If you want to add something a bit niche to your collection, check out these forgotten and underappreciated cars from over the years.
1965 Pontiac 2+2
Just look at this beauty! The 1965 Pontiac 2+2 got its name from the fact it could have two people in the front and two in the back, and everyone would fight for the chance to hitch a ride with you in this. Dubbed as the “big brother” of the GTO, this car was built for performance. The 376-horsepower version came with bucket seats and Hurst shifter, so you’d feel like a street racer in this Pontiac. It also did 0-60mph in 7 seconds flat.
1969 Chevrolet Kingswood 427
Wait… What? Yes, this is a station wagon muscle car – and an underappreciated one at that. The 1969 Chevrolet Kingswood 427 is sure to turn heads, solely for its sheer size… However, don’t be fooled by its family-friendly appearance. Not only could you take the kids to school in this, but they’d get there in record timing with an option for a 427 cubic-inch turbojet V8 that has a whopping 390-horsepower. This car is for when you’ve got to drop the kids off at 9am and hit the drag circuit at 10am.
1970 AMC Rebel Machine
We think this is what David Bowie was talking about when he sang, ‘Rebel, Rebel.’ Just look at it! Okay, so it may be a drag racer that was very thinly-disguised, but we’ll take it. The 1970 AMC Rebel Machine debuted at the NHRA World Championship Drag Race Finals back in 1969. To advertise this red, white and blue muscle car, AMC drove ten vehicles from the factory in Wisconsin and let them run on the drag circuit in the condition anyone could buy them in.
Buick Gran Sport 455
Plenty of muscle car fans will already know the Buick Gran Sport 455, but unfortunately, it just had too much competition when it was released. Popular vehicles such as the Chevelle, 442, and the GTO were all released in the same era, meaning this poor Buick was left struggling for position in the top charts. Luckily, we’re here to pay homage to an absolute beauty of a muscle car. Who needs a GTO when you could get your hands on the Buick Gran Sport 455?
1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna 454
Back in the 1970s, did you really have an American muscle car if you didn’t cruise down to the beach to show it off? Nope. The 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna 454 was designed for those who wanted to head to Laguna Beach and please crowds of adoring fans… But, unfortunately, sales for this vehicle didn’t really do as well as Chevy had hoped. We’re still looking for one that has one of the coolest options ever seen in a car – swing-out front bucket seats…
1970 Oldsmobile Rallye 350
Overshadowed when it first came out in 1970, this was actually a bargain performance vehicle for those who wanted to smoke the tarmac without breaking the bank. It was designed to fit in with cars like the Chevrolet Chevelle and Dodge Dart, but it never seemed to sell as many units as the competition.
1970 Buick Wildcat
For those who wanted a little bit of luxury with their muscle car, there was the 1970 Buick Wildcat. While most American muscle car manufacturers focused on performance, Buick wanted to make something that oozed comfort and class. However, that doesn’t mean that they scrimped on all of the performance you would want from a car like this! It still had 370-horsepower coming out of its 455 Buick big-block V8. Style, comfort, and speed. Yep, we’ll take ten of them!
1969 Ford Torino Talladega
Back in the late 1960s, NASCAR rules dictated that cars had to be in production and at least 500 of them made, to stop those ‘one-off’ specials designed solely for racing. So, Ford pulled this out of the bag. The 1969 Ford Torino Talladega was such a beast that it managed to win two championships and a total of 29 races in NASCAR, with an impressive 130mph top speed. Unfortunately, it was only in production for a year and has kind of been forgotten about.
1970 Chrysler Hurst 300
Only 501 of the 1970 Chrysler Hurst 300 were ever made, with two convertibles that were thought to be solely for promotional use. So, anyone who can get their hands on one of these beauties is going to have a real hidden gem in their garage. The most defining feature of the 300 is that ridiculously long hood and trunk, along with the super 1970s white and gold paint scheme. The cars were named after Hurst Performance, the aftermarket parts supplier.
