The Chevrolet small block is one of the greatest engines in all of automotive history. It's powered countless hot-rods and customs, as well as the majority of GM's muscle cars. Therefore it should come as no surprise that the Big Muscle guys head to Brighton, Michigan to visit the famed Lingenfelter Car Collection. Here we check out the first small block powered Chevrolet Corvette (the Duntov Test Mule EX-8), take a ride in a 1993 Lingenfelter ZR1, and sit down with Ken Lingenfelter as he guides us through the in's and out's of one of the greatest private car collections in the United States.
Feels like a Porsche? Yes. 1969 AMX - /Big Muscle
When the American Motors Corporation (AMC) released the AMX back in 1969
the motoring world didn't know what to make of it. It had two seats like a
sports car, a solid live axle and a raucous V8 like a muscle car, and
styling that could've gone either way. Owner Jimi Day has been a long time
fan of the AMX so when he got the opportunity to construct his own he
pulled out all the stops, went buck-ass wild, and built what is arguably
one of the best AMX's on the planet Earth.
World's Greatest Wagon? - /BIG MUSCLE
• BIG MUSCLE GARAGE
Sometimes old cars break, it's just what happens. While some may see this
as an inconvenience, we here at /BIG MUSCLE took it as an opportunity to
expand our horizons, take a chance, and venture to a place we rarely
frequent - the drag strip. Our plan was to film, talk to and get an idea of
what racers go through when they run their cars down the 1,320. Everything
was going great, until that is, they told us WE could race. We showed up in
our 1992 Chevrolet Caprice wagon, aka, the Battle Wagon, so we knew we
weren't going to set any records. What we weren't prepared for though, was
the amount of fun we'd have running one of the slowest vehicles on the
planet, at one of the fastest places in Northern California.
1979 Dodge Little Red Express: The Original Muscle Truck -- /BIG MUSCLE
It's the Granddaddy of the muscle truck. The original gangster, and the one
that broke the mold when it came to straight-line American speed in the
late 1970's. The Little Red Express Truck was a twin-stacked, small block
powered pickup truck from Dodge that was you're worst nightmare if you
happened to own a Ferrari 308, Trans Am or Corvette back in 1978 or 1979.
Big on style as well as performance, the Little Red's are some of the
rarest and coolest trucks to ever come out of Detroit, and with the power
to back up the looks, it's no wonder they've generated a cult following
amongst dedicated enthusiasts.
1967 GT500 Eleanor: Re-imagining a Classic - /BIG MUSCLE
Carroll Shelby created it, "Gone in 60 Seconds" re-imagined it, and
audiences around the world made it famous. The 1967 Shelby GT500 Eleanor is
one of the most recognizable movie cars of all time. With the body lines of
a shark, the stage presence of a movie star and the perceived performance
of an olympic athlete, it's no wonder die-hard enthusiasts fell in love
with this amazing machine. BIG MUSCLE received so many requests for this
car that we just had to go out and find one. So now sit back, click play
and enjoy... and don't bust my chops in regards to my glasses - it was
really sunny that day - M. Musto
Satan's Rat-Rod: 1931 Ford - /BIG MUSCLE
• Henry Kessler
The engine is out of a 1952 Diamond-Reo tractor and makes 1,640 lb-ft of
torque. The chassis is pieced together from old light poles from the City
of Hollywood. The body... that's from a 1931 Ford. Meet Gretchen, one of
the coolest rat-rods we've ever seen and a ride that turns heads wherever
it goes. This ain't no hybrid, instead it's a black smoke belching,
gasoline guzzling, animal of a car that's not only amazing to look at, but
with some cool hidden engineering, has the ability to surprise even the
most hardened of motor-heads.
The 180 MPH 1969 Dodge Daytona: "Project Angrier"
The Smoking Tire heads to East Hampton to terrorize yuppies in the baddest
muscle car around: Mr. Angry's 1969 Dodge Daytona. Blasphemous to some,
envied by others, this is one tire-shredding muscle machine we'll take in
our garage any day.
