Muscle car enthusiasts can debate their favorite engines and vehicle designs for hours, but the list of the biggest muscle car engines is indisputable.
If you are looking for a vintage muscle car engine with some size and power, we recommend either the Ford 427 Cammer or Chrysler 426 Hemi as the two biggest muscle car engines. They provide incredible horsepower, durability, and torque that is unmatched compared to other competitors.
A muscle car is unique because they have a massive engine that can provide high performance and great handling. These sports cars are usually heavier than most other cars because they use large engines with more horsepower than any other gasoline-powered vehicle. There are some amazing engines that we will mention in this guide too.
The size of muscle car engines is determined more than just how big they look, but more about the performance they can provide too. The best options give lots of horsepower, tons of torque, and high-end speed unlike anything else. Keep reading to learn more about the biggest muscle car engines ever.
What is the Biggest Muscle Car Engine?
A muscle car is designed for performance and designed to appeal to drivers who embrace speed and power in their vehicles. And the engine is the most important part of these cars, determining the type of performance it can provide.
Over the years, there have been many developments with different types of muscle car engines that could reach new top speeds with tons of horsepower and performance driving capabilities. Many of the top manufacturers found ways to improve fuel efficiency, handling, and speed.
The biggest muscle car engines would use a fuel-injected V8 design. The reason why it is the biggest is because of its size and power. This fuel-injected system is where the fuel gets injected into the cylinders as the piston moves up and down, changing the way vehicles move forever.
These engines are authentic and made with precision. They have plenty of features that separate them from a regular, everyday engine and they can bring older vehicles back to life.
In this guide, we have included five of the biggest muscle car engines ever made. They are all famous engines known around the world by muscle car enthusiasts who understand the power and performance they can provide for a vehicle.
1. Ford 427 Cammer
The Ford 427 Cammer V8 engine is a beautiful piece of machinery and is widely considered to be the biggest and most powerful muscle car engine ever built. It packs a punch with 657 horsepower and 575 pounds of vicious torque unlike anything else.
The displacement on this engine is roughly 426 cubic inches and the cast-iron block comes with a high compression rate for improved performance, speed, and fuel injection. The nickname on this engine is the “High Riser” because of the amount of performance it can provide.
One notable feature is its lack of overhead cams and pushrods like most engines today. This might seem like a limitation, but what it means is that the engineers finally found an opportunity to make more power and torque with fewer moving parts and less noise.
Overall, this engine has been able to keep up with modern-day needs and regulations while maintaining its classic look. After many years, this engine is still renowned by muscle car enthusiasts.
2. Chrysler 426 Hemi
Chrysler's 426 Hemi engine is a great engine for any car enthusiast. It has an excellent power to weight ratio with horsepower that ranges around 350. The durability level of this engine is also great and it will give drivers plenty of use.
The Chrysler 426 Hemi engine is a huge muscle car engine with many features that you could find on this page. The Hemi was first released in the early 1950s and it evolved into the dominant and powerful 426 Hemi in 1964.
This engine was so big and powerful it gained the nickname “Elephant Engine” by consumers and muscle cars enthusiasts. This design included 490 pounds of torque with a liquid-cooling system and cast iron block material.
The exact size was 10.72” in deck height and 4.80” in bore spacing, making it the biggest engine ever built upon release. It still ranks today among the top-performing and largest overall muscle car engines.
3. Chevy Big-Block
The Chevy Big-Block engine design has been around for many years with lots of variations to fit a variety of different muscle and sports car editions. It is widely known to be a powerful piece of equipment that improves torque, horsepower, and top speeds.
The Chevy 409 stands out among the rest because of the 360 horsepower and single 4-barrel Carter AFB carburetor design that was ahead of its time at the initial release in 1961. You can expect lots of performance with an engine like this.
However, the 409 ended in 1965 to be replaced by 427 as the last piece of the W-series models before new launches occurred afterward. This engine also relied on fuel injection with a water-cooled system too.
The W-series models were all built with cast iron and had massive bore centers and high-performance heads with large port additions. There was also a combustion chamber to tie together all of the key features required to use this high horsepower machinery.
4. Ford 302 Small-Block
The Ford 302 Small-Block V8 engine is one of the biggest muscle car engines ever built. The engine produced more horsepower than its predecessor while being less expensive, smaller, lighter, and more compact for easier installation.
The major difference between these two engines is that they have different bore centers while having identical stroke lengths - 4 inches in both cases. The performance of these engines is quite similar but this upgraded version improved speed and power.
The engine allowed for horsepower levels that were higher than any other engine before it. This included a high-performing V8 and multiple variations including a GT-40, Trans-AM 302, and Boss 302 model.
The 4.9-liter engine provided over 220 horsepower and 300 pounds of torque, giving vehicles plenty of acceleration, speed, and power. However, it is worth noting that as newer models started to be released the horsepower continued to drop even lower.
5. Hellcat 6.2L Supercharged
Hellcat engines are known for their surprising power and torque. They make it possible for cars like the Hellcat to reach 60 mph in just a few seconds, depending on the type of vehicle you are driving.
The Hellcat engine has been an iconic muscle car engine since its debut and it is one of the biggest muscle car engines ever with up to 707 horsepower. It has a cast-iron engine block for powerful acceleration.
This engine was made popular because of its presence in the Dodge Challenger. This vehicle is extremely iconic and known to provide plenty of horsepower and speed on the road, highlighting the size and impressive nature of this supercharged engine design.
There are many variations of the Hellcat engine, and they continue to receive upgrades and modifications as the Dodge Challenger changes too. This is a great option to consider if you are interested in an engine that is large with a more modern feel.
What is the Fastest Muscle Car Engine?
The Ford 427 Cammer V8 engine was made for performance, and it’s the fastest muscle car engine. It was also one of Ford’s most successful engines, with designs taken from NASCAR and other racing inspirations.
It has the highest horsepower at 657 and the 575 pounds of torque provides plenty of power for fast driving too. The engine delivers maximum power and makes use of an aluminum block with cast-iron cylinder liners and head studs to withstand high temperatures.
The Chrysler 426 Hemi is not much farther behind and still ranks as one of the most powerful and fastest muscle car engines. It is widely used in some high-performance vehicles too, so it has proven the type of speed it can provide in the past.
How Long Do Muscle Car Engines Last?
Muscle cars and their engines are most famous for being high-performance machines. They are designed to last for a long time with lots of estimates getting up to 300,000 miles in total life from them, and especially from a Hemi.
The engines come with a lot of power and torque, but it is not the only thing that they have going for them. They also have great fuel efficiency so they can perform well in today’s modern times with their large fuel tank sizes.
They are not just good-looking pieces of machinery on the outside, but they are also valuable pieces of equipment on the inside. They include some of the best vehicle technology and over the years it has only improved.
The muscle car engine has been a staple of American culture for decades and it's no surprise that these engines have been seeing a rise in popularity over the past several years. You can get the most from your engines with proper maintenance and care.
About THE AUTHOR
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding