22. AMC Hornet 360
This hot Hornet was turned from an ordinary compact into a proper muscle car. It was based on a regular economy car but equipped with better suspension, sharper steering, and a 360 V8. The power wasn’t monstrous at 245 HP, but those horses could make the Hornet fly. The rest of the muscle cars offerings in 1971 all had problems with engines that didn’t make power anymore, but the Hornet 360 was one of the fastest cars on sale (via Hemmings).
Unfortunately, buyers didn’t understand the forward-thinking of AMC, and less than 800 Hornets were sold in 1971. This makes them rare and obscure muscle cars. In an era when bigger was always better, the Hornet 360 was unusual for its compact size and strong engine. But people failed to realize how genial the idea was.