These ’70s Muscle Cars Have No Place In A Gearhead’s Garage

Muscle cars have a long, exciting, and rich tradition. However, not all muscle cars are born equal, and some slip through the cracks. Over the years, there have been many magnificent classic muscle cars that we may consider works of art and some massive mechanical engineering marvels. However, a muscle car with less power seems to negate the very point of having a muscle car in the first place. Muscle cars appear rather pointless without the muscle ie power, kinda like off-roaders with no AWD or 4WD or any other off-roading capabilities. Nonetheless, manufacturers have produced a significant number of such vehicles. A few are casualties of squandered potential while others have astounded us all with their superior performance to their peers.



The new EPA regulations took the muscle out of muscle automobiles in the 1970s because they prompted American automakers to restrict performance in muscle cars. These regulations reduced them to a cool-looking but economical mode of transportation. There were a few outliers, such as the 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and the 1970 Dodge Challenger. But there are lots of muscle vehicles from the mid to late 1970s that have no place in a gearhead’s garage.

10 1976 Chevy Camaro

The Camaro is a popular automobile that was first launched in 1967 as Chevrolet’s response to the Ford Mustang. However, one of the worst models came from the mid-1970s. By the 1970s, the Chevrolet Camaro had lost most of its performance because of the switch toward a more fuel-efficient 5.0-liter engine from its more powerful engine.

The vehicle was also unattractive. It’s simple to see why this doesn’t add up, with the chrome front and back bumpers sticking out like a big thumb.

Related: 5 Camaros We’d Blow Our Savings On (5 We Stay Away From)

9 1974 AMC Javelin

The AMC Javelin is a two-door hardtop with a rear-wheel-drive front engine. From 1968 to 1974, it spanned two generations. In 1976, the final iteration of the Javelin won the Trans-Am event. So it appears to be fast, and 2 years after its manufacture stopped, it dominated a racing series. So, what does it have to do with this docket?

That’s because the AMC Javelin comes with six powertrains and four transmission options, with three or four-speed manual or automatic transmissions depending on the engine. So don’t think that the used Javelin you are keeping an eye on is necessarily that fast. In addition, reaching 60 miles per hour takes 11.2 seconds, which is very sluggish compared to many muscle cars available from that era.


8th 1979 Ford Mustang King Cobra

Although the Ford Mustang II series lasted only four years, it had a significant impact on the history of American muscle cars. In 1978, Ford released the second version of the Ford Mustang King Cobra. But because of its poor performance, this model only had two engine options. A 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine that produced 88 horsepower or a 2.8-liter V6 engine that produced 105 horsepower.

They sent the pony car off with a limited-edition King Cobra kit from Ford. But, other than the decals, wheels, and tires, this special edition wasn’t really noteworthy. It also produced no more power than a regular automobile.

Related: 5 Greatest Muscle Cars Of The ’70s (And 5 That Belong In A Junkyard)

7 1977-1979 Mercury Cougar XR7

The Mercury Cougar XR7 is the ideal muscle car for your elderly, which failed to find a market. Gearheads shied away from the boxy automobile, which didn’t appear to be especially quick or threatening. The Mercury Cougar was basically a high-end Mustang with a luxurious cabin.

The first-generation Cougars have become a low-cost muscle car alternative because of the V8 engine. They promoted the Mercury Cougar as a cost-effective high-end muscle car with a boxy body. The Mercury Cougar XR7’s fourth generation was unquestionably the worst.

Related: A Look Back At The History Of The Mercury Cougar

6 1977 Dodge Charger Daytona

The Dodge Charger Daytona was developed exclusively for NASCAR. They built it to outrun the rest of the Chargers’ lineup. But even a Charger couldn’t avoid appearing on such a shortlist. The Chrysler Cordoba served as the foundation for the 1977 Dodge Charger Daytona. They share most parts to where we can claim they’re essentially the same vehicle.

They developed this Charger to race in the popular NASCAR series, named after the Daytona 500 in Florida. Nonetheless, the automobile was slow, taking 13.5 seconds to speed up from 0 to 60 mph. It speaks less about the car and more about how far we’ve come.


5 1975 Buick Gran Sport

Buick wanted to build a muscle car that looked like the GSX, and this is what they came up with. Unfortunately, because of its immense size, it was too heavy for anyone to handle. However, it seems that, while creating the Gran Sport, they used the term ‘performance’ broadly.

You can already do the calculation if a car weighs 2 tonnes and has a 3.7-liter V6 engine that delivers 175 horsepower. It turns a gearhead’s stomach to see such beautiful cars perform so poorly.

4 1972 Gran Torino Sport

Ford’s new range had a lot of positive aspects. They created the car in collaboration with the city of Torino, Italy, with the intention to provide a sleek and pleasant ride. Regrettably, the age of fantastic fastback muscle cars was passing us by.

Instead, we received a grandma’s car with an enormous engine. It weighed roughly two tonnes and had a 5.7-liter 351 Cobra-Jet that made 248 hp. The other engine was a 7.5-liter V8 engine that could produce only 260 horsepower. We don’t think someone behind the wheel of this vehicle would appear cool.

Related: Here’s Why The Gran Torino Sport Of The 70s Aged Terribly

3 1977-79 Chevy Corvette

For the Chevy Corvette, the 1970s were indeed a difficult decade. There were few changes in the interior and body during this time. Unfortunately, it came with a smaller and slower engine. Emissions-related power generation issues plagued the 1977-year model among many others.

The C3 was a very average specimen within the Corvette’s long history. With mediocre 180 and 210 horsepower powertrains and a nearly unchanging appearance.

2 1974 Pontiac GTO

Make no bones: we widely regarded the Pontiac GTO as one of the greatest muscle cars of the 1970s and 1980s. Pontiac was a muscle car manufacturer with a solid track record. The 1974 model, however, was not as popular as its predecessors.

The 1974 GTO made 200 horsepower, so it was sluggish and unpopular. Unfortunately, the automaker’s choice to slow it down and make unpleasant changes to the body caused its demise.

Related: Here Are The Biggest Muscle Car Flops Of The ’70s

1 1978 Oldsmobile 442

The Oldsmobile 442 was a well-known muscle car that started as a high-performance version of a standard Cutlass. 4-4-2 refers to the combination of a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual transmission, and two exhausts. Also, the 1978 edition’s failure stemmed from a lack of options for buyers.

The only options were a 5.0-liter engine and an “aeroback” body style. Besides, the car’s maximum power output was only 145 hp! This enormous transport container can’t go faster than 109 miles per hour on a typical highway.

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