CTS-V Powered '68 Camaro Drop Top - /BIG MUSCLE
Finding the right balance between a well tuned street car and a flat-out
performance car is no easy task. However that didn't stop Southern
California resident Bob Hall from building what may just be one of the best
vehicles we've ever driven. He started with an ultra clean 1968 Camaro SS convertible, fitted it
with a supercharged LSA mill from a 2009 Cadillac CTS-V, reworked the
entire drivetrain and suspension, and in the end, created a car that's 44
years old but feels like it rolled out of the factory yesterday.
Bad-Ass Buick: 1955 Special - /BIG MUSCLE
• Harry Fisher
In stock form, the 1955 Buick Special could best be described as a "nice"
car. It's not drop dead gorgeous like a 1959 Impala, nor does it have the
panache of say a 1956 Chrysler 300. You see the '55 Buick Special was a
working mans car. It had room enough for the whole family, a decent
power-plant thanks to its 264 cubic inch V8, and style that was, well...
above average. Harry Fisher or "Uncle Harry" as most people know him, saw
the old Buick a bit differently though. He knew that with a few little
touches (like a 502 cubic inch big-block, modern suspension, and a new set
of wheels) that this old Buick had the potential to become one of the
baddest hot-rods around.
1964 Cadillac: Big, Black & Blown - /BIG MUSCLE
This is a 1964 Cadillac DeVille drop-top. It's got a blown 468 cubic-inch
big block, 600 plus horsepower, and if you
haven't figured it out by now, it's a friggin' carnival ride on four
wheels. I stumbled upon this amazing machine while walking through a car
show in Alameda, CA and after speaking with owner Ron Dean, I knew it was
something that had to be featured on BIG MUSCLE. Stretching 20-feet in
length and having a personality that simply can't be ignored, this old
DeVille not only kicks sand in the face of other hot-rods, but does so
while maintaining all the comfort and class that vintage Cadillac's are
The Original Sting Ray - /BIG MUSCLE
• BRIAN HOBAUGH
When did you first realize that you loved cars? Maybe it was the time you
caught a glimpse of a Ferrari as you were sitting in the back of your
parents minivan. Or maybe it happened after watching your older brother do
a burnout in his rusted out Camaro. For owner Brian Hobaugh,
his love of cars started thanks to his Dad and a certain 1965 Chevrolet
Corvette that's been in their family for over 30 years.
Start: $400 - Finish: Mean Green MOPAR: Violent Valiant - /BIG MUSCLE
The Plymouth Valiant was never meant to be a muscle car. It was never meant
to be fast, overly attractive or go around corners. Loved by grandparents
and college professors alike, the Valiant was the go-to car for those who
wanted smooth reliable transport. Owner Shannon Hudson bought this Valiant
for $400.00 and after 20 years of ownership and a few different versions,
built it into one of the coolest MOPAR A Bodies we've ever seen.
• Shannon Hudson
American Aston Martin? '66 Malibu: /BIG MUSCLE
• ENZO MORALES
A long wheelbase, v8 or v12 power, front engine/rear drive configuration,
and a sport-tuned suspension with four comfy seats inside. That ladies and
gentlemen is the recipe for any good grand touring car. Modern automobiles
like the Mercedes-Benz CL63, BMW M6 and the Bentley Continental GT are
perfect examples of this. How about a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu though
- what about that? When released in 1966, this 2nd generation Chevelle was
nothing more than a mid-priced, nicely appointed people mover with some
decent styling. However now, some 47 years later, owner Enzo Morales has
transformed this particular car into a jaw-dropping, hardcore styled road
burner that is just as happy running the super-slab at triple digits as it
is carving up your favorite back road.
Wide-Track: 1959 Bonneville - /BIG MUSCLE
• Chuck Cushner
Slathered in Lamborghini orange paint and exuding a presence that is
anything but subtle, this 1959 Bonneville is a car that represents a peak
time in American automotive design. It was drafted before government
mandates and regulations stifled imagination and creativity, and takes us
back to an era when we still looked to the stars for inspiration. This is a
car that will stop you dead in your tracks and make you truly long for the
days when chrome was King, gas was a mere .25¢ per gallon, and where Elvis
Presley was the greatest thing the public had ever heard.