Seven Fastest Muscle Cars Ever Made by Decade

When you want to go fast, there’s no better solution than a hop in a muscle car and hit the road. Muscle cars are sleek, stylish, and perfect for speedsters who prefer power and performance in their vehicles above anything else.

Still, it helps to know which vehicles to target in your search if you are looking for a new muscle car. Let’s break down the seven fastest muscle cars made by decade.

What Is a Muscle Car?

According to the strictest available definition, a muscle car is a high-performance and fast car model designed for speed and looks above all else. More specific attributes of muscle cars have:

  • Intermediate size
  • Cool bodies or designs
  • High-performance-oriented models and frames
  • Large, powerful engines, like V-8 engines
  • Affordable prices so average Americans can purchase muscle cars

Indeed, muscle cars are readily available at car lots and dealerships across the country. These aren't luxury vehicles that cost as much as a super-expensive house! Muscle cars are meant to be flashy, stylish, and powerful in equal measure. Unsurprisingly, they’re among the most popular car models in America and worldwide.

The term "muscle car" didn't even originate until the 1970s. However, the 1960s saw several "supercar" models designed and sold that later matched retroactive definitions of muscle cars. As a result, many popular muscle car models have existed throughout the decades. Many of these are now available at discounts or in good but used condition.

What Are the Fastest Muscle Cars by Decade?

Muscle cars are all about speed, so it’s no wonder many muscle car models have been known primarily for their maximum miles per hour. Let’s look at some of the most popular, fastest muscle cars by decade, going back to the 1950s to the 2010s.

The Aston Martin DB4 GT in the ‘50s

In the 1950s, the cars that would become traditional muscle cars first came into being with the Aston Martin DB4 GT. This iconic vehicle formed the basis for many future Aston Martin models, including the iconic James Bond car.

Regardless, this popular muscle car features a lightweight body made of aluminum alloy. With a top speed of 139.3 mph in its heyday and the ability to accelerate up to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds, the Aston Martin DB4 GT cemented its place in history as one of the sleekest, fastest vehicles on the road of its time.

The DB4 GT specifically was a high-performance and special lightweight version of the Aston Martin DB4. Its most notable features were a thinner aluminum skin for even lighter weight, enclosed headlights, and a special GT engine available in 3.7 L and 3.8 L versions.

The Shelby Cobra 260 in the ’60s

The Shelby Cobra 260 came to fame in 1962. It is arguably the most famous Anglo-American sports car of all time, as it combines an aluminum roadster body with a lightweight American V-8 engine and tube space frame.

The vehicle in its heyday only weighed 2100 pounds. Even today, models of the Shelby Cobra 260 feature a 260 hp engine with a four-speed transmission, capable of boasting top speeds of around 140 mph. In 1963, the Shelby Cobra 260’s engine was swapped out with a 298-CID V-8 model for even more speed and performance.

The Porsche 911 Turbo in the ‘70s

Who can forget Porsches in the lineup of the best and fastest muscle cars ever made? The 911 Turbo, in particular, was launched in 1967 with a Type 901/03 engine. Capable of producing 130 hp, the Porsche 911 Turbo featured ventilated front disc brakes, lightweight and thin fiberglass reinforced plastic doors, and a total power output of 210 hp.

This stylish vehicle ran for several years throughout the 1960s, with each iteration receiving stronger transmissions. The 9/11 Turbo’s E-series received a 2.4 L engine (even though it was actually closer to 2.3 L), plus a Bosche mechanical fuel injection mechanism for responsive performance and superfast speeds on open roads.

The Porsche 959 in the ‘80s

Then there's the Porsche 959, which was developed starting in 1981 and finally launched in 1986. Featuring a twin-turbocharged DOHC flat-six engine with four valves per cylinder, the Porsche 959 could produce five forward speeds thanks to its unique manual transmission.

The engine was capable of extracting 444 hp and 500 N-m of torque. This aerodynamic vehicle was adaptable enough to work as a streetcar and a race car in equal measure.

The Porsche 959 was also popular thanks to its dashboard, which featured specialized gauges displaying how much rear differential slip the driver could feel at any given time. Also unique were the magnesium alloy wheels, hollow inside to accommodate a built-in tire pressure monitoring system.

