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.
1927 Ford: Double-Trouble -- /BIG MUSCLE
• Gordon Tronson
In the world of hot-rodding there are few cars that are going to leave as
big an impression as this - the 1927 Ford Model T custom simply known as
"Double-Trouble". It rides on a custom-built tube chassis that's fabricated
from 1.5-inch tube. Is powered by two 4.6-liter modular V8s from Ford with
four, count 'em, FOUR Superchargers for
an approximate power output of around 1,200 hp. It also utilizes the
rear-end (inboard disc brakes and all) from an early Jaguar. It's a rolling
a Hot Wheels car and a masterpiece of engineering that is sure to make all
your naughty bits tingle.
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.
Black Beauty: 1966 Chevelle 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Racing Bonneville On a $300 Craigslist Motorcycle - /RideApart
"You don't have to spend a million bucks to fulfill your dreams. I bought a
bike for $300, got it running and entered it in a race I'd always dreampt
Bonneville is an epic thing that brings out all kinds of speed contraptions
and it was an honor to ride an old 1986 Honda VFR750 in the
Run-Whatcha-Brung class and pretend to be like my childhood heroes.
If I can do it, anyone can." — Jamie Robinson
For more on motorcycles, visit http://RideApart.com
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.
1969 AMC AMX: AMXess -- /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.
1966 Cobra Dream Machine - /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
1955 Ford Thunderbird: Back in Black -- /BIG MUSCLE
It's been in the same family for the better part of 50 years. Been modified
with performance and weight savings in mind, and is one of the sleekest
looking cars we've ever come across. This 1955 Ford Thunderbird is no
secretaries car, but a purpose built award winning street machine that was
built in a time before resto-modding old cars was all the rage.