1993 GMC Typhoon
If you consider yourself a muscle car purist, then you may want to look away now. However, if you’re a fan of something a little bit unique, then perhaps the 1993 GMC Typhoon is up your street! While the stats don’t sound like they’d give this car a lot of power, this colossal vehicle could manage 0-60mph in a whopping 5.3 seconds and do the quarter-mile in 14.1 seconds. To put that in perspective, that’s faster than the Ferrari 348 of around the same time.
1971 GMC Sprint SP 454
What do you get when you combine an American muscle car with a pickup truck? The 1971 GMC Sprint SP 454, of course. The “unknown baby brother” of the famous Chevrolet El Camino, this car certainly proved to be the only thing like it on the market at the time. However, it seemed people weren’t too bothered about being able to move their belongings in the back of a pickup truck that could pump out 365-horsepower, as sales were slow.
1971 Plymouth Duster 340
Some of you may already give the 1971 Plymouth Duster 340 the appreciation it deserves, but for many, it’s still underappreciated. This was a real hidden gem among the rest of the MOPAR vehicles at the time, and people seem to have forgotten it ever existed – but not us! Luckily, back then, they were cheap to buy, and so there’s bound to be some people with one rotting away in their garage. Just look at that hood and tell us you don’t want one?
1971 AMC Hornet SC/360
One of the biggest concerns people have always had with American muscle cars is their impact on the environment. Back in 1971, AMC decided to release the Hornet SC/360 which was supposed to be a more efficient vehicle that still packed a punch. With people wanting more compact cars, you’d think that this would do well. It didn’t. However, you could get yourself a coupe, sedan, or a wagon version of it and feel like you were doing your bit for the environment.
1987 Buick GNX
The 1987 Buick GNX – with GNX meaning Grand National Experimental – was manufactured with the help of McLaren Performance Technologies. Yep, the same McLaren who are known for their classic racing cars. What made this so special, other than that totally 1980s vibe, was its 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds. That was pretty much unheard of in 1987, and it could even beat the V12 Ferrari Testarossa that came out the same year. This is the definition of an underrated beast!
1964 Mercury Super Marauder
The 1964 Mercury Super Marauder is one of the rarest cars on our list, with only 42 built that had the special R-Code in the VIN. That little letter meant that this particular Super model had an insane 425-horsepower pumping out of the 427 cubic-inch V8 engine. This car was a real head-turner, combining good looks with impressive power. In fact, Parnelli Jones won an impressive seven USAC stock-car races with a 427 powered Marauder. Super indeed! You’d be lucky if you got hold of one, though.
1970 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser 442
The Vista Cruiser rose to fame as Eric Foreman’s car in the sitcom That ‘70s Show, but unfortunately for him, he didn’t own a 442 version. Nope, he just had a regular ol’ brown Vista Cruiser. 1970 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser 442 was so much more, as it had a four-speed manual transmission, four-barrel carburetor, and twin exhausts. 4-4-2, get it? This is not the kind of thing you’d see on any regular station wagon, but this is no regular station wagon.
1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am
Welcome to the 1980s! The 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am is a prime example of cars in this decade, but it seems to have been completely forgotten about. While it may have had all of the right looks, unfortunately, it left a lot to be desired when you opened up the hood. Many critics and Pontiac fans called this car “underpowered,” and the manufacturer decided to go back to the drawing board. If you have one of these originals, however, you’ve got a real hidden gem.
Mid-90s Chevy Impala
Hear us out with this one… We know it’s quite possibly one of the worst looking muscle cars on our list, but it had some kind of charm about it. There’s no way you’d be turning heads driving this around until you put your foot down to the floor. This Mid-90s Chevy Impala had all of the power you’d expect from a Chevy, but with none of the looks. This meant sales plummeted and it’s very rare you’ll find one of these on the road today.
