20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Have you heard of the Rezvani Tank? What about the Equus Bass 770?

Sure, you can head down to your local Ford or Chevy dealer and pick up something like a Mustang or Camaro. Detroit's Big Three (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) have among the largest reach in terms of U.S. car sales, after all. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find the big names up in Detroit aren't the only ones designing, building, and selling cars in the good ol' U.S. of A.

This Fourth of July we're celebrating the small manufacturers. Those companies that are located in the furthest corners of the U.S. that have been building amazing cars, some for decades. You can buy anything from a 1,000-horsepower (745-kilowatt) hypercar, to a sensible and safe minivan, and even military-grade SUV... if you know where to look. Just don't expect to see any of them regularly at your local cars and coffee.

We've compiled some of the best, most obscure cars you can buy in the U.S. today. See if you recognize any of them.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed


American muscle meets European styling in this obscure California-built sports car. The Anteros is built on the bones of a C6 Corvette, but features a full carbon fiber body with unique styling, a full leather interior, and a range of performance options. With a biturbocharged LS3 engine, the Anteros will produce up to 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts). The coachbuilt coupe has been around since 2009, and costs $149,500.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Drakan Spyder

Introduced in 2016, the Drakan Spyder came out of nowhere to rival other open-top sports cars like the Ariel Atom and Bac Mono. Designed, engineered, and built in California, the two-seater made its claim to fame as a feature on the show Jay Leno’s Garage.

Tipping the scales at just 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms), the Drakan Spyder is powered by an LS3 V8 delivering 450 horsepower (335 kilowatts), giving it the ability to sprint to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in just 3.2 seconds, and continue on to a top speed of 165 mph (265 kmh).

Interested customers can pick up a rolling chassis for $100,000, or a complete turn-key car for a cool $125,000.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Equus Bass 770

What do you get when you combine all the best aspects of American muscle? According to Detroit-based shop Equus, you get the Bass 770. Introduced in 2015, the raucous coupe comes powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 producing 640 horsepower (477 kilowatts), with a look inspired by classic Mustangs. The Bass 770 starts at $250,000 – but if you want something even more powerful, the shop also offers a modded Corvette dubbed the Throwback.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Equus Throwback

Equus is no one-hit-wonder. While the Bass 770 is the perfect culmination of American muscle, the brand’s latest project – dubbed Throwback – blends modern and classic muscle car cues in a seamless, stunning package. As you might have noticed, the Throwback is a C7 Corvette-based build. But with an optional 1,000-horsepower (745-kilowatt) engine, it can sprint to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in 2.5 seconds and continue on to a blistering top speed of 220 mph (354 kmh).

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Falcon F7

Built out of carbon fiber and kevlar, and capable of producing more than 1,000 horsepower (745 kilowatts), the Falcon F7 is the fastest car you’ve probably never heard of. The Holly, Michigan-based company was founded in 2009, and unveiled its first production F7 in 2010 at the Detroit Auto Show.

Powered by a biturbocharged Lingenfelter V8, the most recent F7 delivers a whopping 1,100 hp (820 kW), and tips the scales at just 2,785 pounds (1,263 kilograms), giving it the ability to sprint to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in just 2.7 seconds, and on to a top speed of more than 200 miles per hour (321 kilometers per hour).

Depending on the trim, the Falcon F7 ranges in anywhere in price from $195,000 to $395,000.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Fisker SUV

You may remember the name Fisker Automotive for the lovely looking Karma sedan (now called the Karma Revero). But Fisker Inc. is an entirely new company, founded by the man with the namesake: Henrik Fisker. While the long-time auto veteran hasn’t released his latest project in full, the Fisker SUV promises to be a fully electric, first-of-its-kind vehicle similar to the sedan he created nearly a decade ago.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Hennessey Venom F5

We know the Hennessey Venom may not be the most obscure vehicle on this list. But this is the original Venom’s predecessor, the F5, which the company just recently debuted at SEMA. Built from the ground up (not based on a Lotus like the last one), the Hennessey Venom F5 wields a 1,600-horsepower (1,193-kilowatt) V8 engine, making it quicker than its predecessor. According to the company, it should be able to hit 300 miles per hour… we’ll just have to wait and see if that’s true.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Local Motors Olli

Meet Olli; the lovable bus was built by Phoenix, Arizona-based Local Motors and launched in 2016. Olli is said to be fully autonomous, and runs exclusively on battery power. Its design was penned by Edgar Sarmiento, and using IBM Watson technology, it gives riders a custom-tailored experience.

The company is reportedly still testing Olli, but has opened up orders to major cities around the U.S. Already Miami-Dade County and state of Nevada have expressed interested in using Olli on public roadways. Local Motors has an order form on its website, but it doesn’t list a price.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Lucra LC470

The Lucra LC470 is hard to ignore – just look at it. Classic lines combine with modern performance; under the hood buyers can choose between either an LS3 or LS7 V8 engine, the latter is good for 505 horsepower (376 kilowatts), while the former is slightly less powerful with 430 hp (320 kW). Both engines come paired to a five-speed manual transmission, and each car is hand built in San Marcos, California.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Mobility Ventures MV-1

Admittedly, the MV-1 van may not be the most exciting vehicle on the list – but it is one of the most versatile. The Miami, Florida-based company was founded in 2011, with production lasting just two years before finances forced a takeover by AM General in 2013, its producer.

