hide-away hardtop) for cruising when the sun comes out. This is no big thing these days, but at the time, this was the only true hardtop convertible in the world - even if the design meant taking up most of the trunk space for the sake of the mechanism.
20What's the name of the sturdy '60s muscle car?
This sturdy little car might not be the shape that usually springs to mind when you imagine a muscle car, but it fits the description to a T... a racy 2 door, designed to pack the most engine power possible into the smallest vehicle. Of course, there were plenty of options for this model throughout the 50s and 60s that didn't pack quite the same punch - as it could come with a range of engines. But this early '60s models certainly got the job done!
21Name this special edition.
This is a variant of a slightly more common model, but one with a very specific name... that (like some other cars from the same manufacturer) likes to make the point that it doesn't take itself too seriously - but still commands respect! And with the power under this hood, there is no doubt that this car would still command a whole lot of respect - slightly tongue in cheek names aside. What was this awesome '69 muscle car called?
22What is this famous beast?
There are muscle cars that car enthusiasts know of, and then there are muscle cars that absolutely everyone has heard of... and this is definitely a car that fits into that second category! This '69 model is one of the most iconic muscle cars of all time, and certainly deserves its fame... and did you know that it was originally designed and created to be a pony car competitor to the Ford Mustang that was so popular around the same time?
23Which car featured in a Stephen King novel?
This beauty rocks the tail fins and the shape of the classics of the '50s, but it's not just the shape that might make it a little familiar to you. This was also the car that featured in Stephen King's horror novel 'Christine', about a semi-sentient killer car possessed by supernatural forces. That might not seem too appealing, but because this is such a stunning muscle car, the appearance in the book (and later, the movie) shot this particular beast to fame.
24Name this hugely popular mid-'60s muscle car.
This car, named after a crown (because every car fan wants to feel like royalty in the driver's seat), was one of the most popular cars from this manufacturer in the mid-sixties, available in a Standard and Deluxe version. Although hugely popular in the '60s, this name was kept by the manufacturer for decades before and after, with the first generation made in 1949, and the final generation running until 1976 - meaning that this car spanned the rise and peak of the muscle car craze.
25Name this car that was upgraded in '68.
This car has become one of the best known muscle cars in pop culture, but the first generation of this model was far from the sleek beast that we love to see at car shows. Originally made from '64 to '67, this car got a re-design in '68, giving it the distinct sculpted look that car enthusiasts love, as well as tapered front fenders and a rounded beltline. In the late '60s these were marketed as 'America's Most Popular Mid-Size Car'.
26Which car was advertised to 'light your fire'?
The advertising for the classic muscle cars of the 60s and 70s was almost as epic as some of the names... and this beast, released at the height of the muscle car craze, is no exception. First produced in 1970, the car came with two ad slogans: 'A Brand New Brand Of Buick' and 'Another Light Your Fire Car'. 'Light your fire' is a reference to the simple fact that muscle cars were, and still are, exciting - these aren't cars for boring people.
27This car is considered to be one of the first real muscle cars.
While muscle cars now are defined as any American two-door car with an emphasis on power and performance, 'muscle car' wasn't a term that really found its way into car culture until the early 60s, when the first true muscle cars started making their way off the production line. Unlike the earlier powerful cars of the late 50s, this was a car that was light, affordable, and accessible - something that every other major car manufacturer soon started to copy!
28Name this car produced in collaboration with a parts manufacturer.
While most of the muscle cars of the '60s and '70s were designed and built by the manufacturers alone, there were always plenty of drivers happy to spend hours tinkering with their muscle cars, upgrading them with aftermarket parts - and one of the suppliers of those high-performance after market parts was Hurst Performance. They were so well known for it, in fact, that several manufacturers ended up making cars in collaboration with them, special editions to appeal to the drivers who wanted top notch performance from the moment they drove it off the lot.
29Which car was labelled a 'pretty' muscle car?
While all the muscle cars are designed with style in mind, this car in particular was sold primarily on its looks, rather than its engine. Named after a big cat (sleekness, power, all that great muscle car stuff!), this car was described in a preview as 'certainly one of the prettier cars of the coming year', as well as being described in the marketing campaign as 'untamed elegance' and became known for being drop dead gorgeous all around - as well as a great ride.
30Which car started life as a show car in '64?
This muscle car may have started out as a show car (one created just for display and promotion, not for immediate sale), but a few years later (in 1966) the sale model was first released, and this would go on to become one of the most iconic muscle cars of the time (and is still being produced today). Although this car has gone through a lot of changes since the '60s, the original models were the ultimate in muscle cars.
31Which car got a new, aggressive look in 1969?
All cars go through various cosmetic changes from generation to generation, but this model did something a little bit rarer - it changed the design significantly for only one year. Earlier generations of this model were sleeker, more rounded, and a little bit softer. Until, in 1969, the grille was redesigned with a heavy "V" cant and deeply inset headlights, as well as new rear panels that created a creased and aggressive look... that went back to the more rounded style for 1970.
32Which car was nearly named the Ziip?
Muscle cars have some amazing names, but the Ziip certainly wouldn't have been one of them! It's a good thing, then, that this car ended up with a very different (and much better) name when it was released in the '60s. Originally, this name appeared on a 1957 show car designed by the Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Ghia, but was then taken up by an American car manufacturer, who debated between it and the focus-group-created Ziip name. Thankfully, they ended up going with the show car's moniker in the end.
33Which car had an optional 'Bobcat' package?
The first generation of this muscle car was released in 1964, and like most cars (then and today), there were several options available for buyers. In fact, this particular model even started life as an option package for a different car, the Tempest! However, it was criticized for heavy steering and bad braking... although many reviewers had a better experience of the car, thanks to driving those with the 'Bobcat' package - an option that significantly enhanced the performance of the car.
34Which muscle car was used by the police in LA and NYC?
Most of the time when we think of muscle cars today, we think of people on the other side of the law - drag racers and speedsters. However, the power and speed of muscle cars actually make them perfect police vehicles, and when this car was released, it became commonly used by police departments from the late '60s through the early '70s. (After that, they were replaced in most departments by the Gran Fury.) They were especially popular in LA and NYC police departments.
35Which car was based on a station wagon?
While most of the coupe utility pickups available in the '60s and '70s were based on the pickups that they resemble, this car was actually based on the two-door Ranch Wagon station wagon. The early generations also had a much boxier look with a unique rear window and integrated cargo bed, although by the later generations produced in the '70s, the car looked a lot more like other couple utilities from that era, with a more sleek style and rounded rear window.