Not a muscle car, right? Wrong. They called the Dodge Magnum an “American muscle wagon,” which kind of makes sense when you see the size of it. With a total of 425-horsepower and the sort of acceleration that would blow your wig off if it was a convertible, Dodge didn’t let us down with this one. Unfortunately, people just couldn’t get over the fact it looked like something you’d take the kids to soccer practice in. It’s a shame, as this could burn some serious rubber!
So far, we’ve seen family sedans, wagons, and some strange pickup truck combination. Now, it’s time to meet the GMC Syclone. Yep, it’s another truck that packs some serious power. If you wanted to get from 0-60mph in under six seconds, then this would have been the car for you. Yet again, however, people couldn’t get past the whole combining of two vehicles to make one. So, this didn’t do so well – but it’s still one heck of a truck if you can get your hands on one.
1964 Mercury Comet Cyclone
Back in the early ’60s, Mercury added this beauty of a car to their Comet collection. With a 210-horsepower engine to its name, the Cyclone had all the makings of a ’60s classic. It even had its very own “dress-up kit” where owners could chrome up various parts of the vehicle, including wheels and engine accessories. Seeing that the Cyclone was supposed to be part of Edsel Motor Company, which folded in 1960, the car became a part of Mercury.
1970 Ford Falcon 429 Cobra Jet
Having survived over a decade and three generations of production, the Ford Falcon was certainly a hit. However, this 1970 Cobra Jet was fairly short-lived. This two-door coupe had a variety of redeeming qualities, such as it’s 302 and 351 V8s, as well as a six-cylinder engine. Ultimately though, this would be the last edition in the Ford Falcon’s run. Failure to meet safety standards and a decline in sales brought this era to a glorious, albeit abrupt, end.
1992 Dodge Daytona
This particular car might be the prettiest one on this list. However, its place in automobile history is definitely noteworthy. First being unveiled in the early 1990s, the 1992 Dodge Daytona was best known for having a K chassis, a feature that had a big part to play in keeping Chrysler on the map. Although it hasn’t aged well, its sheer power is worth mentioning. It packed as much of punch as a Mustang while being a cheaper option.
1990 Chevrolet 454 SS
With a V8 engine to its name, as well as two doors and a rear wheel, the 1990 Chevrolet 454 SS is a muscle car that has been forgotten over the years. The car managed to produce 230 horsepower with its engine, which was very powerful at the time. It might not have been as quick as the Syclone or the Typhoon, but it definitely packed a punch. In an era when pickup trucks are over-the-top in design, the subtleness of this 1990 classic is quite refreshing.
1969 Mercury Cyclone CJ
In case you were wondering what CJ actually stands for after all these years, then look no further. It stands for Cobra Jet. This is because of the motor underneath this forgotten car’s hood. It was added to the Cyclone line-up by Mercury back in 1969 and impressed early on with its 335-horsepower potential. However, the car didn’t manage to last too long in the market due to lackluster sales. But you can’t deny the car’s awesome performance.
We’ve spent all this time talking about American muscle cars, but did you know the Brits tried their hand at some beasts in their time too? The Jensen Interceptor is a prime example of what British car manufacturers could do when they put their minds to it. However, because it wasn’t made in America, very few people took to it. Brits didn’t want a muscle car, and the Americans didn’t want a British car. If you step foot in this, though, you’ll never want to get out.
Most of the first generation of Mazda RX-7s, amounting to close to half a million cars, were sold in the U.S., so you can still find some of these around. It’s got rear-wheel drive, pop-up headlights, and an awesome design. The engine was a 1.1 to 1.3 liter Wankel rotary that gave the light car up to 135 horsepower. Despite this being a very cool feature, it is hard to find replacement parts because Wankel engines are uncommon. You can find bargains on these as low as $2,000.