The newly branded Mobility Ventures would continue construction of the MV-1 in 2014 at its Mishawaka, Indiana plant, with usage not only as a specially designed vehicle for the handicapped, but also as a yellow cab in New York City. The MV-1 was the first purpose-built taxicab since the Checker Marathon, oddly enough.

The standard MV-1 SE starts at just $39,800.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Panoz Avezzano

Panoz may be famous for its race cars, but the Braselton, Georgia-based shop also produces a series of road cars that are surprisingly well equipped. One of eight road-going sports cars the company currently lists on its website, the recently updated Avezzano "sounds like thunder, goes like lightning," says the company.

A lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber body sits atop an aluminum tubular steel frame chassis, with a hearty 6.2-liter V8 under the hood delivering 430 horsepower (320 kilowatts). Buyers can also opt for a more powerful 580-hp (432-kW) version, both paired to a close ration six-speed manual transmission.

The Avezzano starts at a hefty $168,900.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Panoz Esperante GTR-1

When Panoz says the Esperante GTR-1 is "a race car in street-legal trim," the company isn’t kidding. The race-inspired GTR-1 produces 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts) thanks to an aluminum block V8. Its carbon-fiber monocoque composite chassis keeps things light, and its minimalistic, driver-centric cabin allows for the ultimate focus on road or track.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Rezvani Beast Alpha

The military-inspired Tank SUV (which you’ll see in a minute) may be Rezvani’s claim to fame – but did you know the California company also builds a hard-top sports car dubbed the Beast Alpha? Like its convertible sibling, the Beast Alpha is a sleek, sharp-edged supercars with tons of power. With a base 400-horsepower (298-kilowatt) engine, the Beast Alpha can hit 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in just 3.5 seconds. But in the 700-hp (521-kW) Blackbird trim, the Beast Alpha hits 60 in a blistering 2.9 seconds.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Rezvani Tank

It may look like just another highly-modified Jeep Wrangler, but the Rezvani Tank is much more than that. It embodies everything that’s great about America; it’s a high-riding SUV with off-road chops, an aggressive look, and a range-topping 500-horsepower (372-kilowatt) V8. It can even be optioned with a thermal camera and a bulletproof kevlar body. The California shop also offers a sports car dubbed the Beast.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Rossion Q1

If the Pompano Beach, Florida-based Rossion Q1 looks familiar, that’s because it’s essentially a re-engeineered Noble M400. The company purchased the rights to the chassis in the late 2000s, and quickly went to work on bringing the better-equipped, arguably better-looking Q1 to market.

In 2015, the company updated the Q1 with a more powerful version of its Ford Duratec biturbo V6 engine, good for 508 horsepower (379 kilowatts) and 521 pound-feet (706 Newton-meters) of torque, giving it the ability to sprint to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in just 2.8 seconds.

Lightly used examples of the Q1 occasionally pop up on eBay for well over asking, but a brand-new, bone-stocks version (with no A/C) can be had for as little as $73,500.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Saleen S1

Saleen may be one of the most recognizable nameplates on this list – but did you know the Mustang modifier now has a ground-up sports car? The S1 made its debut last year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, complete with a 2.4-liter turbocharged inline-four engined producing 450 horsepower (336 kilowatts) and 350 pound-feet (474 Newton-meters) of torque. Deliveries will reportedly start this summer; the S1 is priced at $100,000 to start.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed


Like a few other cars on this list, the Rhino GX is based on an existing platform – a Ford F-450, to be exact. But the rugged Rhino is unique enough that it sets itself apart from the factory work truck. Measuring in at 7.3-feet (2.2-meters) tall, 8-feet (2.4-meters) wide, and riding a massive set of 38-inch rubbers, the Rhino GX was built to go anywhere, and do anything.

The Rhino GX starts at $229,000 for the gas-powered model, or $239,000 for the diesel version.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Vanderhall Venice

The Provo, Utah-based firm Vanderhall made a name for itself with its unique Venice three-wheeler in 2010. Complete with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, the Venice is good for 200 horsepower (149 kilowatts) and a 0-60 mile-per-hour (96 kilometer-per-hour) sprint of about 4.5 seconds.

The Venice was eventually followed by the electric Edison² prototype, and the more well-equipped Laguna, which comes loaded with features like heat and A/C, premium leather seats, a Bluetooth sound system, and an adjustable suspension.

The base Venice starts at just $29,950, while the more luxurious Laguna starts at $49,950. The Edison² isn't available for purchase just yet.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

VLF Force 1

Following Henrik Fisker’s departure from the company that he created, the designer turned CEO teamed up with former Detroit auto executive Bob Lutz and entrepreneur Gilbert Villarreal to form VLF Automotive, which stands for Villarreal, Lutz, Fisker, of course.

In 2013, the company displayed the Destino, which was essentially a V8-powered Fisker Karma. But in 2016, the 745-horsepower (555-kilowatt) Force 1 came to life. Making its debut in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, the Viper-based supercar was designed by Henrik Fisker, and featured a more powerful version of the factory 8.4-liter V10.

The VLF Force 1 can be had for $286,500, and will be limited to just 50 examples.

20 American Cars You Never Knew Existed

Youabian Puma

The Youabian Puma was one of the most talked about vehicles of the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show… and I’m sure you can guess why. Dreamt up by LA-area cosmetic surgeon Dr. Kambiz Youabian, the $1.1-million (!) car came powered by a 505-horsepower (376-kilowatt) 7.0-liter V8, and could reportedly sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 5.9 seconds.