The muscle car is one of the most famous and popular car types in history, and after making its debut decades ago, this style continues to thrive and change the game. The muscle cars of today may not look a whole lot like they did in the 60s and 70s, but there is still a retro feel that has been captured to keep longtime fans coming back for more with each new release.
Many people enjoy looking back at the muscle cars that changed the game, and rightfully so. These are the cars that helped us get to where we are now. However, there are tons of muscle cars that have received a lot of criticism. These are the cars that we want to talk about, because some of them just don’t deserve all the hate.
So, let’s take a look back at classic muscle cars that are better than people remember.
15. 1976 Plymouth Volare Road Runner
During its prime, Plymouth was able to make some fantastic and memorable muscle cars, but the 1976 Plymouth Volare Road Runner has been ripped apart by muscle car enthusiasts over time. However, this ride did have a cool exterior with a decent amount of horsepower that it packed under the hood.
14. 1977 Chevy Monza Mirage
Chevy is no stranger to making some amazing muscle cars that have stood the test of time, but things did not turn out this way here. The 1977 Chevy Monza Mirage had some power under the hood and it tried to have a sporty design. It deserved a better shake than it got.
13. 1970 AMC AMX
Compared to some of the other companies on this list, AMC is a forgotten company by many younger fans, but this does not mean that they always dropped the ball. The 1970 AMC AMX has taken some licks over time, but this coupe boasted nearly 300 horsepower under its hood!
12. 1975 Ford Maverick Grabber
Ford’s muscle car history is among the most storied in history, which is why people have come to expect big things from the company. The 1975 Ford Maverick Grabber was not able to live up to the Ford name when it was released. This ride, however, is better than people remember.
11. 1974 Pontiac GTO
Much has been made about the muscle cars that Pontiac unleashed back in the day, and the 1974 Pontiac GTO is easily one of its most criticized rides. Sure, this ride did not pack the same punch as other Pontiacs but Hagerty notes “…it was an honest, back-to-basics affordable and fun car.”
10. 1978 Oldsmobile 4-4-2
It is interesting to see Oldsmobile pop up on this list, as the company is not exactly known for churning out burners on the road. The company rolled out the 1978 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 hoping to make a dent in the market. It got dings for being a Cutlass, but this ride was not as terrible as most remember.
9. 1972 Buick Gran Sport
The 1972 Buick Gran Sport is a classic muscle car that many people have forgotten about, and we have to wonder why. The car’s body itself is just fantastic, and the nearly 200 horsepower that lives under the hood is a fair amount for people going out for a spin.
8. 1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra
The Mustang name is one that carries a significant amount of weight to it given its amazing history in the industry. However, there were plenty of Mustang misfires along the way, including the 1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra. This ride gets hated on, but there is style and power here.
7. 1974 Pontiac Ventura GTO
Compared to some of the other Pontiacs released during the era, the 1974 Pontiac Ventura GTO is one that has taken a beating from people. Sure, this ride may not have the same specs as other classic GTOs, but this does not mean that the ride itself was atrocious on the road.
6. 1980 Mercury Capri Turbo RS
Heading into the 80s, it was clear that a change was coming for muscle cars. The 1980 Mercury Capri Turbo RS tried to offer a style fitting for the decade, but many people panned this particular release. This Fox body had a lot more to offer than most people remember.
5. 1982 Pontiac Trans Am
When looking over articles talking about bad muscle cars, it is pretty common to see this ride pop up. The 1982 Pontiac Trans Am is not exactly the greatest Trans Am that has ever hit the road, but this car didn’t deserve to take so much heat. This ride had plenty of style.
4. 1980 Chevy Corvette California 305
There is just something about the muscle cars of the 80s that really divides people. Some love them, while others completely loathe them. The 1980 Chevy Corvette California 305 has a design that is fitting for the time, and it was able to have some decent power on the road.
3. 1968 Pontiac Tempest
Again, Pontiac finds itself on our list, but this time, it is for a model that was released in the 60s. While keeping up with Ford and Chevy, Pontiac misfired with the 1968 Pontiac Tempest. People have started to come around, as this car is one that collectors love to liven up.
2. 1982 Chevy Camaro Iron Duke
The Camaro is one of the most famous muscle cars to ever make it to the showroom floor, but not every model has been a gem. The 1982 Chevy Camaro Iron Duke is one such Camaro that people disliked, but it wasn’t all that bad. This ride was lighter on the road, which sent people away.
1. 1978 AMC Gremlin GT
Another AMC finds its way onto this list, as the 1978 AMC Gremlin GT is a ride that has been criticized over the years. Compared to the other cars of its era, the style of this one may have sent people away, but its look is interesting and it is a fun drive.