1972 Oldsmobile 442

Let there be no doubt: Classic American muscle cars are the bread and butter of the Woodward Dream Cruise. And why not? These machines hearken back to a time when horsepower was king, nameplates like Mustang, Camaro, GTO and Charger first started rolling off the tongue and Detroit was at the forefront of the automotive world.

That said, we've noticed an interesting trend over the last several years. Modern muscle is making up a more significant portion of the festivities than ever before, a fact we can surely attribute to the rise in quality and performance of today's crop of high-horsepower offerings. Naturally, you'll see plenty of Detroit muscle from the 1960s straight on through today in this gallery from the 2011 Woodward Dream Cruise.

We'd like to take a moment to explain our definition of muscle cars. We're mostly cutting Detroit's history into two segments: classics and muscle, using 1964, the inaugural year of the seminal Pontiac GTO, as the dividing line. Two seats, four seats or five; two doors or four; modern or vintage – these are the cars that place straight-line performance above all else... and we love 'em for it.

We went ahead and labeled each vehicle, but if we're off by a year or two on some of them, we apologize in advance to all you hardcore muscle car enthusiasts out there... With all that in mind, enjoy the gallery!