Pros and Cons of Muscle Car Hood Scoops

January 27, 2012

There are a variety of considerations when looking at the pros and cons of muscle car hood scoops. Hood scoops are designed to supply additional air flow to the engine in one way or another, ultimately enhancing the performance of the vehicle. There are two basic types of hood scoops, open and closed. Open hood scoops are enclosed on all but three sides, and raised in order to catch additional air flow, particularly at higher rates of speed. Closed hood scoops are for the most part decorative, but can offer increased aerodynamics and hence better fuel efficiency and speed, at least in theory. Here we will discuss the pros and cons of open hood scoops.


There are a variety of pros to hood scoops, but most of the benefits of hood scoops revolve around performance. The addition of the hood scoop can greatly enhance the performance of the vehicle's engine. The hood scoop usually will serve one specific function, but may occasionally have several benefits. In one application, such as that of a manifold-type hood scoop, it serves to bring cooler, less dense air into the engine compartment, cooling the engine more quickly and increasing the power. Another application (though less frequent, and most commonly found in muscle car racing) is referred to ram air, in which the hood scoop serves to function similar to a supercharger. Typically though, this effect will only be seen at very high rates of speed.

They are also a common fixture almost synonymous with a muscle car. Many people add hood scoops purely for the effect that it gives to the overall look of the vehicle. An enhancement to the vehicle's overall body lines.


There are some downfalls to installing a hood scoop on your muscle car. Hood scoops offer an entryway for dirt, debris and water that may not normally be present. This could translate to extra maintenance on the vehicle, particularly more frequent changes of the air filter. Hood scoops can also enhance the overall noise produced by the engine, and many municipalities have laws in place limiting the noise level of vehicles. Finally, the scoop can effect the emissions on the vehicle, as well as the fuel efficiency.

Overall, if you are looking to enhance the performance on your muscle car, the addition of a hood scoop might be a good fit for your vehicle. A hood scoop can improve the performance in several different ways, depending on your specific vehicle and the desired results. Despite the use of your vehicle, whether street operation or drag racing, there is usually an option regardless of the drive style. Finally, the addition of a hood scoop to your muscle car will give it one very big visual element that is very pleasing to many. While there are a few drawbacks to the addition of a hood scoop, these are few and easily mitigated.

Related Questions and Answers

Is there an Aftermarket Hood Scoop for Muscle Cars?

An aftermarket hood scoop can be purchased for any muscle car. However, these new add on air scoops are typically made from fiberglass or composites. Some people involved with muscle car restoration will insist on installing the same type of hood scoop that was available when these cars were originally made. Even though solid steel hood scoops are not commonly available: the composite hood scoop comes close to matching the steel scoop's strength and durability. In fact, unless you actually touched it, you would not be able to tell the difference.Is there a Universal Hood Scoop Shape that Fits on all Muscle Cars?

There is an abundance of manufacturers that produce the universal hood scoop. These air scoops are designed and shaped to fit the broad style hoods typically found on muscle cars, and they are a "one size fits all" product. Once the cut has been made to the hood, the universal hood scoop is bolted into place. They are produced in both single and dual scoop models, and come finished to match the vehicle. They are usually made from composites or fiberglass, and designed with the muscle car in mind. Moreover, use of the universal scoop makes the job of hood scoop addition very simple and straightforward.Where Can You Get a Custom Hood Scoop for Your Project Muscle Car?

The custom hood scoop was typically mounted above the engine's fresh air intake to provide cooler air for combustion. Indeed, air scoops have been a fixture on performance vehicles sine the 1950s. Even though many people only use them for decoration, there are still some that use the air scoop for its intended purpose. Custom hood scoops can be purchased online from various dealers like AUTOMEGA, Moore Performance Products, Body Kits, and Spoilers4Less.Do Muscle Cars Only Use a Steel Hood Scoop, or Can You Use Other Materials?

Muscle cars that came from the factory with an air scoop, or those that had an air scoop added afterward, have a steel hood scoop. These vehicles, because of the years in which they were made, were built from solid steel. Muscle cars that have been restored, in more recent times, could have air scoops made from materials that are not steel. Modern air scoops are made from composite materials, and they can be mounted to a muscle car that is being restored. However, to keep the vehicle authentic, most people engaged in restoration will use steel air scoops.

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