17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them

Grace
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They represent raw American power and unmatched style. But what about the lesser-known heroes of the muscle car world? The ones that, for various reasons, have faded into obscurity?

These are the strange, unique, and bizarre muscle cars that time seems to have forgotten. Join us as we explore the forgotten corners of muscle car history.

Plymouth Cricket 1971

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
John Lloyd via Wikimedia Commons

It was a rebranded Hillman Avenger introduced by Chrysler to enter the compact car market. However, with its modest 1.5L engine and 70 horsepower, the Cricket fell short of the roaring V8 muscle Plymouth was known for.

Despite its unique blend of British engineering and American marketing, the Cricket failed to resonate with the gas-guzzling, power-loving American crowd and was discontinued after a few years.

Dodge Magnum 1978

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Mr. Choppers via Wikimedia Commons

It is a forgotten muscle car, had an aerodynamic edge, and was loved by NASCAR drivers. However, its unique rectangular headlights and perceived bulkiness may have contributed to its obscurity.

Still, it holds a special place in the hearts of those who appreciate the road less traveled in muscle car history.

Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II 1970

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
John Lloyd via Wikimedia Commons

Unlike its celebrated counterparts, this hidden gem was often overlooked despite its impressive performance. With a vibrant exterior and a robust 429 Super Cobra Jet engine, it personified raw power.

Though its production was brief, the Cyclone Spoiler II remains a testament to the creative spirit of the muscle car era, an unsung hero deserving recognition.

Pontiac GTO 1974

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Mercury Sable via Wikimedia Commons

It offered a smaller, more fuel-efficient model while keeping its sporting heritage. Its 5.7-liter V8 engine produced 200 horsepower, not as powerful as its predecessors, but its nimble agility had charm.

This GTO is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the muscle car ethos, a compelling chapter in the saga worth remembering.

AMC SC/Rambler 1969

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Christopher Ziemnowicz via Wikimedia Commons

This limited-edition vehicle was a joint venture between American Motors Corporation (AMC) and Hurst Performance, birthed from an audacious vision to generate some excitement around AMC’s Rambler brand.

The SC/Rambler, with its quirky red, white, and blue paint scheme, was an unapologetic celebration of American power and patriotism.

Chevrolet Monza Mirage 1977

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
AnonymousFox36 via Wikimedia Commons

Lost in muscle car history, the Mirage defied design norms. It was a limited-edition variant of the Monza 2+2 with a bold, race-inspired look. However, its modest V8 engine couldn’t match its appearance.

The Mirage remains a strange yet fascinating piece of automotive history, showcasing the creativity and occasional missteps of the muscle car era.

Dodge Dart Demon 340 1971

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Sicnag via Wikimedia Commons

With its aggressive design and powerful 340 cubic inch V8 engine, delivering 275 horsepower, it was a street-racing demon.

The car’s unique ‘Demon’ decal, calm demeanor, and exciting performance made it an unforgettable ride, yet it remains an overlooked gem in muscle car history.

AMC Matador 1974

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Christopher Ziemnowicz via Wikimedia Commons

Though unconventional in appearance, it housed a powerful 6.6-liter V8 engine that could rival mainstream counterparts.

Despite being largely forgotten, the Matador represents the uncharted territories explored by American muscle cars in the 1970s.

Shelby GT350 Mustang 1969

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Vauxford via Wikimedia Commons

This innovative creation embodied Carroll Shelby’s audacious spirit of defying convention. With its 351 Windsor V8 engine, the GT350 Mustang stood out among its rivals, sporting a distinctive high-rise spoiler and elongated nose.

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Hemi Dart 1968

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Sicnag via Wikimedia Commons

With a hidden 426 cubic inch Hemi, it challenged all on the asphalt. Despite its rarity, the Hemi Dart is a forgotten gem of the muscle car era.

Today, we pay tribute to this extraordinary machine, a testament to the audacious spirit of the 1960s.

Bricklin SV-1 1965

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Kyle Stockson92 Via Wikimedia Commons

Designed to emphasize safety, the SV-1 (“Safety Vehicle One”) featured a built-in roll cage and innovative gull-wing doors.

However, despite its advanced features, its performance couldn’t match its futuristic appearance. The car’s heavy weight undermined its speed capabilities, disappointing muscle car enthusiasts.

Dodge Dart 413 1962

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Sicnag via Wikimedia Commons

This enigmatic machine, born in an era where power and performance reign supreme, is often overlooked.

With its high-performance 413 cubic inch max wedge engine, the Dodge Dart 413 turned heads and burned rubber, deserving recognition for its unique contribution to American automotive prowess.

Chevrolet Vega 1971

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Chevrolet pre-1978 via Wikimedia Commons

About the size of a Ford Pinto, the Vega had a unique allure, blending the muscular, raw power often associated with American muscle cars with the elegant, compact design of a European coupe.

Its lightweight aluminum engine and snappy acceleration were commendable, but alas, it was beset by reliability issues that would eventually contribute to its obscurity.

Pontiac Tempest 1961

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Sicnag via Wikimedia Commons

With an unconventional design featuring a rear-mounted transaxle and a slant-4 engine — half of a V8, in fact — it was a pioneering piece of engineering in the automotive world.

Despite its unique selling points, the Tempest’s time in the spotlight was brief, leading it to become one of those peculiar, innovative models lost in the annals of muscle car history.

AMC Rebel Machine 1970

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Christopher Ziemnowicz via Wikimedia Commons

With its distinctive red, white, and blue paint job and a 390 cubic inch V8 engine under the hood, this “Machine” was all about performance and patriotism.

AMC attempted to break into the muscle car market, and while it may not have achieved the fame of its counterparts, the Rebel Machine holds a special place in the hearts of those who appreciate the road less traveled.

Ford Mustang E 1969

17 Muscle Cars So Strange Nobody Remembers Them
Sv1ambo via Wikimedia Commons

Its specialized 250-cubic-inch, straight-six engine, married to a SelectShift automatic transmission, a rarity for the time, delivered an impressive fuel economy.

Yet, it didn’t compromise the vigorous spirit of an actual Mustang, offering the raw power and thunderous roar beloved by muscle car enthusiasts.

Oldsmobile Toronado 1968

Oldsmobile Toronado 1968 _Wikimedia Commons _Greg Gjerdingen
Greg Gjerdingen Via Wikimedia Commons

With its unconventional front-wheel-drive layout and intimidating 375 horsepower Rocket V8 engine, the Toronado was a fascinating blend of power and peculiarity.

Yet, despite its impressive performance capabilities, this hidden gem of the muscle car era remains uncelebrated, mainly a forgotten relic in the annals of automotive history.

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  • Grace

    Grace combines her legal education with her interests in art, travel, history, writing, and nature to produce well-rounded and engaging content.

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