The Top 10 Underrated American Cars of the ’70s Worth Considering

The 1970s were an interesting time for American cars. With the emissions regulations coming as a result of the oil crisis, performance was strangled. This meant that the era of traditional muscle cars that had been so popular and prevalent in American car culture in the ’60s was coming to an end. As a result, most cars produced in America during the ’70s were not highly rated among consumers and enthusiasts and slid under the radar.

Many of these ’70s classic cars are now completely forgotten or neglected despite the fact that many of them were gorgeous, innovative, and great in their own way. Furthermore, the power figures of some ’70s performance cars may not have been all that impressive, but their handling was fantastic, and they were still sporty. Others may have been powerful, but they simply missed the mark when it came to appealing to consumers or enthusiasts.

Whatever the case may be, we believe that the cars on this list deserve a second life, and thus we bring you 10 of the most underrated American cars of the ’70s.

10 1970 AMC AMX

1970 AMC AMX

The AMC AMX was a reflection of how the muscle car was dying out in the 1970s as there wasn’t much interest garnered towards it, but it was still an outstanding vehicle. Despite being forgotten by many, the AMC AMX came with a 5.9-liter V8 engine that produced 290 hp. Also coming with upgraded suspension and sports car handling, it is quite unbelievable that the AMX went ignored.

1970 AMC AMX

We’d still buy an AMX because, despite being so forgotten, the car was an impressive muscle car that simply came along at the wrong time. With many muscle cars of the ’70s running into problems with the oil crisis in 1973 and issues with emissions, the AMX is one of the last cars which didn’t have to deal with the problem upon its release. As such, we’d definitely give one a go, especially because prices are cheap since the car is so forgotten.

Dodge Lil’ Red Express

Dodge Lil' Red Express

Looking at the Dodge Lil’ Red Express, one would often presume that it is just an everyday truck that isn’t all that powerful. Yet, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The truck was actually one of the fastest trucks on the road at the point of its release, going 118.8 mph at top speed. Also, the engine was a modified 360 V8 police engine, exemplifying the strengths of the truck as being capable of muscle car performance.

Dodge Lil' Red Express

While the Lil’ Red Express was bright red, we would say that the car is a very unassuming vehicle as a small truck like this isn’t often presumed to be powerful. As such, because of how cool the car is under the hood and how different it is from a standard pick-up truck, we’d love to drive one.

AMC Hornet SC/360 1971

AMC Hornet SC-360 1971

The AMC Hornet SC/360 was introduced during the time when muscle cars were beginning to be less coveted in the US market. There were less than 800 made, but it provided consumers with an alternative to pricier sports cars like the BMW 2002TI and even exotic sports cars like the Porsche 914. Since there were so few made, the car is quite rare nowadays.

AMC Hornet SC-360 1971

Despite being an underrated car at the time of release, many have come to love the handling of the AMC. As such, we’d love to buy one of these underrated cars with their unusual styling and hidden performance.

Mercury Capri Mk 1

Mercury Capri Mk 1

The Mercury Capri Mk 1 was released in 1970, and it was marketed as an affordable coupe while being smaller than the Mercury Cougar. Based on the European Ford Capri, the North American Mercury Capri received several revisions, with styling changes to the grille and headlights being the most prominent. Also, there were further styling updates done to the car in 1973 too, complying with bumper standards. While the car was stylish, it didn’t garner much interest and the engines weren’t to many buyers’ tastes at the time of release.

Mercury Capri Mk 1

While this was the case, we would still buy the Mk 1 version of the Capri as the handling was incredible, helping the car live up to its sportiness. Combining all of this with the cool style of the Capri, we’d love to own one.

1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst

1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst

Being more of an overlooked car by Chrysler, the 300 Hurst was big and heavy just like a muscle car should be. It came with a 7.2-liter TNT V8 engine and meant business in power as well as in size. Only 501 of these high-performance muscle cars were produced, and they are even rarer nowadays.

1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst

Since there were so few made, it was an easy car to overlook. Also, because all the other cars in the ‘300’ series were known as being in the ‘300 letter series’, and this model wasn’t, many didn’t see the car as being closely related even though it was. As such, other models took precedence as being more well-known by the public. However, we’d definitely still buy one because of its sporty styling and luxury feel – all the things we want to associate with a cool muscle car like this.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Chevrolet Camaro Z-28

The Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 was released in 1970 and lasted until 1981 in production. There were plenty of model updates throughout its 11-year production life, but the standard was that most of the Z/28 Camaros came with a V8 engine, with the LT-1 option being very impressive then (and now). Power was affected after 1973, but the car was still pretty cool, despite being underrated because of the power changes and because the styling wasn’t taken to by many fans either.

Chevrolet Camaro Z-28

With the Camaro often being underrated, buyers can now find one for around $15,000, which is cheap compared to many other classic Camaros. We’d still buy one too, because of how powerful the car is and because of its interesting styling that divides many.

Ford Torino GT 1970

Ford Torino GT 1970

The Ford Torino GT is often forgotten about in muscle car history. Often the Ford Mustang overshadows the muscle cars that were later released by Ford, and the Torino GT is no exception. When looking at the power of the Torino GT, the V8 engine which produced 390 hp is an obvious competitor for the Mustang. Yet this didn’t happen, and the Mustang continued as a strong comparison to the Torino.

Ford Torino GT 1970

Despite actually achieving some successful racing heritage, many don’t show interest in the Torino GT nowadays. However, we’d love to own one because of its cool history and because it is certainly a viable powerful car that would be fantastic on the roads.

Buick Gran Sport 455

Buick Gran Sport 455

The Buick Gran Sport 455 is a heavily underrated muscle car. The car was a very obscure vehicle, but it did come with a V8 engine that produced 350 hp – much like the Buick GSX. However, as with many Buick cars, they didn’t always connect with consumers, and as such, they were left behind when other brands like Pontiac took off massively in terms of muscle car production. Yet, while this car is so underrated and ignored, we would definitely want to own one because Buick has made some fantastic cars, and this is a representation of one of them.

Buick Gran Sport 455

This hidden gem is something that we would love to show off and make people aware of the fact that it continues to exist.

AMC Gremlin

AMC Gremlin

The AMC Gremlin has long been considered an unattractive vehicle. The car was based on the AMC Hornet, but it wasn’t as successful by any means. Not only was it not the best-looking car, but it also appeared cheap. However, this couldn’t have actually been further from the truth as it came with many engines that performed decently and the compactness of the car was a definite win too.

AMC Gremlin

Sadly, the looks of the car let it down completely. However, we’d still love to own one as there is beauty in its history, and its unusual status is becoming a win among enthusiasts. As such, it would be great to own one of these before the prices start to rocket in the years coming.

1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna

1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna

Coming with a great amount of speed, the Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna came around at the wrong time. Despite coming with the V8 engine, the car wasn’t all that powerful as the engine produced 145 hp – thanks to the 1973 emissions regulations. Although the car could go 111 mph at top speed, all wasn’t impressive and the muscle car was fully beginning to die out in the North American markets.

1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna

The Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna wasn’t all that horrible, but it just came around at the wrong time. We’d still like to own one because the engine would be great to tune, and the 145 hp could be boosted to a higher amount – as was done with one Chevelle Laguna which was boosted up to 400 hp

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