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Chasing the Wind: 20 of the Best Hood Scoops Ever Made

Vukasin HerbezApril 12, 2019

Whether you’re running on an old-school carburetor or rocking the state-of-the-art modern fuel injection system, you need air in to extract the maximum power from your engine. And, in most cases, cars have closed hoods. But if you have a performance car, you need a hood scoop to bring fresh air in while letting the heat escape from the engine bay.

For decades, hood scoops were the symbols of performance, sports, and muscle cars. Also, they an important part of the car’s overall design. Designers and engineers work together to produce an efficient style to feed the car with fresh air without ruining the car’s appearance.

Over the years, hood scoops have become an important part of a car’s appearance. Even with non-car people, a big hood scoop means a car is super fast. So, here are the 20 best and most memorable hood scoops they ever made.

  1. Aston Martin DB4 GT

As the renewed sports car brand, Aston entered the top speed races in the late ‘50s, briefly becoming the owner of the “the world`s fastest production car” title. Their weapon was the Aston Martin DB4 GT, a lightweight and 300 HP strong version of the DB4 Grand Tourer. In order to feed its big six-cylinder engine, the DB4 GT needed a big scoop and this became its most recognizable design feature.

  1. Ford Thunderbolt

Not all hood scoops face forward as the Ford Thunderbird shows. The Thunderbird’s signature “teardrop” scoop was necessary to accommodate the big FE block 427 Ford engine with 425 HP. The Thunderbolt used the scoop mostly to extract hot air from the engine bay. Interestingly, they fed the carburetor through two smaller scoops they mounted in place of headlights that sent air to the engine through tubes.

  1. Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

The Tundra is a capable truck. However, if you ordered it in TRD spec, it had great off-road capabilities but also a performance edge, as well. And that is why Toyota wanted to give it a fresh appearance with two hood scoops. It didn’t just have one, but two hood scoops, one on top of the other. This helped to feed the engine with air, extract the heat from the engine bay and look menacing.

  1. Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454

In the early ‘70s, hood scoops were an obligatory part of muscle car design, whether they were functional or non-functional. Most of them were just big openings allowing air to flow in and out of the engine bay. However, Chevrolet had an interesting patent in the form of a cowl induction scoop.

It had a driver-operated opening located just below the windshield glass. And apparently, it provided better airflow than a conventional scoop. But in the case of the mighty Chevelle 454 SS, every bit of air was necessary to deliver the 450 HP factory rating.

  1. Ferrari 550 Maranello

In 1996, Ferrari returned to its classic Gran Turismo layout with the new 550 Maranello. The car featured a front-mounted 5.5-liter V12 with 485 HP and a transaxle gearbox. But the best part was the design, which was similar to the Daytona and other famous GT models from the past. It also featured a sexy hood scoop that soon became its signature design feature.

  1. Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

The insane stats of this ludicrous muscle car speak for themselves. The Challenger SRT Demon has a big Hemi engine with an even bigger supercharger on top. With standard fuel, it can deliver an insane 808 HP. But if you use the high octane stuff, it can pump out almost 840 HP. This combo needs an enormous amount of air, so what is better than to get it through a massive and aggressive hood scoop?

  1. Plymouth Roadrunner

One of the biggest muscle car legends was the “Air Grabber” hood available on several Dodge and Plymouth models. It was a vacuum-operated hood scoop that drivers could open to allow more air into the engine. It was an option on the 440 and 426 Hemi models that proved to increase the car’s performance, especially once the car got moving and the air rushed directly to the carburetors.

  1. Alfa Romeo Montreal

Alfa Romeo built the Montreal on a Giulia chassis with the timeless Bertone body. With a high revving V8 engine up front, the Montreal was fast, stylish and exclusive. They got the engine from a racing unit. And that explains the high-revving nature and need for air. Bertone designed the small but elegant and timeless hood scoop to complete its fantastic design.

  1. Pontiac GTO

Most muscle cars had big scoops that served more as eye-catching features than as functional performance features. But the late ‘60s GTO had one of the best systems in the business. They called it the Ram Air.

It marked induction systems characterized by openings on the car’s hood, grille or even below the bumpers on some Oldsmobiles to feed fresh air to the engine. The GTO’s Ram Air openings were driver-operated. Also, they were elegantly restrained but still mighty efficient.

