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50 Classic Muscle Cars Drivers Forgot About Long Ago

Cameron EittreimJuly 28, 2020

Chevrolet Laguna
Photo Credit: Barnfinds

11: Chevrolet Laguna 454

Not to be confused with the Monte Carlo it resembles, the Chevrolet Laguna 454 was the ultimate sleeper. Not much is known about this car because you rarely ever seen one anymore. However, the Laguna was a performance powerhouse disguised as a modest two-door coupe. Its 454 V8 engine coupled with a manual transmission made the Laguna a strong entry in the muscle car race.

Chevrolet Laguna 454
Photo Credit:: Car Domain

Rarity was one of the factors with the Laguna as it wasn’t as popular as other models. If you can find a Laguna 454, you’re in for a performance treat. The rear-wheel-drive design and powerful engine make for an exciting experience. Very few cars can match the excitement the Laguna can bring to the table.

Studebaker Avanti R2
Photo Credit: Car Domain

10: Studebaker Avanti R2

The Studebaker Avanti R2 is a car that packs a punch. Studebaker was near the end of the road during this period, but that doesn’t mean that Avanti was a bad choice. The car was lightweight and had rear-wheel drive, which gave it a ton of power to work with. The R2 was the last-ditch effort to generate hype. The 300 HP engine was blazingly fast, but the car’s awkward styling didn’t catch on with consumers.

Studebaker Avanti R2
Photo Credit: Car Domain

Although Studebaker went the way of the wind, you can still find these from time to time. With a little bit of work and love, you can make one of these a pretty piece of automotive history. The Avanti R2 still manages to garner attention when you take it out on the road.

Plymouth Fury GT
Photo Credit: Chrysler

9: Plymouth Fury GT

Plymouth fell on hard times at the start of the new millennium and today’s group of new drivers doesn’t even know it existed. The Fury GT was a muscle car that deserves more love than it gets. There were a lot of good things about the Fury that made it stand out. The powerful Hemi V8 engine was coupled with the rear-wheel-drive design. There was nothing about the Fury that made it worth ignoring, but you just don’t see these anymore.

Plymouth Fury GT
Photo Credit: Fury

Resale prices on the Fury have continued to rise in recent years as this is a piece of Mopar history. The Fury doesn’t have the notoriety of a Dodge Charger, but the car is still a blast to drive. With a little bit of work, the Fury can tango with some of the best classic muscle cars on the road.

Dodge Lil' Red Express Truck
Photo Credit: Reddit

8: Dodge Lil’ Red Express Truck

Dodge was tuning up fast farm trucks long ago, and the Dodge Lil’ Red Express Truck is an example. The bright red truck with tall stacks is a prime example of innovation at its best. The powerful engine gave the truck a lot of torque to work with and off-the-line performance was excellent. This isn’t your average rock crusher or lifted 4X4, but an early example of what a street truck could be.

Dodge Lil' Red Express Truck
Photo Credit: Car Domain

The Dodge Lil’ Red Express Truck is a very rare vehicle and to see one is a surprise. If you can get your hands on an original, you’ll be driving a piece of Mopar history. There are very few pickup trucks still on the road today that are as iconic as the Dodge Lil’ Red Express Truck.

Chevrolet Kingswood 427
Photo Credit: GM

7: Chevrolet Kingswood 427

The Chevrolet Kingswood 427 was a wagon with attitude. The Kingswood was often overshadowed by the Impala and the Caprice, but this was one heck of a station wagon. The 427 V8 was a powerful way to go grocery shopping, and the roomy interior meant long trips were a breeze. Its 398 HP from the factory rivaled some of the most powerful cars of today.

Chevrolet Kingswood 427
Photo Credit: Car Domain

Performance is something that the muscle car world was big on. The roomy trunk was the focal point of the wagon and the three rows of seats were comfortable. The Chevrolet Kingswood 427 is perhaps one of the most underrated station wagons on the road.

Mercury Marauder X-100
Photo Credit: Hagerty

6: Mercury Marauder X-100

Mercury is a brand that was often overrated. But there were quite a few iconic cars that came out of the brand. The Marauder was a muscle car with a lot of attitudes. Mercury marketed the car as a police package and a standard consumer package. The 429 CID V8 engine gave the car a good deal of performance to work with.

