Obscure Muscle Car Garage – Time to vote them out; These are the Obscure Muscle Cars of the 60's…


Welcome to week two of our review of the Obscure Muscle Car Garage, and this time we are looking at the Obscure Muscle Cars that were produced during the height of the Muscle Car Era, the 1960’s. We are going to see what vehicles made it into the Garage from five American Car Manufacturers, and then I will pose a question at the end of this posting… Which one of these entries should be given the boot (or possibly none at all…). The 1960’s produced a wide variety of North American Built vehicles, including two totally brand new size classifications that included Compacts (Originally built to compete with the ever growing Imports), and Intermediates (Smaller than the Full Sized Cars, but bigger than the Compacts). Remember, this is the Obscure Muscle Car Garage, so there are no Pontiac G-T-O’s, Ford Fairlane 500’s, Oldsmobile 4-4-2’s, or Plymouth Road Runners. However, there were plenty of “Left-of-Center” nominees that were voted into the Garage, like the Big Mercury Marauder, the Small Studebaker Super-Lark, and the intermediate Rambler Marlin… So, it is now time for you to consider who to throw out. Ready? GO!


Unlike last week, where I started from the oldest to the newest, I thought I would turn it around, and start with the newest of the cars that I wrote about in the 1960’s. This past December, I highlighted a full-sized bruiser in the form of the Buick Wildcat, that was available in not only a Coupe and Convertible, but it was also available as a Sedan, which was the best seller of the series. These cars were produced between 1962 and 1970, and were offered in two very distinct series… Pre 1964, and Post 1965. The 1965 and later series were curvier, sexier, and a bit bigger, but the early cars had their charm. Horsepower hovered between 325 and 380, but it was the torque rating of these large Buick engines that set them apart, with a figure as high as 475 lb-ft! 81% of you thought they were worthy entries into the Obscure Muscle Car Garage. , and see if they should stay…

Here is one of those Left-Of-Center postings that the Obscure Muscle Car Garage is known for, and the subject had a name that would be used through the Muscle Car Era, as well as the current revival of the Muscle Car. This is the 1965 Dodge Dart Charger 273, and it was a rare beast even back when it was introduced. The car started out as a 1965 Dart Coupe or Convertible, painted a muted cream yellow with a black roof, a deluxe black vinyl interior, a special glasspack muffler system installed with a square tipped resonator for the 273 CID V-8 to breathe easier, and a set of 13″ Cragar S/S 5-spoke rims. Horsepower from the small V-8 was rated at 235HP. Only 150 of these cars were made at the Chrysler Los Angeles facility, with another 300 kits that were to be shipped out to dealers. 86% of you who voted agreed that this was a very Obscure Muscle Car, , and see if you think it should stay…

Last August, I highlighted the 1964 through 1967 Pontiac (Catalina) 2+2, and many of you wondered why I actually titled the posting this way. Well, most of the time it was the Pontiac Catalina 2+2, but there was one year, 1966, that it was just referred to as the 2+2. Ah naming conventions, they can be a bitch… but this doesn’t detract from what it quite possibly the most butch of the so-called Full Sized Muscle Cars at the time, with engines that ranged from 267HP for the introductory model year, to 376HP by 1966 (with the three 2bbl carburetor setup). Fully 72% of you agreed, and voted the 2+2 into the Garage. e, and decide if you think this model should still have its place of honor.

June of last year saw the posting from what was once a great American Car Company with the profile of the 1963-64 Studebaker Avanti. This was a Fibreglass Sports Coupe built along side the traditional Studebakers at South Bend Indiana. Standard power was the evergreen Studebaker 289 CID-V8, that originally delivered 225 HP. The engine was massaged to produce 240 HP with judicious use of performance parts, but the best was still to come in the form of a Paxton Supercharger. The R-2 289 V8 produced 300 HP with this bit of kit, and one of the most unexpected Muscle Cars was born. 85% of you who voted thought it was deserving of a spot within the Garage. and then try and vote this entry out…