Ford Mustang SVT Cobra
The Ford Mustang SVT Cobra was inspired by the SVT Cobra Rs from the 1990s and represented a first for Mustang, rolling off the assembly line in 2003 with a factory supercharged engine and independent suspension. Managing to reach from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 4.7 seconds, this car is a drag racer’s dream. You should be able to find one in perfect condition for $20,000. Although they’re not too expensive at the moment, these will likely skyrocket in value in the decades to come.
Triumph has been defunct for years, but that only means that its TR6 is a collector’s item. There’s a 2.5-liter engine that gives the car 150 horsepower, which makes it a delight to take a joyride in. The vehicle handles and drives great, so the price tag of between $10-20 thousand isn’t too bad for this real beauty. It’s got a sleek design that always manages to turn heads! Finding replacement parts shouldn’t be too hard, as most of the 90,000 units the company produced found their way stateside.
Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit GTI Mk1
The Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit GTI Mk1 was possibly the most influential and popular “hot hatch,” a nickname for high-performance hatch-back cars. When it came out in 1976, 90 horsepower out of a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine was pretty impressive. Although zero to 60 miles per hour in nine seconds isn’t something to write home about, back then that was a lot for a compact economy car. Convertible models might set you back a bit more, but you shouldn’t have to spend more than $10,000 to buy one of these.
Chevrolet Corvette C4
The Chevrolet Corvette C4 is another classic car, this time from the ’80s, that shouldn’t set you back more than $10,000. It’s an awesome car whose chassis is still used in modified form in the current C7 generation. Why the low price? At this point, the Corvette didn’t boast the power it could in the 1990s when it came out with the ZR-1, but that’s around twice the price. Back in 1984, the C4 saved the Corvette from almost certain doom because the C3 had been terrible.
The Datsun 240Z was among the early sports cars from Japan that made waves in America. They were comfortable, cool, dependable, and handled great. It went from zero to 60 miles per hour in 7.8 seconds, and its top speed was faster than a Porsche 911T or Jaguar E-Type when the Z was in production from 1970 to 1973. They have a gorgeous design, come in sweet colors, and are quite cheap, too — you can find them low priced, even less than $15,000.
SAAB 900 Turbo
SAAB 900 Turbos are classic cars that used to be all over the roads if you remember, and back in the late ’70s when they came out they were hot, hot, hot. Turbocharging was fairly new, and this was for a short period the only non-sports car with this feature. In the beginning, the 2.0 cylinder got up to 143 horsepower with forced induction in the four cylinders giving the engine an extra boost, but this reached 185 horsepower with improvements after several years.
Pontiacs were a proud brand for years before going out of business. One of the premier muscle cars, the successful GTO is what prompted other carmakers to make similar vehicles. It was designed with the help of the legendary John Delorian and was released in 1964. By 1973 sales had dropped and it ceased to be a muscle car. Despite being redesigned as a compact car, it didn’t sell and the original line was discontinued. This 360 horse-powered beast can be found for under $30,000.
Toyota’s MR2 can speed up to 60 miles per hour in seven seconds, which was a lot for a mid-engine sports car when the Japanese car manufacturer released it in 1984. A 1.5 or 1.6-liter engine was mounted behind the driver so it could power the car from between the cabin and rear axle, giving the car great handling. A supercharged (SC) version was also released with a 1.6-liter engine that unleashed 145 horsepower and 140 pounds-per-feet of torque.
Subaru later renamed its SVX the Alcyone SVX, which is the brightest star in the Pleiades constellation (the company’s logo). Notably, its sleek, curved design was a marked difference from the angular XT, which the company stopped producing in 1991, the same year it came out with the SVX. There was also a prototype station wagon that was never released but displayed. Although this isn’t the most desired vintage car to own, this vehicle has a cult following.
Maserati 222 BiTurbo
You might think a Maserati is on this list by mistake, but the BiTurbo they introduced in 1981 and stopped producing in 1994 go for as low as $10,000 nowadays. There’s actually a pretty good reason for this, as most of the 40,000 produced aren’t on the road. Despite the turbocharged engine that provided 270 horsepower in later years and the luxurious interior, it was intended to be an entry-level Maserati that would be affordable, but the finished product is prone to mechanical issues and isn’t very dependable.
