Autos

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

Based on the condition and looks, classic cars can be desirable items to own. Some collect them with the utmost enthusiasm and take care of them almost obsessively, while others don't seem to care much about their old model and decide to take them out for a hike or to get their job done.

Muscle cars are very much an American thing, and anyone who is relatively familiar with cars can tell an American muscle car from a European or Asian sports car since they seem to have their signature body and performance style. Through the whole 60-something years that have been passed from the introduction of the first muscle car, there have been many companies leaving their marks in this scene. Some are still active, and some have perished.

Here are 15 best muscle cars that have lost their parent companies but are still with us.

15. 1970 Plymouth Duster

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Mecum Auctions

Plymouth started manufacturing cars as a low-priced supplier of the market and was then discontinued in 2001 because of the similarity of its models to other Chrysler products. Duster was one of the most popular compact-sized muscle cars that this company came up with. This model was proven to be a successful one in the first year of its production.

14. 1965 Rambler Marlin

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via PJ's Auto World

First founded by Thomas B. Jeffery Company in 1900, Rambler started making automobiles until 1914. Then again, from 1950 till 1954 under Nash Motors' supervision and at last by Nash's Successor, AMC, up until 1969. Through all these active years, the 1965 Marlin is the most reliable and most respectable muscle car that this company has left for us.

13. 1970 Mercury Cyclone

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Vanguard Motor Sales

Cyclone was the model that Mercury had in mass-production for five generations from 1964 till 1971. This model was considered a successful one for its time, and Ford decided to use it as their flagship car for motorsports events to do drag races and more mainstream events like NASCAR. It ended up winning the first and second place in the 1968 Daytona 500.

12. 1965 Iso Grifo

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Concept Carz

Iso Autoveicoli S.p.A. was an Italian vehicle manufacturer that was active from 1953 till 1974. This company started its career with making motorcycles in its early days and later came up with a couple of unorthodox models like the Isetta Bubble car. Grifo, however, was a grand tourer that was developed by Iso, which came with top-shelf Ford and Chevrolet engines.

11. 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Mecum Auctions

This car was probably the most brilliant car that Oldsmobile made during its active production years. Toronado had the luxury of a late '60s full-size coupe fused with the touch of performance under the bonnet. The first generation of Toronado was released with a 7 and 7.5-liter engine that could come up with a massive 385 hp.

10. 1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Hemmings Motor News

This classic pony car has been on the production line since 1969 and was stopped in 2002. The Trans Am part of the name code refers to the Trans Am trim that has been applied to Pontiac Firebird, which initially increased the performance and efficiency of multiple mechanical compartments such as suspension, handling, and horsepower.

9. 1971 AMC Javelin AMX

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Mecum Auctions

American Motor Company used to make a very successful muscle car that was called the Javelin. It was so popular that the Alabama Highway Patrol got 132 of them to use them for high-speed pursuits. Those became the first pony cars to be utilized by law enforcement in the US.

8. 1971 Plymouth Roadrunner

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Mecum Auctions

Plymouth made the Roadrunner for three generations from 1968 till 1980. The name Roadrunner was apparently so important for the nametag that Chrysler paid almost $60,000 to Warner Bros. just to be allowed to use the name on the car and also to develop the "beep, beep horn."

7. 1966 Jensen Interceptor

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Auto Express

Interceptor was a brilliant piece of British hand-made engineering that was revealed in 1966 by Jensen Motor Company. A total of 6,408 units of this model were made, all of which armed to Chrysler V8 engines. The fastest version could sprint 60 mph from a standstill in 6.5 seconds.

6. 1968 AMC AMX

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Fast Lane Classic Cars

The first American built two-seater with a steel body to be made after the 1955-1957 Ford Thunderbird was the AMX model. A performance car that was rumored to be the deserving competitor of Chevy Corvette of its era and most likely was since it had broken a 106 world speed and endurance record in 1968 being driven around the Goodyear track in Texas.

5. 1967 Mercury Cougar

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Mecum Auctions

In the whole 73 active years that Mercury had, Cougar holds the highest number of production by having around three million examples ever made. It was in production from 1967 and was updated for eight generations. The last generation being the 1999-2002 model that came back after a two-year production hiatus that the model took in 1997.

4. 1970 Oldsmobile 442

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Hot Rod Network

Probably the most popular product out of the Oldsmobile factory was the 442. Spelled four-four-two, the car had a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual transmission, and two exhaust pipes at the end of the vehicle. It also had made appearances in a couple of movies, one of which was the 1993 film Demolition Man, starring Sylvester Stallone.

3. 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Mecum Auctions

Chrysler was making the Barracuda from 1964 till 1974. In 1970 they revealed the Hemi-upgraded 'Cuda to be introduced to motorsports events. J. F. Mas was a racer who raced one of these upgraded models for two years and ended up winning the French Group 1 class championships four times, three of them being performed on the track and one in hill-climbing.

2. 1969 Pontiac GTO

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Hemmings Motor News

This model was being manufactured from 1964 and was renewed for five generations before its assembly line and its parent company were both discontinued. The second generation of this model, however, caught our eyes by looking pretty decent for a classic muscle car, and the specs also approve that point.

1. 1970 Plymouth Superbird

Ranking The 15 Best Muscle Cars From Companies That Went Belly-Up

via Mecum Auctions

Superbird is the limited version of a highly-upgraded Roadrunner that made an appearance in the market for a short period in 1970. The car in the picture belongs to NASCAR's one and only Richard Petty, whom Pixar chose to base its Strip "the King" Weathers character on in the 2006 animation Cars. The character was also voiced by Petty himself.