Black paint, steel wheels and a look and feel that any high ranking mobster would kill for. This is the 1949 Dodge Wayfarer and unbeknownst to some, it's one of the coolest old school hot-rods we've ever seen. Owner Dan Zuccaro has taken a vehicle with humble roots and transformed it into a superb driver, show stopper and bad-ass street rod that steals the show wherever it goes.
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.
1971 Chevrolet Camaro: Mary Pozzi, Queen of Grip - /BIG MUSCLE
For its season opener BIG MUSCLE hangs out with the Queen of Grip herself,
Mary Pozzi. We traveled to Northern California to meet up with Mary,
husband David and her highly modified LS2 powered 1971 Chevrolet Camaro. We talked racing, car
set-up, touched on her SCCA autocross championships as well as her
inclusion in Sony's upcoming Gran Turismo 6. Then we took out her stunning
prized Camaro for an
all day flog in the California canyons.
Big Burnouts: 1964 Pontiac Catalina Safari - /BIG MUSCLE
If you haven't figured it out by now, we love wagons on this show. To some
they're a misunderstood breed, but to those in the know, they're amazing.
Not only were the wagons of yesteryear known for their styling, but their
capacity to haul as much cargo as a modern day pickup. This 1964 Pontiac
Catalina Safari started off life as a Police Wagon, but was transformed by
its owner into the kick-ass, tire-shredding monster you see here. With a
Nelson Racing Engines 468 cid big-block under the hood, some updated
suspension bits and a killer look, this big green machine is
outside-the-box styling at its best.
• Mike Artman
Mitch Allread: Don't Call it a Rat Rod... - /BIG MUSCLE
It packs a 400 hp diesel out of a Ford F-350, a Dana 80 rear-end, and a
look and feel that would make Max Rockatansky feel right at home. This is
Mitch Allread's custom fabricated creation and it is, without a doubt, one
of the coolest things on the road today. This is a machine that transcends
the traditional hot rod formula by breaking down borders and setting its
Whereas most hot-rods are built by custom shops utilizing parts from mail
order catalogs, Mitch took a different approach and fabricated just about
everything on his ride by hand. Calling this a rat-rod would be an insult -
a work of art however... that'd be just fine.
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
Triple Black Attack: 1970 440 6-Pack 'Cuda - /BIG MUSCLE
Each and every muscle car enthusiast has that one experience that has
helped define the way in which they view the automobile. For Northern
California's John Cross that experience came by way of riding in the back
of his cousins 1970 440 6-Pack Plymouth 'Cuda when he was a kid. It was a
car that provided him with memories, stories and of course, a goal - that
being, to one day own the very car which got his engine running all those
years ago. It's now 2012, 42 years after that first faithful ride in the
very 'Cuda you're about to see. This time however it resides in John's
garage, not his cousins, which can mean only one thing... Sometimes dreams
do come true.
Not a Rat-Rod: 1922 Ford Roadster -/BIG MUSCLE
• Anji Ramsey
Family heirlooms tend to come in many different shapes and sizes. Sometimes
they come in the form of a piece of jewelry, other times a piece of
furniture. Rarely though do they come equipped with a 255 cubic inch Ford
flathead, side pipes and a sound that rivals most orchestras. This is Anji
Ramsey's 1922 Ford Roadster and it's a car that's been in her family (in
one way or another) for the better part of 65 years.
Donuts in a 1966 Cobra - /BIG MUSCLE
It's a 1966 Shelby Cobra replica that was built by a Father and his two
sons more than 10 years ago. It's faded fiberglass shell is chipped and
spider-webbed. The stainless trim is pitted and tarnished and the wheels
are coated in a thick layer of brake dust. The carpet is also coming up and
every now and then it blows flames from its side-pipes due to it running a
little rich. Some may think these are problems. Me personally - I think
it's one of the coolest cars I've ever driven. This episode of "Big Muscle"
is about the drive, those project cars that we work on, and the
exhilaration we get when we wring them out for the first time on the open
JCG Restorations 1968 Camaro -- /BIG MUSCLE
Tucked away in a small industrial park in Oxnard, CA sits JCG Restorations
& Customs, a moderately sized shop that has built some of the best
performing pro-touring cars that we've ever driven. Now generally we don't
focus in on shops, however when the owners of three of our best test cars
start dropping names, we tend to listen. Originally we descended on JCG to
drive Blu Balz, a stunning 1968 Camaro owned by one Karl Dunn.
However since Mother Nature decided to water the Earth that day, we put our
original plans on hold and got shop owner Cris Gonzalez to give us the in's
and out's of what it takes to make a stellar pro-touring car.
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.
Mid-Engine Crown Corvair: Porsche Cayman Fighter - /BIG MUSCLE
• Chuck Rust
Wouldn't it have been great if the United States had one truly great
mid-engine sports car? I mean yes, there was the Ford GT40, Ford GT and of
course the Pontiac Fiero (that sucked though), but just imagine if American
manufacturers really had their act together and created something awesome.
Chuck Rust, the owner of this 1965 Corvair Crown V8, knew that the little
Chevy had great potential and that with A LOT of work (and some ingenuity),
it could be turn into something outstanding. This car is about fun,
performance and proving people wrong. It sounds outstanding, has some of
the best lines out there, and thanks to a little funky paint and graphic
work from its' owner, has a presence that few cars can match. One of the
most well balanced performers we've ever driven, this Corvair Crown had us
grinning from ear to ear from the first moment we turned the key.
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.
1968 Charger / 1969 Daytona - /BIG MUSCLE Garage
The 1968 Dodge Charger and the 1969 Dodge Daytona. Two cars based off the
same platform with very different personalities. These two old sleds are
different though, 'cause well, they belong to me (your host) and they're
the reason that BIG MUSCLE exists today. These are not show ponies,
cruisers or weekend projects, but two warhorses that have been run in some
of the toughest long distance and performance events in the United States.
Built for reliability, power and performance, they are not technological
marvels, but old school resto-mods that have been updated for one reason
and one reason only - to put smiles on the faces of all those who see them.
1973 Chevrolet Chevelle: Bank Robber's Special -- /BIG MUSCLE
For its season finale BIG MUSCLE heads to the mean streets of Trenton, NJ
to meet up with Sean Rich and his road warrior style 1973 Chevrolet
Chevelle. This particular car was constructed with the idea that if one
needed a getaway vehicle for which to rob a bank in, well then... this
would be the perfect candidate. This is not some big dollar, no holds
barred super car, but a ride built by its owner for the purpose of putting
a smile on his face every time the key was turned.
1967 Mustang: California Drag 'Stang - /BIG MUSCLE
In the world of muscle cars there are few as iconic as the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback. It's
stunning body lines were made famous by Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt
(he drove a '68) and since that time, it has become one of the most sought
after muscle cars in existence. This particular car was, is, and will
always remain (according to owner Greg Smith) a down home California drag
car. From the Fenton slotted wheels and 393 Windsor stroker, to the Mickey
Thompson drag slicks out back, one look will tell you that this car is all