The Porsche 914 isn’t the 911, which is what you’d expect out of a car that says Porsche and looks like the 914 does. Even though it’s not as good of a car, that hardly means it’s not an awesome, fun car to drive around in. Porsche released it in 1969 and discontinued it in 1974, seeing as it wasn’t selling that well at the end of its run. The best part? You can snag one cheap from anywhere around $8,000 to $12,000.
BMW 325i E30
Over 2.2 million E30s were produced by BMW between the years 1982 and 1992. These cars were small and had rear-wheel drive, which is a trend you can see is popular to this day. It came with both four- and six-cylinder engines, but it’s the six you want. In those models, the engine gives the vehicle 170 horsepower and the handling is phenomenal. The replacement parts are fairly common, so upkeep shouldn’t set you back too much. You can definitely buy these cheap, and their price will only increase in value in years to come.
Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
As far as classic Volkswagens go, most people are familiar with the Beetle and the Bus, but sadly the Karmann Ghia was forgotten. Available as both a two-plus-two coupe and a two-plus-two convertible, it’s definitely one of the better-looking cars they’ve produced. These beauties were in production from 1955 to 1974. Throughout these years, the model remained practically the same, which is quite a rarity. While this car was based on the Beetle, its successor, the Scirocco, was based on the Golf.
Ford introduced its Ranchero in 1957 and didn’t stop the production line until 1979, as the company correctly assumed that consumers would want a truck that’s more car-like. People needed a car that could carry cargo, but when there wasn’t a need for a full-size truck to do the job, that’s where the Ranchero stepped in. Ford cut up a full-size passenger car, gave it a truck bed, and voila! It still had enough power to do some towing, and there was always the option to upgrade to a V8 engine.
The Mercury Cougar is the forgotten little sibling of the Mustang, as its first two generations were quite heavily based on the Mustang. It only lasted as a pony car from 1967 to 1973, so watch out which generation it is because in later generations it was definitely not a Mustang. Mercury later transformed the pony car to a personal luxury car, a midsize car, and finally a sports compact by the time it stopped production in 2002.
The Honda CRX was built between 1983 to 1991 and was based on the Civic, but had lower seats and only two of them. It had front-wheel drive and gave 140 horsepower, which isn’t a lot until you consider the car only weighed 1,800 pounds. The only real downside is that it’s not the safest car, so don’t get into an accident! The handling is very good (it is said it matches sports cars of the same era) and it doesn’t take up too much fuel.
The Fiat 500 is the classic star, but that doesn’t mean the 600, its forgotten brother, isn’t as deserving of reverence. It’s bigger so it’s not as cute nor does it look that awesome in today’s optics, yet the design was very fresh when it came out in 1955. It was in production until 1969, spawning a lot of variants, such as the 600 Multipla, the 600 Jolly, and the Abarth 750. These models are even better-looking.
The Jeep Gladiator is based on the Willys Jeep Pickup and debuted in 1963. Very quickly, it became evident it had no equal when it came to off-road vehicles. The Gladiator is the first truck to feature independent front suspension and a four-by-four drivetrain. Even the U.S. Army used versions of it. The six-cylinder V8 engines were strong enough for any off-roading that needed to be done. For the first time, the average car customer had the option of driving such a beast off the road.
The Studebaker could never compete with the “Big Three” that dominated U.S. automakers (Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors), so it eventually failed. Before it did, though, it offered some interesting models for customers. The Lark was one such car that the company released from 1959 to 1966. While it sold a lot earlier on, the company was unable to compete with the other companies rolling out cars in Detroit. Soon, other companies’ compact cars overtook the Lark and sales plummeted.
