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

Jim Brennan January 30, 2015 Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage 15 Comments

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1964-67 Pontiac (Catalina) 2+2  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41650 PM.bmp

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!

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1963-70 Buick Wildcat  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41841 PM.bmp

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. See the original article here, and see if they should stay…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1965 Dodge Dart Charger 273  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41734 PM.bmp

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, so take a look at the original article, and see if you think it should stay…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1964-67 Pontiac (Catalina) 2+2  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41638 PM.bmp

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. See the original article here, and decide if you think this model should still have its place of honor.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1963-64 Studebaker Avanti  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41537 PM.bmp

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. Read the Original Post here, and then try and vote this entry out…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The Turbocharged Corvair  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41452 PM.bmp

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. See the original post here, and decide whether or not it stays…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1963-65 Buick Riviera  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41431 PM.bmp

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, so take a look at the original posting, and make up you own mind as to whether or not it stays…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1968-69 Dodge Dart GTS 440  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41400 PM.bmp

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. See the original post here,, and decide if it stays…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1965-67 AMC Rambler Marlin  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41327 PM.bmp

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. See the Original Posting, and see if you agree with them…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1963 Pontiac Tempest LeMans 326  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41250 PM.bmp

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, so see the original posting here, and try and vote it out… I dare you…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1969 AMC Hurst SCRambler  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41151 PM.bmp

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, so see the original post here, and see if you can vote in clear conscious to vote it out…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1968 Mercury Cougar XR7-G  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41046 PM.bmp

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. See the original posting here, and see if it should stick around…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1965 Chrysler 300-L  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41017 PM.bmp

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, so read the original posting, and see if you want to banish it forever…

Hooniverse  Archive  Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage - Google Chrome 1212015 40956 PM.bmp

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, so read the original entry here, and see if you have a change of heart…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1968 Pontiac Grand Prix  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 40939 PM.bmp

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. Read the original post, and see if it should stay…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1969-70 Mercury Marauder X-100  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 40908 PM.bmp

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. Read the original post, and see if she gets to keep her parking spot…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1964-70 Acadian Beaumont SD  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 40848 PM.bmp

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. See the Original Posting Here, and tell me if this Canadian stays, or if it goes…

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1962-63 Oldsmobile F-85 Jetfire  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 40818 PM.bmp

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, so take a look at the original post, and see if it stays.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The Studebaker R2 Super Lark, and R-2 Super Hawk  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 44426 PM.bmp

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 take a look at the original posting, and decide if they are permanent residents.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The Ford Galaxie 500 7-Litre  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 40756 PM.bmp

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. See the original article here, and see if you have the heart to vote it out.

Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1963-70 Buick Wildcat  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 41854 PM.bmp

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…)

So, which of these Obscure Muscle Cars from the 1960's should be voted out?

View Results

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Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The Studebaker R2 Super Lark, and R-2 Super Hawk  Hooniverse - Google Chrome 1212015 44503 PM.bmp

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…

  • Leave them all will win in a landslide.

  • ptschett

    The Corvair sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. Calling it a musclecar just might be an insult to it; it's almost diametrically opposite to its Tempest and Jetfire kin that are on this list. Might as well start including things like BMW 2002tii's.

    Also, wasn't the big 6.3-liter Mercedes from this decade?

    • pj134

      Yeah, the Red Pig needs to be in.

    • UDMan

      you're getting ahead of me with regards to the big Benz…. That will be another posting that Highlights non US Iron…

  • topdeadcentre

    After going through all the voting in of obscure muscle cars over time, I think this voting-out thing is pretty useless and not really Hooniverse-like. As a community, we tend to like oddball cars, and it seems strange to be asked to vote them out of the "garage" because they're not popular enough or at the edge of the muscle category.

    There, I said it.

    In my humble opinion, leave them all in.

    • ptschett

      I follow what you're saying, but on the other hand I think some of the winners made it in through sentimentality toward that car rather than toward the car's merits as an obscure muscle car. The Corvair is a good example of that: fondly remembered, technologically interesting, something of a poor man's 911 – it deserves a place in one of the [interesting car genre] Garages, but it'll never be a muscle car and it deserves better than being shoehorned to OMCG.

  • Vavon

    Dear friends, I just bought us this place (plane not included). I think we can keep all of them now!

    <img src="http://images.forwallpaper.com/files/thumbs/preview/22/220714__airbus-a380-passenger-aircraft-lufthansa-airliner-airport-hangar-lighting_p.jpg&quot; width="640/">

  • Ah crap, does that mean I need to find a new place to park my plane now? Damn.

    • skitter

      You'll just have to get it valeted.

      • Andiamo, fratello. Non monopolizzare tutto lo spazio dell'hangar aerei!
        ("Come on, bro. Don't Bogart all the hanger space.")

  • Muscle car or not, the '66 2+2 has been on my bucket list for many years.

    • OA5599

      Bucket list…bucket seats…funny.

  • boxdin

    I love these 60s muscle cars. My Mom had a 65 olds 98 coupe w 455, Bruces Mon had a 65 Chrysler 440 hardtop sedan, and Alans Mom had a 65 Pont 2=2 w 8 lug wheels and a 421. I broke the column shifter off shifting down to first gear and it broke off right in my hand. No prob just took it back to the dealer under warranty…hehe

  • mrh1965

    I think bye-bye to the Corvair, F-85, Studebaker Super Hawk/Lark and the Avanti, sorry. The Corvair and F-85 are interesting and sporty but not really muscle cars to me. And the Avanti and Super Hawk seem more like luxurious, powerful, GT cruisers than muscle machines.

  • cardude

    My brother had a 68 XR7-G with a 390 2 bbl back in the late 70's. I'd beat him all day long in my 69 GTO, then he totaled it when he drove it through a house one night!