Mercury Marauder
Photo Credit: Barnfinds

You don’t see very many of these around, but its power rivaled anything that you could get on the market. The Mercury Marauder X-100 is among one of the most underrated performance vehicles on the market. The resale value of the car is reasonable enough that you can build it up easily.

King Cobra Mustang II
Photo Credit: Ford

5: Ford Mustang II

As the muscle car era was coming to an end and the fuel crisis was happening, Ford had to act fast. The pony car was fun to drive, but Ford had to increase fuel efficiency. The Mustang II was based on one of the worst cars ever, the Pinto. Still, the underrated Mustang II had some pretty special features such as a King Cobra option. The lightweight design with a V8 helped things out.

Ford Mustang II
Photo Credit: Ford

Whichever way that you look at it, the Ford Mustang II was an underrated pony car. There was a lot of potential, but the Pinto design deterred a lot of buyers. The Mustang II is one of the rarest examples of the Mustang and a clean example is still a classic ride.

1970s
Photo Credit: hotrod.com

4: Ford Torino Cobra

There are many different variations of the Torino lineup, and one that stands out particularly is the Torino Cobra. This was a large muscle car that was dominant on the track. Unfortunately, around this time period, there were a lot of other cars taking up the spotlight. Ford’s own Mustang commanded a lot of attention compared to the Torino.

1970s
Photo Credit: Bring a Trailer

Naturally, Ford had to up the ante with the Torino Cobra, which boasted a 429 Cobra Jet engine. If you feel like you’ve seen the Torino Cobra before, it’s because this is the car that went toe-to-toe with the Plymouth Superbird in the early Nascar days. The Torino Cobra is a well-built example of an underrated muscle car, one that has a great deal of potential even to this day thanks to its stellar design.

Chevrolet Biscayne 427
Photo Credit: Speednik

3: Chevrolet Biscayne 427

There are many unique Chevrolet models that have made their way onto the market. The Biscayne 427 has a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts. The big Biscayne was comfortable and performance was also satisfactory. GM managed to pack one of the most iconic engines into the Biscayne. These days there are a number of aftermarket parts that can give the Biscayne a significant boost. GM also sells crate engines of the current LS series that can turn the Biscayne into a modern-day hot rod.

Chevrolet Biscayne 427
Photo Credit: Wallpaperup

The Chevrolet sedans from this time period were performance machines. The base of the Biscayne 427 has a lot of potential. You can build one of these cars into something great and spend a lot less than you would on a comparable Bel Air. These forgotten Chevrolet sedans are worth checking out.

Ford Torino Talladega
Photo Credit: Hot Rod

2: 1969 Ford Torino Talladega

Although the Mustang is probably the best-known Ford sports car on the market, the Torino Talladega is a forgotten piece of history. The first thing that makes the Talladega a historic muscle car is the fact that it was part of the Ford NASCAR platform. The Talladega was quite heavy in terms of curb weight but its powerful engine made up for it. The interior was well-appointed for the time and offered a great blend of comfort.

1969 Ford Torino Talladega
Photo Credit: Car Domain

Finding a Ford Torino Talladega is not as easy as the more common Mustang. But the potential of this car was astounding. Performance was more than satisfactory for the price you can find one of these for. The Ford Torino is one of the most iconic muscle cars drivers have forgotten about.

Pontiac Grand Prix SJ
Photo Credit: Mecum

1: 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ

There is no denying the Pontiac brand was a prominent part of early automotive industry. When you thought about a performance car, the Pontiac Grand Prix was one of the most iconic. The Grand Prix SJ was based on the same platform as the Monte Carlo. Aside from the awful-looking front clip, the Grand Prix SJ was a solid car. You can find these from time to time for a reasonable price.

Pontiac Grand Prix SJ
Photo Credit: Dealer Accelerate

Upgrading one of these can be done for close to nothing and the car can perform with the best. There are other muscle cars from this era that look a lot better. But the Grand Prix SJ is a well-appointed muscle car designed to offer an alternative to the Monte Carlo. Pontiac is now defunct and this car is a historic piece of the automotive industry.

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