1989 Ford Taurus SHO
The Ford Taurus became the best-selling car in America after it was introduced in the mid-’80s. The innovative front-wheel design helped save Ford from bankruptcy after a slump. When you see a price tag of under $2,000 for a car, you’d think that something’s wrong with it, but don’t forget that there were over two million first-generation Tauruses that were sold. In 1989, they introduced their Taurus SHO (super high output), which took a good design and made it an even better car with a Yamaha engine. This goes for about a thousand more.
2008 Pontiac G8 GXP
Definitions of vintage cars vary depending on where you are, but the Pontiac G8 GXP definitely isn’t old enough to be one. It’ll set you back over $20,000, but we still have to include it for the following reasons. Firstly, it was the last of the great Pontiacs before they were discontinued. The GXP was the top-of-the-line version of the G8, which GM realized was a mistake to let go of and now sells the similar Chevrolet SS. They sold less than 2,000 GXPs, so they’re quite rare.
1994 Jaguar XJ6
Jaguar was acquired by Ford in 1990, and it was thought that they could turn around the car’s reputation for being unreliable. It’s gorgeous, but it probably deserved a bad reputation due to numerous problems that you shouldn’t need to deal with after buying an expensive car. However, now you buy one of these for under $2,000 and for the performance that the XJ6 offers (370 horsepower from a supercharged V8 engine), it’s well worth it to give it the routine maintenance needed to ensure this car is in driving condition.
1985 Mercedes-Benz 190E
In 1985, Mercedes-Benz broke into the U.S. small sport sedan market that had been dominated by BMW. The 190E was the result of billions invested in research and development that went on for years. When the finished product rolled off, it was a legitimate contender that was a match for its competitor, although the BMW 3-Series is more widely raved about today. The 190E doesn’t get enough love and you can have your own for under $5,000 if you look hard enough.
1980 AMC Eagle
Chrysler gobbled up American Motors in 1988, signaling the end of the independent auto era in America. In the years leading up to the merger, they had some pretty creative solutions to deal with their constant financial issues. The Eagle was the company’s swan song, as it was a hit as a conventional four-wheel-drive that was available as a station wagon as well. But it went down with the ship, in production from 1980 to 1987, AMC’s last year. Nowadays, it’s perhaps started to gain some recognition, though you can find a fixer-upper for under $2,000.
1978-1992 Toyota Cressida
Toyota Cressidas enjoy far less fame than other models, but the Cressida’s legacy speaks for itself. When it was introduced to the U.S. market in 1978, it proved to be a worthy competitor to American full-sized sedans. The company had the wisdom to see that there would be a shift to European models for classy cars, and Toyota restyled the Cressida to compete better with German luxury vehicles. The Lexus was the next step in Toyota’s bid for the market and the Cressida was forgotten, discontinued in 1992. Watch for deals as low as $1,000!
1967-1970 Cadillac Eldorado
The Cadillac Eldorado was a trailblazer when it came out with a redesign for its eighth generation in 1967. It was the second front-wheel drive to be produced by GM and began a trend of sleek personal luxury coupés that could be seen with other competitors like the Lincoln Mark III or Chevy Monte Carlo. This generation ended in 1970, so there are only so many of these around despite selling relatively many units for the company. They can be found for lower than $15,000.
1962 MGB GT
The British Motor Company created the MGB GT, which have become some of the U.K.’s most popular vintage cars that were produced until 1980. You can buy a good model for less than $5,000, though some of the different variations, such as the Roadster, will cost you quite a lot more and may be an investment of tens of thousands. In addition, it’s worthwhile to note that U.S. versions from 1975 on had diminished performance because emissions standards required them to be de-tuned in subsequent years.
1963 Studebaker Avanti
Studebaker’s Avanti was a star in the ’60s, with a top speed of 168 miles an hour in the supercharged model. This car was so beloved that Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, would have it shipped to wherever he was going so he could drive his awesome Studebaker around the world. The maker is defunct and having one of these will draw the kind of attention you want. You can buy one for as low as $14,000.
