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30 Disgraceful Muscle Cars That Never Fulfilled Their Hype

Vukasin HerbezApril 15, 2022

Photo Credit: GM

3. Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 (1977)

The 1977 Z/28 Camaro was an essential model for the breed. It marked the return of the Z/28 package and a slight power increase over standard models. The 350 V8 delivered 170 HP, which was respectable in 1977 (via Hemmings).

Of course, the performance was just a shadow of what Camaro was capable of just several years before. But it was the best you could get in the late ’70s. Also, the 1977 Camaro Z/28 will be remembered as a cool-looking car despite its lack of real Camaro performance.

Photo Credit: Mecum

2. Chevrolet El Camino SS (1986)

The glorious big-block El Caminos of the late ’60s were long gone in the ’80s. When Chevrolet introduced the SS option on this pickup in 1986, it included a 305 V8 with 150 HP (via GM Heritage Center).

Photo Credit: Mecum

As you expected, this wasn’t a performer as the name and legacy suggested, but only a dressed-up regular El Camino. Production on this model ended in 1987 and the SS option was soon forgotten.

Photo Credit: GM

1. Pontiac GTO (2004)

The first year for the modern GTO was 2004. The car met universal praises from buyers and car press. Its design wasn’t exactly new or aggressive, but the new GTO had the muscle car form and street presence. Under the hood was an LS1 5.7-liter V8 with 350 HP. It had enough performance to be one of the hottest American cars for the 2004 model year. The target sales figure was 18,000 and Pontiac sold almost 14,000, which showed that buyers weren’t impressed (via Edmunds).

Photo Credit: GM

The 2005 model year saw the introduction of the 400 HP 6.2-liter engine. It had even better performance (0 to 60 mph time of just 4.6 seconds). Sales started to decline and by 2006, the final model year, the GTO was being blamed for singlehandedly causing the downfall of Pontiac as a brand.

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