With their powerful V8 engines in affordable lightweight frames, muscle cars offer the average gearhead a chance to live life in the fast lane. There are many thrills in life, but few come close to the adrenaline-pumping feeling of being flung down the drag strip at rattling speeds. In their various guises and with their guttural exhaust notes, muscle cars are some of the largest cars to grace America’s highways. Despite the many problems with muscle cars that gearboxes like to overlook, some also boast excellent driving dynamics.
From time to time, in addition to the mass-produced models, automakers also release some sick special editions of American muscle aimed at senior riders. Special edition muscle like the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and the irresistible 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona are well known and remembered even by non-enthusiasts. However, other insane special editions are now forgotten. We look at ten.
10/10 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst
The 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst – the product of a collaboration between Chrysler Corporation and Hurst Performance – was aimed at young business leaders with good incomes. At 225 inches long and 79 inches wide, it was an aggressive looking beast with a deluxe cabin with leather power seats and all.
Under the oversized hood was a 7.2-liter V8 powerplant that produced 375 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a heavy-duty 3-speed automatic transmission, it propelled the 4135-pound monster to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds and to a top speed of 140 mph.
9/10 1968 Dodge Hurst Hemi Dart
The Hemi Dart was a 1968 street-legal, drag-ready special edition that ironically came with a disclaimer that it was not intended for street use. Stripped of anything non-racing, Dodge sent 80 Dart GTS to Hurst Performance, where they were filled with a race-specific 7-liter Hemi V8 engine.
With 425 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque, the legendary engine was able to produce a sub-10-second quarter-mile time in the 3000-pound Hemi Dart. Other performance-enhancing features include heavy-duty shocks, roller timing chain, high-capacity oil pump and heavy-duty radiator.
8/10 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Victory Edition
In 2007, Chevrolet produced 250 Corvette Victory Edition coupes for the European market to celebrate Corvette Racing’s 50+ wins since its debut in 1999. 403 lb-ft of torque.
It had a rear-mounted transaxle that improved handling, and buyers could choose between a six-speed manual transmission or an electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission. The deluxe cabin included a DVD navigation system, head-up display, heated seats and a premium 7-speaker Bose sound system.
7/10 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition
The Z06 Carbon Limited Edition was launched to mark Corvette’s 50th anniversary of participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was powered by the Z06’s 505 horsepower 7-liter V8 mill, while the tires, wheels and brakes came from the badass ZR1.
With the extensive use of carbon fiber for body panels, the model retains the Z01’s 3150-pound weight but has a perfect 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. Only 252 units were built and they could go from zero to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and cover the quarter mile at 200 km/h in 11.6 seconds.
6/10 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 yellow jacket
The 2012 Challenger SRT8 Yellow Jacket, which debuted alongside the classic Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee, paid homage to the iconic 1969 Yellow Jacket show car. Under the hood is a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine producing 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels.
Rolling on 20-inch rims and completely clad in Stinger Yellow paint with Pitch Black stripes down the sides, the Yellow Jacket has a unique flair. In addition to accelerating from 0-100 km/h in around 4 seconds, it also features an adaptive suspension that automatically adjusts to the driving conditions.
5/10 1969 Dodge Charger 500 Hemi
The year was 1968 and the Dodge Charger R/T had failed to beat Ford’s Torino Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II on the track. To solve the R/T’s aerodynamic problems, Dodge gave the 1969 Charger 500 Hemi a recessed grille and recessed rear window.
Under the hood, they put in the 7-liter Hemi V8 power mill that produced 425 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque. As a result, it was able to reach a top speed of 270 km/h and achieved 18 NASCAR race victories in 1969.
4/10 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca
First built in 1969, the Boss 302 came in a fastback body style with a blacked-out hood and was a true racing vehicle. For 2012, the nameplate was revived and a further enhanced special edition named after a race track and powered by an unfiltered 5-litre V8 engine. To complement the engine’s 440 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, a short-stroke six-speed manual transmission and unique exhaust system are offered.
In addition, a redesigned and stiffer suspension with adjustable struts and dampers combined with a speed sensitive electronic steering system make the Laguna Seca one of the best Mustangs in terms of handling.
3/10 2002 Chevrolet Camaro SS 35th Anniversary Edition
Chevrolet offered a 35th Anniversary Edition based on the SS to celebrate and bid a fitting farewell to the Camaro’s 35 years roaming the highways. No one knew then that the nameplate would make a comeback for the fifth generation just seven years later.
All SS 35th Anniversary Edition cars were finished in Bright Rallye Red and rolled on 17-inch 10-spoke chrome wheels. Under the hood, a 6-liter engine produces 325 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. With this setup it could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and cover the quarter mile in 13.6 seconds.
2/10 1967 Ford Mustang Stallion
The Stallion is an extremely rare Special Edition Mustang made and marketed by Mainway Ford across the border in Canada. Advertised as a high endurance car, it came with a 320 hp 6.4 liter engine mated to either a four speed manual transmission or a heavy duty three speed C6 automatic transmission.
Two optional power choices were offered: a 410 horsepower 6.4 liter mill and a 550 horsepower 7 liter engine. Also offered on the eight units built were power-assisted disc brakes, a heavy-duty suspension package, a limited-slip rear axle, power steering, and a deluxe interior.
1/10 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels from 2013
Unveiled at the 2012 SEMA Show, the 2013 Hot Wheels is a special edition Camaro that was coated in Kinetic Blue Metallic paint. It rolls on a set of 21-inch black rims with red outline and comes with a leather-trimmed interior with black and red contrast stitching.
Power comes from either a V6 engine or a 6.2-liter V8, producing 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Zero to 60 mph happens in 4.5 seconds, while the quarter-mile flashes by in 13 seconds at 109.8 mph.