4. 1977 Chevrolet Monza Mirage
Chevrolet presented the Monza in 1975 as their newest compact model. It came with a modern design, updated equipment and a wide arrange of versions and trim levels. The Monza succeeded the Vega, selling well in the U.S., as well as abroad. However, the lack of a performance version was evident since the compact, relatively light platform could benefit from a powerful engine. But Chevrolet didn’t think a performance or muscle car version would have a big market, so they didn’t bother developing it. However, Chevy contracted an outside company, Michigan Auto Techniques, to make a muscle car Monza for 1977. They called it the Monza Mirage, and they produced only 4,000 of them. The Mirage featured a 305 V8 with just 145 HP.
The design was quite striking with a white body, front and rear spoilers, and special wheels. The paint scheme was patriotic with red, blue and white stripes all over the body. But Chevrolet realized there was still a market for sporty variants. So they decided to introduce the Monza Spyder for 1978. This left Michigan Auto Techniques without a contract for 1978, sending the Monza Mirage to the automotive history books. Today, only a handful have survived, so if you find one, try to restore it since it’s a rare, forgotten muscle car.