Classic Muscle Car Terms, Part Three

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As we stated in Part One of this article, car enthusiasts have a special lingo all their own. In Part Two, we learned a few more. In this last section, we keep the fun going with our final set of muscle car terms.

Max Wedge

This term refers to a Mopar line of highly successful drag racing models that were semi-street legal. The Max Wedge cars got their name from the Wedge V8 motors they used.

Although they only offered them for just a couple of years, those Max Wedge cars preceded the Hemi racers and are highly collectible today.

Muncie Rock Crusher

The brand Muncie was a series of manual transmissions common in GM muscle cars. There are three basic types. The first, the M20, was a wide-ratio manual; the second, the M21, was a close-ratio manual; and the third was the M22, a heavy-duty close-ratio manual transmission often called “the rock crusher.” As you probably guessed, the M22 is the most desirable manual transmission if you own a 1960s Camaro or similar GM muscle car.


The abbreviation NOS is a very common term used by muscle car guys. It stands for “New Old Stock” which is a part produced by the factory but never used. NOS parts are typically still in their original packaging. Collectors will pay top prices for NOS since they deliver originality to their restorations.

Ram Air

The term “Ram Air” stands for the induction systems characterized by the openings on the car’s hood. Car makers design them to “ram” fresh air to the engine. Almost all muscle car manufacturers produced some kind of Ram Air product at some point. Pontiac is the most famous for marketing Ram Air as a special performance package on the GTO and Trans Am models.

Pistol Grip

When Mopar presented their muscle models in the early 1970s, they introduced a lot numerous improvements, designs, and interior features. Lustine Chrysler Jeep (Woodbridge, VA) says that one of the most interesting and popular was the Pistol Grip Shifter, a shifter knob made by Hurst and designed like the grip of a revolver.


Restomods are classic cars restored to perfection, but have modern engines, transmissions, suspensions, and creature comforts. Restomods perform much better, yet retain the classic style and looks. This is a common choice among classic muscle car owners because it helps modernize old cars.


A Shaker hood scoop mounts on top of an engine’s intake system and is tall enough that it sticks through the hood. Since it is an integral part of the engine, it also moves and shakes during driving, hence the name. Most popular shakers were from Dodge and Plymouth back in the muscle car days.

Six Banger

The term, “Six Banger” dates back to the early 1900s and refers to a car with a six-cylinder engine. But back in the heyday of the muscle car culture, six-cylinder cars were commonly a straight-six configuration.


The term SS is a big one for GM enthusiasts. It stands for SuperSport, which is a prime Chevrolet designation for the performance models starting back in 1961. Over the years, Chevrolet produced the Impala SS, Camaro SS, Nova SS, and Chevelle SS, among others. Interestingly, there was never a Corvette SS.


The Z/28 was always a lighter, nimbler version than the SS General Motors models. The first Z/28 package included front disc brakes and a close-ratio four-speed manual transmission. The real treat was under the hood., though. The power came from a 5.0-liter V8 cranking out 290 HP.

So, we have covered 30 classic muscle car terms. Hopefully, you have learned a few new car-inspired expressions to use at your next gear-head gathering!


Just A Guy Thing is a men's lifestyle magazine focused primarily at guys wanting to better themselves.

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