The Dodge Viper GTS in the ‘90s

The Dodge Viper GTS muscle car became a prototype in 1989 and debuted in 1991, with two preproduction models in total. This was originally the pace car for the Indianapolis 500.

Interestingly, the Dodge Viper GTS was first designed as a performance car. Because of this, it had no air-conditioning, key cylinders, and even exterior-mounted door handles! Featuring a canvas roof, this car was rated at 400 hp and featured an adjustable performance suspension.

Thanks to its lightweight fiberglass chassis, the Dodge Viper GTS gained a reputation for speed and maneuverability, leading to the development of many future Viper GTS models in subsequent decades.

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 in the ‘00s

The 2000s brought the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, a powerful beast with an 8L and quad-turbocharged W 16-cylinder engine. In essence, it features an engine equivalent to two narrow-angle V-8 engines bolted together.

Due to this engine power, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 can produce a top speed of 253.81 mph, at least in test sessions. To accommodate all this extra speed, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is equipped with 10 radiators to minimize engine heat.

With cross-drilled breaks that utilize radially vented carbon fiber-reinforced silicon carbide composite discs, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 can both move quickly and stop rapidly when necessary.

The Koenigsegg Jesko in the ‘10s

In the 2010s, the Koenigsegg Jesko takes the cake for this decade's fastest muscle car. It's a limited-production, mid-engine sports car made by a Swedish automobile manufacturer. It emphasizes precise handling, high aerodynamic downforce, and ultimate performance.

To this end, the vehicle boasts a 5 L 20 turbocharged V-8 engine with a total power output of 1281 hp. A unique and high-tech interior, plus durable wheels, brakes, and tires, make it an expensive but interesting muscle car for fans of modern vehicular aesthetics instead of old-school style.

For now, the “fastest” muscle car of the 2020s hasn’t yet been produced or defined – after all, we’re barely into the new decade! But rest assured that the 2020s will produce a superfast muscle car model of their own sooner rather than later.

How Do You Show a Sports Car?

No matter which muscle car or sports car model you choose to purchase, you’ll need to know how to show it at car shows, in your garage, or at a car lot. Half the fun of buying and fixing a sports car is polishing it to a mirror shine and making it look perfect for onlookers and fellow car fanatics.

The best way to show a sports car involves cleaning it from top to bottom. Ideally, it would be best to use a gentle soap to avoid wearing down any paint or racing stripes your sports car may come with.

Next, give your sports car a durable wax layer over the primary paint layer. Wax acts as a durable layer of protective material that absorbs damage from dirt, debris, and road grit over time, so the paint job and steel underlayer of your sports car remain intact. You will want to replenish the wax layer over time, but not too frequently.

You’ll also want to clean the interior of your sports car, so it looks just as good as the exterior. Showing your sports car often means letting people sit in the driver’s seat or marvel at the interior leather upholstery. Make sure to polish and clean the leather and upholstery materials inside and give your sports car a good vacuum before any show.

If you don’t transport your sports car safely to the final sports car show destination, all that work will be for naught. That’s why you should rely on dedicated car-hauling services like Carvaygo.

For example, Carvaygo offers an enclosed car hauling service, which protects your sports car by enclosing it in a secure transport container. As a result, inclement weather, dirt and debris from the road, and other hazards want to touch your vehicle on its way to a sports car show.

Plus, you can rely on experienced car-hauling transportation services to ensure that your sports car shows up on time and at the right place. The last thing you want is for your muscle car to be delivered to the wrong location, resulting in a wild goose chase all around town when you should be showcasing your car to the public.

When the time comes to showcase a sports car, rely on Carvaygo for all your auto transportation needs.

The Bottom Line

Muscle cars have a long tradition in America; odds are a few new models will hit the road and car lots in the upcoming decades! But if you're in the market for a new muscle car now, you can get one of the above models, and rest assured your money will be well spent on a lean, mean, speedy machine.

Of course, you’ll want to take care when transporting your new muscle car from place to place, especially if you move. Carvaygo can help. With services like enclosed car hauling, Carvaygo is the best choice to move any sports car from one place to another while minimizing damage. Contact us today to learn more!

Muscle Car vs. Sports Car: What's the Difference? | CARFAX
Aston Martin History | HowStuffWorks 

What Is a V8? | Kelley Blue Book

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