Chrysler TC By Maserati
First introduced in 1986 at the Los Angles Auto Show, this car was a joint venture of two major automobile producers: Chrysler and Maserati. It was marketed as a grand tourer, a type of sports car that combines luxury features with the ability to travel long distances.
Despite a two-year delay in development, the car was launched in 1988, with a total of 7,300 units produced in Milan, Italy.
The Reatta came in two versions: a grand tourer that was offered as a coupe or a convertible. It was Buick’s first convertible to see the light of day since 1985. The vehicle had undergone a special assembly process at the Lansing Craft Center in Michigan.
In just four years, over 21,000 cars were produced. Both versions featured a 3.6-liter V6 engine, a low-volume transverse front-engine, and front-wheel drive.
Produced between 1982 to 1988 the Cadillac Cimarron was designed to compete against European cars of the same category that flooded the North American market during those times. The Cimarron was considered to be an entry-level luxury car.
Development and production were carried out by the Cadillac division of General Motors. In an attempt to rebrand the vehicle, it shared many similarities with Chevrolet Cavalier — an act that was considered to be controversial at the time.
Dodge Dakota Sport Convertible
This could easily be the most iconic pick-up from the ‘80s, given its immense popularity. It was developed by Chrysler as a medium-sized pickup. To save costs, many of the vehicle’s components were shared with existing car models.
Even the production line was shared with other Dodge models that were produced by the company. The Dakota Sport was produced between 1986 and 1996. Some versions even came with an impressive V8 engine.
Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler
The CJ-8 Scrambler is another version in the long (and glorious) line of open-bodied off-road vehicles. It was first introduced in 1981 and produced through 1986. The big difference between this model and its predecessors was that it was more leisure-oriented, despite retaining its off-road capabilities.
A unique version of the Scrambler was produced for the Alaskan Postal Service, featuring a full-length steel hardtop, right-hand drive, and automatic transmission.
This vehicle may seem odd to many Americans and for a good reason. It’s actually based on the European version of the Ford Sierra XR4i. The Merkur was produced in North America between 1985 to 1989.
The idea behind selling a European-like car in the US was rooted in the fact that Ford wanted to fend off competition from BMW, Mercedez-Benz, and Audi. For this reason, Ford chose a name that also sounded German.
Facel Vega HK500
Although the French company that produced the car is no longer in existence (the factory was shut down in 1964), the cars they produced, and in particular, the Vega HK 500 are worthy of your attention.
The Vega HK 500 was based on the Vega FVS, which was first introduced in 1954. The FVS was produced between 1954 to 1959, and in 1962, production continued under a new model name which was the Vega HK 500.
Originally intended for the European market, Eagle Vision was a four-door sports sedan, produced between 1992 to 1997. The Vision was actually derived from the AMC/Renault-designed Eagle Premier.
In Europe, the car was sold as Chrysler Vision. The car made its debut appearance in 1992 at the North American International Auto Show. Another interesting fact about the car is that it was the only Eagle model that was entirely designed and built by Chrysler.
This Fiat’s curious name, “Dino,” derives from its engine name, the Ferrari Dino V6. Also known as Type 135, the Dino was produced between 1966 to 1973. It was first introduced at the Turin Motor Show in October 1966.
It came in two versions: spider and coupe. The coupe version was built on a longer wheelbase (by 10.6 inches). Both versions had a manual, five-speed transmission, a front-engine, and rear-wheel drive.
This may be a little know fact, but Switzerland had its own car industry in the ‘60s. The Monteverdi 375 belongs to a series of sports cars called Monteverdi High Speed. Each model in the series featured a unique body.
The cars were produced between 1967 to 1976. Models were available as a coupe, sedan, and convertible. The car featured a V8 Chrysler engine, which gave it a satisfying 375 horsepower.