I really threw a curve ball with the nomination of the Turbocharged Chevrolet Corvair, and asked if this was an Obscure Muscle Car. General Motors pioneered Turbocharging in the 1960’s with the Corvair, and another car to be named later. Horsepower ratings were rather lackluster for the first series of Turbocharged Corvairs, but the did exceed the one hp per cubic inch definition of a Muscle Car, and later models often exceeded 180HP… All this from an engine displacing 164 Cubic Inches. It also handles better than most cars of its day. Fully 55% of the voting readership agreed, and voted the Turbocharged Corvair into the Obscure Muscle Car Garage. and decide whether or not it stays…

The 1963-65 Buick Riviera is not really thought of as being a Muscle Car, but it was arguably the most Performance Oriented Buick in quite some time. It was smaller than the traditional Buick, it had engines that displaced over 400 cubic inches, and it was obviously drop-dead gorgeous. However, you could equip the Riviera with a dual 4bbl Carter Carb setup that produced a conservative 360HP. 50% of our readers agreed that this was a Luxury Obscure Muscle Car, and make up you own mind as to whether or not it stays…

This is the 1968-69 Dodge Dart GTS 440, and the post was originally run on April of last year. Potent, Rare, Desirable, and the only thing that distracts this entry is the fact that it really isn’t all that obscure. However, almost 80% of the Hoons who frequent this site voted it in. , and decide if it stays…

AMC was really not known for producing Muscle Cars during this time period, but they tried their hand at it when they transformed the Rambler Classic into the Marlin with a Distinctive Fastback Roof line. Unfortunately, you could get any of their power plants with the new car line, include some everyday six cylinder units, but a 327 CID V-8 was available producing a reported 260HP. The 1967 version could be equipped with a new 343 V-8 producing 290HP. Half of our readers that voted said it was an Obscure Muscle Car. and see if you agree with them…

Just prior to the introduction of the G-T-O, Pontiac produced the Tempest and LeMans compacts that you could order with a Pontiac 326 V-8 than produced 260HP in a very lightweight car (for the time). The 326 actually displaced 336 CID, but the powers that be at GM said that the engine could not exceed the engine size for the Corvette (Which was a 327) so, Pontiac simply renamed it the 326. Even more mind blowing was the twelve Super Duty Tempests produced with the Monster Pontiac 421 CID Super Duty V-8 under the hood, with a special 4-speed transmission at the rear. Of course this car was voted in, and try and vote it out… I dare you…

Remember I said that AMC was trying to get into the Muscle Car Scene with the Marlin? Well they really got into it with the 1969 Rambler S/CRambler. This was the last year for the Rambler American Body, and AMC decided to stuff a 315HP 390 CID V-8 under the hood, with the help of Hurst Performance Products. More than 1,500 were produced, with a little over 1,000 in the very garish “A” color scheme, and the remainder in a more sedate, but still eye catching “B” scheme. 82% voted yes to admit this Rambler on steroids, and see if you can vote in clear conscious to vote it out…

A Pony Car is not necessarily thought of as a Muscle Car, but this is the 1968 Mercury Cougar XR7-G. The “G” Stands for Dan Gurney, who signed on with Lincoln Mercury to race specially prepped Mercury Cougars in SCCA Group II Sedan Racing (often referred to as Trans Am Racing during this time period). You could get any engine in the Cougar Catalog in the XR7-G, but the most popular engine was the 390 CID 4bbl producing 325HP. or you could get the 428 Cobra Jet that produced 10 HP more. 58% of you voted to admit the Cougar into the Obscure Muscle Car Garage, as only 619 were built. and see if it should stick around…

The 1965 Chrysler 300-L was the last of the letter series 300 models (except for the 300-M, which really doesn’t count), with all new styling, and a V8 that produced over 500 lb-ft of pavement wrinkling torque. This is a bruiser in a velvet glove, but many have argued that this is a very big car. Fair enough, but almost 80% of the readers voted this beast into the garage, and see if you want to banish it forever…

