The Last Of the Breed – 20 Best Muscle Cars From the Early `70s

By vukasin

Most experts would agree that the classic muscle car era lasted from 1964 till 1971. Before 1964 true muscle cars were scarce and the segment has not been articulated. After 1971, environmental and safety standards ruined the market and manufacturers killed the engine power which made muscle cars pretty pointless. Those are historical facts and we will not argue about that.

However, we will present to you the last of the breed. Muscle cars that were presented in 1971 and later that still can be considered worthy additions to the legend. Yes, the cars were a bit less powerful in 1971, 1972 and onwards but there were still more than a few important and fire-breathing models. Today, we will talk about those cars.

1. AMC Hornet 360

Based on a regular economy car called Hornet, but equipped with better suspension, sharper steering, graphics package, and a 360 V8, this hot Hornet was turned from an ordinary compact into a proper muscle car. The power was not that big at 245 HP but in a lightweight body, those horses could really make the Hornet fly. The rest of muscle cars offerings in 1971 all had problems with big size and weight as well as engines that didn’t make power anymore, but the Hornet 360 was one of the fastest cars on sale.

Unfortunately, buyers didn`t understand the forward thinking of AMC and less than 800 Hornets were sold in 1971, making them pretty rare and totally obscure muscle cars. In an era when bigger was always better, the Hornet 360 was unusual for its compact size and strong engine and people failed to realize how genial was the idea behind it.