The first generation of this new line of cars appeared in 1990. The new car was produced by Saturn automobile company, a subsidiary of America’s car giant, General Motors. The first generation of this car featured a Z-body.
This gave it a unique “spacy” look. It was an attempt to retake the market share that was taken by the Japanese in the ‘80s. By 1995, over a million cars were produced.
The Lele is an Italian 2+2 seater, produced by Iso Automoveicoli S.p.A., between 1969 to 1974. The car’s name comes from Lele Rivolta, the wife of Piero Revolta, who is the son of the company’s original founder.
Its stylistic design was done by Marcello Gandini, from Bertone. The car was first unveiled to the public at the 1969 New York International Auto Show. Interestingly enough, the car was meant as a present to Piero Revolta’s wife Rachelle (nicknamed Lele).
There is a good reason why an Italian car has a Spanish name. Jarama meant to recall the name of the fighting bulls that are bred in the Jarama river area in Spain. Despite sharing the name with the fighting bull ring in Madrid, the name indeed refers to the river area.
The Lamborghini Jarama is a 2+2 grand tourer that was produced by Lamborghini between 1970 to 1976. It was styled by Marcello Gandini.
Originally developed by the German automobile manufacturer NSU, the Volkswagen K70 was a four-door, front-engine, front-wheel-drive sedan. It was sold between 1970 and 1975 by Volkswagen following its acquisition of NSU in 1969.
A total number of 211,127 units of the K70 were sold during the five-year period of its production. The K in its name comes from the German word for piston — kolben, and 70 simply refers to the engine output.
The French, just like their Italian counterparts, have their own version of a luxury sports vehicle. Produced between 1972 and 1974, and with a total number of 40 units produced, the Monica 560 was considered by many to be the pinnacle of French luxury grand touring.
The car was equipped with a Chrysler V8 engine (5.6 liters), longitudinal front-engine, and rear-wheel drive. Monica made its last public appearance in October 1974, at the Paris Auto Show.
1978 Porsche 928
The Porsche 928 was intended to replace the flagship 911. Sales were slumping in the mid-’70s and Porsche thought that the 928’s larger size as a luxury grand tourer would offset some issues with the 911. The 911 continues to be popular, though. This was Porsche’s first attempt at a V-8 engine, and is the only coupé they’ve made with this engine powering a front-wheel drive. The older design might look funny and the glamor of the 911 makes the 928 less desirable, perhaps, but it can be found for under $10,000.
Pontiac Firebird 400
This is one of the most beautiful muscle cars of all time and looks a little bit like it could be related to the Trans Am. So, why didn’t it do very well in the market at the time? Well, people weren’t buying muscle cars when Pontiac released their Firebird 400, and so sales were at an all-time low. Because of this, very few people actually got their hands on one of these, making it one of the rarest (and most stunning) muscle cars out there.
1994 Audi Avant
Audi isn’t the kind of car manufacturer you’d even hear in the same sentence as the word ‘muscle car,’ but that didn’t stop them trying their hand at making one. The 1994 Audi Avant may not ooze the class and sophistication as some of the other cars on this list, but it’s still underappreciated in our eyes. It could definitely do with some more features, but the 311 horsepower was quite a big deal in ‘94. It just about makes our list!
So, you want a muscle car, but you also want to impress your clients when you turn up for business meetings? If this sounds like you, you probably need a Jaguar S-Type in your life – complete with a driver, of course. This was a real muscle car thanks to the sheer amount of power under the hood, but it has all of the elegance of a First Class Business Lounge at LAX. 420 horsepower just finishes it off nicely, too.
This may look like your regular Mercedes Benz, but it had a deep, dark secret under the hood. This baby was upgraded with a whopping 5.0 liter V8 that meant it could burn some serious rubber on the highway. Unfortunately, it didn’t sell as many as Mercedes were hoping – not compared to the kind of numbers their cars reach now. So, it ended up in the ‘lost and forgotten about’ pile, until we brought it back!