This is a very controversial entry. It is a FWD Large Coupe that produced over 400HP under the hood. It is the Oldsmobile Toronado W-34. It could smoke it’s front tires at will, yet it was very refined, even luxurious when it had to be. 62% of you agreed that it is an Obscure Muscle Car, , and see if you have a change of heart…

Full Sized Coupe Models are not often thought of as Muscle Cars, and it actually takes some convincing on my part to convince you otherwise. Such was the case with this car, the 1968 Pontiac Grand Prix. This was the last year for the Full Sized Grand Prix, and it wore some interesting styling. But you could also equip this car with a High Output 428 CID V8 producing 390HP. You could also get a 4-speed stick, but few were equipped this way. We had a little trouble with the voting process of this entry, but 65% who managed to vote said it belonged in the garage. and see if it should stay…

The 1969 and 1970 Mercury Marauder X-100 was one of those left-of-center cars that I thought would provide great discussions about the relative merits of full sized Muscle. It did, with a big 429 CID V8 that was rated at 360HP, wrapped up in an alluring shape. 73% of you who voted agreed with me, and she sits within the Obscure Muscle Car Garage. , and see if she gets to keep her parking spot…

A Canadian Only Entry that utilized the Chevrolet Chevelle Body, with unique Pontiac Trimmings and sold by Canadian Pontiac Dealers. This was the playbook for the Acadian Beaumont SD, and it is the very definition of an Obscure Muscle Car. An overwhelming 93% of you agreed, and now sits within the Obscure Muscle Car Garage. , and tell me if this Canadian stays, or if it goes…

One of the more interesting entries I outlined is the 1962-63 Oldsmobile F-85 Jetfire, which was a very early adopted of the Turbocharger to increase Horsepower from a relatively small displacement engine. With the Turbocharger, and a special Rocket Fluid Injection system (needed to keep detonation to a minimum by the way), power went from 185HP to 215HP, all in a fairly lightweight package. This model was only produced for two years in two very distinctive body styles. Nearly 80% of our readers voted to put this little Oldsmobile Rocket into the garage, , and see if it stays.

In June of 2013 I wrote about the Studebaker R-2 Super Hawk, and the R-2 Super Lark. These were two distinct models within Studebaker’s twilight years before they shot down car production for good, but the company went out with a bang… You see, the R-1 and R-2 engines were developed for the new Avanti, but with engineering problems due to the body subcontractor, the company decided to make the hot engines available across the model line. The R-2 Supercharged 289 CID V-8 managed to produce 289HP, and you could get it in a stripped Lark 2-door sedan, the interesting Lark Wagonaire Wagon, or the restyled Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk. 83% of our readers decided to let all these models into the Muscle Car Garage, so and decide if they are permanent residents.

One of the earliest entries into the Obscure Muscle Car Garage was the 1966-67 Ford Galaxie 500 7 Litre. So what is so obscure about a Galaxie 500? It was the special 7 Litre designation, signifying that this car came equipped with either the 428 CID big clock that developed a lot of down low torque, or the shorter stroke 427 that developed it’s power at the higher end of the rev counter. Only 36 1966 Ford 7 Litre Fords left the factory with the 427, and they did not come with Power Steering, or Power Brakes, and you could not get A/C. These cars produced 425HP, or you could get a kit with two 4bbl carbs, and boost the horsepower to over 600HP. 90% of you that voted gave the green light to admit this special Ford. , and see if you have the heart to vote it out.

So, those are inductees from the 1960’s. It is now time for you to vote one of these out…or not. Once I run the entire review, which should take 7 weeks, we will see how many of the vehicles will be thrown out of the Garage. Remember, you can make a difference here, so continue to follow this series, and tell me how much you seem to like it (or not…)
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Please Note: All Images are screen grabs from around the web. If you want credit for any image, please let me know in the comments section. Thank You…

By |2015-01-30T07:30:53+00:00January 30th, 2015|Redusernab Obscure Muscle Car Garage|0 Comments

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