Muscle cars are unique, exciting and fun. But not all muscle cars were created equal and throughout the span of time, there were bound to be some designs that fell through the cracks.
Sometimes the car as a whole is bad and other times there are only certain generations and years that are failures. As car manufacturers and enthusiasts push the limit further and further, we expect to see more interesting muscle cars in the future. Until then, here are some of the worst muscle cars from the past.
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1976-77 Dodge Charger Daytona
Produced specifically for NASCAR racing, the Dodge Charger Daytona was designed to be faster than the other Chargers in the Dodge lineup. The body of the car was made pointier and more aerodynamic and in the late 1960s, the car was really impressive.
1970s Era Oldsmobile Cutlass
The Oldsmobile Cutlass was originally designed as part of Oldsmobile’s entry to the muscle car lineup. As the company itself started to struggle financially, a lot of last-minute big changes were made to try and scavenge any profits.
Unfortunately what was once a promising muscle car quickly became just a Chevrolet Malibu with a name change and new badging. The engine of the car was also identical to the Chevrolet Malibu and long gone was the V8 that the Oldsmobile originally sported.
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1982 Pontiac Firebird
This mismatch of a car was a major letdown in 1982. A lot of car companies were big into name branding engineering which meant that they would use the same car and rename it for a different effect.
1994 Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang has had many generations that failed before Ford realized their mistakes and started making cars that people could actually enjoy. The 1994 Mustang was just another one of their complete fails because of the car’s small changes.
On the outside, the car barely had any updates to its body and it just looked like the same Mustang we had all been accustomed to. Under the hood, the Mustang had an even sadder engine that only had a V6 engine that got under 150 horsepower.
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1993 Chevy Camaro
The Camaro saw most of its biggest body changes come with the introduction of its 1993 model. Long gone were the days of the aggressive stance of the Camaro and now Chevy introduced it to a more rounded and softer frame.
The Camaro also had lackluster power and came standard with a V6 engine that only had 160 horsepower. Luckily the Camaro was still built on the same F-body platform so better changes were just around the corner.
1995 Chevy Monte Carlo
This car was just one of many disappointments in the 1990s for the muscle car community. Chevy decided to bring the Monte Carlo back after it took a seven-year hiatus but it came back worse than when it went out.
The Monte Carlo didn’t have a V8 option nor did it have many updates to its body making the changes unimpressive and bland. To make matters worse, the Monte Carlo would remain mostly unchanged for the remainder of the decade until the 2000s.
1974 Pontiac GTO
The Pontiac GTO has been considered one of the first muscle cars on the road and while it is highly regarded and respected for what it has done for auto history, its 1974 model a major disappointment.
It came with a great engine and was still faster than a lot of the other cars on the road in the 1970s. What caused the downfall of the GTO was Pontiac’s decision to make the car slower and make body changes to it that were unappealing.
1982 Pontiac Trans Am
While the 1982 Trans Am had so much potential, the car ultimately fell short in performance. Its standard engine only produced a measly 90 horsepower and even if a driver did opt-out for the bigger engine the horsepower only went up to 165.
1976 Chevrolet Camaro
The Chevrolet Camaro is still a top-selling muscle car today but its mid-1970s model was one of its worst. By the 1970s, the Chevrolet Camaro lost most of its performance due to dropping its more powerful engine and going to a more fuel-efficient 5.0 liter.
Outside of its performance, Chevrolet also made changes to the body of the Camaro resulting in a bumper that destroyed the car’s aerodynamic abilities.
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