  1. Subaru Impreza WRX

For decades, Subaru has been one of the most powerful four-cylinder cars on the market. Under the hood is a flat four engine with 2.5-liters of displacement, as well as a turbocharger. This combo delivers 305 HP, which goes to all four wheels via a six-speed manual. Of course, the turbo needs a lot of air to cool down. And, that is why the WRX has one of the craziest and biggest hood scoops in the business.

  1. Chevrolet Corvette 427

They produced the C2 Corvette from 1963 to 1967 and all examples are highly sought after for collectors. The big block models they introduced from the 1966 model year are the most expensive since they combine big power with unique styling. One of the most recognizable features of the design was memorable “Stinger Hood” with a special functional hood scoop. This thing looked extremely cool and helped that big block V8 get some fresh air.

  1. Shelby GT 500 Super Snake

As one of the most powerful modern Mustangs, the GT 500 Super Snake comes with a 5.4-liter V8 with an enormous supercharger on top of the engine. The result is a whopping 725 HP going to the rear wheels. That amount of power needs a lot of air and that’s why it has a big and aggressive hood scoop in the front of the car.

  1. Porsche 911 GT2

If you look at the front of the new 911 GT2, you’ll notice those massive scoops. And you might think the engine is in the front and the scoops are for cooling and providing air. However, this is the 911, so the engine is always in the back.

In fact, the front scoops are for cooling the front brakes and providing aerodynamics to the whole car. And they are one of the biggest ever to be fitted on a production 911 model.

  1. Dodge Dart Hemi

To dominate the NHRA tracks in the late ‘60s, Dodge produced a limited run of Darts with 426 Hemi engines and unknown power outputs. The cars were not street legal since they produced them only for racing with the body in primer and big racing slicks in the back. Of course, the massive Hemi needed air so the Dodge engineers provided it with the biggest hood scoop the muscle car world had ever seen.

  1. McLaren P1

The hybrid supercar has a mid-engine layout, yet it still has two big hood scoops on the front. Are you wondering why? They are for the aerodynamics. When the air at high speed passes through them, it creates the downforce that keeps the P1 firmly on the ground. So, those scoops not only look cool, they are highly effective.

  1. Ferrari F40

Ferrari presented the F40 in 1987. They conceived the car as a commemorative model, marking the company’s 40th anniversary. However, it was much more than that. It was and still is one of the greatest sports cars they ever built. Most car fans consider it to be one of the best Ferraris they ever produced.

Since they equipped it with a 2.9-liter twin turbo V8, it needed a lot of air for the performance and for cooling. So, Ferrari gave it exactly 10 NACA-duct scoops. There are two in the front and the rest are on the sides and the back.

  1. Dodge Challenger “Shaker”

The Shaker is a hood scoop they mounted on top of the car’s intake system that sticks through the hood. Since it is an integral part of the engine, it also moves and shakes as the engine works; hence the name. Most popular shakers were Dodges and Plymouths, but almost all other muscle car brands have at least one model with this feature.

  1. Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6

Even though the heyday of hood scoops was over by the early 2000s, Pontiac still offered one of the most aggressive designs they ever produced. They added twin scoops on the nose of the powerful and fast Firebird Trans Am WS6. With the venerable 5.7-liter V8 engine producing 325 HP, a six-speed manual transmission and numerous suspension upgrades, the 2002 WS6 could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. And that kind of speed was what required this hood scoop design.

  1. Dodge RAM SRT 10

Trucks don’t need hood scoops in most cases, but if you own Dodge RAM SRT 10, you will know a scoop is a necessity. The 8.2-liter V10 engine pumps out over 500 HP. It has a 0 to 60 acceleration time of fewer than five seconds. Also, the fuel economy in the single digits needs a lot of extra air to feed the engine.

  1. Dodge Coronet R/T 1970

The Coronet was one of the intermediates in the Mopar stable consumer could order with a 440 or Hemi engine. This meant the Coronet, especially in R/T trim was a serious muscle car contender and a properly fast street racer. Although hood scoops were part of the package, Dodge gave the Coronet R/T two big ones that fed the carburetors through a complex system of tubes.

These are the 20 best hood scoops they ever made. While some were just for show, others had serious work to do. A timeless design feature, hood scoops will always be popular on most sports and muscle cars but are a staple on all race cars.

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